Waterloo 1815, Charles Coe, 2nd Battalion, 69th South Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot, Wounded in Action at Waterloo.
Joined the 69th Foot on 26th December 1811, Volunteering from the West Norfolk Militia, he was discharged on 19th June 1816 with the General Reduction of the Army.
The 2nd 69th was another one of the British Army battalions with no prior war experience and the ranks filled with young men, it was normal for a small number of men to join the ranks underage but with the 2nd 69th, this number was 159, a staggering 30% of underage enlistments, even those like Coe who had joined early on in 1811, were barely turning 20.
Out of the whole 2nd Battalion, 69th Foot, 516 in total, 240 became casualties, 46% of the men in total.
During the battle Pte Coe served in Captain Isaac Downing’s Company, they stood 56 Strong, under the command of Two Officers, Both Casualties, Lt Wightwick Killed and Lt Pigot wounded, in total of the 56 men, 18 were casualties a total of 32% including Coe.
At the battle of Quatre Bras, the battalion was attempting to form a Square, something they had only done in practice, never in a real battle. They were caught by the French Curraisiers who cut down many of the men, the fact they were not already in a square was blamed on the Prince of Orange, who apparently overruled the advice to form squares, a result being the massive casualties they received.
The Rye Crops they were in were apparently so tall they could barely spot the French cavalrymen galloping towards them, they were fortunately saved by the British Guards;
“Coming up to their support, and throwing in one of their destructive fires, compelling the Cuirassiers to return to the wood, not a man save the Colonel and Adjutant