The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

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The text below gives a short description of the Regiment's history from 1702 to 1997. Links are provided to other related web sites. The internal links shown above provide more detailed information for the years listed as extracted from "A Short History of The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry", except for World War 2, which is an extract from "The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry" by R.F.K. Goldsmith.


This third marine regiment was raised by Colonel Edward Fox and was also broken at the peace of 1715. It was re-formed at once and was then known by succeeding colonels' names. The regiment saw service at Cadiz and Vigo.


Served in Mediterranean under Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel.

1704 - Capture of Gibraltar.

  • On July 24, 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Gibraltar was captured by combined English and Dutch forces.
    Regiment served under Sir Geroge Rooke.

1705 - Defence of Gibraltar. Colonel Fox killed. Became Borr's Marines. Siege of Barcelona. Lerida.

1706- Balbastro, LIsbon, Alicante, Almanza.

1708 - Minorca.

1709 - Ilse of Crete.

1713 - Treaty of Utrecht. End of the War of the Spanish Succession. Regiment disbanded 9th November.

1715 - Borr's Marines reinstated 25th March as 32nd Foot. Ireland.

1734 - Landed at Bristol from Ireland. Hertford, St. Albans.

1735 - Canterbury.

1736 - Marched to Bristol. Embarked for Ireland.

1739 - Scotland.

1741 - 46th Foot

Colonel James Price of the 1st Foot Guards raised this regiment which was known by his name and that of succeeding colonels' until 1751. (First numbered as 57th Foot, changed to 46th Foot in 1748). Newcastle-on-Tyne, Berwick.

1742-1748 - War of Austrian Succession. - conflict caused by the rival claims for the hereditary dominions of the Habsburg family.

1742 - 32nd at Flanders.

1743 - 32nd at Dettingen. 27th June.

  • During the Battle of Dettingen am Main in Bavaria (June 27, 1743), an army of British, Hannoverians, and Hessians, under the command of George II, king of Great Britain and Ireland and elector of Hannover, defeated the French.

1745 - 32nd at Fontenoy. 46th at Prestonpans on September 21st.

  • At the Battle of Fontenoy in Flanders (May 11, 1745), the French under Marshal de Saxe defeated the Austrians and their allies and began the conquest of the Austrian Netherlands.

  • Charles Edward Stuart, "the Young Pretender" to the throne of Scotland, lands on Eriskay Island, defeats the English at Prestonpans.

  • 32nd were ordered home for the Rebellion in Scotland and landed at Gravesend.

1746 - 46th at Falkirk. 32nd in Scotland, returned to Flanders, Battle of Roucoux.

1747 - 46th at Jersey. 32nd in Battle of Val or Laffeld.

1748 - 46th in Ireland. Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. End of War of Austrian Succession. 32nd at Chelmsford.

1749 - 32nd at Gibraltar.

1751 - Named 32nd Regiment of Foot and 46th Regiment of Foot.

1753 - 32nd in Scotland.

1756-1763 - Seven Years War. - worldwide series of conflicts fought for the control of Germany and for supremacy in colonial North America and India. 2nd Btn. of the 32nd raised. Re-numbered 71st Regiment in 1758. Disbanded 1763.

1757 - 46th in Nova Scotia.

1758 - 46th at Ticonderoga.

  • In 1755 during the French and Indian War, the French built Fort Carillon on Lake Champlain. The fort withstood a major British attack in 1758, but was captured (1759) by the British under General Jeffrey Amherst and renamed Fort Ticonderoga.

1759 - 46th at Fort Niagara July 23rd.

1760 - 46th engaged against the French in Canada.

1761 - 46th in Barbadoes.

1762 - Capture of Martinique. 46th took part in capture of Martinique and town of Havannah, Cuba.

1763 - 32nd at St. Vincent and 46th in Canada. (St. Vincent).

  • The Treaty of Paris in 1763 ceded St. Vincent to the English.

1767 - 46th in Ireland.

1773 - 32nd in Wells, Bath.

1774 - 32nd in Salisbury.

1775 - 32nd to Ireland. Wreck of the Rockingham Castle, a transport carrying three companies and the regimental records.

1776-1782 - American Revolutionary War.

1776 - 32nd in Cork, Clonmel, Waterford.

1777 - 46th at Brandywine Creek and Paoli. Capture of Brooklyn. 32nd in Dublin.

  • Brandywine, engagement of the American Revolution, fought on September 11, 1777, near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, about 40 km (about 25 mi) southwest of Philadelphia.

  • On the night of September 20-21, 1777, in what is now the Borough of Malvern, Chester County, Pennsylvania, American soldiers under the command of Brigadier General Anthony Wayne were attacked and put to the bayonet by British soldiers under the command of Major General Charles Grey.

1778 - 46th at Philadelphia. New York. Barbadoes. St. Lucia - 18th December.

1780  - The Crown Forces in Dungarvan

1782 - 46th at St. Lucia.

1782 - Named 32nd (or Cornwall) Regiment of Foot and 46th (or South Devonshire) Regiment of Foot.

1783 - 32nd at Gibraltar. 46th at Plymouth.

  • During the European phase of the American War of Independence, the Spanish, who had entered the conflict against the British, imposed a stringent blockade against Gibraltar as part of an unsuccessful siege that lasted for more than three years (1779-83). On September 14, 1782, the British destroyed the floating batteries of the French and Spanish besiegers. In February 1783 the signing of peace preliminaries ended the siege.

1784 - 46th in Ireland. The Crown Forces in Dungarvan

1792 - 32nd in Barbadoes and 46th at Gibraltar.

1793 - 32nd at Jersey.

1793-1802 - French Revolutionary War.

1794 - 32nd at Plymouth. 46th in West Indies, Martinique.

1795 - 46th at St. Vincent figting against Caribs. 32nd at Cork, Spike Island.

1796 - 32nd at St. Domingo (Hayti). 46th at Portsmouth.

1797 - 32nd at New Providence (Bahamas). 46th at Doncaster, York, Henley, Warminster, Poole, Plymouth.

1800 - 32nd at Abingdon (Berks.), Launceston, Bridgwater. 46th in Ireland at Fermoy, Limerick, Cork.

1801 - 32nd at Dundalk, Kilkenny.

1802 - 32nd at Dublin (employed suppressing rebellion), Enniskillen.

1803-1815 - Napoleonic Wars.

1804 - 32nd at Longford, Curragh. 2nd Battalion raised at Launceston. Disbanded in 1814.

1805 - 46th at Barbadoes. Dominica - 2nd February. 32nd at Bandon, Monkstown, Kinsale.

1807 - 32nd at Portsmouth, Expediton to Copenhagen, Gosport.

1808 - 32nd at Gibraltar, Sicily, Cadiz. Landed at Mondego Bay in portugal. Rolica - 17th August, Vimiera - 21st August.

1809 - 32nd at Corunna - 16th February then returned to England. Walcheren Expedition. 46th capture Island of Martinique.

1810 - 32nd at Portsmouth, Hailsham, Bexhill, Guernsey. 46th in Expedition against Island of Guadaloupe.

1811 - 32nd at Lisbon. Joined Wellington's Army. 46th at Liverpool, Markced to Kingsbridge.

1812 - 32nd at Salamanca - 22nd July. Siege of Burgos. Retreat on Portugal. 46th at Jersey.

1813- 32nd in Advance through Spain. At Pyrenees - 28th July, Nivelle - 10th November, Nive - 12th December. 46th at Isle of Wight.

1814 - 32nd  at Orthes - 27th February. Peninsula. Bordeaux. Ireland. Middleton. Fermoy. Cork. 46th to New South Wales.

1815 - 32nd at Netherlands. Brussels. Quartre Bras - 16th June and Waterloo - 18th June. The 32nd, under Lieutenant-Colonel John Hicks, were placed in General James Kempt's Brigade in Sir Thomas Picton's Fifth Division. Paris.

1816 - 32nd at Sheernes, Channel Islands, Portsmouth.

1817 - 32nd to Ionian Islands.

  • Ionian Islands, group of islands, western Greece, forming an administrative region, in the Ionian and Mediterranean seas. In 1814 the islands became a British protectorate.

1818 - 46th at Vellore, Madras, Occupation of Hyderabad.

1820 - 46th at Bellary.

1824 - 46th engaged in suppressing an insurrection at Fort of Kittoor.

1825 - 32nd at Devonport, 46th at Cannanore.

1826 - 32nd at Plymouth Citadel, North of England.

1827 - 32nd at Parsontown. Limerick.

1828 - 32nd at Kilkenny.

1829 - 32nd at Dublin. 46th at Secunderabad.

1830 - 32nd in Quebec, Canada.

1832 - 46th at Masulipatam.

1833 - 46th in England - Canterbury. Returned to England on the Robarts.

1834 - 46th at Weedon.

1835 - 46th in Ireland - Newry, Belfast.

1836 - 46th at Enniskillen. Dublin.

1837 - 32nd were at Montreal, Lower Canada under the command of the regimental Lieutenant-Colonel, the Honourable John Maitland. January, 1838 - Kingston, Toronto, New London, Upper Canada. November, 1838 - Amherstberg, Upper Canada. 1839 - New London, Upper Canada. 1840 - New London, Toronto, Upper Canada. The 32nd Foot moved from Toronto to Quebec in July, 1841 where they embarked on the transport Apollo and landed at Portsmouth on 17 September.

  • 23 Nov 1837 - The Battle of St. Denis

  • 14 Dec 1837 - The Battle of St. Eustache

1838 - 32nd at Kingston and New London. Engaged against American Brigands.

  • 26 Feb 1838 - 3 Mar 1838 - 32nd and 83rd Regiments and the Essex Militia routed Republicans who occupied Pelee Island in Lake Erie. In Amherstburg is a monument that reads "This monument is erected by the inhabitants of Amherstberg in memory of Thomas McCartan, Samuel Homes, Edwin Miller, and Thomas Symonds, of H. M. 32nd Reg. of Foot, and of Thomas Parish of the St. Thomas Volunteer Cavalry, who gloriously fell in repelling a band of brigands from Pelee Island on the Third of March, MDCCCXXXVIII."

1839 - 46th at Gibraltar.

1840 - 32nd at Toronto.

1841 - 32nd at Montreal, St. Helens, Portsmouth.

1842 - 32nd at Leeds, Manchester. 46th at Barbadoes.

1843 - 46th at St. Vincent.

1844 - 32nd at Dublin, Mullingar, Athlone.

1845 - 46th at Halifax. Nova Scotia. Montreal.

1846 - 32nd at Fermoy. India. 46th at Kingston, Jamaica.

1847 - 32nd at Meerut. 46th at Nova Scotia.

1848-1849 - The Second Sikh War.

1848 - 32nd at Ambalia. Ferozepore. Siege of Mooltan - September, 1848 to 21st January, 1849. 46th in England - Dover, Liverpool, Chester.

1849 - 32nd at Cheniote, Goojerat - 21st February, Punjaub. Jullunder.

1850 - 46th at Hull.

1851 - 46th at Preston.

1852 - 32nd in Peshawar. Field Service in the Rannazgce Valley. 46th at Manchester. Belfast.

1853 - 32nd at Kussowlie. Subathu. 46th at Dublin. Kilkenny.

1854 - 46th in The Crimean War. Alma. Balaklava. Inkerman.

1855 - 46th at Sebastopol - 9th September. British Army in the Crimea, July, 1855 included 4th Division (Bentinck), 2nd Bde (Garrett) 46th, 48th, 68th, 1st Bn Rifle Bde.

1856 - 32nd at Lucknow. One company at Cawnpore. 46th at Corfu.

1857 - 32nd in Indian Mutiny. Cawnpore massacre - 15th July.  Battle of Chinhut. Defence of Lucknow. Residency commenced 30th June. Reinforcement by Outram and Havelock, 25th September. Final relief by Sir Colin Campbell, 17th November.

  • At Lucknow, during the Sepoy or Indian Mutiny (1857-1859), a British force was besieged for 12 weeks until reinforcements arrived. 4 V.C.s were won by the Regiment at Lucknow.

1858 - Named 32nd (Cornwall) Light Infantry. 32nd on Field service in Oudh and the Doab. 46th in India at Karachi.

During the early 19th century it became the practice to grant, as an honour, the much coveted title of 'Light Infantry', to regiments which particularly distinguished themselves in action. The 32nd Foot was granted this distinction in 1858 after the Indian Mutiny. This brought changes to the uniform that included the green horse-hair plume, the whistle and chain for the sergeant, and buglers instead of drummers. The bugle badge was now worn.

1859 - 32nd at Rai Bareilly. Allahabad. Chinsura. Embarked at Calcutta for England, 28th March. Disembarked at Portsmouth. Inspected by Queen Victoria 26th August. Dover. 46th in India at Mooltan.

1860 - 32nd at Aldershot. 46th at Jullunder.

1861 - 32nd at Plymouth Citadel.

1862 - 32nd at Devonport. 46th at Cawnpore.

1863 - 32nd at Curragh. Dublin. 46th at Shahjahanpore.

1864 - 32nd at Curragh. Waterford. Kilkenny.

1865 - 32nd at Curragh. Gibraltar. 46th at Lucknow.

1866 - 32nd at Mauritius.

1867 - 46th at Cawnpore. Allahabad. Jubblepore.

1868 - 46th at Poona. England - Isle of Wight and Winchester.

1869 - 32nd at Cape Colonly. Fort Beaufort. Grahamstown. 46th at Portsmouth.

1870 - 32nd at Pietermaritzburg and King William's Town. 46th at Winchester. Aldershot.

1871 - 32nd at Mauritius and King William's Town. 46th at Aldershot.

1873 - 46th at Chatham. Dublin.

1874 - 46th at Curragh. Birr.

1875 - 46th at Curragh. Limerick.

1876 - 46th at Bermuda.

1877 - 32nd and 46th become linked battalions. Bodmin Barracks opens as Regimental Depot. 32nd in England - Tregantle Fort. Devonport.

1879 - 46th at Portland. Jersey.

1880 - 32nd at Gibraltar. 46th at Aldershot.

1881 - The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

'Light Infantry' distinction incorporated into the Regiment's name when the system of numbering regiments was discontinued in the Cardwell reforms of the British Army in 1881. The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry was formed by linking the 32nd (Cornwall) Light Infantry Regiment with the 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment. The 32nd became the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and the 46th became the 2nd Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. The Royal Cornwall Rangers Militia (raised in 1760) became the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion. The two Cornwall Rifle Volunteers battalions became the 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions.

1882 - 1st. Bn. at Devonport. 2nd Bn. Egypt. Reconnaissance at Kafr Dower, Engagements of El-Magfar, Tel-el-Mahuta, Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir - 13th September. Egypt, 1882. Cairo. Alexandra. Part of a force assigned to Sir Garnet Wolseley for the chastisement of Arabi Pasha.

1883 - 1st Bn. at Cork.

1884/5 - 1st Bn. at Dublin. 2nd Bn. Cairo. Nile Expedition, was part of the River Column of the Nile Expeditionary Force, under General Earle, which left Korti on the Nile, December 1884, to traverse the rapids and advance south into the Sudan to relieve Gen. Gordon in Khartoum. As one arm of the British forces sent south, they engaged a Dervish army at Kirkekan on 10 Feb, 1885 and defeated them, although Gel. Earle was killed in this action. Upon learning of Gordon's death, the column was forced to retrace its steps in March 1885.

1885 - 1st Bn. at Malta.

1886 - 2nd Bn. at Devonport.

1888 - 1st Bn. India - Bellary and Madras. 2nd Bn. at Plymouth.

1889 - 2nd Bn. at Pembroke Dock.

1890 - 1st Bn. at Mandalay.

1891 - 1st Bn. in Burma. Wunthoo Expedition. 2nd Bn. at Dublin.

1893 - 1st Bn. at pur. Roorkee.

1894 - 1st Bn. at Chakrata. Meerut. 2nd Bn. at Newry.

1895 - 1st Bn. at Chakrata. Meerut.

1896 - 1st Bn. at Lucknow.

1897 - 1st Bn. at Rawal Pindi (Reserve Brigade Tirah Expeditionary Force), Bara Valley. (3rd Brigade Tirah Expeditionary Force).

1898 - 1st Bn. at Peshawar. Rawal Pindi. Lucknow. 2nd Bn. at Devonport.

1899-1902 - The South African War.

1899 - The 2nd Bn. marched through Cornwall. The Army Corps, dispatched Oct. - Nov. 1899 included 2nd D.C.L.I. Battle Honours were given to the D.C.L.I. (South Africa 1899-1902), 4th Bn. and 5th Bn.  D.C.L.I. (South Africa 1900-1901). Engagements included Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg and capture of Pretoria.

1900 - 1st Bn. Calcutta. Dum Dum. 2nd Bn. Paardeberg - 18th February.

1901 - 1st Bn. Ceylon, in charge of Boer Prisoners of War. 1/DCLI (under Lt-Col J.H. Verschoyle) arrived Ceylon 1900, to take up garrison duties in the island. At that time, Ceylon "garrison duties" typically implied detachments at Colombo (HQ), Kandy, and Trincomalee. In addition to this (or perhaps in lieu of one of them), a detachment was sent to Diyatalawa to guard the Boers.

1902 - 1st Bn. South Africa. Stellenbosch.

1903 - 1st Bn. at Middleburg. Cape Colony. 2nd Bn. embarked for England at Durban. Crownhill.

1904 - 1st Bn. at Wynberg.

1905 - 2nd bn. at Gibraltar.

1906 - 1st bn. in England, Crownhill.

1907 - 1st Bn. at Woolwich. 2nd Bn. at Bermuda.

1908 - The two volunteer battalions became part of the new Territorial Force. 1st Bn. at Gravesend.

1910 - 2nd Bn. in South Africa.

1911 - 1st bn. at Tidworth.

1913 - 1st Bn. at Curragh. 2nd Bn. at Hong Kong.

1914-1918 - The First World War. (15 Battalions). When war broke out in 1914 there were two regular battalions, one at home and one overseas (the 2nd in Hong Kong) and, two territorial battalions, with the addition of the 3rd (Militia) Battalion which acted as a draft finding unit.  1st Bn. France - 13th August 1914. Belgium and Italy. 2nd Bn. France, 1915. Salonika. Transylvania. Caucasus.

1914 - August, 1st Battalion at Curragh as part of 5th Division.

1915 - At Ypres, April 1915, the 1st Battalion was in the 14th Brigade (Brigadier General G.H. Thesiger) of the 5th Division (Major General T.L.N. Morland). The 2nd Battalion was in the 82nd Brigade (Brigadier General J.R. Longley) of the 27th Division (Major General T.D'O. Snow).

1915 - at the end of 1915 the 2nd and 8th Battalions were at Salonika and remained there for the rest of the war.

The German Offensive First Phase - Battle of St Quinten 21/31 March 1918

At mid day 23rd March 1918 the 1/5th DCLI , less B Coy, was ordered to mount an immediate attack on the village of Verlaines , together with part of the 2/4th Ox & Bucks, and stragglers of various other units. There was no time for reconnaissance or briefings, the composite force moved out of the railway cutting and deployed in battle formation 4000yds from the objective.

7th DCLI was holding this area, and its band played the regimental march as their comrades from the 1/5th deployed. It seems quite remarkable that at that stage in the war that an infantry battalion should have had its Band complete with instruments, right up in the front line.

It was very probably the last time in history that British troops were played into battle.

1919 - 1st Bn. at Ballyshannon. 2nd Bn. in India - Calcutta.

1920 - 1st Bn. at Ballykinlar. 2nd Bn. in Mesopotamia - Nasiriyeh. Kidher. Shattra. Malta. Devonport. Ireland.

1921 - 2nd Bn. Malta. Devonport. Ireland. Hands over keys of Dublin Castle to representatives of Irish Free State. They were the last British unit to leave Dublin and then joined the Army of Occupation on the Rhine.

1922 - 1st Bn. at Aldershot. India - Chakrata. Meerut. Dehra Dun. 2nd Bn. at Tidworth. Silesia. Vossowska. Cologne.

1923 - 1st Bn. at Chakrata.

1924 - 1st Bn. at Lucknow.2nd Bn. at Guernsey and Alderney.

1927 - 1st Bn. at Lebong. Barrackpore. 2nd Bn. at Aldershot.

1928-1941 - 1st Bn. Bareilly, Razmak, Dinapore/Andaman Islands, Lahore.

1922-1939 - 2nd Bn. on home service. Gibraltar, Blackdown, Shorncliffe.

1939-1945 - The Second World War. (7 Battalions)

During World War Two, the regiment saw action in Defence of Escaut, Cheux, Hill 112, Mon Pincon, Noireau Crossing, Nederrijn, Opheusden, Geilenkirchen, Rhineland, Goch, North-West Europe, Gazala, Medjez Plain, St. Abdallah, North Africa 1942-43, Cassino II, Trasimene Line, Advance to Florence, Incontro, Rimini Line and throughout Italy.

1946 1st Battalion - Haifa, Palestine. 2nd Battalion - Greece and Eastern Macedonia

1947 1st Battalion - Cyprus. 2nd Battalion - Greece

1948 1st Battalion - Cyprus, Hargeisa, British Somaliland. 2nd Battalion - Reduced to "Representative Cadre"

1949 1st Battalion - Mogadiscio [sic], Itilian [sic] Somaliland. 2nd Battalion - Reduced to "Representative Cadre"

1950 1st Battalion - Mogadiscio [sic, again], Bordon. 2nd Battalion - Formally amalgamated with 1st Bn. DCLI 9th June 1950

1951 1st Battalion - Bulford, Minden Germany.

1952 1st Battalion - Minden.

1953 1st Battalion - Minden, Plymouth.

1954 1st Battalion - Plymouth, Jamaica, Bermuda, Br. Honduras.
- In the late 1800's, more than two-thirds of Bermuda's Devonshire Parish was commandeered and held by British troops. The last unit to serve there, before the British Army facilities in Bermuda were fully de-commissioned in 1953/54, was the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

1955 1st Battalion - Plymouth, Jamaica, Bermuda, Br. Honduras.

1956 1st Battalion - Plymouth, Jamaica, Bermuda, Br. Guiana.

1957 1st Battalion - Plymouth, Jamaica, Bermuda, Br. Guiana, Bodmin, Osnabruck.

1958 1st Battalion - Osnabruck.

1959 1st Battalion - Osnabruck. Amalgamated with Somerset Light Infantry to form Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry (6th Oct 1959).
Named Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry.

The Somerset Light Infantry (13th Foot, Prince Albert's) and The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry amalgamated on 6 October 1959 to form the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry (SCLI).

1968 - Light Infantry.

The Light Infantry (LI), was formed on Vesting Day 10 July 1968 from the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (51st Foot & 105th Foot), the King's Shropshire Light Infantry (53rd Foot & 85th Foot), the Durham Light Infantry (68th Foot & 106th Foot) and the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry to form the Light Infantry in the Light Division.




Tuesday, 20 September, 2016 10:44

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