A Huddersfield arms expert is behind the stunning success of a Battle of Waterloo exhibition.

And such has been the interest in the exhibition 200 years after the famous battle that it may become a permanent feature.

Universty of Huddersfield lecturer Dr Paul Wilcock has lent his expertise and weapons from his collection to the London exhibition and has also been invited to give lectures about the historical significance of the battle.

A French cavalry pistol from the Battle of Waterloo

Dr Wilcock heads the University’s Arms and Armour Research Institute and is noted for his knowledge of historic weapons, including the swords and firearms of the Napoleonic Wars that came to a climax when Britain and her allies – commanded by the Duke of Wellington – were victorious at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.

The bicentenary of the battle was widely commemorated during 2015 and among the many events was an exhibition at the Wellington Arch, a London monument that is administered by English Heritage.

Dr Wilcock loaned a number of Napoleonic period weapons to the exhibition, which opened in April. It was due to close last month, but now the run has been extended to March 2016 and – with changes in the loan objects on show – it might become a permanent fixture, says English Heritage’s Josephine Oxley.

A Heavy Cavalry sabre

She said: “The Waterloo anniversary has triggered a huge amount of interest in the displays at the Wellington Arch and at Apsley House, the Duke’s London home.

“It has been a very busy year at both venues!”

Weapons loaned by Dr Wilcock to the Wellington Arch exhibition included a 1796 heavy cavalry sabre from the 2nd North British Dragoons (Scots Greys), who took part in an ill-fated charge at Waterloo; a French heavy cavalry sabre carried by the French Curassiers; a French cavalry pistol; plus a pistol carried by the Third Light Dragoons, Kings German Legion, who took heavy casualties in the battle.

A Light Cavalry Sabre

In addition to his contribution to Waterloo exhibitions – including a display at the National Army Museum North, based at Bankfield Museum, Halifax – Dr Wilcock has also delivered a sequence of lectures on the battle and its weapons. One was at Apsley House, and the Tower of London was another prestigious venue.

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Dr Wilcock and his Institute colleagues have examined and analysed many swords and other weapons that survive from the Napoleonic Wars, including some from Waterloo itself. The research has led Dr Wilcock to arrive at various conclusions – such as the fact that the French actually had better swords than the British.