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James Robertshaw

Soldier at Waterloo, 1792-1859

James Robertshaw was the only Bollingtonian known to have fought in Wellington’s army at the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815). We know this because his relatives were good enough to record the fact on his gravestone. His regiment was the Light Company 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards and he was a member of Lieutenant Colonel Sir Thomas Noel Hill’s Company. James is featured in the Waterloo Medal List. At home he was a shoe maker, a master employing two men.

On 19th June 2015 thirty adults and children assembled at his grave in St John’s churchyard and held a remembrance event which included British Legion flag bearers, prayers from the vicar, Canon Veronica Hydon, and the laying of a wreath which had been made for the occasion by the children of Rainow Primary School.

The event was organised by Cllr Alan Williams, chairman of Macclesfield and Bollington British Legion, who had also arranged the thorough cleaning of the grave stone.

As with all military graves in the churchyard, a small Union flag flies over the grave at all times.

James Robertshaw survived the battle at Waterloo and lived out his life in Bollington Road, Bollington Cross. He died suddenly at Prestbury railway station on 22nd January 1859, aged 66 years.

A detailed history of James Robertshaw’s life has been researched and written by Ian Walker and published in The Waterloo Journal by the Waterloo Association, Vol.41 No.3 Autumn 2019, page 5.

Family tree.

An act of remembrance was held at the graveside on 19th June 2015, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
The relevant part of the lettering on James Robertshaw’s gravestone, together with the wreath made by the children of Rainow Primary school.

The lettering says:

“Also the above James Robertshaw of Bollington Cross who died suddenly at the Prestbury Railway Station on the 22nd Jan 1859 aged 66 years.

“He served his country faithfully on the field of Waterloo when many of his brave companions in arms fell around him.”

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