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Battle of Waterloo

Stamp name: The defence of Hougoumont

Value: First Class

Release date: 18 June 2015

About this stamp

This stamp features the work ‘Defence of the Chateau de Hougoumont by the Flank Company, Coldstream Guards’ painted by English artist Denis Dighton in 1815. It depicts Napoleon’s troops attacking the British post at Château d'Hougoumont, near Waterloo, Belgium.

To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Royal Mail issued 10 Special Stamps depicting key military exchanges of the historic encounter between French and British-led Allied forces.

The stamps feature six works of 19th century art that portray, in chronological order, major events on the day of the battle. One stamp features a reproduction of ‘The Battle of Waterloo’, a famous painting that was owned by the Duke of Wellington and now hangs in Apsley House, London.

A further four stamps issued as a miniature sheet depict key combatants from the Battle in their distinctive uniforms, showing the multi-national nature of the coalition force. Featured are: the 92nd Gordon Highlanders, the Light Infantry, the King’s German Legion, the Prussian Infantry and the French Imperial Guard.

Often described as the ‘day that changed European history’, the Battle of Waterloo was fought on 18 June 1815 and is arguably the most famous battle in the history of the British Army. It was a contest between Napoleon’s army and an Allied contingent of British and German forces led by the Duke of Wellington, one the greatest British military leaders of all time, and Prussian forces under cavalry commander Gebhard von Blucher – which ultimately put an end to Napoleon Bonaparte’s ambitions.

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Special Stamps Technical Specifications
Design Silk Pearce
Stamp format Landscape
Stamp size 60mm x 30mm
Printer International Security Printers
Print process Lithography
Perforation 14.5 x 14.5
Phosphor Bars as appropriate
Gum PVA
Number per sheet 18/36


Acknowledgements
Defence of the Chateau de Hougoumont by the Flank Company, Coldstream Guards, 1815 by Denis Dighton, 1815 © National Army Museum London/Bridgeman Images; The Battle of Waterloo: The Charge of the Second Brigade of Cavalry by Denis Dighton, 1815–17, Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014; Attack on the British Squares by French Cavalry, Battle of Waterloo, 1815 by Denis Dighton, 1815 © National Army Museum London/Bridgeman Images; The Defence of the Farm La Haye Sainte, Battle of Waterloo by Adolf Northen, 1858, Niedersaechsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover © Erich Lessing; Prussian Troops Storm the Village of Plancenoit during the Battle of Waterloo by Adolf Northen, 1863, Kunsthalle, Hamburg © Erich Lessing; The Battle of Waterloo by Sir William Allan, 1843, Apsley House, London © English Heritage

Miniature Sheet Technical Specifications
Sheet Size 146mm x 74mm
Stamp format/size Portrait 27mm x 37mm
Design Webb & Webb Design Limited
Illustrations Chris Collingwood
Printer International Security Printers
Print process Lithography
Perforation 14 x 14
Phosphor Bars as appropriate
Gum PVA
Number per sheet 


Acknowledgements
The Battle of Waterloo map engraving by Alexander Keith Johnston © Private Collection/The Stapleton Collection/Bridgeman

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Presentation Pack
The Presentation Pack is written by historian Professor Charles Esdaile and offers a rich overview of the battle, complete with a timeline and brief biographies of the Allied commanders, Wellington and Blucher. It also explores the road to Waterloo, the 100 Days that followed Napoleon’s escape from Elba and the rank and file that fought with such valour. It contains the six Mint Stamps and the additional four on the miniature sheet.

First Day Cover
The First Day Cover is available with a choice of either The Battle of Waterloo stamps or miniature sheet, featuring a special lion handstamp postmark.