The Battle of Hastings as it might have appeared to a soldier in the conflict…
There are few pictures of bedlam more vivid in my life than the chaos I saw on medieval battlefields. None so more committed to memory than that fateful day in 1066. As I would later learn, it was a day that would change the course of England, writing yet another significant chapter in its history.
It all began when our King, Edward the Confessor of England, died in early 1066, leaving no child to succeed him. In the barracks we had heard rumours (later confirmed) that war had broken out among the dukes as they fought for control of the late king’s empire. On January 6, 1066 Harold Godwinson, King Harold, was made King of all England. He defended his claim against all challengers that sought to make England their own.
It was William of Normandy (pictured) on that fateful day in battle, October 14, 1066, that would take England for the Normans.
Marching to Intercept the Invader
We heard news that William had landed his troops at the English shore and was in the process of marching towards London to stake his claim to the throne. Our King got wind of this news and immediately took us – his finest infantrymen – south to fend off William’s army. Although we were walking 40 kilometers a day, it still took us a week to reach him.