The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

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1741 - 54th Foot raised under a Letter of Service dated 3rd January, by Thomas Fowke at Winchester.

1748 - Garrison at Minorca

1751 - 43rd Regiment of Foot

1757 - moved to North American - employed in Nova Scotia, Maine, &c.

1759 - at capture of Quebec and later at Montreal

Plains of Abraham

General Wolfe, who was aboard ship with 4,000 troops in the St. Lawrence above Quebec, made a secret night landing and took up strong positions on the Plains of Abraham. Next morning he was attacked by the French (Montcalm) with about equal numbers. Despite desperate fighting, the French could not carry the position and were driven back into Quebec with a loss of about 1,500. British losses, 664. Both Wolfe and Montcalm were mortally wounded. The French immediately evacuated Quebec. The British victory ensured that North America would be an English continent.

Moved to West Indies, capture of Martinique, Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia - also Havana, Cuba

1763 - England

1774 - Boston, Lexington, Bunker Hill, New York


American troops besieged the town from April 20, 1775, until the British, dominated by enemy artillery from heights, evacuated it on March 17, 1776.

Lexington and Concord

The British commander-in-chief in North America, General Gage, sent 700 troops (Lieutenant-Colonel F. Smith) to destroy an American militia depot at Concord, near Boston. At Lexington, April 19, the British encountered 70 armed minutemen (militia) under Captain John Parker. No official command was given, but the British opened fire, killing eight and wounding ten Americans. This combat started the war. At Concord a British platoon was attacked, suffering 14 casualties. That afternoon the British column was harassed throughout its return march to Boston. Casualties: British, 99 killed, 174 wounded; American, 100 killed, 41 wounded.

Bunker Hill

The Americans were holding Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill on the outskirts of Boston. The 2,000 British finally dislodged the Americans but lost 800 men. The battle polarized the conflict and established "sides." In 'Redcoats and Rebels, The War for America, 1770-1781' by Christopher Hibbert it states on page 53 - "General Howe, leading the main assault in person as he had promised to do and supported by Brigadier Robert Pigot with the 43rd and 52nd foot, found himself on three occasions quite alone, all the staff around him lying dead or wounded."

1776-1781 - New Jersey, Virginia and Carolinas

1781 - Yorktown

Yorktown, on the York River of Virginia, was held by Lord Cornwallis with 7,500 men. On the opposite bank, his troops also held Gloucester. Washington, with 8,845 American troops, and Rochambeau, with 7,800 French, established siege lines around the fortified town on October 6. The Allied heavy siege guns caused great damage. On October 14 British advanced redoubts were stormed, and the Allied guns were moved closer. With the French navy blockading Yorktown, Cornwallis had no hope of reinforcement, and he surrendered the city and his army. Casualties: British, 156 killed, 326 wounded; American, 20 killed, 56 wounded; French, 52 killed, 134 wounded. The battle ended the fighting in America.

1782 - 43rd (or Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot

1783 - England

1794 - West Indies - capture of Martinique and St. Lucia - capture of Guadeloupe

1795 - England

1803 - 17 July - The 43rd (Monmouthshire Light Infantry) Regiment, formed Corps of Light Infantry with 52nd and 95th Rifles - Light Brigade at Shorncliffe, Kent.

1804 - 2nd Battalion - Portugal - raised at Worcester in November, 1804

1807 - Copenhagen - 1st Bn.

The Danes, under a secret clause in the Treaty of Tilsit, planned to put their fleet at Napoleon's disposal. The British navy bombarded the city for four days, after which Lord Cathcart--with 20,000 troops--easily captured the place. The Danish fleet of eighteen ships surrendered.

1808 - 2nd Battalion - Vimiera - 1st & 2nd at Corunna

Vimeiro (21 August 1808)

Wellesley (Wellington), having landed with his expeditionary force the previous month, was marching towards Lisbon. At Vimeiro, 32 miles northwest of the city, he ran into 14,000 French (Junot) who had marched out to stop him. The French lost 1,800 men and thirteen guns in the attempt and were thrown back. British casualties, 720. The French agreed to evacuate Portugal if transported back to France in British ships. This remarkable and short-sighted arrangement gave Napoleon 26,000 veteran troops to use again against the British.

Returned to England

1809 2/43 in Walcheren Expedition  1/43 Portugal - 24th May

Walcheren (28 July - 30 September 1809)

The British sent an expedition of thirty-four warships and 200 transports to capture Antwerp from the French and based the 40,000 troops on malaria-infested Walcheren Island. Under an incapable naval commander (Richard Strachan) and an equally incapable general (Lord Chatham), the campaign never got properly started. In eight weeks the British commanders lost 217 men in action, 7,000 dead from illness and another 14,000 seriously ill.

1810 1/43 Coa and Busaco

Busaco (27 September 1810)

A notable British victory in Spain. The 25,000 British (with 25,000 Portuguese) occupied the heights of Busaco in the face of 40,000 French (Massena). The corps led by Ney and Reynier assaulted the British lines and after a particularly bloody and stubborn battle were beaten off. Casualties: French, 4,500; British, 1,500.

1811 Sabugal, Fuentes d'Onor

Sabugal (3 April 1811)

General Reynier held positions on the Coa River where he was attacked by three divisions under Lord Wellington. The British swiftly forced back the French, who lost about 1,500 men to the British 200.

Fuentes de Onoro (3 - 5 May 1811)

Wellington, with 34,000 men, held a position behind Fuentes de Onoro, which Massena attacked in an attempt to relieve the besieged town of Almeida. He had an equal number of troops and guns, and though he could not take Wellington's lines he retired in good order. Each side lost about 1,500 men.

1812 Ciudad Rodrigo, siege of Badajoz, Salamanca

Ciudad Rodrigo (8 - 9 January 1812) Second Siege

On January 8 Wellington surrounded this walled town, which barred his way to Madrid, and carried it by storm 12 days later. The fighting was fierce and bloody, the garrison of 2,000 inflicting heavy casualties on the British. 1,290 British were killed or wounded, 710 of whom died in the storming (including Generals Craufurd and Mackinnon); French, 300 killed or wounded, 1,500 prisoners and 150 guns.

Badajoz (16 March - 6 April 1812) - Third Siege

On March 17 Wellington surrounded this formidable fortress, garrisoned by 5,000 French, Hessians and Spaniards (Phillipon). With great difficulty breaches were made in the walls and the assault was ordered on April 6. The British lost 3,500 men capturing the town-fortress--they had already lost 1,500 during the siege--and for two days they were completely out of hand, committing terrible atrocities against the inhabitants, who were in fact their allies.

Salamanca (22 July 1812)

Wellington had captured the French-held fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz and was now moving in northern Spain, manoeuvring for an advantage over the French army (Marshal Marmont), also 40,000-strong. Marmont himself brought on the clash at Salamanca, but he was seriously wounded, and Clausel assumed command. The French were mauled, suffering 12,000 casualties before Clausel could withdraw his army. Wellington, who lost 5,000 men, marched for Madrid, but French pressure pushed him back to the Portuguese frontier.

1813 - Vittoria, Pyrenees, siege of San Sebastian, Nivelle, Nive

Vittoria (21 June 1813)

Napoleon's brother Joseph, King of Spain, had evacuated Madrid and fled north, covered by an army of 66,000 under Jordan. Wellington, with 80,000 British, Portuguese and Spanish troops, outflanked Jordan by crossing the Ebro and routed the French with powerful assaults at three different points. The French lost 8,000 men and nearly all their artillery (151 guns, 450 wagons of ammunition) and transport. Allied casualties, 5,000. Napoleon's Spanish adventure was now nearly over, as Wellington prepared to push the French from Spain.

Pyrenees (25 July - 2 August 1813)

The engagements fought between Wellington's generals and Soult's army, which was endeavouring to relieve San Sebastian, are collectively the "Battles of the Pyrenees." They include the actions of Soravren, Roncesvalles, Maya, Santarem and Buenzas. The British losses amounted to 7,300, while the French lost 14,000.

San Sebastian (20 July - 8 September 1813)

The town was besieged by the British (Graham) and defended by a French garrison (Rey). An assault on July 25 was repulsed. Graham sent to England for heavy guns, and the siege turned into a blockade. Operations resumed, and on July 31 the town was taken by storm. Rey still held out in the citadel but, after bombardment, surrendered on September 9. The British lost 2,500 killed or wounded.

Nivelle (10 November 1813)

The French (Soult) were driven from a strong position by the British (Wellington) and retired behind the Nivelle. The French lost 4,265, including about 1,200 prisoners, 51 guns, and all their field magazines. British losses, 2,694, killed and wounded.

Nive (9 - 13 December 1813)

Between 35,000 French, (Soult) and 14,000 British and Portuguese under Wellington. Having crossed the Nive on December 10, Wellington took up a strong position on the heights near the village of St. Pierre. Here he was attacked by Soult, but repulsed him, and occupied the French position in front of the Adour. French losses in this battle and the combats that preceded it exceeded 10,000 men. British losses, 5,019 killed or wounded.

1814 - Toulouse, War of 1812-15 - North America

Toulouse (10 April 1814)

Having forced the French out of Spain, the Duke of Wellington, with 25,000 British and Spanish troops, brought Soult's army of 30,000 to bay at Toulouse. The French easily repulsed a premature Spanish assault, but the British, led by Beresford, drove the French out of the city. Casualties: French, 3,000; British, 2,600; Spanish, 2,000. This was the last battle of the Peninsular War. Napoleon had already surrendered in Paris, and on April 11 he accepted exile on Elba.

1815 - New Orleans, Europe (after Waterloo)

New Orleans (23 December 1814 - 8 January 1815)

The city, held by a garrison of 12,000 Americans under General Jackson, was attacked by a British force of 6,000 under General Keane, aided by the fleet. On December 13 the American warships in the Mississippi were captured and, by December 21, the troops had been disembarked. After a few skirmishes, Sir Edward Pakenham arrived to take command on the 25th, and on January 1, 1815, he launched a determined attack on the American position. This failed, and short of supplies, the British retired. On January 7 the British made another attack and were again repulsed, losing 1,500, including Pakenham. The expedition then withdrew. Peace had already been concluded, but neither side knew of it.

1817 - 2nd Battalion disbanded

England, Ireland, Gibraltar, Portugal, Canada

1823-27 - stationed at Gibraltar

1827-28 - with Army of Occupation in Portugal

1828-30 - stationed at Gibraltar

1831-34 - in England

1835-45 - New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Canada

1846 - England

1848 - south of Ireland

1851 - Cape of Good Hope, Kaffir War

1853 - India

1857-59 Indian Mutiny, Kirwee

1857-58 - India - Bangalore

1858 - India - Punnanh Jungle, Peunghattan Pass, Kirwee, Kampti/Kampthi (Central Provinces), Jaloun, Humeerpore, Hernapore, Calpe, Banda

1860 - India - Calcutta

1861-62 - India - Madras

1862 - Burma - Rangoon

1862-63 - India - Fort William, Bengal - Barrackpore

1863-66 2nd Maori War, New Zealand

1863-64 - New Zealand - Taranga

1863 - New Zealand - Port Lewis, Otahuhu, Ngaruawahia, Auckland

1864 - New Zealand - Wanganui, Te Ranga, Taranaki, Gate Pah (Puke-Hina-Hina), Fort Colville

1866 - June, England

1867 - Portsmouth

1868 - Aldershot

1869 - Jersey

1870 - Ireland - Dublin

1871 - Ireland - Fermoy

1872 - Madras - Ireland, Kinsale, Cork

1873 - Malabar

1875 - India - Cannanore

1876-78 - India - Bellary

Ireland, India and Burma from 1879

1880 - Manchester

1880-81 - Burma - Thayet-Myo

1881 - while in Burma linked with 52nd and became 1st Battalion The Oxfordshire Light Infantry


Monday, 19 September, 2016 13:40

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