WATERLOO 1815 ‘LIEUT. WILLIAM LINDSEY, 10TH ROYAL REG. HUSSARS.’
William Henry Bingham Lindsay was the third son of Thomas Lindsey of Hollymount, County Mayo, by Lady Margaret Bingham, daughter of the 1st Earl of Lucan. His brother Charles, was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and died when H.M.S. Blenheim and Java were lost with all hands off Reunion in February 1807. William was appointed a Cornet in the 10th Hussars on 12 January 1815 and was promoted to Lieutenant on 15 June, immediately prior to the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. During the campaign, Lindsay was in Captain John Gurwood’s troop, along with Lieutenant Hodgson.
On the Morning of the great battle at Waterloo, Wellington was desperate for news of the arrival of the Prussian Army and had sent out numerous patrols to gain intelligence. Lieutenant Lindsay on one such patrol, was directly involved in making contact with the Prussian’s and personally conveying this
important news to Wellington’s Headquarters:
“The Duke of Wellington had only offered battle with the assurance that Prince Blucher would send at least one corps to join the battle. Knowing that the Prussians had been at Wavre the previous night and assuming that they would march with first light, around 4 a.m. the Duke had confidently calculated on receiving Prussian aid before the battle actually commenced, or at least no later than 11 a.m. He therefore spent the morning expectantly awaiting news of their arrival, but he was to remain disappointed. Nervous for news, patrols were frequently sent out beyond his left wing seeking reassuring information. This first came around 10 a.m. from a Major Thomas Taylor of the 10th Hussars, who reported having met a few Prussian officers at Chapelle St. Lambert, they had confirmed that a Prussian corps of twenty five thousand men under General Bulow was approaching and were presently about five miles away from them. With the news that the Prussians were coming soon, Wellington could concentrate fully on the battle in his front.”
This important information about General Bulow’s exact whereabouts on 18 June and Lieutenant Lindsay’s part in conveying it to Wellington, are described in the Memoirs of the Tenth Royal Hussars:
‘On the morning of the 18th a reconnoitring party was sent out from the Sixth Cavalry Brigade, by order of Sir Hussey Vivian, to guard the left flank of the British army, which was much exposed, and also in hopes of gaining some intelligence of the near approach of the Prussians. This patrol was taken from the 10th Hussars, and was under the command of Major Taylor, who proceeded with it in the direction of Ohain, and placed his picquets at Ter la Haye and Frischermont. About ten in the morning a Prussian patrol was met with, when the officer in charge of it informed Major Taylor that General Bülow was at St. Lambert, advancing with his corps d’armée. Major Taylor immediately despatched this important intelligence by Lieutenant Lindsay to the Duke’s head-quarters, besides reporting it to Sir Hussey Vivian.’
The same work also published a letter from Lieutenant Lindsay to his mother, Lady G. Lindsay, written on the field of Waterloo on Monday, 19th June, and sealed with a wafer made of pinched bread:
‘My Dearest Mother, - We have just had the happiness of giving the French the most complete drubbing they ever got, having beaten them on the heights of Waterloo, destroyed nearly their whole army, taking nearly an hundred pieces of cannon. They drove in a piquet of the Tenth on which I happened to be at ten o’clock, and a charge of the Tenth on the 18th decided the fate of the day. Nearly the whole of their officers have either been killed or wounded, and, thank God, I escaped without the least accident. I write this in the most shocking place you ever saw, but you must be satisfied with it till I can write a fuller account. We are about to pursue them immediately. The Prussians have saved us that trouble, for they have followed them. Eight officers are the whole we can muster. Most are killed or wounded. Adieu, my dearest mother, with thousand loves to all.’
Lieutenant Lindsey was placed on half-pay on 25 May 1816, but exchanged into the 17th Light Dragoons on 22 June 1820, who he joined in India where they had been stationed since 1808. He died at the village of Booisud on the river Mhye in India on 1 June 1822; he had been absent from the regiment since April 1822 ‘on private affairs’ in Bombay, and was on his way back to join it.
Condition GVF or better. With original steel clip and silver bar suspension, and later silver ribbon buckle. Sold with comprehensive research, including copied Commander-in-Chief’s Memoranda for his various appointments. A fine Waterloo medal to a hussar officer who left an account of his part in the battle.