This battle gave Wellington his baton of Field-Marshal.

The Honour is borne on the Guidon of the 3rd Hussars.


The battle began on the morning of the 21st of June, 1813.

By sunset, the British were in possession of the town, and the French were in full flight towards Pamplona.

In terms of men, the battle was hardly decisive: the casualties on each side were about 5,000, and 50,000 Frenchmen were able to escape across the Pyrenees to the safety of their own soil.

Yet it was a great victory: the French lost almost everything they possessed; Jourdan lost his baton as a Marshal of France, and Joseph Bonaparte lost all his carriages and treasure wagons, laden with the booty of his brief reign, and more than two million silver dollars, which were spilled along the Pamplona Road.

The losses of the King’s Own Dragoons were small, for the infantry had borne the brunt of the fighting. General Ponsonby’s brigade was not in action until the end of the day when they chased the fugitive French army towards Pamplona.

While many of the British regiments stole and plundered, not a man of the Heavy Brigade touched a heap of silver dollars which they passed on the road. General Ponsonby, therefore, detailed a sergeant-major to collect all the coins his horse could carry; and later, when the brigade returned to Vitoria, the 1,500 dragoons were given five dollars apiece.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 3rd Hussars
  2. The Peninsular War 1808-14 timeline