Descendants: Julian and Ben Parker

Julian and Ben Parker, a father and son duo on site have a very tangible link to the battle of Waterloo. Julian, an ex army captain grew up in the military, as his dad was a Colonel in the army as well. Ans it turned out, there were more military men in the family’s history.

Ben and Julian excavating part of the wall of what used to be the barn.

In 2015, Julian’s family discovered that his great great great grandfather fought at waterloo. But that wasn’t everything. James Robinson, who was around 20 at the time, was a private in the Light Company, Second Battalion of the Coldstream Guards. This Battalion was stationed at Hougoumont and was tasked with its protection.

During the battle, James was wounded in the eye, but survived the battle. He died 63 years later. Except for the loss of his eye and the noise in his head because of the damage, he felt fine and lived to his eighties, dying of old age.

Ben and Julian in front of the memorial

Julian came to site in 2015 and said that “to be part of finding objects that haven’t been seen for over 200 years is fantastic. To know our ancestor came up and down this road and maybe he helped shut the gate, it is very moving.”

He came back this year for a couple of days and brought his son, Ben, with him. Ben said about his experiences digging at Hougoumont: “It is quite surreal actually, digging up the same site my ancestor fought on, it is like unearthing history right in front of us.”

Julian and Ben also brought something back for us to marvel over: two old postcards, showing Hougoumont in the past.