COMMEMORATING THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO - Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson marks the forthcoming 199th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo with themed gun firings on Fathers’ Day (June 15).

The famous battle – which marked the final defeat of French military leader and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte – was one of history’s most famous battles and was fought in Belgium, on June 18, 1815.

Uniformed gunners from Ubique Right of the Line and HMS Loire will conduct the firings of two guns – a six-pounder, Royal Horse Artillery smooth-bore cannon and six-pounder French bore cannon “Le Fameux” at 11.30am, 1pm and 3pm on Fathers’ Day.

Dated 1794, the British gun was cast from bronze at the Royal Brass Foundry in Woolwich and had a 2lb powder charge, with an extreme range of 1,000 yards.

Le Fameux was dated 1813 and was captured at the Battle of Waterloo, along with a number of other guns. Along with eight other six-pounders, it was used as a supporting column to a massive trophy of arms, which decorated the staircase of the Grand Storehouse at the Tower of London. The gun subsequently survived the 1841 fire and was then exhibited in the White Tower annexe, and later mounted on a carriage for display at Tower Wharf.

Fort Operations Manager Nigel Hosier said, “The Battle of Waterloo was one of the British Army’s most famous victories and we are delighted to be marking the 199th anniversary, albeit a few days in advance.

“Museum admission and parking are absolutely free and a trip round Fort Nelson is an ideal way to spend Fathers’ Day, whatever the weather.”

As well as free daily gun firings, Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson offers a great day out for all the family. Standing high on Portsdown Hill near Fareham, the Palmerston fort showcases one of the world’s finest collections of artillery and guns, from across the ages and from all corners of the globe.

In 2011, this unique heritage attraction underwent a major redevelopment to create a museum for the 21st century, supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, complete with new galleries, state-of-the-art education centre and visitor facilities, including a café with views over Portsmouth Harbour.

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Notes to editors

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