Poignant day for great great great grandson of Waterloo rifleman

Battle of Waterloo memorial Doddington

Michael Hattigan (third from left), the great-great-great grandson of William Rhodes, joined re-enactors by the ex-soldier's graveside in Doddington as part of a Battle of Waterloo memorial event. - Credit: 1st/95th Rifles Living History Society

The great-great-great grandson of a Fenland soldier joined re-enactors in remembering the Battle of Waterloo 206 years on.

Five members of the 1st/95th Rifles Living History Society attended the short ceremony at the graveside of William Rhodes at St Mary’s the Virgin Church in Doddington on June 18. 

The ceremony, led by Lieutenant Colonel Earp and Captain Lee, was attended by Michael Hattigan who is a descendant of Mr Rhodes and laid a wreath on behalf of the regiment. 

The event concluded with a march to The George pub on High Street, named after the regiment’s Commander-in-Chief, King George III. 

William Rhodes gravestone Doddington

A wreath was laid at the headstone of William Rhodes from Doddington, who fought in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. - Credit: 1st/95th Rifles Living History Society

“They marched to the grave where Lt Col Earp gave a summary of Rifleman Rhodes career and a description of the Rifles role at Waterloo,” David Edwards, historian and archivist at March & District Museum, said. 

“About 20 residents and visitors braved the weather to witness the event, and despite the weather, things went very well.” 

Battle of Waterloo event The George Doddington

Members of the 1st/95th Rifles Living History Society outside The George pub in Doddington on the 206th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. - Credit: March and District Museum

Mr Rhodes, who was baptised in Doddington in 1783, served in the British Army between 1804 and 1816 culminating in the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815 where he was wounded.   

The annual ceremony is usually held in Belgium, but was staged in Doddington due to Covid-19 restrictions.