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Overlooked Britain: A pair of unsung Waterloo heroes

Regulars | By Lucinda Lambton | August Issue

Colonel Cheney and Tanner, St Luke’s, Gaddesby – equine testicles and all. The plaques are in memory of the colonel and his wife

Lucinda Lambton on the magnificent horse admired by Napoleon, and its brave rider

Walk into St Luke’s Church, at Gaddesby in Leicestershire, and the illusion is disquietingly immediate. Here is a man in early 19th century military uniform, still sitting astride his dying horse as it sinks to the ground, with its mouth wide open and teeth bared in the agonising throes of death. I write ‘illusion’ but there it is, in all its grim glory; life-size and lifelike; made of grey-veined, white marble – so suitable on the flanks of a horse from the legendary Royal Scots Greys – amidst the shadows of the 13th-century chancel of St Luke’s. This is the stirring likeness of Colonel Edward Hawkins Cheney of the Royal Scots Greys, a hero of Waterloo, who had four horses shot dead from under him in the field of battle.  Here he rides off on the fifth – which is soon to be shot and wounded – when Cheney was...

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