Sunday, 12 April 2009

Ewart, Haig & Potter

We’ve just got back home after a fantastic Easter weekend visiting our daughter Lucy in Glasgow. The high point was a trip to Edinburgh on Saturday and a walk up the Royal Mile to the castle all under a lovely warm spring sun. We didn’t actually go in the castle as it was very busy but I was surprised to find several statues and monuments just outside the gates.

Lucy managed to snap this picture before a very nice official looking lady came up and told everybody not to stand there as it was a grave (I had assumed that the grave was under the plinth and of course meant no disrespect by standing where I did). This was the last resting place of Ensign (formerly Sergeant) Ewart of the Scots Grey’s who famously took the Eagle of the French 45th Regiment at Waterloo. I say “last” resting place because he was originally buried near Manchester where his grave was forgotten and paved over. It was rediscovered in the 1930’s and the body was moved to the esplanade outside Edinburgh castle.

Also on the esplanade was a statue of Douglas Haig (he’s slightly obscured by the horses head here) and having jostled some Japanese tourists out of the way Mrs S eventually managed to get this shot. I didn’t know that Haig came from Edinburgh or that, despite the name being a bit of a clue, his family were connected to the whisky business. Haig’s had quite a lot of bad press over the years but I think he became a bit of a fall guy like Bomber Harris after WWII. His horse looked nice though.

We also made a visit to the Elephant House Café where J K Rowling was inspired to write about wizards and such – presumably as a result of gazing out the window at the castle perched above her on the hill. All great stuff and well worth a visit…

For my own HH tribute to Sergeant Ewart’s moment of glory click here.


MSFoy said...


Nice to see these - before I retired to live on a farm in The Front of Beyond I lived for over 30 years in Edinburgh. The youngest of my older sons (if you follow me) was very impressed by Ewart's tomb (he was about 6 at the time), but he thought they'd taken on a bit of a challenge burying him under the car park (which the Esplanade was in those days, outwith Tattoo weeks) - he felt it would have been easier to bury him in a nice soft field somewhere.

I used to go to the Scottish United Services library in the castle - I, for my part, was impressed that they have Sir John Moore's hat in the museum - yes, the hat he was wearing at Corunna.

If I remember correctly, Haig is buried at Jedburgh Abbey.


Stryker said...


Now you've told me about the hat I'm going to have to go back and see it! We've already decided that we will return for a 'proper' visit one day. I wonder if I can sneak a photo of me wearing the thing - only joking...


Anonymous said...

I have visited Edinburgh once-a lovely city. I was interested as to how "rough" the 45th Eagle really was. One day I will go back and I genuinely look forward to it.