The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo marked by Royal Mail

June 28th, 2015 hurries to inform that Royal Mail has released a special set of stamps commemorating the events of the Battle of Waterloo. Often described as the 'day that changed European history' the Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815 and is arguably the most famous battle in the history of the British Army. The issue was put into circulation on the 18th of June.

The Battle was a contest between Napoleon's army and an Allied contingent composed of British and German forces under the Duke of Wellington, one the greatest British military leaders of all time, and Prussian forces under distinguished cavalry commander Gebhard von Blucher – which ultimately put an end to Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitions.

Six stamps reproduce 19th century paintings that depict, in chronological order, key events and exchanges of the Battle on the day. Royal Mail worked with historians and art historians on the stamp set with the final stamp featuring the large painting of the 'final attack' that hangs in Apsley House, London and was bought by Wellington himself.

A miniature sheet is also issued with four additional stamps, each depicting a key combatant from the Battle and commemorating the troops of the principle nations involved. Featured are the: 92nd Gordon Highlanders; Light Infantry, King's German Legion; Prussian Infantryman and French Imperial Guard Grenadier.

The Battle of Waterloo was the culmination of many years of war in Europe, putting an end to Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitions. In February of 1815, Napoleon had managed to escape from his enforced exile on the island of Elba, and upon reaching France he quickly rallied the French Army to his cause. Within a matter of days, he was back in control in Paris, proclaiming his desire for peace. The powers of Europe, however, would have none of it.

Very soon large armies were mobilising against France. The campaign culminated with the Battle of Waterloo which saw heavy casualties on both sides and signalled the end for Bonaparte, who was later exiled to the island of Saint Helena, from which there would be no escape.

Although the battle was not fought at Waterloo it became known as Waterloo as this is where Wellington wrote his despatch from. At home it then immediately became known by that name and soon became too well known to change.

Evelyn Webb-Carter, Chairman, Waterloo 200, said; "As Chairman of Waterloo 200 the charity established to commemorate the battle of Waterloo, I would like to say how pleased we are with the imminent issue of the Waterloo stamps. They are an excellent reminder of an important moment in European history. Waterloo heralded a significant period of peace in Europe when the nations we are familiar with today were established and flourished. It is a moment in history we do well to reflect on and these stamps will help us to do so".

Andrew Hammond, Director, Stamps and Collectibles, Royal Mail said: "Our new stamps mark one of the most famous battles in British history, which also brought an end to the Napoleonic Wars, We pay tribute to the troops who took part with stamps showing the key events on the day".

Author, historian and former Royal Navy officer Glover, commented: "The Battle of Waterloo was unlike any previous battle in history in its catastrophic results. Having occurred only ninety miles from the English Channel coast, unlike Wellington's battles in Spain & Portugal, news of both this great victory and also of the dreadful carnage was soon to arrive in England and more detailed information was eagerly sought by both government and worried families of the soldiers involved".

Battle of Waterloo Miniature Sheet of Stamps