Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Battle of Waterloo 200 - and Samuel Gillespie of Kircubbin

The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo is today (see website here).

A Samuel Gillespie of Inishargy near Kircubbin fought in it. He had been born on 4th March 1796 so was just 2 years old when the 1798 Rebellion took place - and therefore just 17 when he fought at Waterloo. He survived Waterloo and came home, eventually dying on 17 July 1875. He was buried at Kircubbin Presbyterian Church. I have tried a few times to locate his gravestone, but it seems to not be there any more. The inscription once read:

Erected by Sergt S Gillespie in memory of his beloved wife Margaret Gillespie, born 6th Decr 1798, died 12th Decr 1861 Here also lie the remains of the above named Sergt S Gillespie, born 4th March 1796, died 12th July 187[ ].

The Griffiths Valuation for Inishargy lists Samuel Gillespie and also Thomas Gillespie - Samuel had just over an acre of land. James Heaney of Kircubbin leased Samuel's land and house in 1863.

Here is an amazing story of Peter McMullen, a weaver from Downpatrick, who also fought at Waterloo. His pregnant wife Elizabeth was also on the battlefield - she was shot in the leg - and her husband eventually lost both of his arms

The Regimental Museum at Enniskillen Castle has what is regarded as the finest display of Waterloo medals.

"That regiment with castles on their caps is composed of the most obstinate mules I ever saw; they don't know when they are beaten," – Napoleon.

"They saved the centre of my line at Waterloo." – Duke of Wellington