Sean’s tribute to battle hero

A Blidworth mum whose ancestor fought in the Battle of Waterloo was interviewed by superstar Sean Bean for a TV documentary marking this week’s 200th anniversary of the conflict.

Christine Dabbs met the big screen heartthrob to talk about her great grandfather four times removed Matthew Clay who fought with distinction in the epic battle.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it when someone called me and said Sean wanted to talk to me about Matthew Clay.

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“They said he had heard about his exploits and he wanted to interview me at the Royal Armouries for a documentary.

“Shaun was a really nice guy and we chatted for a couple of hours.”

The series Sean Bean on Waterloo, a Wavelength Films production starts Sunday 14th June on the History channel.

Matthew Clay was a 19-year-old private with the Scots Guards when he took part in the heroic defence of Hougoumont Farm against an onslaught by French forces during the battle on 18th June 1815.

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The famous rearguard action saved the flank of the Duke of Wellington’s troops and helped ensure the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte - placing Matthew at the centre of one of the key moments in military and European history.

Christine 62, will also join other descendents of Waterloo soldiers at a commemoration ceremony marking the 200th anniversary of Waterloo at St Paul’s Cathedral on 18th June.

Matthew was honoured in 2011, with a plaque on Blidworth War Memorial.

Christine discovered her ancestor had fought at Waterloo after years of researching her family history.

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She said: “He kept a handbook which is one of the best accounts of what happened at the battle.

“Some of the stories are incredible. The day before the battle he says it had been raining and the soldiers were all wet through.

“Then the following day when he went to the stream to get some water it was blood-red from the start of the battle and there were French bodies everywhere.”

“I am very proud and have found out so much about him and what a caring man he was.”

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