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June 19, 2020

Ambrotype of a Veteran of the Napoleonic Wars Posing With His Wife, ca. 1860

Here’s a picture of a veteran of the Napoleonic wars posing with his wife. He can be seen wearing a campaign what appears to be a British Military General Service Medal with six clasps, and was a veteran of the Peninsular Wars.

The man is described as “one of the last surviving veterans of the Battle of Waterloo”.

The photograph is stated to have been taken in 1860, 45 years after the Battle of Waterloo. It is hard to know how old the former soldier was when this picture was taken but we can see that years of poverty and hard living have left their mark.

Crop on old man’s face and artifacts correction.

Note the man’s shabby clothes, and battered top hat, despite the fact that the rarity and importance of having one’s portrait taken meant that people usually wore their best outfits for the occasion. The man’s face is like a history book – he must have seen some horrible things. His hands am rugged from a life of hard work.

His wife is wearing her Sunday best, and has a look of impoverished gentility with her gloves and homer.


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