Follow by Email

Saturday, January 9, 2016

DID YOU KNOW-Vol.18-Nol.1

Vol.18, No.1 July-August  1994

by Bruno Just
OLD soldiers never die, we know - but what do you do if they refuse to fade away? The following story has appeared in print (so it must be true).

JEAN Theurel joined the Army of the King of France, served in the Army of the French Republic and was drawing a pension in the reign of Napoleon I. So, what's extraordinary about that? Many of Napoleon's soldiers had joined the Army under Louis XVI and served throughout the Republic. Ah! but Jean Theurel didn't join in the reign of Louis XVI, nor in the reign of Louis XV. He joined up, at the age of 15, in 1699, under Louis XIV! First in the Regiment of Touraine, he was promoted Captain in 1777, at the age of 92, declined to take the hint and retire, was pensioned off, finally, by the First Consul, in 1802, after serving on the active list, in three centuries. It is alleged that he became extinct in 1807, when he was a mere 123-year-old, but this (and it the only part of his story) we find hard to believe: how could such a tough old beggar, whom scores of campaigns had failed to quell, end so quietly from mere antiquity?

Jean Theurel (6 September 1698 – 10 March 1807)

D'ARTAGNAN existed, but his real name was Charles de Batz. He died at the age of fifty, at the siege of Maastrich, on 25 June 1673, leading the assault at the head of the Mousquetaires of the Guard. Louis XIV wanted to hear mass in Maastrich that very day, at any cost. Loyalty and obedience were highly prized, then.



DURING the Seven Years War, the Austrian Army lost over 62,000 men by desertion; France about 70,000, and Prussia about 80,000. During the War of Bavarian Succession, 1778-79, the Prussian Army lost 3,400 men in battle, but over 16,000 by desertion.

Austrian soldiers by Harald Skala


DOES anyone know which was the corps of French cavalry at Waterloo reported by Captain Taylor (10th Hussars) as being: "... very conspicuous with red uniforms and crests"? The only possibility I can think of is that they were Guard heavy cavalry still in the Restoration uniforms of the Mousquetaires Gris and the Mousquetaires Noir of Louis XVIII. They wore cuirasses covered by Royal Grey or Black cloth emblazoned with a silver (?) cross with rays, according to a picture in Vezio Melegari's The World's Great Regiments. The coat and shabraque are shown as being an orange yellow - which I have interpreted as faded red, (since only one French unit ever wore yellow during the period[1]). Is that likely?

Mousquetaires Gris of Louis XVIII

Mousquetaires Noir of Louis XVIII


[1] The Battalion Neuchatel.

No comments:

Post a Comment