World

Britain unveils first memorial to soldiers who fought battle of Waterloo on 200th anniversary

  • Re-enactors dressed as soldiers from the era of the Battle of Waterloo travel on an escalator after attending a memorial unveiling at Waterloo Station in London, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. The new war memorial honours all of the allied forces who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The centrepiece is a giant replica of the reverse of the Waterloo Campaign medal. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Re-enactors dressed as soldiers from the era of the Battle of Waterloo travel on an escalator after attending a memorial unveiling at Waterloo Station in London, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. The new war memorial honours all of the allied forces who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The centrepiece is a giant replica of the reverse of the Waterloo Campaign medal. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bugler Lance Corporal Nick Walkley of the Band of the Welsh Guards salutes after playing the last post alongside the new memorial after it was unveiled at Waterloo Station in London, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. The new war memorial honours all of the allied forces who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The centrepiece is a giant replica of the reverse of the Waterloo Campaign medal. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Bugler Lance Corporal Nick Walkley of the Band of the Welsh Guards salutes after playing the last post alongside the new memorial after it was unveiled at Waterloo Station in London, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. The new war memorial honours all of the allied forces who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The centrepiece is a giant replica of the reverse of the Waterloo Campaign medal. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

  • Re-enactors dressed as soldiers from the era of the Battle of Waterloo travel on an escalator after attending a memorial unveiling at Waterloo Station in London, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. The new war memorial honours all of the allied forces who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The centrepiece is a giant replica of the reverse of the Waterloo Campaign medal. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Re-enactors dressed as soldiers from the era of the Battle of Waterloo travel on an escalator after attending a memorial unveiling at Waterloo Station in London, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. The new war memorial honours all of the allied forces who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The centrepiece is a giant replica of the reverse of the Waterloo Campaign medal. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

Britain has unveiled its first memorial to the thousands of soldiers who fought and died in the battle of Waterloo as the 200th anniversary of the famous victory over the French nears.

Descendants of those who died on the battlefield observed the ceremony Wednesday at London's Waterloo train station. Actors dressed in traditional red coats stood guard during the ceremony.

The battle on June 18, 1815 dealt French Emperor Napoleon a crushing blow.

The 9th Duke of Wellington, a descendant of the military leader who led British troops to victory, helped unveil the monument, quoting from a letter the first Duke of Wellington describing the terrible losses sustained during the battle.

Other descendants also spoke of the hardships their families had endured.