Wellington and some French veterans

July 16 2012

I hadn’t realised there was a photograph of Wellington: a daguerreotype by Antoine Claudet from 1844, eight years before his death. Click for better resolution.

Below, photographs of Napoleon’s soldiers taken in the third quarter of the century. Has to be seen in full screen. The pride and élan of the earlier days is still in their faces. Some of the uniforms are Second Empire, ie not of the original period. I can’t tell you about the music.

The pictures follow the creation in 1857 of the St Helena Medal by Napoleon III. Its designer was Albert Désiré Barre. The obverse bears the effigy of Napoleon I, surrounded by the inscription NAPOLEON I EMPEREUR. The reverse has A SES COMPAGNONS DE GLOIRE SA DERNIÈRE PENSÉE STE. HÉLÈNE 5 MAI 1821, surrounded by CAMPAGNES DE 1792 A 1815. Accents as shown.

I once saw a man, Bertrand Russell, who had heard a first-hand account of Napoleon.

2 Responses to “Wellington and some French veterans”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    Wellington was Prime Minister from 1828 to ’30 and briefly in 1834. The two prime ministers before him who could have been photographed in later years, but I don’t think were, are Addington (just about, 1801-04) and Goderich (1827-28).

    What about those after him? No photographs, as far as I know, at any stage of their lives, of Grey (1830-34), Melbourne (1834 and 1835-41) or Peel (1834-35 and 1841-46).

    Peel is the first prime minister who could have been photographed in office. Who was the first? Not, I think, Russell in his first ministry, Derby in either ministry, Aberdeen, or Palmerston in his first ministry, though they were all photographed. Palmerston during his second (1859-65)?

  2. […] recognise acts of valour by ordinary soldiers during the Crimean War. The French equivalent was the St Helena medal (post […]

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