Battle Books – Marking the bicentenary of Waterloo

Battle Books – Marking the bicentenary of Waterloo


It’s had a pop song and a railway station named after it – and now West Sussex Libraries and the County Record Office are marking the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo.

A list of books in West Sussex Libraries, both lending and reference, together with useful websites about the battle, is now available online on West Sussex County Council’s website. Visit: and search ‘Waterloo’.

The list is separated into topics which include armies, battles, eye witness accounts, Napoleon, Wellington and the Royal Sussex Regiment. It also includes fiction titles about the Battle, and a list of events and exhibitions.

More information about each title can be found by consulting the library catalogue at 

The catalogue will also show which libraries hold which titles. You can also use it to reserve books for collection at your local library.

Libraries at Chichester, Crawley, Horsham and Worthing will have book displays from Monday (June 15th).

The word ‘Waterloo’ has entered into the English language partly by giving its name to a London railway station but also because of its importance in the military career of one of the world’s most famous leaders, Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Royal Sussex Regiment was involved in the Napoleonic Wars and in the conflict in France leading up to it. Soldiers from the 35th Foot (Royal Sussex) were held in reserve at the Battle of Waterloo, stationed on the extreme right of the British Army in a defensive position. However, although they did not engage directly in the action, the Royal Sussex men were subsequently awarded the Waterloo Medal and took part in the allied Victory March through Paris.

Some original documents related to the battle can be researched at the Record Office and a small display may be seen in the foyer.

Further details can be found on the Record Office Search Online catalogue: 

After losing the battle of Waterloo Napoleon’s military career was at an end and he spent the rest of his days in exile on the island of St Helena. Now, any major defeat or loss tends to be described as ‘meeting one’s Waterloo’. And of course there’s even an Abba song about Napoleon’s capitulation!

The battle itself brought to an end almost 20 years of conflict across Europe, between France and her neighbours.

David Barling, Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services said: “Waterloo was one of the great events in 19th century European history and the Library Service’s 51 titles underlines how comprehensive our book collections are. The involvement of the Royal Sussex underlines the long and illustrious history of our County Regiment and there are some interesting documents at West Sussex Record Office “.

For more information about what’s happening in Worthing Library visit: