Waterloo Uncovered is a registered UK charity that combines archaeology with a veterans' support programme. Working in partnership with some of Europe’s top universities, and through the unique perspective of a team comprised of archaeologists, veterans, and serving soldiers, Waterloo Uncovered uses the archaeological excavation of the Battle of Waterloo, to better understand war and its impact on people — and to educate the public about it.
Founders Mark Evans and Charlie Foinette have a shared history. They studied archaeology together at University College London before joining the army. Both chose the Coldstream Guards, the British regiment that played a vital role in the allied victory at Waterloo and continues to see active service across the world today. In their military careers they led men in combat, saw war up close and personal, and felt its impact first hand – on the battlefield and at home.
In 2010, returning from Afghanistan, Mark was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and his friend Charlie was on hand to help. It was Charlie’s powers of persuasion — “If you haven’t seen a Doctor by Monday I’ll bloody drag you there myself” — that set Mark on the way to recovery. It wasn’t quick and, almost four years, later when the MoD began a project to support veterans through archaeology, Charlie thought Mark would be an ideal candidate. They were both amazed by what they discovered — archaeology could help veterans recover and support their transition into civilian life.
This revelation got the friends thinking. Inspired by their shared past and the approaching bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, the notion struck them of combining the worlds they knew so well to create an entirely new kind of social enterprise – a bold new venture to involve serving personnel and veterans in unearthing the secrets of the world’s most famous land battle — Waterloo Uncovered.