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Realize a dignified burial for a young soldier killed at the Battle of Waterloo 1815 whose remains are currently on public display at the Lion’s Mound Museum & Visitor Centre in Belgium.

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Supporters

Peace for Friedrich Brandt

The aim of this petition is to show support for the “Peace for Friedrich Brandt” campaign which endeavours to bring about a dignified burial for a young soldier killed at the Battle of Waterloo.  His body was discovered beneath a carpark in 2012 and is currently on public display at the Lion’s Mound Museum & Visitor Centre in Belgium.

The campaigners, among them numerous military historians and archaeologists, feel that placing the remains on public view is far from being the “greatest homage” – in the words of the Museum Board – and that it would afford Friedrich a great deal more dignity and respect to be granted the proper burial that has been denied him for so long.  It is accepted that his remains should be studied for serious archaeological purposes but, after the data has been collected, the man should be allowed to rest in peace, instead of being viewed as a morbid object of curiosity by thousands of paying tourists - particularly when in an enlightened and technologically advanced world it is perfectly possible to laser scan the remains and produce a 3D replica for display.

The is not without precedent: a similar case occurred when in 2011 – one year prior to the discovery of Friedrich’s body – the remains of an unidentified soldier of the Coldstream Guards, who was killed during the Helder Campaign of 1799, was found in sand dunes following severe storms in the area. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22900666 After his remains were studied, they were cremated and his ashes buried at the Guards Chapel in London with due ceremony two years later: a dignified homage to a soldier who had died over two centuries before. It is therefore unacceptable that a similar solution could not have been considered in the case of Friedrich Brandt.

The 23 year old German soldier served in the King’s German Legion and his such he fought in the Napoleonic Wars as a soldier of the British Army. 

In the early 1800s Friedrich, along with many of his young compatriots, would have felt as though he were on the adventure of a lifetime as he left his home in Hanover to make his way north towards the ports of the German North Sea.  There British merchant ships docked, often bringing with them British recruiting sergeants.  The journey across the Channel must have felt like travelling to another planet, the English people he encountered on arrival completely alien to him.  Yet he stayed to complete military training in East Sussex and later fought alongside his English brothers in arms, only to fall at Waterloo in 1815… and become a side show to be gawped at in a museum 200 years later.

To put this into context, the final veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, Jean Adrin, passed away in 1902. Only a handful of generations separate us from these men....

Friedrich’s compatriots would have buried him with honour.  If you believe that it is no less than our duty to do the same please add your voice to ours and join us in speaking out for Friedrich Brandt, a soldier unable to speak for himself.  Please add your signature to the petition below.

You can also follow the progress of the campaign and offer your support by liking our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peace-for-Friedrich-Brandt/

 

 

This petition was delivered to:
  • Board of Directors Hameau du Lion / Visitor's Center Route du Lion 315 1410 Waterloo

    R. Schäfer started this petition with a single signature, and now has 667 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.