Ancestor who fought in Battle of Waterloo

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A Bailiff Bridge man has made the discovery that he is a direct descendant of a soldier who fought in one the country’s most famous battles.

Malcolm Silkstone was researching his family tree when he found details of his great, great, great grandfather Joseph who served as a soldier and fought in the Napoleonic wars including the Battle of Waterloo.

“I was over the moon when I found out his information and he had fought in the war.”

“It’s amazing to think that these men would have marched 300 miles down to Dover and then marching in Belgium and France.

“They must have been so tired before they even started fighting.”

Mr Silkstone had compiled the information using church records and the National Archive.

Joseph Silkstone, who had family in the Dewsbury area, was born in 1795 in Rothwell near Leeds where he was a labourer before becoming a private in the 30th Foot Regiment in 1812.

He served in countries such as the West Indies, Holland and France.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, a decisive victory for the English over Napoleon’s forces.

The battle, fought on Sunday, June 18, 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, ended the series of wars that had torn Europe apart since the French Revolution of the early 1790s. It also saw the end of the French Empire and Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest commanders in history.