THERE were rousing cheers as a plaque commemorating the Battle of Waterloo and its links to a town were unveiled.
After 18 months of planning, the plaque bearing the Duke of Wellington’s face and a cannon, was unveiled by Councillor Leah Turner, the Mayor of Havant, in Waterlooville town centre.
Legend has it that the town grew from a tiny village when soldiers returning home from the victorious battle in 1815 stopped at an inn which is now The Heroes pub.
As families settled the village became the thriving town it is now.
The Waterlooville Community Forum have worked hard to commemorate what is considered the bicentenary of the town, as well as the battle.
Cllr Turner said: ‘It was an honour to unveil the memorial to remember what happened 200 years-ago and the town’s association with it.’
There was music from the era from HMS Nelson saxophone quartet, a salute on the bugle from Lieutenant Commander Tony Crisp.
Following the unveiling there was poetry and musical performances in the library, organised by library staff with the help of The Spring arts centre.
Father Mike Sheffield, from St George’s Church, said: ‘It’s not a case of giving thanks for a war 200 years ago but it is thinking about the town today – the people who live in the town and the people who have made up the town over the last 100 years.
‘Waterloo 200 is an opportunity to think about the town and to celebrate it.
It was an honour to unveil the memorial to remember what happened 200 years-ago and the town’s association with itMayor of Havant Leah Turner
‘Not many places can actually go back and pinpoint the birth of their town but we can.’
Activities are happening all week, including concerts as part of the Waterlooville Music Festival.
The main celebrations take place in the town centre tomorrow.
It starts with a procession at 11am from St George’s Church to the library. At 11.45am the new Waterlooville flag will be flown. The firing of the cannon will take place at midday.
Go to waterlooville200.org