Edinburgh Castle Esplanade
EDINBURGH CASTLE ESPLANADE
SERGEANT CHARLES EWART MEMORIAL AND GRAVE
Battle of Waterloo 18th June 1815. In 1938 the actual remains of Ensign Ewart were re-interred on Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade. Look behind the memorial stone and you can see his head stone.
The French Eagle from the Standard at the Battle at Waterloo.
In Memory of Ensign Charles Ewart
who died March 23rd 1846 aged 77 years
Date of the Battle of Waterloo on end of Ensign Charles Ewart Memorial Stone
Taking of the Flag at Waterloo
As Ewart fought his way deep into the heart of the 45th French Infantry, he was caught in a fierce fight with a French officer. The French officer was saved from Ewart’s fatal strike by the arrival of his senior officer, Francis Kinchant. The French officer surrender to Kinchant saving his life. No sooner had Ewart turned away from the scene when he heard a gunshot just behind him. When he turned back, he saw senior officer Kinchant fall of his horse and the French Officer trying to hide his gun with which he had just killed Kinchant. Ewart, furious at what the French Officer had done, he lashed out with his sword ignoring the Frenchman’s pleas for mercy and took the Frenchmen’s head off with one stroke of his sword. (See the sword in Edinburgh Castle) Ewart was now near to the 45th French Infantry standard bearer. Rather than retreating, Ewart continued forward and battled through to take the flag back to his own lines and into history.
In Ewart’s own words, what was to follow; “It was in the first charge I took the eagle from the enemy. I had a hard contest for it, he made a thrust at my groin, I parried it off and cut him down through the head. After this a lancer came at me; I threw the lance off by my right side and cut him through the chin and upward through the teeth. Next, a foot-soldier fired at me and charged me with his bayonet, which I also had the good luck to parry, and then I cut him down through the head; thus ended the contest. As I was about to follow my regiment, the general said, ’My brave fellow, take that to the rear; you have done enough till you get quit of it’, which I was obliged to do, but with great reluctance. I retired to a height, and stood there for upwards of an hour, which gave a general view of the field, but I cannot express the horrors I beheld. The bodies of my brave comrades were lying so thick upon the field that it was scarcely possible to pass, and horses innumerable. I took the eagle into Brussels amid the acclamation's of thousands of spectators who saw it. Displayed in the Regimental Museum in Edinburgh Castle is the sword said to have been used at Waterloo by Ensign Charles Ewart.
“The Fight for the Standard at the Battle of Waterloo”
By, Richard Ansdell R.A.
The painting depicts Ensign Ewart at the Battle of Waterloo with the French standard.
This painting can be seen in Edinburgh Castle Great Hall.
Royal Scots Dragoons Museum
The actual flag (Standard) and Eagle taken from the French at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 by Ensign Ewart