Project Hougoumont is looking to raise funds to restore this evocative piece of Napoleonic history.
From their announcement:
As some of you may have seen in the June issue of Wargames Illustrated there is a project running to restore the Hougoumont Chateau, which played a pivotal role in the Battle of Waterloo.
Currently there is no memorial on the site dedicated to those British troops who fought in probably the most famous battle in European history.
Part of the projects aim is to pay for 2 x 3mtr high black marble slabs, over 3mtrs wide representing the Hougoumont gates, behind which two life sized bronze figures of Guardsmen closing the gates will be cast. On the face of the gates will be etched in gold names of every British regiment in Wellington’s army.
The other aim of the project is to restore the chateau to its’ original state and the total cost has been estimated at some £6.5 million pounds, of which £2.6 million is required from the UK, with the rest being promised by the Belgian government.
Project Hougoumont is officially recognised by both the Belgian government and Waterloo 200 ( the official British Government organisation overseeing the 200th anniversary of the battle events in 2015).
What the project needs is ‘chosen men’, to sign up and pledge money each year until 2015 to assist in the completion of this project.
If a ‘chosen man (or woman)’ raises a minimum of £100 per year between 2010 and 2015 they will be allocated an A4 page of space on a dedicated roll of honour to be available for all eternity for people to see, and this will be on display at the chateau itself.
The ‘chosen men’ can be individuals but after an idea pitched to the CEO of the project by myself, it could also be from a wargaming club. This would mean little more than £2.00 per week being put towards the yearly total and at the end of the project that wargaming club could have one of the A4 pages dedicated to their club, and they would be eternally linked in the restoration of one of, if not the worlds’ most famous battlefield building.
The breakdown of payments dependant on when someone joins is currently;
Payments are made each year. The first payment will be due in July to September. A 2010 chosen man will pay £100 per annum. A 2011 joiner will pay £120 per annum and a 2012 will pay £150 and so on so that no matter when they join they pay the same amount to become a chosen man. A person joining in 2015 therefore will make one payment of £600.
This is your / your clubs chance to become part of history itself.
Also, I am also extremely proud to announce that the CEO of the project has also accepted an offer from me on behalf of PHOENIX GAMING CLUB, to be given first refusal to run a Battle of Waterloo wargame at the opening ceremony of the Chateau, in 2015. We are extremely honoured to have been accepted to take part in this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity, and should it go ahead, we aim to do wargaming proud.
I have also been asked by the CEO to be the projects point of contact with the wargaming community, and if you can help in any way, or if you wish to sign up to be a chosen man / club please check out the projects website at;
Please could all individuals / clubs alike consider becoming part of this project and help preserve this piece of history for many generations to come.