History remembered - Snippets
The Battle of Waterloo and its impact on the Colony:
The year 2015 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo about 15 kilometres south of Brussels in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The French, under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising an Anglo-allied army under the command of Great Britain's Duke of Wellington, thus ending years of conflict.
Six months later, on 17 January 1816, the Sydney Gazette announced the news of Bonaparte’s defeat, carried by a newly arrived ship (a reminder of the isolation of the colony and the time it took for ships to sail from Europe). The colonists were jubilant and the same night a gay assemblage gathered in room at the recently completed Sydney Hospital at Macquarie Street for a ball and supper. The building large enough to be used for purposes other than the care of patients. The room decorated with patriotic insignia, stars, and the royal arms, with the mottoes Waterloo, Wellington and Victory emblazoned on the floor. Native shrubs, evergreens and flowers hung in graceful festoons. The dancing, drinking, and merriment continued til dawn. At a church service that followed, the community sang psalms of praise and thanksgiving for the British victory and demonstrated their fervent gratitude to the disabled soldiers by subscribing to a fund for the relief of the Sufferers of the Battle of Waterloo. The inner suburb of Sydney was subsequently named for this momentous battle.
© Arthur Phillip Chapter of Fellowship of First Fleeters 2015-