A colleague of mine gave me this interesting little book. When he read my
book he revealed that he’d done a
documentary in 2011 on the recovery of the bones of a British soldier in the Dutch
dunes near Groote Keeten. Waterloo
The soldier had died on the 27th of August 1799, during the landing of a British invasion force on the Dutch coast. The intention was to raise the Dutch against their French allies and for the previous sovereign, Stadtholder William V of
. When the French had conquered the Orange
in 1795 they installed a satellite government of Dutch revolutionaries. Dutch Republic
Although the British invasion force managed to gain the Dutch fleet base (and fleet) at
Den Helder and the city of Alkmaar,
they were unable to make more headway towards , even after being reinforced by a
Russian expeditionary force. Neither had Orangist sympathisers made much of a
showing. Late in the year, the British and Russians reembarked, leaving little trace. Amsterdam
The discovery of the remains of the British soldier lead to an archeological dig at the site. The book describes the research, based on the finds at the site linked to historical evidence.
There’s the estimates of length and age based on the skeleton, the analysis of the wood and metals of a musket, some cloth and buttons which all go some way to identifying it as the remains of a soldier of the Coldstream Guards.
A more precise identification was not possible, although based on letters and official records, the search could be narrowed down to a handful of individuals who had died on the 27th of August.
In 2012 the remains were returned to the Coldstream Guards for interment in