Barba del Puerco: A tactical engagement with strategic consequences

Wednesday 27th March 2024

St John’s Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, SP2 9NP


Over the winter of 1809/10, Wellington tasked Brigadier ‘Bob’ Crauford’s newly-formed Light Division with providing a screen along the Spanish border while he reconstituted and retrained the bulk of the Army within Portugal. What followed was a masterly demonstration of Crauford’s ‘scientific approach’ to operational readiness – holding vastly superior French forces at bay. This was exemplified at the action at Barba del Puerco, where the rifle demonstrated its utility as a battalion weapon despite its many sceptics – and led to a revolution in infantry tactics.

Ashley Truluck served with Gurkhas, Signals and Army Aviation and has since acted as a Defence Advisor to Government, the Emergency Services and Industry. Chairman/Vice President of the Society of Army Historical Research, he has made a particular study of Wellington and the Light Division, and has led many tours for MOD and The Cultural Experience on these and other themes.

Entrance for members is included in your annual subscription. For non-members, entrance is £10 (cash, card or cheque) at the door.

There is a small car park and lay-by opposite St John’s Place on Lower Road (for approx. 20 cars). Parking is also allowed on single yellow lines on Lower Road after 6pm. Alternative car parking is available at The Clubhouse, Salisbury and South Wilts Sports Club (SP2 9NY) and a pathway connects to St John’s Place.