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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

189) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon’s Exile to St. Helena: (Part II): Coins commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo: 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint U.K.: 2) A “Drie Landen Zilverset” (or the “Three Lands Silver set” (of three coins) issued by the Royal Dutch Mint – which includes coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK:

189) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon’s Exile to St. Helena: (Part II):

Coins commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo:

1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint U.K.:

2) A “Drie Landen Zilverset” (or the “Three Lands Silver set” (of three coins) issued by the Royal Dutch Mint – which includes coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK:
3) Commemorative stamps issued by Isle of Man:

After seizing power in France in 1799, Napoleon got himself crowned Emperor in 1804. An ambitious, skilled and shrewd military strategist, he had ambitions to expand his rule over the whole of Europe. In furtherance of his ambition, he waged war against various coalitions of European nations and succeeded in expanding his Empire.

Napoleon created new kingdoms and enthroned members of his immediate family on some of Europe’s most established and oldest thrones and for some time it looked like his ambitious plan was succeeding.

In 1812, he led a disastrous French Army invasion to conquer Russia which failed miserably in the harsh Russian winter and Napoleon was compelled to abdicate the French throne in 1814 and was exiled to the island of Elba.

He managed to establish contact with his loyal supporters through communications sent clandestinely through visitors who called on him in exile and managed to escape from Elba.

In February 1815, after less than a year in exile, he sailed to France incognito, where his supporters had organised a grand reception and he was welcomed back by cheering multitudes. This “show” was more in the nature of convincing the common citizenry of France about how popular he was among the masses, so that his return to France would be accepted without any opposition.

King Louis XVIII, the Bourbon King whose family had been toppled in 1791 after the French Revolution and who had occupied the French throne when Napoleon had abdicated it, fled Paris and Napoleon began what was later called his “Hundred Day’s campaign”.

Wary of Napoleon’s ambitious plans, a coalition of AlliesAustrians, British, Prussians and Russians – was cobbled up against Napoleon who they feared was raising a new army of French troops with a view to attack the Allies before they could launch any attack on him so as to dislodge him from the French throne and once again make him abdicate his position as Emperor.

Both the French troops and the Allies now knew that the stage was set for decisive battles for the future face of Europe.

The Allied Movement to halt Napoleon’s ambitious plans:

Two large forces under Duke of Wellington (Anglo-Allied army) and Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher (Prussian army) assembled close to the North-Eastern border of France. Napoleon’s best bet was to attack them in the hope of defeating them decisively, before they were joined by the other coalition allies in a co-ordinated invasion of France.

In June 1815, Napoleon’s troops invaded Belgium, with a view to capture Brussels. It was in Belgium that the British and Prussian troops were amassing to build up an attack on France and it was here that Napoleon planned to inflict a decisive defeat on the Allies, to further his ambition to impose/expand his rule over the whole of Europe.

On 16.06.1815, Napoleon sent two forces, one to fight Wellington, entrenched across the Brussels road on the Mont-Saint-Jean escarpment at "Quatre-Bras" and the other personally led by him against Blucher. Napoleon’s Army defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Ligny.

However, when the French troops engaged the British Army, Wellington’s men fought well and defended their positions, withstanding repeated attacks by the French.

In the evening, on learning that the Prussians had regrouped, Wellington, decided to engage the French in a decisive battle, knowing that the Prussians were now in a position to come to his aid.

The Battle of Waterloo:

On 18.06.1815, the Battle of Waterloo was fought near Waterloo situated in present day Belgium, (then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands at the time of the Battle). The battlefield is presently located in Belgium, about 15 km (9.3 miles) South of Brussels, and about 2 km (1.2 km) from the town of Waterloo.

It was here that, a French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, consisting of an Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blucher. Tenacious, hard fought battles in close combat ensued resulting in the Allied victory, which ultimately brought Napoleon’s ambitions in Europe to an end.

The Belligerents:

The French Army was commanded by Napoleon and Marshal Ney.

Total strength: 73000; Infantry: 50,700; Cavalry: 14390; Artillery & Engineering Corps: 8050; Field guns: 252 pieces.

The Allied Armies were commanded by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard von Blucher.

Combined strength: 118,000 Break-up: Prussians: 50000; Anglo-Allies: (68000) comprising of:  United Kingdom: 25000 British & 6000 King’s German Legion; Netherlands: 17000; Hanover: 11000; Brunswick: 6000; Nassau: 3000; Field guns: 156 pieces. 

The Allied Commanders:

The Duke of Wellington:

Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, was a well-respected military and political figure. He had gained recognition in previous battles such as the Peninsular campaign.

At Waterloo, Wellington commanded an inexperienced Army, unlike his veteran Peninsular Army. He utilised strategy and the geographical layout of the land to his advantage to overcome the enemy.

Gebhardt Leberecht Von Blucher:

He was the Commander of the Prussian Army. A tenacious and skilful military commander, he was 70 years of age when he went into battle against the French forces under Napoleon whom he had fought twice before.

He was the ultimate role model for confidence and tenacity, and was well-known for keeping his troops motivated and their morale high throughout the battle.

His ferocity was well-paired with Wellington’s strategic approach and their combined efforts resulted in the historic victory in the Battle of Waterloo.
The French Commanders:

Napoleon Bonaparte:

Born to a noble family, Napoleon was well educated and graduated from a Military School. He was quickly promoted through the ranks to becoming a Commander of the French army in Italy in 1796. In 1802, he became a “Consul for Life” and in 1804, he became the Emperor of France.

Napoleon made a great impact on the politics of France. Nevertheless, he had a vision of creating a European Empire, a quest which clouded his judgment, resulting in the loss of several of his fine troops and ultimately leading to his second exile and imprisonment after the Battle of Waterloo.

Marshal Michel Ney:

He was Napoleon’s most trusted Commander. Marshal Ney was born at Saarlouis as such he could speak both German and French.

Ney’s relationship with Napoleon was strangely formed.

Ney had vowed to capture Napoleon on his return/escape from exile in Alba in an “iron cage” but a persuasive Napoleon convinced him to join forces with him.

The relationship proved detrimental to both men as Marshal Ney’s ill-timed attack on Allied troops on Napoleon’s orders, at “Quatre-Bras” on 16th June was a fundamental part of Napoleon’s downfall.

Marshal Ney was executed by the French troops following the defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

His final words to his men were as courageous as when he had led his troops into battle.

He was quoted as saying “Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her…. Soldiers Fire!!”

This chart depicts the fortunes of the Allied and French Armies from the start of the engagement of the French Forces on 16th June 1815 at “Ligny” with the Prussian troops and “Quatre-Bras” with the British & allied troops, culminating in the defeat of the French forces in the epic & final engagements at Waterloo on 18th June 1815.  

Action at the Battle of Waterloo:

The Strategy:

Before the Battle, Wellington stayed at a Waterloo inn, while Napoleon was encamped three miles south. Both armies slept out the night, even as rain fell all night long.

Wellington was banking upon the arrival of General Blucher at the head of the Prussian troops who were regrouping in Wavre some 18 miles East of Waterloo to bolster the strength of his army, while Napoleon knew that both the British and the Prussian armies were stationed at a fair distance from each other.

Napoleon planned to defeat the Allied Armies under Wellington first and then move on to Brussels, because he knew that the Prussians were still recovering from the earlier day’s battle with the French forces.

Napoleon once famously said about battle plans: “A battle plan is only good till the first shot is fired”. (In other words, a successful Commander has to constantly innovate and revise his battle plans to stay ahead in the battle-field).

The Battles with the Anglo-Allied forces:

On 18.06.1815, 68000 Allied troops (approx.) were ranged against some 72000 French troops. Not only this, the presence of Napoleon on the battle-field always raised the morale of his troops.

Wellington had remarked about Napoleon – “His presence on the field made the difference of forty thousand men”. On the other hand, Napoleon had this opinion of Wellington – “He is a bad General and the English are breakfast”.

Wellington knowing that his forces were outnumbered, positioned his men behind a ridge and 3 garrisoned farms.  The Farm of Papelotte was on his left, Le Haye Sainte in front and Hougoumont to his right. The combination of the incline, fields of high corn and well-placed garrisons meant that Wellington had both a good vantage point and cover to shield his troops. From here, he planned to hold his own till the arrival of the Prussian troops, which would give the Allies a numerical superiority/advantage.

On the other hand, Napoleon was finding it difficult to move his men and guns into position because the ground was sodden with the previous night’s rain. He accordingly, decided to delay his first major attack until the ground had dried out. There was a fatal flaw in this strategy, as it would later allow the Prussian troops to link up with Wellington’s forces on the ridge. Nevertheless, to let the French infantry and cavalry wade through mud risked tiring them out in the early stages of the battle. Therefore, Napoleon decided to draw out the British and carve out a gap in their defensive positions. Accordingly, a diversionary attack was mounted on Wellington’s right flank – the Hougoumont farm, the most well-defended Allied garrison.   

The French assault began under cover of large-scale cannon fire. Soon after some 5000 French troops led by Napoleon’s brother, advanced upon the Hougoumont farm which was defended by some 1500 British troops holed up inside the farm, its walls turning it into a strong fortress. Wellington’s troops fired at the advancing French troops through the holes in the walls killing and wounding several of the attackers. However, the French attacks continued on Hougoumont throughout the day.

At 12.30 hours, the French broke open the gates of the farm, but the British quickly closed them again, trapping 40 French soldiers inside who were all slaughtered, except for an 11 year old drummer boy.  Wellington later remarked “No troops but the British could have held Hougoumont and only the best of them at that”. (Never mind the Prussians, who gallantly came to his aid, despite their losses on the previous day???)

With Wellington’s right flank thus engaged in the defence of Hougoumont, Napoleon sent 18000 infantrymen along the road to Brussels to strike a decisive blow. The French captured the farm of Papelotte and the area surrounding La Haye Sainte. Next Napoleon concentrated on capturing La Haye Sainte, because then he would be able to attack the remaining British troops at close range.

Around 13.00 hours, Napoleon spotted some movement in the fields to the east, (his right flank) when looking through his telescope. He immediately despatched a cavalry detachment to find out what was happening and to contain any Allied counter-attacks.

Napoleon had actually spotted the Prussian troops who had marched up from their encampments to link up with Wellington’s embattled troops.

Lord Uxbridge, Wellington’s cavalry commander, had two brigades of cavalry positioned over the ridge. With Napoleon’s infantry advancing towards the fortified British encampments, Uxbridge’s cavalry charged upon the French soldiers who were taken aback at this sudden charge and cut the French attackers to pieces. This skirmish resulted in brutally weakening Napoleon’s line, at the same time severely mauling Wellington’s flank. Wellington’s best bet now was that the Prussians should come to his aid, therefore he settled for interim defensive positions.

Meanwhile, Napoleon’s cavalry reached Blucher’s troops near Plancenoit, a village situated a good five miles East of the battlefield.

The Prussians soon captured the high ground North-East of the village and attacked the French hard, forcing Napoleon to commit more troops over the course of the afternoon as the territory changed hands several times. The French did their utmost to prevent Blucher from reaching Wellington at the main battle theatre, nevertheless, the French forces were spread thin fighting on two fronts and were heavily outnumbered.

Wellington’s troops on hearing the sound of cannonade in the distance, took heart that the Prussians were at hand and had presented a formidable front to the French troops, and fought the French attackers with renewed vigour.

During the battle, General Blucher called upon his men to fight the French hard saying “We must give air to the English army”, which the Prussian troops did in ample measure.

Napoleon’s lines were increasingly stretched – his men were fighting on both the west and east sides of the battlefield, against an enemy having numerical superiority with the Prussians joining the battle.

Napoleon ordered Marshal Ney to capture La Haye Sainte, which was Wellington’s central stronghold. For the next two hours, wave after wave of heavily armoured 4000 strong French cavalry charged the Allied line.

 The ferocity of the French cavalry charge led a British soldier shout in amazement “By God, these fellows deserve Bonaparte. They fight so nobly for him.”

In response to the French cavalry charge, the Allied line changed formation into squares, fending off the French cavalry, but their new formations made them vulnerable to Napoleon’s heavy artillery fire, resulting in heavy British casualties – one British Battalion, the 27th Regiment, lost nearly 500 of its men i.e. two thirds of its original fighting force.

After hours of French attacks, La Haye Sainte finally fell into French hands. Wellington’s prize garrison was taken by the enemy. Napoleon’s heavy artillery was now moved to positions from where they could attack the Allied centre with telling effect. Wellington defended his positions from behind the ridge and fervently hoped that the Prussian’s would come to the aid of his beleaguered troops post haste.

Napoleon knew that the Allied centre had been weakened and that Wellington desperately needed Prussian support. Without wasting further time, Napoleon sent 6000 French soldiers of the famed Imperial Guard across the field towards Wellington on the ridge, marching between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte. On the left, they took on withering fire from the British-held garrison of Hougoumont but the troops on the right, facing the French–held garrison of La Haye Sainte, made it up over the ridge without incidence.

As the French soldiers advanced, swords drawn, Wellington’s men waited in the long grass behind the ridge, in crouched positions. As soon as the French broke through the Allied front line and reached the ridge, Wellington gave the order to stand and fire. The British troops fired at the French soldiers at almost point blank range, forcing them to fall back after taking heavy casualties. Some 300 French soldiers fell from the first volley creating a panic among the ranks with the Imperial Guard retreating in a disorderly manner.

All is lost for the French Army:

A ripple of panic passed through the French lines as the astounding news spread “La Garde recule. Sauve qui peut!!” (meaning “The Guard is retreating. Every man for himself”). The Allies pursued the retreating French, striking them hard.

At about the same time, Blucher’s forces linked up with the Allies from Wellington’s left and the combined numerically superior troops of Wellington and Blucher gave chase to the fleeing Imperial Guard. Napoleon on seeing that pursuing the battle was now hopeless, shielded by his men fled the Field.

Wellington had a chance to kill Napoleon, when one of his snipers had Napoleon in his sights, but Wellington restrained him from doing so.

On the bloody battlefield in Belgium, Blucher and Wellington had halted Napoleon’s relentless march towards European domination.

The aftermath of the hard fought battle:

After the last decisive Prussian assault, the field was strewn with tens of thousands of bodies. Many soldiers on both sides were dead, while others were badly wounded and left to die.

One Major W.E. Frye wrote a description of the battlefield in his work titled “After Waterloo: reminiscences of European travel 1815-1819” which brings out the horrors of the battlefield casualties:

22nd June: This morning I went to visit the field of battle, which is a little beyond the village of Waterloo, on the plateau of Mont-Saint-Jean; but on arrival there, the sight was too terrible to behold. I felt sick in the stomach and was obliged to return. The multitude of carcasses, the heaps of wounded men with mangled limbs unable to move, and perishing from not having their wounds dressed or from hunger, as the Allies were of course, obliged to take their surgeons and wagons with them, formed a spectacle I shall never forget. The wounded both of the Allies and the French, remain in equally deplorable state”.

Interestingly, this is a field report four days after the Battle. This is the way the Allies were treating their own wounded men who had fought gallantly for them, leave alone the seriously wounded enemy soldiers. I wonder, if Lord Wellington had another famous quote on how he had left his own wounded “best soldiers” to die without food, water and medical aid, while the Generals were “celebrating their victory”.

The casualties and losses on both sides:

The French losses were enormous and placed at 41000 (24000 to 26000 killed, wounded or captured and 15000 missing in action).

The Anglo-Allies losses were placed at 17000 (3500 killed, 10200 wounded, with 3300 soldiers missing in action) while the Prussian losses were placed at 7000 (1200 killed, 4400 wounded and 1400 missing in action).


Several memorials have come up at various sites where the Battle of waterloo was fought. Some of these are:

The site of the main battle of Waterloo has a large monument called the “Lion’s Mound or Hillock” built by King William I of Netherlands.

A cluster of monuments at the Brussels-Charleroi and Braine L’Alleud-Ohain crossroads marks the mass graves of British, Dutch, Hanoverian and King’s German Legion troops.

A monument to the French dead titled “L’aigle Blessé” (meaning “the Wounded Eagle”) was erected at a place where one of the Imperial Guard units formed a square during the closing moments of the battle.

A monument to the Prussian dead is located in the village of Plancenoit on the site where one of the Prussian artillery batteries was placed.

What the Allied victory meant for Europe:

The Battle of Waterloo has great historical significance.

 Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington had both fought for their National interests – Napoleon to build a European Empire and Wellington to protect that of Britain.

The bold tactics employed by Wellington and Napoleon and the legacy that the battle left behind an indelible impression on everyone following the course of the Battle.

It was one of the most decisive battles in history. It ended Napoleon’s strangle-hold on many of its neighbouring countries and, inter alia, paved the way for Netherlands to reclaim its Sovereignty and proclaim a new independent kingdom. It also brought an end to Napoleon’s “100 Days campaign”.

It brought over 25 years of conflict in Europe to an end, and enduring peace for almost 100 years.

The end of the Napoleonic Wars also led to the Great Re-coinage of Britain. 

Napoleon’s abdication from the French throne & subsequent exile to St. Helena & his passing away:

The pursuing coalition forces entered France and restored King Louis XVIII to the French throne and Napoleon had no alternative but to abdicate. He finally surrendered to Captain Maitland of HMS Bellerophon, which was part of the Fleet blockading French Sea Movements and exiled to St. Helena, where he died in 1821.

Napoleon was initially interred on St. Helena, but the Orleans King Louis – Philippe had his remains brought to France in 1840, where they were re-interred in a tomb at L’hôtel national des Invalides in Paris.

Commemorative coins issued by the Royal Mint, UK to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo:

Commemorative coins have been issued by the Royal Mint UK to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in Gold Proof, Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated varieties. All the coins come with an accompanying booklet giving details on the battle.

The Reverses of all the 5 Pound coins depict the handshake between Wellington and Blucher, in a spirit of camaraderie after winning the Battle.

On the Obverses of the 5 Pound Coins is an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The particulars of the coins are:

Gold Proof Coin:

The specifications of this coin are:

Denomination: 5 GBP; Metal Composition: 22 Carat Gold. Weight: 39.94 gms; Diameter: 38.61 mm; Mintage: 500 pieces; Obverse Designer: Jody Clark; Reverse Designer: David Lawrence; Coin Quality: Proof.

Piedfort Silver Proof Coin:

This coin is struck in double-thickness sterling silver.

Denomination: 5 GBP; Metal Composition: .925 Sterling Silver; Weight: 56.56 gms; Diameter: 38.61 mm; Mintage: 1500 pieces; Obverse Designer: Jody Clark; Reverse Designer: David Lawrence; Coin Quality: Proof.
 The edge inscription of the coin reads: “THE NEAREST RUN THING YOU EVER SAW” recalling Wellington’s own description of the Battle, still respectful to his enemy Napoleon, even in victory.

Brilliant Uncirculated 5 GBP Coin:
I have received a Five Pound Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) coin album on 4th July 2015, thanks to the efforts of Jayant Biswas who had them routed from UK to  Singapore to India, to beat archaic Import Customs laws in India & pilferages at Custom check-points. I am placing the details here:

The Meeting of Blucher (left) and Wellington (right) after the Battle of Waterloo, is a Water-glass painting by Daniel Maclise in 1861.

It is part of the Palace of Westminster collection and hangs in the House of Lords today. It inspired the Reverse designer of this coin David Lawrence to design this elegant adaptation of this painting. The design depicts Wellington and Blucher shaking hands after the victory at the Battle of Waterloo. Behind them lies the aftermath of the battle, a reminder that while the Allied forces won a vital victory, the cost was enormous.

“The Battle of Waterloo” a painting by William Sadler is placed on the Front and back of the cover album of the 5 Pound Coin Album containing the Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) coin. The battle is depicted as having being fought around one of the three farms which the British Allies had fortified & garrisoned.

The Reverse of the Five Pound Coin showing the meeting of Blucher & Wellington after the victory at the Battle of Waterloo based on the adaptation by David Lawrence on the Water-glass painting by Daniel Maclise in 1861.

The Obverse of the Five Pound Coin shows a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. With the legend on the Periphery “ELIZABETH II. DG. REG. FD. FIVE POUNDS. 2015” (meaning “Elizabeth II By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith). This portrait has been designed by Ian-Rank broadley and is perhaps one of the last few portraits by him in 2015 as a new portrait of QE II designed by Jody Clark has been approved for later coinage.              

The specifications of the coin are:

Denomination: 5 GBP; Metal Composition: Cupro-Nickel; Weight: 28.28 gms; Diameter: 38.61 mm; Quality: Brilliant Uncirculated (BU); Obverse Designer: Ian Rank-Broadley; Reverse Designer: David Lawrence.

2) A “Drie Landen Zilverset” (or the “Three Lands Silver set” (of three coins) issued by the Royal Dutch Mint – which includes coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK:

The Royal Dutch Mint has brought out a silver three coin set which includes coins of their country as well as those of Belgium and the United Kingdom to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

The “Drie Landen Zilverset” or “Three Lands Silver Coin set” includes coins from the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

a)   The Dutch Five Euro Silver coin:

This coin commemorates the 200th Year of Dutch Independence and the creation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands which also included the territory of present day Belgium until 1830, where the town of Waterloo is located in.

On the Obverse of the Netherlands 5 Euro Silver Coin is a stylised or abstract portrait of King Willem-Alexander facing right. On the upper periphery is mentioned “KONING DER NEDERLANDEN” with the year of issue “2015” inscribed on the right periphery. On the lower periphery is inscribed “WILLEM ALEXANDER”.

On the Reverse of the Netherlands 5 Euro Silver Coin is the distinctive Head-dress (a Bicorn hat) of the Prince of Orange, who is known as the “Hero of Waterloo” who eventually went on to unite the Dutch Provinces into one independent Kingdom as “Willem I” of the Netherlands. The Bicorn hat is placed in the centre of this face with the inscription “WATERLOO” on the left periphery and the year of issue “2015” on the right periphery. Blow the Bicorn hat is mentioned the denomination of the coin “5 Euro”.

The specifications of this coin are:

Denomination: 5 Euro; Metal Composition: .925 silver; Diameter: 33.00 mm; Weight: 15.5 gms; Coin Quality: Proof and colour. Mintage: 1250 (as part of the three coin set).

The designer of this coin is Marjolein Rothman.

In addition to the above “Three lands Silver coin-set”, this coin has also been minted as individual pieces in the undernoted two varieties:

Metal Composition: Copper plated silver; Denomination: 5 Euro; Diameter: 29.00 mm; Weight: 15.5 gms; Coin Quality: Proof and colour. Mintage: 15000 pieces.

Metal Composition: .925 silver; Denomination: 5 Euro; Diameter: 33.00 mm; Weight: 15.5 gms; Coin Quality: Proof and colour. Mintage: 12500 pieces.

The Gold Coin in this design is of 10 Euros denomination:

Metal Composition: .900 gold; Denomination: 10 Euro; Diameter: 22.50 mm; Weight: 6.72 gms; Coin Quality: Proof and colour. Mintage: 1500 pieces.

b)   The Belgium 10 Euro Silver Coin:

 On the Obverse of the 10 Euro Silver coin is depicted a scene from the Battle of Waterloo, within the main roles of General Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher, Duke of wellington and the Price of Orange and their meeting on the field of battle. On the upper left is presented a dark shadow in the likeness of Napoleon Bonaparte, in a brilliant imagery that suggests that the forces of the Allies were gathered to counter the dark shadow of Napoleon which was looming large over having his control over the whole of Europe. On the upper to right side in mentioned the Bicentenary years of the battle “1815-2015 WATERLOO”

On the Reverse of the 10 Euro Silver Coin is mentioned the names of the country in three official languages  on the left to upper periphery – “BELGIE” (French), “BELGIQUE” (Dutch) and “BELGIEN” (German), encircling a stylized partial globe depicting the countries which make up the European Union along with a group of twelve stars representing the EU. The denomination of the coin “10 EURO” and the year of issue “2015” are mentioned towards the left side of the coin.

The specifications of this coin are:

Denomination: 10 Euro; Metal Composition: .925 silver; Diameter: 33.00 mm; Coin Quality: Proof; Weight: 18.7 gms; Mintage: 1250 (as part of the three coin set).

c)   The United Kingdom (British) Crown Silver 2 Pound Silver Coin:

On the Reverse of the two Pound Crown Silver Coin is depicted the handshake between the Duke of Wellington and General Blucher, both men seen on horseback. In the background is a scene showing the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo. On the upper periphery is mentioned “THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO” and on the lower periphery is mentioned the year of the Battle “1815”. 

On the Obverse of the two Pound Crown Silver Coin is depicted a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with the peripheral inscription reading “ELIZABETH II.DG.REG.FD.2 POUNDS.2015”. The initials of the designer of the Queen’s effigy Jody Clark (J.C.) can be seen below the Queen’s bust.

The specifications of this coin are:

Denomination: 2 Pounds; Metal Composition: .999 silver; Diameter: 38.60 mm; Coin Quality: Proof; Weight: 31.1 gms; Mintage: 1250 (as part of the three coin set).

3) Isle of Man Stamps commemorating the Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo:

The undernoted series of stamps have been issued by the isle of Man commemorating the Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. 
 There are two 75 pence and four 90 pence stamps.

One 75 pence stamp depicts Napoleon discussing strategy with Marshal Ney and his officers.

Three stamps one of 75 pence and two of 90 Pence depict the fierce battles fought around the 3 garrisoned farms where the British army was entrenched –Papelotte, Le Haye Sainte and Hougoumont.

The stamps on the extreme bottom show a dejected Napoleon leaving the field of Battle with his officers, while Wellington raises his hat acknowledging his men after the victory.
Two of Napoleon's famous quotes are mentioned on the stamp sheets:
" You must not fear death my lads, defy him and you drive him into the enemy's ranks".
Soldiers generally win battles, Generals get credit for them".
Wellington's quotes mentioned on the Stamp sheets:
"It is not the business of Generals to shoot one another".
 Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won, with the loss of so many of one's friends".
"The whole Art of War consists of guessing at what is on the other side of the hill".

(The Isle of Man stamps are from the collection of Jayant Biswas. Article researched & written and coins/stamps scanned by Rajeev Prasad)


British Crown Dependencies:

1) Specimen Banknotes from the States of Jersey

2) Coinage and Currency from the States of Jersey

3) Currency & Coinage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

4) Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar : An Overseas Territory of Great Britain

5) Coinage of Gibraltar: (A British Overseas Territory): An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by the Tower Mint, UK in 2010
6) The Isle of Man: An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by Pobjoy Mint, UK in 2015

7) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15.04.1912 - 15.04.2012): An Alderney Five Pound Coin Commemorating the Maritime Legend

8) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie

9) Coins & Currency of Bermuda

10) The Bailiwick of Jersey - Presently circulating coinage - Pounds and Pence 

11) St. Helena & Ascension Islands: An Uncirculated Coin Set from 2003 

12) The Legend of the "HMAV Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of the Pitcairn Islands: An uncirculated coin set from Pitcairn Islands in 2009 depicting the icons/relics of the Bounty minted by the New Zealand Mint 

Famous Battles

1) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to St. Helena: (Part I): A One Crown Commemorative coin issued by the Ascension Island (minted by Pobjoy Mint UK) 

2) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to st. Helena: (Part II) 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK. 2) A"Drie Landen Zilverset" ( ot the "Three Lands Silver set") containing coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint including coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK

3) Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain by issuing a 50 Pence coin by the Royal Mint UK

Gold Coins:
1) Gold Sovereigns issued in 2013 & 2014 by MMTC-PAMP in India under licence from the Royal Mint, UK, carrying the "I" Mint Mark

2) Gold Half-Sovereigns minted by MMTC-PAMP in India in 2014 under licence from the Royal Mint UK bearing the "I" Mint Mark 

Silver Coins:

1) A 20 Pound Silver coin minted for the first timr by the royal Mint UK: reverse design carries the famous St. George slaying the dragon design found on Gold Sovereigns 

British India Coinage:

 1) East India Company Quarter Anna Copper Coin which is one of the first issues under the Coinage Act 1835

2) Victoria Coinage: When she was Queen and afterwards Empress

3) Edward VII: King & Emperor  Coinage

4) George V King Emperor Coinage

5) George VI: The last of the British India Emperors Coinage 

Other British Royalty: 

1) Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK

2) Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953: A Five Pound Coin minted by the Royal Mint UK in 2013, depicting the Imperial State Crown

3) The Royal Coat of Arms of the UK: Great British 2012 Coin Set (Uncirculated) issued by the Royal Mint UK

4) Prince George's Christening Ceremony celebrated with coins issued by the Royal Mint UK in 2013

5) The British Empire:  A Case of Numismatic "segregation": (Guest Post by Rahul Kumar)

6) 1) The Portrait Collection: Various Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on Coinage 2) The Fourth & Final Circulating coinage of the Portrait designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and the First Edition of the portrait of the Queen made by Jody Clark

 British Coinage:

1) The contribution of the Great British One-Pound coins in keeping alive the historical legends/emblems/heritage of the UK (1983 onwards)

2) Transformation of a Five shilling Coin (Crown) into the UK Twenty-five Pence & then the Five Pound Coin

3) Transformation of the Two Shilling Coin (Florin) Coin into the UK Ten Pence

4) The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea: A Two Pound Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK celebrating the milestone

 Commemorative British Coinage:

 1) Commemorating the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens: A Two pound coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian Era

 2) Commemorating 50 Years of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - presently called the World Wide Fund for Nature by issue of a Fifty Pence coin by the Royal Mint, UK

3) Coins commemorating London Olympics & Paralympics (2012)

4) Commemorating 150 Years of the London Underground : Two pound Coins minted by the Royal Mint UK, showing the "Roundel" logo and a train emerging from a tunnel 

5) Commemorating the 100th Birth anniversary of Christopher Ironside with his" Royal Arms" design on a 50 Pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK 

6) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal Guidepost to Liberty and Freedom

Inspirations from Scottish History: 

1) The Legend of King Bruce & the Spider on Banknotes

Banknotes from Scotland:
1) Commemorating Sir William Arrol and his creation the Forth Rail Bridge by issues of Britain's first ever 5 Pound Polymer Banknote

Some other interesting Links:

 1) Honouring Louis Braille on the Bicentenary of his birth in 2009

2) Honouring Charles Eduord Jeanneret popularly known as Le Corbusieur, the French architect who built the modern city of Chandigarh & several other projects: A 10 Franc Banknote issued by the Swiss National Bank 

3) Fort St. George Museum, Chennai (Part iii): i) Indo-Danish coins ii) Indo-Dutch coins iii) Indo-French coins iv) Indo-Portuguese coins 

4) a) Central Bank of West African States issues: the "Franc African Financial Community" (FCFA) b) Bank of Central African States issues : the "Franc Financial Cooperation in Central Africa (FFCCA)

5) French Indo-China issues: A silver one Paistre coin issued in 1895 

6) Financial Institution for issuing uniform currency/coinage for French Overseas Territories in the Pacific & French Southern Territories of Antarctica: The Institut d'emission d'outre-Mer (IEOM) for French Polynesia (Tahiti), New caledonia, Wallis-et-Futuna and the erstwhile New Hebrides (present day Vanuatu)  

 7) Coinage of the French Polynesian Island of New Caledonia (or Nouvelle-Caledonie in French) - the CFP Franc

8) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's exile to St. Helena (Part I): A one Crown Commemorative Coin issued by the Ascension Island 

9) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's exile to St. Helena (Part II) : coins commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo: 1) A 5 GBP coin issued by the Royal Mint UK: 2) A "Drie Landen Zilverset" issued by the Royal Dutch Mint - which includes coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK 

 10) Jeanne d'Arc or Joan of Arc or "The Maid of Orleans" or "La Pucelle": 200 & 50 Euro gold coins and 10 Euro Silver coins issued by Monnaie de Paris in July 2016

11) i)"Europa Coin Programme" or the Eurostar Programme ii) Monnaie de Paris has issued a series of six coins with the theme "The Age of Iron & Glass" in January 2017

12) 100th Anniversary of Auguste Rodin's passing away commemorated with gold and silver Euro coins issued by the Monnaie de Paris under its on-going "The 7 Arts" Coin Series

 13) Statue of Liberty, Paris, France: "Treasures of Paris": Coin series issued by Monnaie de Paris on 20.01.2017

14) Marianne (or Liberty): "The Trilogy": A set of Euro denominated coins in Gold and silver brought out by Monnaie de Paris in January 2017 


  1. Jayashree Mukherjee has commented:
    "Nice to know .All wars lead to suffering still People fight wars" .

    1. These coins will be a constant reminder to people of the horrors of fighting wars & how ultimately it is negotiations across the table which lead to settling of issues.