Belfast Telegraph

Two centuries on, war medal of wounded soldier rescued from carnage of Waterloo discovered

By Michael McHugh

A medal awarded to an Irish soldier who lost both arms during the Battle of Waterloo has been discovered nearly 200 years later.

Inniskilling Regiment Private Peter McMullen from Co Down was saved because his heavily pregnant wife Elizabeth dragged him from danger.

The badge of honour will be returned to the Inniskillings Museum in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, in a special ceremony on May 30.

An MoD spokesman said: "Pte McMullen's Waterloo medal has now been found with a dealer in England who was keen to see it returned to its natural home with the Inniskillings Museum."

Two Inniskilling regiments, the 27th Regiment of Foot and the Inniskilling Dragoons, were praised by the Duke of Wellington and his defeated opponent Napoleon Bonaparte for their conduct at Waterloo.

The June 1815 battle near Brussels was fought between the French under the command of Napoleon and the Allied armies commanded by the Duke of Wellington from Britain and General Gebhard von Blucher from Prussia.

The French defeat at Waterloo ended some two decades of war that began after the French Revolution.

Pte McMullen came from a weaving background in Downpatrick. He was seriously wounded after coming under French cannon fire.

His heavily pregnant wife Elizabeth was with other wives nearby and fearing her husband dead she dashed into the midst of the bodies.

She was hit on the leg with a musket ball but discovered her husband still alive and managed to drag him to the edge of the battlefield.

Pte McMullen lost both arms because of his injuries.

The then Duke of York was told of their bravery and in a personal visit to them in hospital in Chelsea, he agreed to be godfather to the infant, who was christened Frederica McMullen of Waterloo.

On May 30 this year, Pte McMullen's medal will go on show at Enniskillen Castle's museum of regimental history.

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