Inniskillings march from Ghent to Waterloo

Friday, 16 June, 1815 - Sunday, 18 June, 1815
Major General Sir John Lambert
Major General Sir John Lambert

Soon after the end of the War of 1812, the 1st Inniskillings returned from America and landed at Portsmouth, England on 9 May 1815. On arrival, the 1st Battalion exchanged 280 sick for an equal number of fit men from the 2nd Battalion stationed in Portsmouth. Within the week, the 1st Battalion sailed to Ostend and, when they arrived on 24 May, were at once ordered to march to Ghent. There, they joined Major General Sir John Lambert’s 10th (British) Infantry Brigade in guarding King Louis XVIII of France who had fled Paris on Napoleon's return from exile.

Napoleon crossed the Belgian frontier on 15 June, engaging the Anglo-Allied (Dutch) forces at Quatre Bras, and then the Prussians at Ligny on 16 June. Lambert had received orders on 15 June to march his brigade to Waterloo, and leaving Ghent on 16 June, the 10th Brigade arrived at the forest on the northern side of the village of Waterloo around 0600 hours on the morning of 18 June. Having spent many months at sea, the forced march along the paved roads of Belgium was a very trying experience for the Inniskillings.