Waterloo's 'Mystery Soldier' Was German Hunchback

Friedrich Brandt fought for the Brits against Napoleon: historian
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2015 5:12 PM CDT
1st Full Remains Identified From Battle of Waterloo
In this June 20, 2010 file photo troops march through a field during a re-enactment of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo in Waterloo, Belgium.   (AP Photo/Virginia May, File)

The first complete skeleton retrieved from the Battle of Waterloo has been identified as a German who wouldn't be allowed in any modern army, the Sunday Times reports via the Independent. The soldier was apparently Friedrich Brandt, 23, who fought 200 years ago in the King’s German Legion of George III against Napoleon's occupation of Britain (actually modern-day Belgium, but then the UK's). Brandt seems to have died from the musket ball found stuck between his ribs, but more interestingly, he was also a hunchback: "He suffered from a curvature of the spine which meant he probably would have been rejected from any modern army in the world," says military historian Gareth Glover. The skeleton was uncovered three years ago by a bulldozer excavating a parking lot near the famous battle site near Brussels.

Alongside the skeleton were 20 French and German coins (about a month's salary) and a piece of wood with initials that looked like "CB." Researchers pegged him as a twenty-something private, but couldn't identify the man until they spotted a barely legible "F" preceding the "CB." Glover then looked up names of soldiers who died in the battle (where tens of thousands perished) and found three Germans with "CFB" initials. One fought elsewhere on the battlefield and one survived, leaving only Brandt. No DNA test could be performed because Brandt has no surviving blood relatives, Inquisitr reports. Weirdly, most other remains of Waterloo soldiers are gone because companies had raided them for farmers' fertilizer, until a British newspaper complained about the practice in the 1860s. (Read about remains of World War II soldiers found in a sealed cave.)

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