Welcome to “C” in the A to Z Challenge 2017. The Duke of Wellington is my theme for this year’s Challenge. (Click to enlarge pictures.)
Copenhagen was the Duke of Wellington’s war horse he rode in the Battle of Waterloo and other previous battles. This gallant steed remained in service to the Duke during the aftermath of the Peninsular War and during the Duke’s occupation of France.
Born the progeny of two successful racehorses, Meteor and Lady Catherine, Copenhagen also ran in the races, winning at least one race but usually coming in third or fourth. He was later sent to the military for service in Spain. The Duke purchased Copenhagen in 1813 and in 1815 the Duke rode the chestnut horse for 17 hours straight during the Battle of Waterloo.
Copenhagen was retired to the lush setting of the Duke’s country home, Stratfield Saye, after his return to England. The faithful war veteran lived to be 28 years old and was buried on the grounds of the estate in Hampshire. At some point after Copenhagen’s death, the Duke was asked to exhume the body of his beloved steed so the bones could be displayed along with those of Marengo, Napoleon’s war horse. The Duke was horrified by this suggestion and feigned ignorance of where he had the horse buried.
The inscription reads:
The Charger ridden by
THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON
The entire day at the
BATTLE OF WATERLOO.
Born 1808. Died 1836.
God’s humbler instrument though meaner clay
Should share the glory of that glorious day
Sources: Wikipedia, National Army Museum
Previous A to Z Challenge 2017 posts: