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Hannover Waterloo Hameln Landwehr


Hannover Waterloo Medal, Soldat Gottlieb Ludwig Begemann, Landwehr Battalion Hameln. A local man from Hameln. The Hameln Bn took on the Imperial Guard during the battle.

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Hannover Waterloo Medal, Soldat Gottlieb Ludwig Begemann, Landwehr Battalion Hameln. A local man from Hameln.




Gottlieb Ludewig Begemann was born in Hannover about 1793. He was the son of Franz Ludwig Begemann and Katharine Rabe.


Being from Hannover, he would have likely developed a dislike for Napoleon from a young age, when he was aged only 13 during November 1806, the French Army under Napoleon invaded the region and closeby to his home, the Fortress of Hameln was captured during the Battle of Hameln, part of the War of the Fourt Coalition, this lead into the Penisnular War of 1808 with the British Army being then deployed.


When the time came to fight in the Battle of Waterloo, the Landwehr Battalion Hameln was placed in the 5th Hannover Brigade under Colonel von Vincke, alongside the Gifhorn, Hildesheim and Peine Battalions.


Notably during the Battle, the Hameln Battalion were recorded as having been sent to the front line and having taken on the famous French Imperial Guard.


Following Waterloo he returned home victorious to the town of Hameln in Hannover. He remained around the area of Hameln it seems for the rest of his long life.


He married Wilhelmine Karolina Begemann and had 2 children who were baptised in the local Church, Heinrich Gottlieb Ludewig Begemann and Gottlieb Begemann.


He later died on 22nd September 1870 aged about 77.


He was buried on 25th September 1870 in the Evangelische Kirche Gross Hilligsfield in Hameln.


Here is an interesting full account of the Battalion from excellent book The Waterloo Archive Volume II: German Sources:


Hameln Landwehr


No. 32 From Belle Alliance Pflugk-Harttung’s letter no. 44 Report of the Hanoverian Landwehr Battalion Hameln on its participation in the Battle of La Belle Alliance by Lieutenant Colonel von Strube.


Hameln, 10 November 1824 Report of Lieutenant-Colonel von Strube, 2nd Infantry Regiment, formerly commander of the Hameln Landwehr Battalion; about the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815 in regard to the involvement of the former Hameln Landwehr Battalion.


The Hameln Landwehr Battalion was part of the 5th [Landwehr] Infantry Brigade under the command of the then colonel, now Major General, von Vincke, and belonged to the army’s 5th Division commanded by the English General Picton. Before the beginning of the battle, the 5th Brigade was ordered to march to the left flank, where, together with the 3rd Hanoverian Brigade 263 under the command of colonel, now Major General Best, it formed a single square in the first line. This square stood on an open elevation and was covered on its left rear by cavalry of the legion, and on its right rear by English cavalry.


To the right, Hanoverian artillery was in place, commanded by the then major, now Lieutenant Colonel, Heise [actually Rettberg’s]. The battle began at ten o’clock in the morning. Immediately at its onset, French cuirassier regiments moved against the square en echelon, but were charged and driven back by the just mentioned English cavalry. At about half past twelve o’clock, the 5th Brigade was ordered to reinforce the centre as quickly as possible, whereupon the Hameln Battalion was posted in line to the left of the Brussels to Genappe highway. Around half past one o’clock, the battalion had to form square in 4 ranks jointly with the Gifhorn Battalion, directly off the same side of the highway.


This part of the terrain was slightly lower and the ground was very soft from the heavy rains on the 17th. At around three o’clock General Picton, commander of our division, was killed, and command of the division went to General Kempt. The battalion remained in this position until about half past five o’clock. I then received an order to have the battalion advance and occupy an elevation to the right of the highway.


The Duke of Wellington, who had halted there, ordered me to deploy on this elevation. The Nassau Contingent was to the right of the battalion, and to the left were English regiments of the 5th Division, and the 8th Battalion of the [King’s German] Legion. After taking up this position, the battalion’s men fired off about 30 cartridges each, as the enemy infantry, in particular the Old Guard, launched their last attack. By waving his hat, the Duke of Wellington then gave the sign for the line to advance.


The battalion, together with the Gifhorn Battalion, now pursued the enemy until half past ten o’clock in the evening, when it had arrived at the Gros Fromage Farm and thee spent the night in its bivouac. All of that farm’s buildings and its yard were crowded with wounded, as the French had been using it as a hospital.


On the 18th, the Hameln Battalion brought about 400 men to the battlefield. Its losses were: 9 killed and 64 wounded, of whom several died soon after from their wounds. At half past three o’clock in the afternoon of the 19th, the brigade broke camp, marched past Nivelles, and arrived at eight o’clock in the evening at its bivouac near Montroeul.