|Death of Captain Thomas Cassan
June 16 1815 - Quatre Bras
Napoleonic War - 2 Days before the Battle of Waterloo
LIST OF OFFICERS, KILLED, WOUNDED, AND MISSING.
(Extracted from the London Gazette)
BATTLE OF THE 16th JUNE 1815
This information (link) that follows is intended as a memorial to soldiers killed at
Quatre-Bras and Waterloo. Captain Thomas Cassan was one of the many wounded, who
later died of his wounds. He was a Captain with the 32nd Foot (Cornwall).
Thomas Cassan was the Father of John Arthur Cassan who came to Canada from Ireland
Quatre Bras Battle
An advance French unit had been delayed at a vital crossroads at Quatre Bras by a small
force of 8000 men from Saxe-Weimar and it was imperative that they were reinforced
The crossroads was the link between the mainly British Anglo-Allies and the Prussians.
Maintaining an impassive front at a ball being held in his honour in Brussels, Wellington
dispatched troops towards Quatre Bras as quickly as they became available.
Fortunately for the Allies, the French commander Marshal Ney did not move quickly on the
morning of the 16th and it wasn't before 2pm that he sent forward General Reille with
20,000 men to clear the enemy away.
Allied troops from woods that threatened the French left flank.
Wellington arrived, as did the lead elements of British reinforcements, and the size of the
clash moved from a skirmish to a full battle.
By late afternoon, the defenders had grown to some 26,000 men with 42 cannons and they
were forced to withstand a ferocious attack by Ney.
French cavalry reached the crossroads and, despite Wellington being forced to shelter in a
square to avoid capture, the lines held.
At 6.30pm, a further reinforced Wellington (36,000) moved forward and retook almost all of
the ground lost to the French that day.
The Allies lost some 4800 men, while French casualties were 4000.
It was a drawn clash tactically, but a major strategic blow for Bonaparte.