St Albans military author sets the record straight in new book

John Morewood plus book cover

John Morewood plus book cover - Credit: Archant

Restoring the reputation of a British officer who fought at the Battle of Waterloo is at the heart of a new book from a St Albans author.

John Morewood has written about the life, letters and mysterious death of Major General Sir William Ponsonby in his book Waterloo General published by Pen & Sword Books.

Sir William was killed after leading the charge of the Union Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo and was subsequently judged harshly by historians who blamed him for allowing it to get out of hand and wrecking a French advance that threatened the Duke of Willington with defeat.

Military historian John, who read history at Oxford University and was the editor of the Nelson Society from 1997-1999 and of the Waterloo Association from 2001 to 2011, takes a fresh look at Sir William’s historical reputation and the criticism of his actions at Waterloo.

It was that censure which led him to research Sir William’s life and career in depth using family sources including his letters and French and German accounts.

John’s research, which found him following in his subject’s footprints through Belgium, france, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, enabled him to shed new light on the battle and establish what happened to Sir William on that fateful afternoon.

Waterloo General is also a full biography of Sir William and traces his career as one of the foremost British cavalry commanders during the Peninsular War.

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In his working life, John works for HSBC where he designs and implements the current apprenticeship programme. He is a co-author of HMS Vanguard at the Battle of the Nile and Waterloo General is his first wholly written book.

It retails at £25 and more details can be found at