Major-General the Honourable Sir William Ponsonby KCB, 1815 (c)
Oil on canvas by unknown artist, 1815 (c).
Having initially served with the 83rd Regiment, on 1 March 1798 Ponsonby (1772-1815) joined the 5th Dragoon Guards, becoming Lieutenant-Colonel in 1800. He obtained command of the regiment in February 1803 and advanced to colonel in July 1810. Ponsonby commanded the 5th Dragoon Guards during the Peninsular War (1808-1814) and succeeded to the command of the Heavy Cavalry Brigade after the Battle of Salamanca (1812). He led the brigade at Burgos (1812) and Vittoria (1813) and during the offensive across the Pyrenees.
At Waterloo (1815) he commanded the Union Cavalry Brigade, but rode too far after their charge against Marshal Drouet D'Erlon's I Corps. Ponsoby's horse became mired in mud near the enemy lines and he was killed by Polish lancers during a French counter-attack.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection
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