George Stimpson

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Who said the Battle of Waterloo was won at Eton?

"The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton" is popularly ascribed to the Duke of Wellington, who was a graduate of Eton College and commander in chief of the British and allied armies at Waterloo. The famous quotation is really only a polished-up version of what the Iron Duke said. Ten years after the Battle of Waterloo, while watching a cricket match at Eton, the Duke of Wellington was overheard to say: "The battle of Waterloo was won here." Of course, the man who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo did not mean literally that Eton men had won the battle. He meant merely that the games and sports at British colleges developed those qualities in men that [page 57] made good soldiers. Most of our popular games and sports are merely mimic warfare. Incidentally, the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon never met personally, although they were once within a quarter of a each other during the Battle of Waterloo. Eton College, one Of the oldest and most famous schools in England, was founded about 1440 during the reign of Henry VI.