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Historic battle anniversary marked by musical extravaganza

One of Britain's greatest military triumphs, the Battle of Waterloo, will receive its bi-centennial commemoration in a spectacular event to be staged at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on June 11.

More than 300 performers, including the Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Scotland and The Royal Regiment of Scotland, the Pipes and Drums of RAF Central Scotland (formerly known as RAF Leuchars Pipes and Drums) The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and The Royal Regiment of Scotland in company with Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools Choir, will gather to bring alive decisive moments from the 200-year-old engagement through a dramatic musical and theatrical pageant, entitled Eve of Waterloo.

Battle of Waterloo commemorative concert.

This national celebration to mark the battle which finally saw Napoleon overthrown will be produced by The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in association with Seafarers UK,  ABF The Soldiers' Charity and Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Debbie Hunter, RAF Benevolent Fund regional director for Scotland, said: "We are very excited to be involved in this theatrical commemoration of one of Britain's most famous battles. The team behind the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo are sure to bring their incredible wealth of experience and high professional standards to tell this compelling story."

Tattoo Chief Executive and Producer Brigadier David Allfrey said: "The 200th Anniversary of Waterloo offers a wonderful opportunity to tell the story of an extraordinary 'feat of arms'.

"The tales of European nations clashing during the Napoleonic Wars are remarkable for any student of military history, while the personal accounts of the soldiers and sailors add a further colourful and poignant dimension. Scottish soldiers played a key role in the battle.

"Indeed, a gold Imperial eagle captured that day is on show in Edinburgh Castle, the soldier who seized it is buried on the Castle Esplanade and a huge painting of the engagement is in the Great Hall."

He added: "The Tattoo is thrilled to be teaming up with Services Charities, representatives from the Regiments whose forebears took part in the battle and an array of talented performers and technicians to stage a real extravaganza in the Usher Hall."

The 1815 Battle of Waterloo saw an allied force of British, German and Dutch troops under Wellington face Napoleon's French Army near Waterloo in central Belgium. The British Army's greatest victory under arguably its greatest general reshaped Europe and led to a generation of peace on the continent.
Marking the Battle of Waterloo bicentenary in aid of Services' Charities is seen as a fitting way to also remember the bravery of the 75,000 casualties of the historic battle.

Tickets, priced £15-£20 (concessions available), can be obtained from the Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh Tel: 0131 228 1155, www.usherhall.co.uk.

0800 169 2942

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