Carluke’s Waterloo soldier stars in BBC documentary

Dixon Vallance...played by actor Scott Reid (BBC picture)
Dixon Vallance...played by actor Scott Reid (BBC picture)

A CARLUKE soldier who fought at Waterloo is one of the subjects of a BBC 2 documentary this Tuesday, June 16, at 9pm.

And it would be interesting to know if the soldier, Dixon Vallance, has any family still living in the area.

Waterloo is one of history’s bloodiest and most decisive battles. In the run-up to its 200th anniversary this coming week a new BBC Scotland docudrama reveals the role played by Scottish soldiers.

In Wellington’s army of 1815, a quarter of officers and many crack regiments were Scottish. Scotland was the most literate nation in Europe, and even the ordinary ‘Jocks’ wrote vivid and dramatic memoirs of the battle.

First-hand accounts from four soldiers are brought vividly to life in drama re-enactments with CGI of the battle in the film The Scots at Waterloo.

Among them is the story of 22-year-old recruit Dixon Vallance.

Born in Libberton, Dixon Vallance had signed up for the 79th Cameron Highlanders, which in the wake of the Highland emigration, were now accepting Lowlanders into their ranks.

Dixon’s regiment was reduced to a third of its strength at Waterloo.

But he went on to marry and live out his days in Carluke, where his gravestone in the Old Churchyard can still be seen, proclaiming he was at Waterloo.

The stories in the programme – backed up by research into the personal circumstances of each - unfold over the course of the Waterloo campaign and that extraordinary day of 18th June 1815, showing how Wellington nearly lost, and Napoleon nearly won.

Providing further context of one of world history’s most iconic battles are a range of experts and academics, including Dr Stuart Allan, of the National Museum of Scotland, and social historian Dr Andrew Mackillop, of Aberdeen University.

The Scots at Waterloo is a Scottish Irish co-production by Caledonia TV of Glasgow and Tile Films of Dublin.