Man of Albuhera statuette

artefact

Silver statuette of a period soldier on a plinth titled, ‘The man of Albuhera’. The Battle of Albuhera was fought on 16th May 1811, during the Peninsula War.

This statuette depicts a typical soldier of the 57th Regiment of Foot, later know as the Middlesex Regiment, who fought at the Battle of Albuhera:

The 57th formed the centre of the Brigade that came up on the left of the 31st, in place of the Spaniards. For four hours, they withstood a terrible pounding by grapeshot as they engaged the French masses at very close range, never budging except to close ranks, always on their feet. Colonel Inglis, their commanding officer, was shot through the lung. Refusing to have his wound dressed, he lay propped on an arm in front of his lacerated Colours and kept exhorting his men, ‘Die Hard, 57th, Die Hard!’. Ninety-nine men did die, whilst 333 lay wounded out of a total of 600. Marshal Soult wrote of the British Army at Albuhera, ‘There is no beating these troops. They were completely beaten, the day was mine and they did not know it and would not run’. The Middlesex were granted the honour of wearing the name ‘Albuhera’ on their cap badge.

There is a large Regimental Memorial at Albuhera unveiled by the Duke of Wellington in 1997.