Sgt Ewart mounted on horseback while capturing the Eagle of the 45th 'Invincibles' during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815
“Go at them the Greys - Scotland forever”
On the morning of the 18th June 1815 the British and Allied Army were ready for battle on the ridgeline to the South of the village of Waterloo.
Picton’s Reserve Division was on the Allied left, and of this Pack’s Brigade was deployed in front of the Royal Scots Greys. The brigade consisted of 3rd Battalion 1st Foot, the Royal Scots; 1st Battalion 42nd Foot, the Black Watch; 2nd Battalion 44th Foot, East Essex Regiment; and 1st Battalion 92nd Foot, Gordon Highlanders.
When Wellington saw that they were likely to be overwhelmed by d’Erlon’s 8,000 infantry, he ordered forward the Union and Household Brigades of heavy cavalry. Suddenly the Gordons were aware of the huge grey horses thundering through them. ‘Hurrah 92nd! Scotland forever’.
Ewart himself described the action in a letter written after the battle. ‘The enemy began forming their line of battle about nine in the morning of the 18th and they came down to the left where they were received by our brave Highlanders. No men could behave better; our brigade of cavalry covered them. Owing to a column of foreign troops giving way, our brigade was forced to advance to the support of our brave fellows, which we certainly did in style; we charged through two of their columns, each about five hundred. It was in the last charge I took the Eagle from the enemy; he and I had a hard contest for it; he thrust for my groin, I parried it off, and I cut him through the head; after which I was attacked by one of their lancers who threw his lance at me but missed the mark by my throwing it off with my sword by my right side; then I cut him from the chin upwards, which cut went through his teeth. Next I was attacked by a foot soldier, who after firing at me, charged with his bayonet; but he very soon disabled, for I parried, and cut him down through the head; so that I finished the contest for the Eagle.
After which I presumed to follow my comrades, Eagle and all, but was stopped by the general saying to me, ’you brave fellow; take that to the rear; you have done enough until you get quit of it’, which I was obliged to do, but with great reluctance. I retired to a height and stood there for upwards of an hour, which gave me a general view of the field., but I cannot express the sight I beheld; the bodies of my brave comrades were lying so thick upon the field that it was scarcely possible to pass, and horses innumerable. I took the Eagle to Brussels, amid the acclamation of thousands of spectators that saw it’.
The Eagle that Sgt Ewart had captured was that of the 45th ‘Invincibles’ which had led them to victory at Austerlitz and Jena; and afterwards Ewart was personally commissioned by the Prince Regent. The regiment has worn a French Eagle ever since. Sgt Ewart’s Eagle is now on display in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Regimental Museum in Edinburgh Castle and his body is interred on the Castle Esplanade in permanent glory.
This mounted figurine, depicting Sergeant Ewart at the moment of capturing the Eagle of the 45th is hand made by Ballantynes of Walkerburn in the Scottish Borders.
|Base Material of the Statue||Cold Cast Resin|
|Height Including Presentation Base||13.5" / 34cm|
|Width with Presentation Base||8" / 20cm|
|Depth with Presentation Base||6" / 15cm|
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