Waterloo 1815 to Corporal Geo. Miller, 2nd Reg. Life Guards
Fitted with original steel clip and ring suspension, edge bruising and contact marks, the reverse polished, otherwise Good Fine Condition
George Miller was born at Chertsey, Surrey on 31 December 1790, and joined the 2nd Life Guards in 1810. He served in Spain 1813-14 and at Waterloo in 1815. He was promoted to Troop Quarter Master on 21 September 1821, without purchase, from Corporal of Horse, a rank he retained until placed on half-pay on 1st January 1831, when he had served almost 21 years in the regiment. His M.G.S. Medal for Vittoria and Toulouse was sold at Glendining’s in February 1903. Sold with copied Statement of Services.
On Saturday 17 June 1815, the Household Brigade covered Wellington’s retreat from Quatre Bras, a strategic crossroads which Marshal Ney had attempted to seize the previous day. Although Wellington did not ‘lose’ at Quatre Bras, he was obliged to strategically withdraw northwards in order to maintain contact with Blücher’s Prussian army to the East, which Napoleon had just defeated at the Battle of Ligny.
At the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June, both regiments of Life Guards were positioned behind Wellington’s centre as part of Lord Somerset’s Household Brigade. When D’Erlon’s Corps advanced up the Mont St. Jean ridge at 1.30 p.m., the British infantry came under severe pressure. The crucial Allied-held farmhouse of La Haye Sainte was surrounded. French cuirassiers (armoured heavy cavalry) of Milhaud’s Corps fell upon the Lüneberg Battalion, a Hanoverian unit sent to reinforce La Haye Sainte. Bylandt’s Dutch Brigade panicked and fled; Wellington’s centre seemed about to collapse. At this pivotal moment, Lord Uxbridge ordered both brigades of British Heavy Cavalry forward in an historic charge. The Household Brigade engaged Milhaud’s cuirassiers to the west of La Haye Sainte, driving them back in confusion and saving Wellington’s position. They then over-played their hand, attacking the French ‘Grand Battery’. As canister shot from French 12-pounders decimated their ranks, the Life Guards faced a new onslaught of cuirassiers personally sent by Napoleon. Somerset’s Brigade limped back to the ridge having suffered 632 casualties - 48% of its original complement - but with its place in the annals of British military glory firmly secured.