Waterloo / MGS pair to Lt Henry Lane 15th Hussars
A rare group awarded to Lt. Henry Lane 15th Hussars. Lane joined the regiment in 1812 and afterwards joined the Grenadier Guards attaining the rank of Lt. Col before being placed on HP in June 1825. The 15th Hussars officer corps sustained 42% casualties at Waterloo.
Extracts from Lane’s letters were later published in “Waterloo Letter” by Major General H.T.Sitborne. Lane gave an account of the day’s action at Waterloo. “ Two squadrons of the regiment were placed upon the position near our own squares of Foot Guards and the squadron was detached to the right in rear of Hougoumont, having a subaltern’s picket placed on the high road leading to Nivelles at the point which I have marked.
I cannot answer the two leading questions you propose as to the appearance of the enemy at seven o’clock. Large masses of troops in column advanced very near our lines, till shaken by the severe fire they sustained from our artillery they wavered and upon our whole line advancing to meet them, fled in utter confusion. I saw the first shot fired from our lines about eleven o’clock, it struck the column of the enemy advancing upon Hougoumont and caused some confusion and delay. The 15th Hussars was moved soon after to the ground on the right of the position, where I have marked a squadron as placed and where the enemy showed a strong body of Lancers, which we were preparing to attack.
The enemy made this diversion for the purpose of drawing off our force from the right centre of the position, which in fact , was successful, for we were no sooner off that ground than the first attack made by the Cuirassiers took place upon the spot we had quitted. We at once returned to our former position, leaving one squadron to keep the French Lancers in check.
We were no sooner on our ground than we advanced in line and charged the Grenadiers a Cheval, who fled from us. Our next attack ( in line without reverse) was ( on ) a square of French Infantry and our horses were within a few feet of the square. We did not succeed in breaking it and of course, suffered most severely. In short during the day we were constantly on the move, attacking and retreating to our lines, so that, at the close of the battle, the two squadrons were dreadfully cut up.
When the Cuirassiers made their first attack, they passed through the squares considerably in rear of our lines and in retiring a body of them followed the high road to Nivelles. They came unexpectedly to the abatis marked on your map and a regiment of Infantry hidden there gave them fire, which destroyed them all.
I an , &c, Henry Lane
The Waterloo medal is in GVF condition with a contemporary steel clip and ring suspension and is officially impressed. The MGS medal carries two clasps for Toulouse and Orthes and is in EF condition with officially impressed naming.