WATERLOO 1815 ‘ENSIGN H. BAIN, 33RD REGIMENT FOOT.’
Ensign Henry Bain, 1st West Yorkshire Militia, was Commissioned Ensign in the 33rd (1st Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment on 15 October 1812, shortly after the Regiment returned from India. The 33rd remained on home service, standing guard for a time at Windsor Castle, Henry’s brother William also being commissioned from the Engineers Militia, into the 33rd in April 1813. In late 1813, the 33rd were ordered to Holland with the force under the command of General Sir Thomas Graham. Landing in the Netherlands in November 1814, they were present at the disastrous storming at Bergen op Zoom in March 1814 (both brothers present on Pay lists for time), the 33rd playing a prominent role as part of the centre attacking column. See:
The 33rd remained in Europe after the final defeat of Napoleon in 1814 and formed part of Wellington’s Army in Belgium in June 1815. During the Waterloo campaign, the 33rd formed part of Halkett’s 5th Brigade (along with the 2/30th 2/69th and 2/73rd), in Alten’s 3rd Division. At Waterloo, Henry was the Senior Ensign of the 33rd and he and William remained uninjured during battle of Quatre Bras where the 33rd was heavily engaged. However at Waterloo on 18 June 1815, both brothers were severely wounded in action, Henry being wounded in the latter part of the Battle, during Donzelot’s failed attack.
Of the 561 men of the 33rd who were present with Wellington’s Army on 16 June 1815, 281 became casualties, or 51%. These numbers do not take into account Officers and men on other duties such as baggage, sick etc. As such the actual number of men of the 33rd that were in action would have been 50 to 100 less, making the percentage of casualties far higher. This is the case of any regiment at Waterloo and any other battle and is usually not accounted for. Ensign Howard, one of the few Officers who was not wounded, noted that after the battle; ‘there were only 72 men on the parade and 5 officers’.
The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) Regimental Association website gives a very good account of the 33rd’s part in both battles:
On 11 August 1815, Henry Bain was advanced Lieutenant, vice Arthur Gore, who was killed in action. He was put on Half Pay in 1817 and died at his home in Providence Row, Finsbury in 1836.
Condition, some minor contact marks and edge wear but nearer GVF than VF. Original clip and ring suspension. A superb and scarce Officer casualty medal to one of the most sought after regiments for the Waterloo campaign.
The provenance of this medal is extremely good, having been known to have been in the Collection of Charles Dalton, author of 1904 book ‘The Waterloo Roll Call’. The Medal of Henry’s brother, Ensign William Bain is held in the collection of the Bankfield Museum, Halifax.