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Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Waterloo Despatch

Photo credit: The Royal Hospital Chelsea

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A group of Chelsea Pensioners receiving from a mounted cavalryman to the left, the 'London Gazette Extraordinary' of Thursday 22nd June 1815, announcing the Battle of Waterloo. This painting was commissioned by the Duke of Wellington and was shown at the Royal Academy upon its completion in 1822. It celebrates the end of the Napoleonic Wars with Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. It was originally to have been a group of soldiers outside a public house, but Wilkie chose to set it outside the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a place with significant connotations to the Army then, just as today, Chelsea Pensioners being soldiers discharged from the Army as unfit for further duty because of injury.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea





oil on board


H 28 x W 38 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by Commander C. W. Phillips, 1956

Work type



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The Royal Hospital Chelsea

Royal Hospital Road, London, Greater London SW3 4SR England

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