Happy birthday to 200-year-old ‘Waterloo’ tree
A TREE planted to mark England’s victory at Waterloo was being celebrated this week on the battle’s 200th anniversary.
The magnificent Weeping Ash tree was planted by the Whiston family at their home on Clarke Lane in Langley after the Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon.
Marcus Lonyon, who now lives in the house, said the story of the tree has since been passed down from generation to generation.
He posted birthday message on the Macclesfield Express’s Facebook page on June 18 to wish the tree a ‘happy birthday’.
Marcus told the Express: “When the battle was won they held a party at the house and then they planted this tree in the garden.
“It is a weeping ash and it is magnificent.
“I woke up this morning and took a photo of it because it is basically its birthday. I’ve never come across a tree whose birthday you could tell for certain before.”
The 47-year-old said the story about the tree had been passed down from owner to owner over the two centuries since.
Marcus added: “The Whiston family sold the house in around 1900 and told the man they sold it to that the tree had been planted to commemorate the end of the battle.
“Then in 1963, his widow sold the house to us and told us the story.
“So it’s been passed down over the years.”
Around 45,000 men were killed in the battle, which took place in Belgium in 1815 and marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
The French Emperor, Napoleon had escaped exile and was finally defeated by a coalition of British, Prussian, Austrian and Russian forces.
He was again sent into exile and died on the island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean in 1821.
Marcus, who was born in the house, added: “It was a pivotal moment in our country’s history.
“The first light of day I saw was probably from that tree.”
It’s not the only significant tree on his property whose past has come to life for Marcus.
A child evacuated to the house during the Second World War carved his name on another when he was just six years old.
A few years ago he called Marcus out of the blue asking if it is still there. Marcus said: “Of course the tree has grown a lot since then.
“After more than 50 years, the house still manages to surprise us.” ●● HUNDREDS join trek to Waterloo monument White Nancy. See p10.
●● Mark Lonyon and dog Rory stand beneath the tree planted to celebrate the end of the Battle of Waterloo (left)