The 3rd company of the 8th regiment of Artillery to foot of the Line  


Photo : M. Ronvaux

Why the 3rd company of the 8th Artillery Regiment to foot of the line?

This company was assigned to the rear-guard of the army of Grouchy which left the area of Wavre at the following day of the battle of Waterloo to join the place of Givet. The passage to Namur of this important troop of 33.000 men lasted from June 19 at 5 p.m. at June 20 at the beginning of evening. Taken pity for these overcome soldiers, the Namurian ones looked after them and nourished, and the municipality made distribute 100.000 rations of bread and brandy.


June 20, at the end of the afternoon, the artillerists of the 3rd company, out of battery with the door of Brussels, delivered with bravery an ultimate combat against the Prussians, to make it possible the last French regiments to leave the city by the door of the Plant. The population supports them and of former soldiers help them. Finally, around 6 p.m., while they harness the horses to be folded up in their turn, it is civil Namurian, Albert-François Modave which points the last blow of gun, before regaining its residence peacefully while skirting the ramparts...


The historical group of reconstitution.

Our group represents a team of artillerists of this time and ensures the service of a field gun of 4 books, system of Gribeauval, such as it was used in all the campaigns of the Empire.

There does not exist any more in Europe but 2 specimens of this gun, which are preserved at the Museum of the sedentary Gunners of Lille. The "Namurian" part is a meticulous reconstitution, similar in its least details to the original. It is composed of a bronze tube of 300 kg, assembled on a mounting with double flasks, and of a front-axle unit equipped with a long tiller making it possible to harness there two or four horses. The unit weighs more than one ton.

In addition to animations with the citadel of Namur in July and August, the artillerists take part in reconstitutions historical in Belgium but also in Europe like at days demonstrations and teaching (for the schools). The group works with museums for exposures or inaugurations having milked with artillery or the army of the 1st Empire. The gun also took part in turnings of film and telefilm for the BBC and the VRT.

But it is mainly the historical and technical aspect of the artillery which impassions the members of association. Thus we published, in 2000, a work on Gribeauval explaining the genius of this man and the use of the part of 4 books through many photographs. We currently carry out research on the route of the 3rd company of the 8th Artillery Regiment during the countryside of Belgium (1815) and we try to determine the road followed by the keys of the town of Namur (carries from Brussels) EMcarried at the evening of June 20 by the French soldiers and currently preserved in a museum of Nancy. During this research, other members occupy themselves of the aspect uniformology of the artillerist and the improvement of the material of our gun.

Our group is recognized by the Museum Royal of the Army and Military History of Belgium, and has a solid reputation in the medium of the reconstitution.