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Peninsular War Tours

Imagine the excitement of traveling with a renowned Wellingtonian Historian who has spent the his entire adult life exploring Spain and Portugal in an effort to be the foremost expert on the Peninsular War. In fact, Stephen Drake-Jones IS that person. And you can travel with him to both well known and the obscure sites where history was made and the future of the western world was decided.

To begin planning your tour, please contact the Chairman by email or phone at +34 609 14 3203,

History

The Wellington Society of Madrid was founded by Stephen Drake-Jones on 18 June, 1979. The aim being to bring international attention to the part played by the British Army during the Peninsular War, 1808 – 14 and to take interested parties to the many battlefields in the Iberian Peninsula and South of France, also to lecture on the subject and to make donations of artifacts recovered from sites on official digs and present them to military museums in Spain & Britain.

Peninsular War Battlefield Trips

The Border Campaigns

  • Salamanca – Ciudad Rodrigo – Fuentes de Oñoro – Almeida – Rio Coa
  • + Badajoz – Albuera – Elvas – Almaraz – Talavera de la Reina

Northern Campaigns

  • Somosierra – Burgos – Vitoria – Pamplona – Vera de Bidasoa – San Sebastian
  • + San Marcial – Pasajas – La Rhune – Bayonna – Orthez – Toulouse

Retreat to Corunna

  • Salamanca – Toro – Benavente – Sahagun – Astorga – Bembibre – Villafranca – Lugo – Corunna

The Portuguese Campaigns

  • Lisbon – Belen – Vimiero – Cintra – Rolica – Lines of Torres Vedras – Obidos
  • + Figuera da Foz – Coimbra – Busaco – Oporto

Groups the Chairman has taken to Battlefields & Relevant Sites

  • 100 NATO Officers – a 2 day conference which I gave a lecture at the Royal Military Academy, Salamanca, followed by a half day field trip to relevant sites on the battlefield. The Chairman was presented with NATO plaque with my name inscribed by the senior Spanish General.
  • 25 S.H.A.P.E. (Supreme headquarters of Allied Powers in Europe). 25 officers on a 3 day tour of battlefields and fortresses on the Spanish/Portuguese border. The Chairman was presented with SHAPE´s emblem cum sword.
  • Officers of Grenadier Guards – VIP officers on a 2 day tour of Talavera & Salamanca battlefields
  • Royal Welsh Fusiliers – 30 officers & other ranks on a 4 day tour of Peninsular War battle sites including Salamanca, Fuentes de Oñoro and an evening tour of madrid´s old quarter
  • Royal Engineers – a long weekend at Salamanca with a history tour of the city and the battlefield visit.
  • Military History Society of Ireland – 2 years running for a group of Peninsular War aficionados of the Irish Regiments who fought with Wellington; visits to Pamplona, San Sebastian, Vitoria, Burgos, Badajoz, Albuera, Merida, Talavera, Elvas & Almeida in Portugal
  • BBC – The Chairman was history adviser for the biggest 3 part documentary ´Iron Duke´ (2001). I took the producer & team on an 8 day tour to locations in the Basque Country, Navarra, central Spain and Portugal finally finishing in Lisbon.
  • BBC Radio – 4 45 minute documentary about my travels in Wellington´s footsteps titled ´Forlks of War ´(1989). The Chairman took them to villages where Wellington was, and part of the programme was recorded in houses he stayed at.
  • British Embassy Staff, Madrid signed up for my day trips in the 1980s to Wellington battlefield tours. Very laid back and became a popular event.
  • US study abroad students in Madrid – The Chairman taught for 13 years at US study abroad programmes and we had weekend visits to Toledo, Salamanca, Segovia and other central Spain sites and I always included a Peninsular War activity.
  • College & school groups, England – The Chairman once had 25 6th form students from York and a wonderful 7 day bus tour and visited many Peninsular War sites. Also private groups of as little as 3 couples on 4 day visits.

Donations Made By The Wellington Society

  • Artifacts recovered from battle sites on Official Digs
  • Stratfield Say House – Duke of Wellington´s Residence, Reading – from various battles of the Peninsular War
  • Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Regimental Museum, Edinburgh – from the battle of Talavera, 1811
  • Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum, Tower of London – from the Battle of Albuera, 1811
  • Yorkshire Regimental Museum, York – from the Battle of Corunna 1809
  • 14th/20th King´s Hussars Regimental Museum, Manchester – from the Battle of Talavera, 1809
  • Norfolk Regimental Museum, Norwich – from the battle of Salamanca, 1812
  • Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regimental Museum, Worcester – from various battles of the Peninsular War
  • Ayuntamiento de Albuera, Badajoz – from the battle of Albuera, 1811
  • Ayuntamiento de Arapiles, Salamanca – from the Battle of Salamanca, 1812
  • Diputacion de Salamanca Cultura Museo de Batalla de Arapiles – The Society donated its entire 25mm hand-painted figures of Wellington´s Allied Army. They are now on show at the battle Museum, Arapiles near Salamanca

“The Wellington Society helped us to organise a truly inspirational historical tour of the Peninsular War battlefields. Stephen Drake-Jones was most helpful during the planning stage, giving excellent advice on timings and destinations. When we arrived in Madrid, Stephen’s charismatic approach captured the attention and imagination of the students and helped to set a good-humoured but purposeful atmosphere for the study visit. His expert knowledge of the battlefields, combined with local contacts and his ability to pitch the delivery of the subject matter at the right level meant the students were engaged throughout. The daily quiz that he ran resulted in a frighteningly high level of accuracy in the student responses as they attempted to win one of his prizes. As a group of 25 sixth form students, they learnt a lot about the Peninsular War and they greatly appreciated the culture of central Spain which none of them had visited before.” Rob Williams, Temple Moor High School, Leeds

The Third of May-1808

Vitoria Dragoons on the battlefield

La Torre Mocha

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With the Iron Duke at Salamanca

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Scots Guards on the Battlefield

Salamanca Battlefield