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Title: British Regiments at the Front, The Story of Their Battle Honours

Author: Reginald Hodder

Release date: January 18, 2014 [eBook #44701]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Brian Coe and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This book was
created from images of public domain material made available
by the University of Toronto Libraries


The Daily Telegraph



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The Author wishes to express his indebtedness to Mr. J. Norvill for his valuable assistance and suggestions.




"The Rusty Buckles."

The 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) got their name of "The Bays" in 1767 when they were mounted on bay horses—a thing which distinguished them from other regiments, which, with the exception of the Scots Greys, had black horses. Their nickname, "The Rusty Buckles," though lending itself to a ready explanation, is doubtful as to its origin; but one thing is certain that the rust remained on the buckles only because the fighting was so strenuous and prolonged that there was no time to clean it off.

"The Royal Irish."

The 4th Dragoon Guards received this title in 1788, in recognition of its long service in Ireland since 1698. The regiment also has the name of the "Blue Horse" from the blue facings of the uniform.

"The Green Horse."

The 5th Dragoon Guards were given this name in 1717 when their facings were changed from buff to green. Some time later, after Salamanca, they were also called the "Green Dragoon Guards."

"Tichborne's Own."

The 6th Dragoon Guards, or Carabiniers, have been known as "Tichborne's Own" ever since the trial of Arthur Orton, as Sir Roger Tichborne had served for some time in the regiment. The name of "Carabiniers" has distinguished them ever since 1692, when they were armed with long pistols or "carabins." With these weapons they did signal work in Ireland in 1690-1.

"Scots Greys."

This regiment, the 2nd Dragoons, has been known by many names: "Second to None," "The Old Greys," "Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons," (in 1681, when they were commanded by the famous Claverhouse); "The Grey Dragoons" in 1700, the "Scots Regiment of White Horses," the "Royal Regiment of North British Dragoons" in 1707, the "2nd Dragoons" in 1713, and the "2nd Royal North British Dragoons" in 1866.

Associated with them and all their different names is the memorable cry of "Scotland for ever"—that wild shout they raised as they charged the French infantry at Waterloo. At Ramillies they captured the colours of the French Régiment du Roi and by this gained the right to wear grenadier caps instead of helmets. "Bubbly Jocks" is a nickname frequently used among themselves—a name derived from the fact that their dress in its general effect is not unlike that of the "Bubbly Jock" or turkey cock.

"Lord Adam Gordon's Life Guards."

The 3rd Hussars received this nickname from the fact that when Lord Adam Gordon commanded the regiment in Scotland he kept it there for such a long time—"for life" so to speak. When it was raised, in 1685, the regiment was called "The Queen Consort's Regiment of Dragoons." In 1691 it was known as "Leveson's Dragoons." In the time of the George's it was called variously "King's Own Dragoons" and "Bland's Horse." In 1818 it was made a "Light Dragoon" regiment, and it was not until 1861 that it became Hussars.

"Paget's Irregular Horse."

The 4th Hussars received this title on its return from foreign service, when it was remarked that its drill was less regular than that of the other regiments. In 1685 it was called the "Princess Ann of Denmark's Regiment of Dragoons." Like the 3rd it was formed into a regiment of Hussars in 1861.

"The Red Breasts."

The 5th Lancers, or Royal Irish, are called "Red Breasts" because of their scarlet facings. In 1689 they were known as the "Royal Irish Dragoons," having been raised to assist at the siege of Londonderry in 1688. They became the "5th Royal Irish Lancers" in 1858. This regiment has also been called the "Daily Advertisers," but the derivation of this name is somewhat obscure.

"The Delhi Spearmen."

The 9th Lancers received this name from the rebels of the Indian Mutiny, against whom they used their long lances with such deadly effect. In 1830 they were known as the "Queen's Royal Lancers," and "Wynne's Dragoons."

"The Cherry Pickers."

The 11th Hussars were dubbed "Cherry Pickers" because some of their men during the Peninsular War were taken prisoners in a fruit garden while supposed to be on outpost duty. They are known also as "Prince Albert's Own" from the fact that they formed part of the Prince's escort from Dover to Canterbury when he arrived in England in 1840 as the late Queen's chosen Consort. One hears them sometimes referred to as the "Cherubims," from their crimson overalls, busby bag, and crimson and white plume.

"The Supple 12th."

It was at Salamanca that the 12th Lancers received this honoured name, because of their dash and rapid movements.

"The Fighting 15th."

It was at Emsdorf that the 15th Hussars won this name, and their feat of arms on that field gained them the privilege to wear on their helmets the following inscription: "Five battalions of French defeated and taken by this Regiment with their colours and nine pieces of cannon at Emsdorf, 16th July, 1760." In 1794, at Villiers-en-Couché, they charged with the Austrian Leopold Hussars against vastly superior numbers to protect the person of the Austrian Emperor. In recognition of this the then Kaiser presented each of the eight surviving officers with a medal. In 1799 they received the Royal honour of decking their helmets with scarlet feathers. The "Fighting 15th" are also known in history as "Elliot's Light Horse."

"The Dumpies."

The 20th Hussars, together with the 19th and 21st, received the name of "Dumpies" from the fact that the regiment when formed of volunteers from the disbanded Bengal European Cavalry of the East India Company were short and dumpy. Though nowadays there is many a giant among the 20th, the name of "Dumpies" still survives.

"The Mudlarks."

The Royal Engineers received this name from the nature of their ordinary business in war. In 1722 they were called the "Soldier Artificers Corps"; and, in 1813, "The Royal Sappers and Miners."

"The Gunners."

The Royal Artillery have held this name from their regular formation in 1793. Formerly, after the rebellion in Scotland, they were known as the "Royal Regiment of Artillery," and, though not in any way formed into a regiment, they date still further back, one might say even to the early days when guns were made of wood and leather. That was before 1543, when the first gun was cast in England. In 1660 the master gunner was called the "Chief Fire Master". The Honourable Artillery Company was founded in 1537 and is the oldest Volunteer Corps in Great Britain.

"The Sandbags."

The Grenadier Guards gained this peculiar name from their special privilege of working in plain clothes for wages at coal or gravel heaving, and for this same reason they were often called "Coalheavers." They seem to have got this name in Flanders, where they excelled at trench work. Another of their nicknames is "Old Eyes." In 1657 they were known as the "Royal Regiment of Guards," and in 1660 as the "King's Regiment of Guards."

"The Coldstreamers."

The Coldstream Guards received their name in 1666 when Monk marched them from Coldstream to assist Charles II to regain his throne. They have been called the "Nulli Secundus Club," in memory of the fact that Charles, before he hit on the name "Coldstream Guards," wished to call them the "2nd Foot Guards," a thing to which they strongly objected, saying that they were "second to none."

"The Jocks."

The origin of this name for the Scots Guards is obvious. History is a little uncertain about their record, as their papers were burnt by accident in 1841; but this is certain, that they were raised as Scots Guards in 1639 and were called later the "Scots Fusilier Guards" and the "3rd Foot Guards," after which, in 1877, they resumed the name of "Scots Guards."

"Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard."

This strange nickname of the Royal Scots Regiment is based on an equally strange story. As long ago as 1637, when most other regiments were as yet unborn, a dispute arose between the Royal Scots and the Picardy Regiment on the point of priority in age. The Picardy Regiment claimed to have been on duty the night after the Crucifixion. But the Royal Scots met this with a withering volley. "Had we been on duty then," they said, "we should not have slept at our post." This incident caused some wag to dub the Royal Scots "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard," and the name has stuck to them ever since. There is another tradition that this regiment represents the body of Scottish Archers, who for many centuries formed the guard of the French Kings. It fought in the seven years' war under Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, and was incorporated in the British Army in 1633. Since then, whenever war has been declared, every man of "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard" has been among the last to stay at home.

"The Lions."

The Royal Lancaster Regiment bears upon its colour the Lions of England, disposed, as in Trafalgar Square, one at each quarter. This distinction was given them by the Prince of Orange, as they were the first regiment to join him in 1688 when he landed at Torbay. They have also been called "Barrell's Blues" from their Commander and their blue facings. They received the title of "King's Own" from George I., in 1715, and our late King Edward became their Colonel-in-Chief in 1903. Our present King is now the Colonel-in-Chief.

"Kirke's Lambs."

The Royal West Surrey Regiment (The Queen's) derived this name from Kirke and from the Paschal Lamb in each of the four corners of its colour. The name has also an ironical derivation from the fact that they were employed to enforce the cruelties of "Bloody Judge Jeffreys." Another nickname of theirs is the "First Tangerines," because they were raised in 1661 as the "Tangiers Regiment of Foot," for the purpose of garrisoning Tangiers, at that time a British possession. John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, began his career in this Regiment. Another nickname, "Sleepy Queen's" is derived from a slight omission of theirs at Almeida, when, through some oversight, they allowed General Brennier to escape. But they have so far lived this down that now, ut lucus a non lucendo, they are called "sleepy" because they are always very wide awake.

"The Shiners."

The Northumberland Fusiliers deserve that name because they are always so spic-and-span. They also deserve the name of "Fighting Fifth" because they have many a time proved their right to it. At the battle of Kirch Denkern (1761) they captured a whole regiment of French infantry, and, in the following year, at Wilhelmsthal, they took twice their own number prisoners. They have also the name of "Lord Wellington's Body Guard" because, in 1811, they were attached to Headquarters. Another name is "The Old and Bold." On St. George's day the "Fighting Fifth" wear roses in their caps, but the origin of this is not clear, unless it may be that one of their badges is "St. George and the Dragon," and another "The Rose and Crown." They also wear the white feathers of the French Grenadiers on the anniversary of the battle of La Vigie, when Comte de Grasse attempted to relieve the Island of St. Lucia in the West Indies. On that occasion the "Old and Bold" took the white plumes from the caps of their defeated opponents, the French Grenadiers. To-day, the white in the red and white hackle now worn by them refers back to that terrible death-struggle. The 5th is the only foot regiment which has the distinction of a red and white pompon. It is worth recording here that they formed part of a force which repulsed overwhelming numbers of the enemy on the heights of El Bodon (1811) during the investment of Ciudad Rodrigo. The Iron Duke spoke of this achievement as "a memorable example of what can be done by steadiness, discipline and confidence."

"The Elegant Extracts."

The word sounds like a fashionable chemical compound, but its real meaning is derived from the fact that the officers of the Royal Fusiliers—except 2nd Lieutenants and Ensigns, of which at the time they had none—were "extracted" from other corps. In the eighteenth century they were known as the "Hanoverian White Horse." Those who have lived to remember the Crimean War will remember also that brave song, "Fighting with the 7th Royal Fusiliers"—a song which became so popular that the regiment could have been recruited four times over had it been necessary.

"The Leather Hats."

The King's (Liverpool) Regiment gained their name from their head-gear. They were raised by James II. in 1685. In the American War an officer and 40 men of the "Leather Hats" captured a fort held by 400 of the enemy. It is interesting to know that this regiment has an allied regiment of the Australian Commonwealth—the 8th Australian Infantry Regiment.

"The Holy Boys."

The Norfolk Regiment has had this name ever since the Peninsular War. In that campaign the Spaniards, seeing the figure of Britannia on the cross-belts of the 9th, thought that it was a representation of the Virgin Mary. There is another story to the effect that they derive their name from their reputed practice of selling their Bibles to buy drink during the Peninsular War. But this I do not believe. Another name for them is the "Fighting Ninth"—a title which no one can refuse to believe. Their bravery at the siege of St. Sebastian might alone justify it.

"The Springers."

The Lincolnshire Regiment received this nickname during the American War because they were remarkable in their readiness to spring into action when called upon. It was the first infantry regiment to enter Boer territory during the late South African War. Their other name of "Lincolnshire Poachers" has no satisfactory derivation.

"The Bloody Eleventh."

There are two stories to account for this nickname of the Devonshire Regiment. One is that at Salamanca they were in a very sanguinary condition after the battle. The other is that when they were in Dublin in 1690 the regiment's contractor supplied bad meat, on which they swore that if he did so again they would hang the butcher. There was no improvement in the meat, so they hanged the delinquent in front of his own shop on one of his own meat-hooks. It is no doubt the first story that is the true one. Another name for the Devonshires is "One and All." It was a man in this regiment who wounded Napoleon at Toulon in 1793.

"The Old Dozen."

The Suffolk Regiment won glory for itself at the siege of Gibraltar. It also behaved with the greatest gallantry at Minden, and that is why on the 1st of August (Minden Day) the "Old Dozen" parade with a rose in the head-dress of each man. In connection with this they are also called the "Minden Boys."

"The Peacemakers."

The Bedfordshire Regiment were first known as the "Peacemakers" because at that time there were no battles on its colours. For the same reason no doubt they were also called "Bloodless Lambs." Another nickname of theirs is "The Old Bucks"—a title justified by their hard fighting in the Netherlands under William III. and also under Marlborough.

"The Bengal Tigers."

The Leicestershire Regiment gets its name from the Royal Green Tiger on its badge. This distinction was given it for a brilliant achievement in the Nepal War of 1814, when they captured a Standard bearing a tiger. They are also called "Lily Whites," from their white facings.

"The Green Howards."

The Yorkshire Regiment was commanded by Colonel Howard, and has green facings. They are also called "Howard's Garbage," and must not be confused with the 24th Foot, also once commanded by a Colonel Howard, and styled "Howard's Greens."

"The Earl of Mar's Grey Breeks."

The Royal Scots Fusiliers received this name from the colour of their breeches at the time the regiment was raised in 1678. "The Grey Breeks" wear a white plume in their head-dress—an honour bestowed in recognition of their services during the Boer War.

"The Lightning Conductors."

There is some doubt as to how the Cheshire Regiment acquired this name. But it may be connected in some way with the fact that at Dettingen, when George II. was attacked by the French Cavalry, they formed round him under an oak tree and drove the enemy off. In remembrance of this occasion the oak leaf is worn by them at all inspections and reviews in obedience to the wish of George II. when he plucked a leaf from the tree and handed it to the Commander. They are also known as the "Two Twos" from their number, the 22nd. Another of their names is "The Red Knights," because, when recruiting at Chelmsford in 1795, red jackets, breeches and waistcoats were served out to them instead of the proper uniform. This regiment, under the name of the "Soulsburg Grenadiers," was under Wolfe when he was mortally wounded at Quebec.

"The Nanny Goats."

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers are known as "Nanny Goats" or "Royal Goats" because they always have a goat, with shields and garlands on its horns, marching bravely at the head of the drum. This has been their custom for over a hundred years. A glance at the back of their tunics reveals a small piece of silk known as a "flash." It has been there ever since the days when its office was to keep the powdered pigtail from soiling the tunic. The King is Colonel-in-Chief of the "Nanny Goats."

"Howard's Greens."

The South Wales Borderers were at one time commanded by a Colonel Howard. It was a company of this regiment which achieved immortal glory at Rorke's Drift, which they defended against 3,000 Zulus. In Africa they gained no less than eight V.C.'s. On the Queen's colour of each battalion may be seen a silver wreath. This was bestowed by Queen Victoria in memory of Lieutenants Melville and Coghill, who died to save the colours at Isandlhwana.

"The Botherers."

The King's Own Scottish Borderers—the only regiment that was allowed to beat up for recruits in Edinburgh without asking the Lord Provost's permission—were called "Botherers," partly on this account and partly by corruption from "Borderers." They bear also the name of "Leven's Regiment," from the remarkable fact that in 1689 they were raised by the Earl of Leven in Edinburgh, in the space of four hours. They are also known as the "K.O.B.s."

"The Cameronians."

The 1st Battalion of the Scottish Rifles are the descendants of the Glasgow Cameronian Guard which was raised during the Revolution of 1688 from the Cameronians, a strict set of Presbyterians founded by Archibald Cameron, the martyr. The 2nd Battalion is known as "Sir Thomas Graham's Perthshire Grey Breeks." It received this name from the fact that when Lord Moira ordered the regiment to be equipped and trained as a Light Infantry Corps, their uniforms consisted of a red jacket faced with buff, over a red waistcoat, with buff tights and Hessians for the officers, and light grey pantaloons for the men. Both battalions now wear dark green doublets and tartan "trews."

"The Slashers."

The Gloucestershire Regiment derives its name of "Slashers" from its achievements in the battle of the White Plains in 1777. There is another story, however, that the name arose from a report that, on one occasion, a magistrate having refused shelter to the women of the regiment during a severe winter, some of the officers disguised themselves as Indians and slashed off both his ears. In Torres Straits there is a reef which is marked on the charts as the "Slashers' Reef" because, after the Khyber Pass disaster of 1842, the "Slashers" were on the way from Australia to India when the transport conveying them grounded on this reef. Their other name of the "Old Braggs" is derived from their Commander, General Braggs, of 1734. In regard to this there is the tradition of an order given by a wag of a Colonel when the "Old Braggs" were brigaded with other regiments with Royal Titles. The order runs:

"Neither Kings nor Queens nor Royal Marines,
But 28th Old Braggs;
Brass before and brass behind;
Ne'er feared a foe of any kind,—
Shoulder arms!"

"The Vein Openers."

The Worcestershire Regiment were dubbed "The Vein Openers" by the people of Boston, (U.S.A.) in 1770, because they were the first to draw blood in the preliminary disturbances before the war. After the Peninsular War they were called "Old and Bold." Another name for them is "Star of the Line," from the eight-pointed star on their pouches—a distinction peculiarly their own. The 2nd Battalion were known as the "Saucy Greens" from the colour of their facings and, presumably, their extreme sauciness.

"The Young Buffs."

The 1st Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment derived their nickname from a peculiar royal mistake. At the battle of Dettingen, King George II., mistaking them for the "3rd Buffs," called out "Bravo Old Buffs!" Being reminded that they were not the "Old Buffs" but the 31st, His Majesty at once corrected his cry to "Bravo, Young Buffs!" and the name has stuck to the battalion ever since. The 2nd Battalion was raised at Glasgow in 1756 and takes its name of "Glasgow Greys" from that and the facings of the uniform.

"The Red Feathers."

The 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry gained their nickname by a signal act of defiant heroism. During the American War of Independence they learned that the enemy had marked them down as men to whom no quarter was to be given. On this the Light Company, wishing to restrict the full force of this threat to themselves, and to prevent others suffering by mistake, stained their plume feathers red as a distinguishing mark. For this fine act they were authorised to wear a red feather, and this honour is perpetuated in the red cloth of the helmet and cap badge and the red pughri worn on foreign service. Their other nickname "The Lacedæmonians" has a dash of grim humour in its origin. During the same war, at the time of all times when the men were under a withering fire, their Colonel made a long speech to them—all about the Lacedæmonians, a brave race enough, but terribly ignorant of rifle fire.

"The Havercake Lads."

The West Riding Regiment (The Duke of Wellington's) is said to have derived its nickname from the fact that the recruiting sergeants in the old days carried an oat cake on the points of their swords. There is a joke among "The Havercakes" as old as their first recruiting sergeant. This enterprising man was in the habit of addressing the Yorkshire crowd as follows: "Come, my lads; don't lose your time listening to what them foot sojers says about their ridgements. List in my ridgement and you'll be all right. Their ridgements are obliged to march on foot, but my ridgement is the gallant 33rd, the First Yorkshire West Riding Ridgement, and when ye join headquarters ye'll be all mounted on horses."

The 2nd Battalion is known as "The Immortals," from the fact that in the Indian wars under Lord Lake every man bore the marks of wounds. They were also called "The Seven and Sixpennies" from their number (76th) and from the fact that seven and sixpence represented a lieutenant's pay.

"The Orange Lilies."

The 1st Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment was named "The Orange Lilies" from their early facings, orange, a mark of favour from William III., in 1701, and the white plume taken from the Roussillon French Grenadiers at Quebec in 1759. They were originally called "The Belfast Regiment" then "The Prince of Orange's Own." The orange facings were replaced by blue in 1832, and the white plumes disappeared in 1810; but the white (Roussillon) plume is still a badge of the Royal Sussex.

"The Pump and Tortoise."

The 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment earned half their nickname from their extreme sobriety and the other half from the slow way they set about their work when actually stationed at Malta. The 2nd Battalion is known as "The Staffordshire Knots."

"Sankey's Horse."

The 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment, under Colonel Sankey in 1707, arrived at Almanza during the battle mounted on mules, hence the term "Sankey's Horse," applied to a foot regiment. They were the first King's regiment to land in India, in memory of which they have for their motto "Primus in Indis." In 1742 the regiment was popularly known as "The Green Linnets" from the "sad green" facings of its uniform. The 2nd Battalion acquired the name of "The Flamers" from their large share in the destruction of the town and stores of New London, together with twelve privateers, by fire in 1781.

"The Excellers."

This name was fastened upon the 1st Battalion South Lancashire Regiment from its number (XL the 40th). It is also known as "The Fighting Fortieth." Until its amalgamation with the 82nd it had the honour of being next to the Royal Scots in the number of battle honours on its colour.

"The 1st Invalids."

The 1st Battalion Welsh Regiment is set down in old Army Lists under this name because it was first raised as a regiment of Invalids, in 1719. In George II's, time it was known as "Wardour's Regiment." The nickname of the 2nd Battalion is a curious play on words—or rather figures. They are called the "Ups and Downs" because their number (69th) reads the same when inverted. The 69th are also called "The Old Agamemnons," a fancy title bestowed on them by Lord Nelson at St. Vincent after the name of his ship, on which a detachment was serving as marines.

"The Black Watch."

The Royal Highlanders won this honoured name from the sombre colour of their tartan some ten years before their Highland Companies were formed into a regiment known as "The Highland Regiment." Its first Colonel, Lord Crawford, being a lowlander, had no family tartan, so, it is said, this special tartan was devised. The bright colours in the various tartans are said to have been extracted, leaving only the dark green ground. The French, under the impression that in their own mountainous country they ran wild and naked, called them "Sauvages d'Ecosse." The red hackle in their bonnets was won at Guildermalsen in 1794.

"The Cauliflowers."

The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment have this nickname from the former colour of the facings of the 1st Battalion. They are also called "The Lancashire Lads." After Quebec the 47th were nicknamed "Wolfe's Own" and to this day the officers of both battalions wear a black worm in their lace gold as a sign of sorrow for their general's death. This is the only regiment that is officially styled "Loyal," the 2nd Battalion having been known prior to 1881 as the 81st (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers).

"The Steelbacks."

This is the name applied to the Northamptonshire Regiment because of the unflinching way in which they took their floggings. While under Wellington in the Peninsular War one, Hovenden, a private, was flogged for breach of discipline. At the twentieth stroke he fainted and this so disgusted his comrades that on his recovery they cut him dead. Much annoyed at this Hovenden marched up to the Colonel and called him a fool, and for this he was ordered to be flogged again. That night the regiment was attacked by the French, and Hovenden, evading the guard, arrived on the battlefield in time to see his Colonel captured by the enemy. With his musket he shot down the captors and then liberated the Colonel and bound up his wounds. After this he returned to make sure of his flogging, but was struck by a bullet and killed.

The Northamptonshires have also the honoured name, "Heroes of Talavera," because they turned the tide of battle on that victorious day.


From a Painting by R Caton Woodville

"The Blind Half Hundred."

The 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment suffered greatly from ophthalmia in Egypt in 1801, hence this nickname. They were called also "The Dirty Half Hundred" because the men, when in action in hot weather, used to wipe their faces with their black cuffs, with obvious results. Another of their names is "The Devil's Royals," and yet another "The Gallant 50th"—this last because at Vimiera, in 1807, 900 of them routed 5,307 of the enemy.

"The Kolis."

The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry derive their name of "Kolis" from their initials. The name often takes the corrupted form of "Coalies."

"The Die-Hards."

The 1st Battalion Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) were styled "Die Hards" from the memorable words of Inglis at Albuera: "Die hard, my men; die hard!"—words which were endorsed by Stanley at Inkerman when he said: "Die hard! Remember Albuera!" The 2nd Battalion are called "The Pothooks," from their number (77).

"The Royal American Provincials."

This distinguished popular name was bestowed on the King's Royal Rifle Corps because they were raised in America.

"The Bloodsuckers."

The Manchester Regiment appear to have acquired this name from general and warlike reasons. The 1st Battalion displayed great courage and steadiness in the defence of Ladysmith. The 2nd Battalion was formerly the "Minorca Regiment" and became part of the Line in 1804 as the 97th (Queen's German) Regiment, becoming later the 96th Foot.

"The Strada Reale Highlanders."

The Gordon Highlanders (92nd and 75th) would propound a riddle to you: What is the difference between the 92nd and the 75th? The answer is that the 92nd are real Highlanders, and the 75th are Real(e) Highlanders.

"The Cia mar tha's."

The Cameron Highlanders owe this nickname to Sir Allen Cameron, who raised the regiment. It was his word to everybody: "Cia mar tha!" (How d'ye do!)

"The Garvies."

The Connaught Rangers are called "Garvies" because their recruits, when first the regiment was raised, were both lean and raw. Now a "garvie" is a small herring.

"The Blue Caps."

At the time of the relief of Cawnpore, a despatch of Nana Sahib was intercepted, containing a reference to those "blue-capped English soldiers who fought like devils." These "Blue-Caps" were the Madras Fusiliers, then a "John Company" regiment, but now the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The name was later stamped in perpetuity by Havelock, at the bridge of Charbagh. The question was put to him by Outram as to who could possibly carry the bridge under so deadly a fire. "My Blue Caps!" replied Havelock, and his faith in them was justified, for they carried it against overwhelming odds. The Bombay Fusiliers (another "John Company" regiment) now the 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers, have an equally distinguished record. They have been known as "The Old Toughs."



(Cadogan's Horse).

The 5th Dragoon Guards were raised by the Earl of Shrewsbury to support James against "King Monmouth" at Sedgmoor. For the same reasons that "Britons never, never will be slaves," they refused, on consideration, to support James, and sided with William, for whom they threw in their weight at the Boyne. They were also at a former siege of Namur, and bore themselves bravely at Blenheim.

The story is told that, after that battle, a Sunday Church parade was called, in which the British army deployed to fire a volley of victory, and Marshal Tallard, who was a prisoner, was reluctantly present on that occasion. After the volley, the Duke of Marlborough turned to Tallard, and asked what he thought of the British army. "Well enough," replied Tallard, shrugging his shoulders, "but the troops they defeated, why, those are the best soldiers in the world!" "If that is so," said the Duke, "what will the world think of the fellows who thrashed them?" All obvious enough, but the Duke would never have slept quietly in his bed if he had left it unstated.

At Salamanca, with the 3rd and 4th Light Dragoons, the 5th Dragoon Guards carved their way through a treble thickness of French army columns, under a heavy fire. For this marvellous achievement "Salamanca" is writ large on their colours.


Motto.—"Vestigia nulla retrorsum."

Battle Honours.—Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Salamanca, Vittoria, Toulouse, Peninsula, Balaclava, Sevastopol, S. Africa 1899-1902, Defence of Ladysmith.

Uniform.—Scarlet, dark green facings, red and white plume.


("Tichborne's Own.")

"It is your sex that makes us go forth to fight….
It is your sex who cherish our memories."

There is not a woman in our vast Empire who has not good cause to regard with admiration and gratitude those noble protectors and terrible avengers of the honour of their sex—the Carabiniers. During the Indian Mutiny—but first a brief word as to their history.

It dates from the time of Monmouth's rebellion, when they were raised by Lord Lumley to support King James. Owing to the fact, however, that Lord Lumley was no supporter of the king's tyrannies, the regiment seceded, and later, when the Prince of Orange landed, threw in their lot with him whole-heartedly. Their title, "The Carabiniers," was bestowed upon them in recognition of the great part they played in the battle of the Boyne, for William had in mind the famous carabiniers of Louis XIV.

In the list of the glories of the Carabiniers is Aughrim. Macaulay says about this occasion: "St. Ruth laughed when he saw the Carabiniers and the Blues struggling through a morass under a fire which, at every moment, laid some gallant hat and feather on the earth." "What did they mean?" he asked, and then he swore it was a pity to see such fine fellows marching to certain destruction. Nevertheless, at the issue of that business, it was he, and his troops, that reaped the destruction.

It was some little time later that the Carabiniers saved the situation for King William at Landen, by an obstinate stand against his pursuers, while he crossed the bridge. As Corporal Trim in "Tristram Shandy" says; "If it had not been for the regiments of Wyndham, (i.e., the Carabiniers) Lumley and Galway, which covered the retreat over the bridge at Neerspecken, the king himself could scarcely have gained it."

In three continents the Carabiniers have fought their way to an exalted fame. At Ramillies they captured the standard of the Royal Regiment of Bombardiers of France. At Malplaquet they measured steel and courage with the formidable Household Brigade of France and came out victorious. And from that time onward their glorious career can be traced through Europe, Asia and Africa in such clear lines that the enemy who runs has read.

But it was during the time of the Indian Mutiny that they performed feats of valour for which we British men, as well as the women, owe them heartfelt gratitude. They were among the reinforcements sent out to stay the terrible tide of massacre and rapine. How they struggled for life and empire at Delhi; repulsed the rebels outside Lucknow with fearful carnage, with loss of their leader; and, finally, when Lucknow had fallen, pursued the rebels with relentless wrath, dealing vengeance with a heavy hand—all this has been written by many pens. It has been the theme to make the driest book most vivid reading. It was the story of stern, ruthless punishment and revenge for the horrible crimes committed by the then unregenerate Sepoy against helpless women and children—crimes of torture, murder, wholesale massacre, and unconceivable outrage.

One has only to remember the horrible atrocities of the Indian Mutiny to acquit the Carabiniers of any charge of undue ferocity; one has only to remember Cawnpore, and the women and the babies, in order to admire their offices of stern, relentless retribution. And all this happened at the very time when all London was celebrating the centenary of the sublime victory of Plassey, and the brilliant acquisition of the Indian Empire under the genius of Clive.

When, at Meerut, on that never-to-be-forgotten Sunday, they pursued the fiends responsible for that awful massacre, the Carabiniers, together with the 60th Rifles drew a very determined line between righteous revenge and feeble long-sufferance; between just wrath, that ever-potential factor in heroic blood: primitive wrath, and its cognate barbarity of act. "Remember the women! Remember the babies!" ran through the ranks on that occasion; and, with one heart and mind, the Carabiniers and the 60th, an avenging host, pursued the rebels, and cut them to pieces, right up to the very gates of Delhi, imprecating as they slew. And well they might be forgiven for that. Never were the lives of the innocent and defenceless so quickly, terribly, yet justly avenged; never has a more awful nemesis from human hands fallen upon the destroyers of women and women's honour. And, remembering all this, we defend it and uphold it, for we know full well that, in this present war, the barbarities and atrocities committed by an unprincipled enemy must again meet with this righteous kind of vengeance. And, if it is the traditional and special aspiration of the Carabiniers of to-day to cry "Remember Louvain! Remember the women and babies of Belgium!" shall we say "Hold and spare!" No! shall we say, "Vengeance is God's: God will repay!" Yes, with all our heart and soul; and what better agency for repayment than that of our noble Carabiniers! They are not of the kind to repay barbarity with barbarity; but they are of the kind to use their swords with singular effect, and like English gentlemen, whose special office it is to wreak proper vengeance to-day as in the past on the destroyers of women and children.

At Gungaree the Carabiniers lost three of their officers, but for this they took a heavy toll. Meeting the rebels three days later, they defeated them completely, taking their leaders prisoners. Again the terrible work began. Hotly they pursued the flying rebels, and put them to the sword without a show of quarter. Rebel blood flowed like water for the rebel deeds they had committed against right and honour.


Battle Honours.—Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Sevastopol, Delhi, Afghanistan 1879-80, S. Africa 1889-1902, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg.

Uniform.—Blue, white facings, white plume.


From a Painting by R. Caton Woodville.


("Second to None")

"Greys, gallant Greys! I am 61 years old, but, if I were young again, I should like to be one of you."—Sir Colin Campbell at Balaclava.

The 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), whose motto is "Second to None," are pictured to British eyes and imaginations in that wonderful painting, "Scotland for Ever." The Charge of the Light Brigade, great and glorious as it was, is, and ever will be, is perpetually linked with the Charge of the Heavy Brigade, under Scarlett, when, faced with a vastly superior force of the enemy, it offered such heroic assistance, that, had it not been for this, the glory of the immortal six hundred might not have been sung in the same triumphant voice. It was a gallant feat on the part of the "Heavies"—a feat which, though somewhat overshadowed by the dazzling "Charge of the Six Hundred," was nevertheless greatly influential in turning the tide of battle.

(Inseparately connected with the Scots Greys at the front to-day, is the Prince of Wales' Royal Lancers—the 12th. At Salamanca the "supple 12th" joined in the final charge which routed the French cavalry. At Vittoria the Greys saw Joseph deprived of his crown, and were fortunately present at the conquest of San Sebastian. In Egypt they won honours under Abercromby, and to-day the emblazonment of the mystic sphinx on their standard bears witness to the most heroic deeds. What they have done, that they can do, and their gallant deeds in the present super-war show that while the Scots Greys are still second to none, the 12th Lancers are among the first in every glorious deed.)

The charge of the Greys and Inniskillings has been graphically described by many writers. Perhaps the words "Up the hill, up the hill, up the hill," describe most vividly the terrific struggle. But Kinglake tells the story tensely:

"As lightning flashes through a cloud, the Greys and Inniskillings pierced through the dark masses of the Russians. The shock was but for a moment. There was a clash of steel, and a light play of sword blades in the air, and then the Greys and the Red Coats disappeared in the midst of the shaken and quivering columns. In another moment we saw them marching in diminished numbers, and charging against the second line…. The first line of Russians, which had been utterly smashed by our charge, were coming back to swallow up our handful of men. By sheer steel and sheer courage, Inniskilliner and Scot were winning their desperate way right through the enemies' squadrons."

When we read to-day that the 5th British Cavalry Brigade, under General Chetwode, fought a brilliant action with German cavalry, in the course of which the 12th Lancers and Royal Scots Greys routed the enemy, spearing large numbers in flight, our thoughts fly back to the old days, when the 12th Lancers and the "Second to Nones" anticipated these feats of valour.

It was at Ramillies that the Scots Greys galloped straight through a difficult morass, with an infantry battle raging round them. On they went, till they gained the approach to the heights beyond. Then they dashed up the steep acclivity to the heights, and down the other side, where they thundered like an avalanche on the enemy's Household Brigade. The impact of that sudden crash seemed to shake the battlefield. Says one who was there: "The crash of our meeting rose above the noise of battle; it was like sudden thunder." The French fought with the utmost desperation, but they were matched this time, not with nondescript and poorly trained Continental troops, but with picked British, and were literally swept away before the Scots Greys. Many battalions of infantry under their protection were cut to pieces by the Scots Greys and the Royal Irish Dragoons, the predecessors of the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers. Still the Greys pursued their devastating career through Autreglise, and, at a point beyond, overtook the French Régiment du Roi, and secured its surrender. All that night, like flying demons, they pursued the retreating enemy, and what they did is traditionally summed up in the fact that they returned with no less than sixteen standards—truly a noble achievement!

Again, at Malplaquet, the Scots Greys and the Royal Irish Dragoons came up against their old enemies the French Household Brigade. In three victorious charges they sustained the honour of their old victories over them, routing them utterly. Fate seems specially to have designed the Scots Greys and the Royal Irish to combat the French Household Brigade in days gone by, for, on many occasions when they have met, the pride of the latter has fallen before the valour of the former. Not only at Malplaquet, but also at Dettingen, the Greys, having cut their way through the French Cuirassiers, launched themselves irresistibly upon the French Household Cavalry. On this occasion, they swept them from the banks of the river, and wrested from them their crowning glory—their white standard of damask, embroidered with gold and silver, bearing in its centre a thunderbolt above their motto "Sensere Gigantes." So to-day it may be said that the giants who fell three times before the Scots Greys are now in the company of the Brobdignags.

Some other battles in which the Greys multiplied their glories are as follow:—Drouet, Oudenarde, Bethune, St. Venant, Aire, Bouchain, Sheriffmuir, and Fontenoy.

Apart, and not yet apart, from their glorious traditions of battle, the Greys have a peculiar romance centring round one of their number, who fought for long years in their midst before it was ultimately discovered that their comrade of many fights was a woman. How, why, and where Christian Davies (née Cavanagh) first entered the army is a matter of some doubt, but we first hear of her in the Netherlands as a private soldier, whither, as the story goes, she had gone to find her husband. Here she lived the life of the ordinary soldier, and maintained her disguise through everything, even flirting with the Dutch girls to such an extent that she was forced to fight a duel with a jealous sergeant, whom she wounded severely. On account of this she was obliged to leave the regiment, but immediately joined the Scots Greys. While living and fighting with these, she discovered her husband, but, being enamoured of the free soldier's life more than of him, she bade him wait till the conclusion of the war. Mean while, at her desire, he and she passed as brothers.

It was during the charge of the Scots Greys at Ramillies that Christian Davies met with a serious wound at the hands of a French dragoon, and, being brought to hospital, she confessed, to the surprise and admiration of all, that she was a woman. On her recovery, she still accompanied the army, as a vivandière, in which capacity she was extremely popular. Ultimately, when the terrors of war had made her twice a widow, she returned to England, where Queen Anne graciously received her in audience, and presented her with a bounty of £50, together with a pension of 1s. a day. At her funeral in Chelsea, in 1739, she was accorded full military honours, and all the Scots Greys, at least, know well that three full volleys were fired above her grave.

It is worth noting that the Royal Scots Greys, who, in the past, have fought fiercely against the Russians, have now as their Colonel-in-Chief H.I.M. Nicolas II., Emperor of Russia, K.G.—no longer an enemy, but a friend and an ally.


Badges.—The Thistle within the Circle and Motto of the Order of the Thistle. An Eagle.


Battle Honours.—Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Dettingen, Waterloo, Balaclava, Sevastopol, S. Africa 1899-1902, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg.

Uniform.—Scarlet, blue facings, white plume.


("Elliot's Light Horse.")

"Merebimur."—Their Motto.

One of the most thrilling and romantic episodes in cavalry fighting is the historic achievement of the 15th Hussars at Emsdorf. It was in July, 1760, that Major Erskine halted his troopers near the German village of Emsdorf, and bade them pluck the fresh twigs from the overhanging oaks, with a word of exhortation to the effect that they would acquit themselves with the firmness and stubbornness which have always been ascribed to that symbolic tree. Not long after this, the 15th formed part of the Prince of Brunswick's troops, which had surrounded six battalions of French infantry, together with some artillery, and a regiment of hussars. The enemy eventually broke through, and fled, pursued by the 15th, who were unassisted. So hot was the pursuit, and so terrible the punishment inflicted by our hussars, that the enemy was forced to surrender no less than 177 officers, 2,482 men, nine guns, six pairs of colours, and all the rams and baggage.

All England rang with this achievement of the 15th Light Dragoons, and never has a squadron received so whole-hearted a eulogy as that contained in the General Order issued by the Prince of Brunswick. For many a day "Elliott's Regiment" bore "Emsdorf" on its guidons and appointments, while upon their helmets was written, "Five battalions of French defeated and taken by this regiment, with their colours, and nine pieces of cannon. Emsdorf, 16th July, 1760." Now, as the regiment has become Hussars, the helmet has given place to the busby with no inscription; the guidons have disappeared, but the name "Emsdorf" may still be seen on the drum-cloth.

The 15th were prominent in all the achievements of our army during the next few years of that campaign. Many are the stories of dashing assault, grim fighting and heroic rescue, related of them during that time. When the Duke of Brunswick was surrounded by French Hussars at Friedburg, and it seemed impossible to prevent his capture, the 15th Hussars clapped spurs to their horses, and, with a terrific yell, swept down upon the French at full gallop. It was a body of determined men against overwhelming numbers; for, when they had driven back the hussars, they were still involved with the converging squadrons. But, with desperate valour they held their own until they had extricated their leader, and then they rode back, leaving double their number of the enemy dead on the field.

The 15th Hussars were in the thick of the fight at Waterloo, and they bravely upheld that honour. After suffering great loss in the enemy's fire they made a dashing charge through storms of lead from both flanks against a superior force of cuirassiers, whom they drove back with heavy losses. The Official Record states: "From this period the regiment made furious charges … at one moment it was cutting down the musketeers, at the next it was engaged with lancers, and, when these were driven back, it encountered cuirassiers." For this glorious exploit they paid honourably with three officers, two sergeants, and twenty-three privates killed; seven officers, three sergeants and forty privates wounded.

The 15th Hussars rendered heroic service in the Afghan War of 1878-80, when the treacherous Shere Ali was discovered favouring Russian intrigue. Many were the brilliant achievements of the 15th during this war, from Ali Musjid up to the investment of the Sherpur Cantonments, the final relief by Gough's Brigade, and the complete victory at Kandahar.


Badge.—The Crest of England within the Garter.


Battle Honours.—Emsdorf, Villers-en-Couché, Egmont-op-Zee, Sahagun, Vittoria, Peninsula, Waterloo, Afghanistan 1878-80.

Uniform.—Blue, scarlet busby-bag and plume.

  18th HUSSARS

(Drogheda Light Horse)

The generic name of the 18th Hussars (Drogheda Light Horse) was bestowed specifically upon the corps raised in Ireland in 1759 by the Marquis of Drogheda, and numbered as the 19th Light Dragoons. It was renumbered as the 18th Light Dragoons in 1763, became a Hussar corps in 1807, and was disbanded as the 18th Light Dragoons in 1821.

The present 18th Hussars were raised at Leeds in 1858, and inherited the honours of the Drogheda Light Horse proper. The silver trumpets used by the Drogheda Light Horse, and now in the possession of the 18th Hussars, were provided out of the proceeds of the sale of the captured horses at the Battle of Waterloo. The motto of the 18th Hussars is "Pro Rege, pro Lege, pro Patria Conamur" (We fight for King, Law, and Country).

There is a traditional romance in the annals of the 18th Hussars which has its confirmation in modern history. A beautiful Spanish lady, finding herself a refugee with Wellington's forces in the Peninsula, fell in love with a young English officer named Harry Smith, and married him. By statesmanship and prowess in war he rose to be Sir Harry Smith, who commanded the forces that defeated the Boers at Boomplatz. Subsequently, the town of Ladysmith was so named after his wife. In this way the Peninsula is linked with South Africa in the annals of the 18th Hussars, not only by equal deeds in each campaign, but by a never-to-be-forgotten romance of real life.


Motto.—"Pro Rege, pro Lege, pro Patria conamur."

Battle Honours.—Peninsula, Waterloo, S. Africa 1899-1902, Defence of Ladysmith.

Uniform.—Blue, blue bushy-bag, scarlet and white plume.


("The Old Eyes")

"Though old in glory and honour
They have yet the vigour of youth."

High in the estimation of every son and daughter of Britain stands that heroic band, the British Grenadiers. Their deeds have brought a fine thrill to every heart, and a stirring song to every voice; and, though there have been times when a pall of necessary silence, covering a "certain liveliness," has been imposed by the fog of a world-war, we have felt calmly assured that behind that fog our British Grenadiers were doing, or dying, in a way that must awaken the old thrill, and inspire a new song.

It has always been one of the greatest aids to success in battle to sum up the daring deeds of the past; the successes against fearful odds; the forlorn hopes bravely led; the breaches filled with our British dead; the stubborn resistance, and sometimes complete annihilation of one part for the success of the whole; the lofty sacrifice of the foremost, so that the hindmost may turn the tide of battle; and the heroic dash to certain death, which has always given birth to victory. And this aid of tradition has been accorded by their own deeds, and by the nation's appreciation, to none more strongly than to the British Grenadiers.

Yet it must be remembered that the Grenadier Guards, though they share the honour and glory of all Grenadiers, were never really Grenadiers proper. They won the name at Waterloo, where they vanquished the French Grenadiers. Sharing the name, they share and perpetuate the memory of the song, which in the first place referred to the Grenadiers who threw the grenades "from the glacis." But, as a good old British song may gain in volume as it rolls down the years, there is no reason why the well-known air in question should not attach to the Grenadier Guards.

Well does the historian say that "their annals indeed may almost be said to be identical with those of the British Army, as in every campaign of importance—every campaign which has had a material bearing on the fortunes of the Commonwealth—their services have been called into requisition. They have shared in our greatest battles. Their serried ranks stood firm at Fontenoy; turned the tide of battle at Quatre Bras; withstood unshaken the assaults of Napoleon's brilliant chivalry at Waterloo, and ascended with stately movement the bristling heights of the Alma."

Mr. J. J. Hart, who was with the Grenadiers in the Boer War, gives a graphic description of the battle near Senekal:

"With the advent of quick-firing guns," says he, "the ancient magnificence of armies in battle array has disappeared for ever…. There is no shining armour; there are no waving plumes; and the blare of the trumpet is unheard. Watch those grey-clad figures as they silently scatter over the plain. They are the colour of the withered grass of the veldt. No two will walk together lest they should be a more conspicuous mark for those deadly guns. See them as they walk with bent heads. You might compare them to poachers or partridge-shooters travelling over a moor, only their advance is more cautious….

"It was noon, and my battalion had halted on the plain. Far away for miles on our right the battle was raging, and, we with our grand fighting history, were left to act the inglorious part of lying on the grass waiting to cut off a possible retreat of the enemy. (Col.) Bunker stamped and swore and chewed his moustache…. Confusion to the General who crushed the flower of the British infantry so; but it was orders, and soldiers must obey. The Boers, however, were more generous to us than the General, and, in the working out of a little plan of their own, they were destined to cover us with wounds if not with glory. While we were lying musing on our fate, and thinking if the news of our being left out of the action should ever reach London, what we might expect at the hands of our enemies the cabdrivers, a force of Boers, of whose presence on a hill about half a mile in front we were blissfully ignorant, were preparing to open fire on us. They began proceedings by killing Bunker's horse with a percussion shell, which dropped right under him, and blew the animal to bits. Our artillery soon limbered up and replied to the shot, keeping up a continuous fire for about an hour, when, as they were unable to silence the gun, we advanced to take it by assault. We moved towards the hill in short rushes, lying down every fifty yards to fire a volley. The Boer shells which exploded between our extended line did little damage, and it looked as if we were going to make an easy capture of the gun. If there were any rifles on the hill they were certainly very careful about reserving their fire. We had got within 500 yards of the base of the hill, and had risen to make another rush when the rattling noise of a thousand rifle bolts together came to our ears. The whole of the front rank went down at the first volley; evidently the marksmen on the hill had taken very careful aim; then there followed a veritable hailstorm of lead, in the face of which no man could advance and live. We remained lying down and firing in the same position for about five hours.

"The shadows of night were falling, and still the firing was kept up without intermission; when a new danger was observed to threaten us. A shell had ignited the long grass in our rear and a light breeze which was blowing soon turned the spark into a conflagration. The Boers, observing this, extended their flanks on our right and left, thus completely cutting off our retreat. Then followed a scene of tumult which is hard to describe. Wounded men who were unable to move … gazed with wild staring eyes at the flames, which, slowly but surely, crept towards them. Our left wing made one desperate rush to charge the Boers, but had to fall before the leaden hail. When the flames drew near many of our men made heroic efforts to remove our wounded through the blinding smoke and flame…. Others pulled their helmets over their faces and rushed through the fire. In all this confusion I noticed one man who showed rare presence of mind. He was badly wounded, and, being unable to get out of reach of the flames, he took some matches from his pocket and burnt the grass near him. He then crawled on to the black ground, and thus secured for himself a comparatively safe position when the fire approached him. The flames were now upon us, and fighting had ceased. Two men picked me up where I lay wounded, and, rushing with me through the flames, threw me down on the other side, and ran…. The fire burned itself out at the foot of the hill, and then all was darkness till the moon, shining out, showed us the blackened bodies of the dead, and men writhing in pain on the burned earth.

"Now the Boers came amongst us, and, passing from one wounded man to another, gave us water from their bottles. Then we heard a crackling of whips and a rumbling of wheels. The Boers left us, and we knew the ambulance wagons were coming."


The King's Colours.—1st Battn., Gules (crimson): in the centre the Imperial Crown; in base a grenade fired proper. 2nd Battn., Gules (crimson): in the centre the Royal Cypher reversed and interlaced or, ensigned with the Imperial Crown; in base a grenade fired proper, in the dexter canton the Union. 3rd Battn.: as for 2nd Battn., and for distinction, issuing from the Union in bend dexter, a pile wavy or.

Regimental Colours.—The Union: in the centre a company badge ensigned with the Imperial Crown; in base a grenade fired proper. The thirty company badges are borne in rotation, three at a time, one on the regimental colour of each of the Battns.

Battle Honours.—Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Dettingen, Lincelles, Corunna, Barrosa, Peninsula, Waterloo, Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Egypt 1882, Tel-el-Kebir, Suakin 1885, Khartoum, S. Africa 1899-1902, Modder River.

Uniform.—Scarlet, blue facings.


("The Nulli Secondus Club")

"Sire! this regiment refuses to be known as second to any in the British Army."—Monk (to Charles II.)

History tells again how, in 1661, Charles, distrusting the soldiers in his service, called the 1st Foot Guards back to England. Following upon this, he speedily dismissed his Commonwealth soldiers, and, of all the Puritan regiments, he retained but one—the Coldstream Guards. This was the regiment which Monk had marched from Coldstream to the King's aid; hence their retention. An interesting story is related about them. It is said that when they were ordered to lay down their arms in repudiation of the Commonwealth, and commanded to resume them again, as the 2nd Foot Guards, they stood obstinately defiant, on the verge of mutiny. King Charles was dumbfounded, but Monk was equal to the situation. "Sire," he said, "this regiment refuses to be known as second to any in the British Army." On this, Charles, who was quick to the occasion with unworded gratitude for their timely help in a critical situation, cried: "Coldstream Guards, take up your arms!" and from that time forward they have been the Coldstream Guards.

Who can ever forget the glorious achievement of the Coldstream Guards at St. Amand in 1793? As soon as the Brigade of Guards gained contact with our then Allies-the Prussians and the Austrians—General Knobelsdorf, of the Prussian Army, welcomed them with, "I have reserved for the Coldstream Guards the honour, the especial glory, of dislodging the French from their entrenchments. As British troops you have only to show yourselves, and the enemy will retire."

The Coldstreamers rather wondered at his flowery flattery. They did not know, and he omitted to tell them, that the honour he had reserved for them was one which had been offered three times to 5,000 Austrians and three times missed by them, with a loss of 1,700 men. The Coldstreamers, therefore, prepared for the battle in complete ignorance of the fact that they were expected to do, with 600 rank and file, what 5,000 Austrians had failed to accomplish in three attempts. Not that it would have made much difference, for the British soldier can always count on doing the impossible about fifty times in a century.

The Coldstreamers, ready and eager, moved to the attack, and the Prussian General moved with them as far as safety would permit; then, desirous apparently that they should achieve this "especial glory" without any interference from him, he waved them on with his sword and magnanimously galloped away.

Hell opened then on the Coldstream Guards. The wood before them spurted flame. Batteries from right and left lumbered up, and, under cover of the undergrowth, tore lanes through them at close range. Never, up to that time, in the history of battles, had there been such quick and fearful slaughter of our troops. In a few minutes two of the companies were reduced by one-half. Ensign Howard went down with the colours, and on every hand rank and file were blown to pieces. Sergeant-Major Darling, one of the many heroes of that awful fight, had one arm shattered by a cannon ball, but he fought on with the other with such tenacity that his deeds were afterwards described as "prodigies of valour." A French officer, seeing so many men go down before him, pressed forward and engaged him in a fierce combat. But Darling laid him low and continued his terrible work until another ball carried away one of his legs. Thus, bereft of a leg and an arm, he was taken prisoner. General Knobelsdorf, the Prussian, lived through that day, but many, too many, of the Coldstreamers went to their last account, fighting gloriously. You may, under some conditions, beat a Coldstreamer, but you will never, never convince him that you have done so.

At Inkerman the Coldstream Guards, a few hundred strong, actually stood up to 4,000 Russians for a time, during which there was the bloodiest struggle ever witnessed. The fight was round the Sandbag Battery, where 700 British had held their own until reinforced by the Guards, and it was of such a nature that each guard must needs be a small battalion on his own account to do any good at all. Back to back the Coldstreamers fought till their ammunition was exhausted. Then they took their muskets and clubbed the pressing hosts in such fashion that they made space enough to form into line. Thus, with levelled steel, they charged. The enemy was thrown into utter confusion by their terrific onslaught, and, taking advantage of this, the Coldstreamers regained their own lines, having inflicted tremendous loss.

And the Russian in Germany to-day knows all about it. He has not forgotten the Coldstreamer of former days, any more than the Coldstreamer has forgotten the glorious deeds of the Russian; and, no doubt, if they could sit by the same camp-fire, many such a battle story would be told, through the interpreter, of those good old days "when we flew at each other's throats."


The King's Colours.—1st Battn., Gules (crimson): in the centre the Star of the Order of the Garter proper, ensigned with the Imperial Crown; in base the Sphinx superscribed Egypt. 2nd Battn., Gules (crimson): in the centre a star of eight points argent within the garter, ensigned with the Imperial Crown; in base the Sphinx superscribed Egypt, in the "dexter" canton the Union. 3rd Battn., as for the 1st Battn., and for difference in the dexter canton, the Union and issuing therefrom in bend dexter a pile wavy or.


("Pontius Pilate's Body Guard")

"A volley, my lads, and then the steel!"—Their Captain at Wepener.

The Royal Scots (1st Foot, or Lothian Regiment) are old in story. Several hundreds of years before the battle of Blenheim, which is among the first of their honours, the Royal Scots had traced their earlier glories on the roll of fame. Few European battlefields could disclaim acquaintance with them, and there are few on which they have not been responsible for terrific slaughter, and a large share in the crux of victory. Their ancestors far back fought under Gustavus Adolphus: their lineal descendents fight now under King George; and the bridge between that time and this has been held by them heroically.

It is interesting to trace their battles from the first. Long, long ago, fighting for Sweden, they captured and defended Rugenwald in Pomerania. Being wrecked on a hostile coast, with Adolphus eighty miles away, these Scots were led by Munro, with what might seem to us an absurd hope of victory. All day they waited in the caves by the sea shore, starving, wet, and cold—waited for the night, so that, under the cover of darkness, they might bring their desperate plan to fruition. Darkness fell; the moon rose, and these hungry Scots went forth to the attack. In one stroke they captured Rugenwald, and held it against repeated attempts on the part of the enemy to retake it. For nine weeks they gripped this place, and held on tooth and nail till Hepburn's men, fighting mile after mile to their relief, came up.

Hepburn's men! They were Scots, every one of them. Men who, led by Hepburn himself, captured Frankfort on the Oder. He took them to the attack waist deep through the mud and water of the moat. At the great battle of Leipzig, "the battle of the Nations," Gustavus held these men in reserve. Then, when the issue was in danger, he flung them forward. The musketry fire galled them severely, but through it all the pikemen went cheering on, and put the enemy to an inglorious rout.

Later, in 1632, Hepburn, who was somewhat a soldier of fortune, found himself on his way to aid the King of France. In 1634 he led his regiments against the Austrians and Spaniards. Here he was joined by Scots from France, and Scots from Sweden. Other Scots came up from the four quarters of the compass, as if by a gathering of the clans, and three years later there were 8,000 of them serving under the King of France. Those 8,000 are the martial sires of the present Royal Scots.

As to the heroic achievements of the Royal Scots, we may instance the battle of Wynendale. General Webb (Thackeray's favourite General of "Colonel Esmond") won that battle with an army of 8,000 men against 22,000 Frenchmen. It was his work to take supplies from Ostend to Marlborough's army in the field. Near the wood of Wynendale he detected the preponderating force of the enemy intent on intercepting his mission, but, in order to do this, they must traverse the wood. The odds were nearly three to one against Webb, but, relying on his men as much as on his own generalship, he decided to put up a fight of fights. The way of the enemy's approach was a great glade through the wood, and to right and left of this he placed detachments of his troops while he stationed the main body of his army at the point where they must debouch. Then he waited. That long wait for the oncoming host has been much described: how for a time they gazed up the long avenue through which the foe must come; how every man felt that tense expectancy, which lends to the simple sounds of nature a meaning of their own, and how 8,000 staunch hearts went back to the old folks at home with tenderness, and possible regret, before the descent of an avalanche which threatened to bereave their hearths.

But at length the enemy teemed in at the further end of the glade. On they came, warily scanning the wood, but it was not till the Royal Scots poured a volley into them that the enemy actually realized what was happening. When the smoke cleared away, confusion reigned in their ranks; they rallied, and came on with greater determination, but again they were hurled into disorder and death by the British fire. Yet a third time they attempted it, and with all the bravery of the French, but a third time they met with that penetrating fire that none but the British, with their ugly bulldog pertinacity, can stand. They failed to forge their way through the storm of lead, and at last retired in confusion, leaving one third their number of British as victors of the field.

The Royal Scots have more than once been helped out of a difficulty by other regiments. For instance, at Schellenberg in 1714, the ultimate victory, after three daring attempts on the part of the Royal Scots, who fought their way up against a heavy fire from the heights above, was made sure by the Scots Greys, who dismounted and rushed to their assistance. This engagement cost the French a valuable position, and 16 guns.

This help in the time of extreme peril was balanced by the Royal Scots at the battle of Lundy's Lane, where they arrived in the nick of time to make up 2,800 British against 5,000 Americans. After a hard fight the enemy was driven back, but they opened again with a devastating fire of musketry and artillery, following it up with a most determined charge. So desperate was their onslaught that the British guns were captured, and immediately following on this, the Royal Scots performed a deed which is underlined in history. They recaptured those guns, and left the enemy bewildered. This was the closest fight imaginable. In the thick of it, the opposing cannon almost spoke into each others' mouths. So close they were, that neither side could say, "This is my gun." In point of fact, in the heat of the moment a British limber carried off an American gun, and an American a British gun. On that field the contact between British and American was extremely close. In these days it is just as close, but not exactly in the same fierce spirit.

One of the foremost of the exploits of the Royal Scots was the defence of Tangier against the Moors in 1678. In Port Henrietta some 160 of the Royal Scots had been isolated. In order to facilitate their escape their comrades in the town created a diversion by leading a general attack. In the midst of this the Scots got as far as the first trench surrounding the fort, but, at the outer one, which was 12 feet deep, they came into close grips with the enemy. There it was sheer knife-fighting, and many Royal Scots went to the bottom of the pit. One hundred and twenty of them filled it full, and over that bridge of silence forty survivors hewed their way through.

The last charge at Wepener is described in the History of the Boer War as follows "The Royal Scots saw the Boers rushing and their warrior hearts beat quick with joy. Shortly, like a man in a dream, their Captain gave the word, 'Fix bayonets!' It was done in a trice. 'Ready!' The men loaded their rifles. 'A volley, my lads, and then the steel! Altogether—' The whistle blows, the flame flies along the parapet. Then, over the stone wall, sprang the Royal Scots. Once they shouted, once only. Then the slaying began…. Fifty thousand savage throats swelled the battle chorus. Ever since the siege began the black warriors had been gathered in their thousands on the heights, watching with fascinated interest the struggle of the white men. Like the spectators of a medieval tournament they had applauded the gallant deeds of the combatants, and, as they saw the British soldiers holding out day after day, night after night, against the assault of numerous odds, they came to have a profound trust and confidence in the 'big heart' of the Queen's soldiers. When, therefore, they saw the Royal Scots launch themselves like a living bolt at five times their number, they held their breath for a time, wondering what the end might be. But when they saw the bloody bayonets of the 1st Foot scatter and utterly destroy the hated Dutchman they opened their throats and yelled their applause across the river."


Badges.—The Royal Cypher within the Collar of the Order of the Thistle with the Badge appendant. In each of the four corners the Thistle within the Circle and motto of the Order, ensigned with the Imperial Crown.

Battle Honours.—The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt. Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Louisburg, St. Lucia, Egmont-op-Zee, Corunna, Busaco, Salamanca, Vittoria, St. Sebastian, Nive, Peninsula, Niagara, Waterloo, Nagpore, Maheidpore, Ava, Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Taku Forts, Pekin, S. Africa 1889-1902.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with blue facings.

[This distinguished corps is the oldest regiment in the Army, hence its nickname of Pontius Pilate's Body Guard. There is a tradition that it represents the body of Scottish Archers who for centuries formed the guard of the French kings. It fought under Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, in the Seven Years' War, and was incorporated in the British Army in 1633. Since that date it has seen service in every part of the globe.]


("The Shiners")

The "Fighting Fifth" (Northumberland Fusiliers) have a peculiar paradox in their history. They were first raised in 1674 by Prince William of Orange, the Dutchman, and, in the last Boer War, they were fighting against the Dutch themselves. But even stranger things than that have come to pass in these later days when we have good cause to call our old allies our enemies, and our old enemies our allies.

The "Fighting Fifth" derived their regimental name, the Northumberland Fusiliers, from Hugh, Earl Percy, afterwards Duke of Northumberland, who commanded the regiment during the American War of Independence. For their fighting in the seventeenth century Prince William assembled them before the whole army, and publicly rewarded them for their services. It must be remembered that there were still services to come, for, when the Prince returned to England, fourteen years later, to deprive his father-in-law of his throne, the "Fighting Fifth" had not forgotten his kind offices. On this occasion they were regarded by the English with pride and admiration. "Even the peasants," says Macaulay, "whispered to one another as they marched by: 'There be our own lads; there be the brave fellows who hurled back the French on the field of Seneffe!'"

The "Fighting Fifth" gained many laurels in Portugal and Spain, where, on more than one occasion, they drove the enemy before them in utter confusion. It is in this war that their fighting traditions are chiefly founded.

At Ciudad Rodrigo it was the "Fighting Fifth" who stormed the approach. Afterwards they fought their way with fusil and steel through Salamanca, Nivelle, Vittoria, Orthes, and Toulouse, right up to Paris.

One of their greatest achievements was the successful defence of Gibraltar, when the Spaniards made their first attempt to recover it. Since that time there is scarce a page of fighting history up to the time of the Napoleonic Wars that contains no deed of this bull-dog regiment.

Their nickname is almost as old as their regiment. It was at the siege of Maestricht in 1676, when the regiment was only two years old, that a section of these men, only 200 strong, assaulted the Dauphin bastion—an affair out of which, after the most sanguinary combat, no more than fifty emerged. Yet maddened, rather than daunted, these fifty, with some few reinforcements, made a further attack on the bastion; and this time they took it, but only to meet with disaster. The place was mined, and a terrible explosion killed a large number, and covered others in wreckage. Many, however, emerged, and these proceeded to hold the position.

The tale of how they entered Badajoz stirs the blood. The 2nd Battalion led the storming party. Their way led over a narrow bridge. Here, under a terrible fire, the foremost fell in heaps; but their comrades pressed forward over their prostrate bodies, and planted ladders against the beetling walls of the castle. For a time the "Fighting Fifth" suffered heavily. Again and again the desperate attackers reached the summit of the walls, only to be hurled back by the enemy. Here they swarmed up like bees, to be swept down again by a raking fire; there, another ladder broken, another overturned, with men everywhere falling and climbing, climbing and falling. The chance of scaling those walls seemed hopeless, and at length the Fifth paused, and looked at one another. Then, at that psychological moment, the cheering of the enemy above broke the spell. Their cheers were answered by a fierce shout from our men, who rushed to the attack with a never-give-in determination that finally gained the ramparts, and drove the garrison out of the castle, out of the town, and into the distance, not without great slaughter. It was at Badajoz that the Fifth lost their brave colonel, who struck in at that psychological moment, and led the final victorious onslaught. He fell, shot through the heart, at the very moment that victory was assured. "None that night," says Napier, "died with more glory; yet many died, and there was much glory." The taking of Badajoz was indeed a piece of work which required all the dogged tenacity of purpose to be found in such fearless heroes as the "Fighting Fifth."


Badges.—St. George and the Dragon. In each of the four corners the united Red and White Rose slipped, ensigned with the Royal Crest.

Motto.—"Quo fata vocant."

Battle Honours.—Wilhelmsthal, Roleia, Vimiera, Corunna, Busaco, Cuidad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Nivelle, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Lucknow, Afghanistan 1878-80, Khartoum, S. Africa 1899-1902, Modder River.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with gosling-green facings.


("The Leather Hats")

The Liverpool Regiment, like the 5th Dragoon Guards, was raised to help James, and, like them, it sided with the right against him. When James tried to place Roman Catholic officers over English regiments, with the help of the Liverpool Regiment, the colonel and five officers strongly objected. James sent his son, Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick, to Portsmouth, to correct them; but on this, and the issue of it, the country rose, saying unanimously that James was wrong, and the "six Portsmouth captains" were right. James had to flee from a country which entertained ideas so strange to his way of thinking. In memory of this protest against oppression, the portraits of those "six Portsmouth captains" are preserved to this day by the regiment. Once having definitely seceded, the Liverpool Regiment went further in the defence of liberty, and fought fiercely at the Boyne.

But it was in the Netherlands that the "Leather Hats" performed their first great feat of valour. Lord Cutts, whom they dubbed "The Salamander"—because, where the fire was hottest, there was Cutts to be found—ordered them, against all sane strategy, to storm the fortress of Venloo. Everyone said it was impossible to take it, but the Liverpool Regiment, who were actually facing the matter, got a different view into their heads. They said nothing, but obeyed commands—and took it. "Over bastion, fausse, bray and raveline," says a graphic chronicler, "over trench, glacis and escarpment, Cutts led his dare-devils; the ditches were heaped with the dead, till the living walked over them, and—the enemy ran upon the farther side." It was a magnificent feat of arms, and a fitting preface to Blenheim, Dettingen, Lucknow, and their glorious deeds at the front to-day.


Badge.—The White Horse within the Garter. In each of the four corners the Royal Cypher.

Motto.—"Nec aspera terrent."

Battle Honours.—The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt. Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Dettingen, Martinique, Niagara, Delhi, Lucknow, Peiwar Kotal, Afghanistan 1878-80, Burma 1885-87, S. Africa 1899-1902, Defence of Ladysmith.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with blue facings.


("The Holy Boys")

"Our country will, I believe, sooner forgive an officer for attacking his enemy, than for omitting to do it….

"A Norfolk man is as good as two others."—Nelson.

Of the Norfolk Regiment, then known as the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment, Napier said, with a happy mixture of blame and praise: "They were guilty of a fierce neglect of orders in taking a path leading immediately to the enemy." Indeed, that is exactly what they did at the battle of Roliça on the 17th August, 1808. Their intrepidity and fine carelessness in regard to their lives were on that day the subject of unstinted praise on the part of the whole French army, who, in those times it must be remembered, were our enemies. A brief description of the battle will show the stern stuff that the Norfolks are made of.

The enemy, under Laborde, held a very strong position, and it was Wellington's object to drive them from it at the earliest opportunity. The Norfolks, under Brigadier Nightingale, came up with Wellington's army from Obidos, three columns strong. The 9th occupied the position in the centre, which fronted the enemy in possession of a natural fortress of gigantic crags, looming steep and forbidding against the sky. The only way of ascent was by means of some zigzag tracks, which, at many points, were open to the enemy's fire.

Under these conditions, it would have been possible for our men to proceed by halt and rush, with a slow but sure caution; but the Norfolks, flinging all caution to the winds, hurled themselves forward to get at the enemy as quickly as possible. They swarmed up the heights, giving the foe a hot example of their musketry fire as they swung forward. It is said that their exploit was in full view of both armies as the smoke of their firing marked their passage from crag to crag. The rapidity of their advance was so great that the other regiments of the central column were left far behind. Laborde, taking advantage of their prominent position, proceeded to throw the greater part of his army against them, thinking to wipe them out before they could receive support. This was partially successful, for the enemy's fierce onslaught bore the 2nd battalion back. Fiercely; the Norfolks contested every inch of the way, and it was a wonder of wonders that they lost so little ground against overwhelming odds before the 1st battalion came to their assistance. Then, with scarce a breathing space, they re-formed their ranks, and, with a hearty British cheer, swept forward and upward again.

That heroic and dashing encounter, in which the battle was to the swift—for it will be remembered that they had outstripped the rest of the army—is one that can never be forgotten in the annals of our history. Slowly, point by point, they gained the advantage, and finally drove the enemy from the summit. But, having taken the position, they had to hold it again and again against the furious efforts of the enemy to dislodge them. The reckless dash of their ascent could only be equalled by the stubborn resistance with which they held on, and, time after time, Laborde's battalions were driven back. Finally, the Northumberland Fusiliers came to their assistance, and the enemy was forced to retire. This was a victory set upon a hill, and, in the same spirit in which it was witnessed that day by thousands of opposing forces, so it is for ever pictured in our minds. With the battle of Roliça in their traditions, the Norfolk Regiment, as we write, are no doubt adding to the list of their brilliant achievements.

In this battle a memorable act of heroism glorifies a page of history—a page written in the Norfolk blood of Sergeant-Major Richards. At the time when our skirmishers advanced rapidly, and the echo of their quick musketry fire hung reverberating in the ravine and hollow as they ran from cover to cover, two companies crept up two separate passes among the rocks and debouched upon the summit of the ridge. The foremost of the 9th, on emerging two or three at a time from their narrow passage, were ambushed by the enemy. Blake, their brave Colonel, was killed, and many of his men fell around him. When the ambuscade rushed forth to grips, Sergeant-Major Richards, though riddled with lead, and bleeding from a dozen bayonet wounds, stood over his beloved commander and fought to the death. This brave fellow, than whom there was never a braver, said, as he was dying, "I should not have cared so much if only our Colonel had been spared." In those few words, at such a moment, breathed the true spirit of the Norfolks, and that glorious simplicity of thought and singleness of eye—fine, grand, unconsciously sublime—runs through every line of our great Book of Battles. We are not glad that our enemy of to-day has not written such a book, nor do we trouble to wish he had: the fact is fixed that he has not. Indeed, he had never the material for such a book, for it is obvious that the same barbarous hand that struck out an innocent Louvain could not insert such an anachronism as the heroic death and noble sentiment of a Sergeant-Major Richards of the Norfolks.

But Roliça, although the most prominent of their honours, is only one among many that have been set to their credit. They have more than once been in a position of extreme peril. When Ruffin's brigade at Barrosa realised that the Norfolks were cut off through an error on the part of our Spanish Allies, they turned the whole fury of their overwhelming odds upon that single regiment. Then it was a case of fighting, and dying, back to back. All fought like heroes, and, like heroes, most of them died. It was only when Brigadier Dilkes came to their assistance that the few survivors were extricated from their hazardous position. Needless to say, the handful that remained joined at once with Dilkes' column, and assaulted the enemy's heights. A grim battle ensued, and at length a brilliant victory was gained.

In the history of the Norfolks is written one of the saddest incidents in the annals of our arms. It was they who, at Corunna, at dead of night, buried Sir John Moore, under the shadow of disaster—a sorrowful ending to an adverse passage which, although it concealed a marvellous achievement, few of us care to linger upon in days when victory is before us, and all thoughts of defeat forgotten.

At Fuentes d'Onoro, a description of which battle will be found in another chapter, the Norfolks, in company with many other regiments of our present expeditionary force, fought with all their customary vim; and at Salamanca their assault on the enemy was as if they had been let go from a catapult. At a time when they were fully 500 yards in front of our main body of troops, Wellington saw the chance of making use of them to capture a particular post held by the enemy. He sent his aide-de-camp scouring up to them with the hurried message: "Ninth! you are the only regiment ready; advance!" They required no further indication to grasp what was to be done; in fact, they would probably have done it in the natural course of events, without the order; they charged on, and at the point of the irresistible bayonet the post was taken.

Many a forlorn hope has been led by the Norfolks. One that remains indelibly stamped on our memory is that at San Sebastian, headed by a Scots lad, named Campbell. This poor fellow was terribly wounded in the first onslaught, receiving a bayonet thrust, and a heavy sabre gash. The young hero was not to die of his wounds however. Very much on the contrary, he lived to become Sir Colin Campbell, Commander-in-Chief in India; and, for his splendid services in suppressing the Indian Mutiny was created Baron Clyde.

Having come through many terrible fights with honour and glory, and without a stain, it is naturally the great regret of this famous regiment that they were not at present at Waterloo. But, though absent from our greatest field of victory, they were doing good work at the time in Canada. Yet it has come to their share in these days to reap honours in fields not far from Waterloo, and we live to learn that, in the deeds of to-day, and to-morrow, a Norfolk man is indeed as good as at least two Germans.


Badge.—The figure of Britannia.

Battle Honours.—Roliça, Vimiera, Corunna, Busaco, Salamanca, Vittoria, St. Sebastian, Nive, Peninsula, Cabool 1842, Moodkee, Ferozeshah, Sobraon, Sevastopol, Kabul 1879, Afghanistan 1870-80, S. Africa 1900-02, Paardeberg.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with yellow facings.

[Raised in 1685. Received the title "East Norfolk Regiment" in 1782, and became the Norfolk Regiment in 1881. The badge of the figure of Britannia was bestowed on the regiment in recognition of its gallantry at the battle of Almanza (1707). This regiment was the last of the British forces to embark at Corunna (1809), and was entrusted with the burial of Sir John Moore, in memory of which event the officers of the regiment wear a black line in their lace.]


("Heroes of Perthshire")

"We are but few, but of the right sort."—Nelson.

"Highlanders, remember Egypt!"—Sir John Moore at Corunna.

These men need a book to themselves. It is impossible here to give more than a short account of one or two of their most brilliant fights, but, as from the peck you may judge of the barrel, so one will find the invincible temper of the Black Watch in every line and every word.

It was at Fontenoy that the Black Watch first met a foreign foe, and their dealings with that foe were an emphatic earnest of their future honours. The fortune of war was not on their side; they were forced to retreat, covering it in such perfect order that Lord Crawford waved his hat to them, with the well-remembered approval that they had achieved as great honour as if they had gained an actual victory.

The Black Watch have acquired great reputation in America. They distinguished themselves notably at Bushey Run, and it was in the War of Independence that they contributed their severest and most difficult work. A chronicler of the doings of this regiment writes on this passage in their history: "In every field the Black Watch maintained their hardly earned reputation," and many are the recorded deeds of individual courage and readiness. Here is one instance by the same chronicler:

"In a skirmish with the Americans in 1776, Major Murray, of the 42nd, being separated from his men, was attacked by three of the enemy. His dirk slipped behind his back, and, being a big stout man, he could not reach it, but defended himself as well as he could with his fusil, and, watching his opportunity, seized the sword of one of his assailants, and put the three to flight."

The battle of Alexandria was perhaps one of the most brilliant in the whole career of the Black Watch. At a time when the two wings of their regiment stood some 200 yards apart, the Invincibles of France, valiant fighters, forced their way between, with one six-pounder. As soon as the Highlanders found that they had been, in a sense, caught napping, a roar of wrath rose from their ranks, and swiftly their right wing swung down on the interloping French, broke their ranks and captured their gun. The left wing, facing the other way, wheeled swiftly, and fell like mountain cats on the French rear. The enemy, who had thought to split the 42nd to some purpose, were thus themselves caught in a death trap. The Invincibles rushed helter-skelter for cover in the ruins near by, and after them, terrible in pursuit, went the Black Watch. The plaided ranks drew together, and charged again and again with fixed bayonets, while the pursued fled before those gleaming points until they were brought to bay in a position where they were forced to turn and fight. It was a brave and memorable fight then on both sides. The courage of despair was on the enemy's side, and the cool, relentless courage of the Caledonians was on ours. But in the end the enemy, having lost 700 of their men, were forced to yield.

This temporary victory, however, afforded no respite for the Black Watch. Hot upon the action came a strong column of French infantry swiftly advancing, and it was a matter of the utmost importance that they should be attacked at once. The Black Watch, dishevelled as they were, their great chests still heaving with their exertions, were flung forward by Sir Ralph Abercromby, who, in the urgency of the critical moment, himself hallooed them on.

It was a quick passage. After a clashing impact, the Black Watch broke the French column and scattered it in flight. Seeing the Highlanders eagerly pursuing, and in danger of being cut off by three squadrons of cavalry, General Moore ordered the pursuers to retire. It appears that, in the crash and roar of the battle, this order was lost upon the foremost pursuers, who were dealing death right and left, and they were not aware of what threatened until the French cavalry was thundering down upon them. It was so sudden that the Highlanders had barely time to retrieve their scattered state, and rally back to back. Thus, raising their fierce northern battle-cry, they fought against fearful odds, a small body of men surrounded on every hand. But even from this they emerged victorious, routing the very flower of the French cavalry. So it was that in one day this regiment won three brilliant victories, each one of which had seemed at first almost a forlorn hope.

It must be remembered that the Royal Highlander has always been a perfect swordsman, terrible with his rifle, and deadly with his pistol. His strength is renowned in history. There have been men among them who have claimed no great superiority over their fellows from the fact of being able to twist a horseshoe, or drive a skeandhu up to the hilt in a pine log. Fatigue, hunger, thirst, the extremes of heat and cold—all these are with those men the mere commonplace foes of a Spartan existence—foes which have always found and left them silent, patiently contemptuous, where foes of flesh and blood would at once arouse them to anger of the grimmest kind.

Perhaps no part of the world has seen the Black Watch in as true a light as the Peninsula. From all quarters of it their honours are drawn. They were with Moore at Corunna on that memorable occasion, when on a sudden he cried out to them: "Highlanders, remember Egypt!"

With reference to this speech, and the moment it was delivered, tradition has clothed it with romance. At many a Highland fireside, when the eerie spirit sits in the glen and whispers round the lonely sheilings, it has been said by aged warriors, who had lived on in peace perhaps into the sixties, that, at those words, the men around him, who loved him best, saw, with the uncanny second sight of their race, a misty shimmering shroud enclosing their commander's form, portentous of his coming death.

The words "Highlanders, remember Egypt!" referred to the occasion when, at Alexandria, Sir Ralph Abercromby being taken prisoner, and his captor being shot by a Royal Highlander, the regiment, though broken, continued to fight individually. It is no wonder that Sir John Moore, who had marvelled at their prowess, should exhort them, eight years later, at Corunna, to remember Egypt.

At Toulouse, Pack, as he galloped swiftly up with General Clinton's orders, drew rein in silence before the Black Watch. Then he spoke calmly, but with elation: "General Clinton has been pleased to grant my request that the 42nd shall have the honour of leading the attack. The 42nd will advance!" There were 500 who went in, and there were about ninety who came out alive. One can imagine then their terrible passage up to the fatal redoubt, and all the more clearly may be pictured the determination of it from the fact that, when they reached it, the enemy had fled.

When they were before the heights of Alma, Sir Colin Campbell turned to them, and cried: "Men, the army is watching us. Make me proud of my Highland brigade!" From the future, near and far, the whole wide world watches them, and a great Empire has been made proud of them. Kinglake tells this part of the story with a fine touch. "Smoothly, easily, and swiftly," he says, "the Black Watch seemed to glide up the hill. A few instants before, and their tartans ranged dark in the valley; now their plumes waved on the crest." The enemy did not stay for the coming onslaught, for, as many said afterwards, they "did not like those men in the petticoats, with their red vulture plumes and their coloured tartans."

At Ticonderoga, in 1758, they suffered heavily, in blood, though not in honour. Of that encounter an officer of the 55th, who was in the engagement, says: "It is with a mixture of esteem, grief, and envy, that I considered the great loss and immortal glory won by the Scots Highlanders in the late bloody affair." From all historical accounts it seems that the enemy was very strongly entrenched, in front by ditches, and on the battle side by barricades of felled trees. From this cover they sent volley upon volley into the ranks of the advancing Highlanders. "Yet," says one chronicler:

"The Scots hewed their way through the obstacles with their broadswords, and—no ladders having been provided—made strenuous efforts to carry the breastwork, partly by mounting on each other's shoulders, and partly by placing their feet in holes which they dug with their swords and bayonets in the face of the works. After a desperate struggle, which lasted nearly four hours, General Abercromby, seeing no possible chance of success, ordered a retreat—an order which had to be thrice repeated before the Highlanders would withdraw from the unequal contest!"

What the Black Watch would have done at Balaclava and Inkerman, had they been there, can be conjectured, but, sufficient to say that Sevastopol bears witness to their many deeds of outright bravery.

The officers of the Black Watch have always been, needless to say, the soul of honour of the body of their men. In the following letter—a letter which might form part of a great poem—Colonel Macleod writes to the Sultan Tippoo:

"You, or your interpreter have said in your letter to me that I have lied, or made a mensonge. Permit me to inform you, Prince, that this thing is not good for you to give, or for me to receive, and if I were alone with you in the desert, you would not dare to say these words to me. An Englishman scorns to lie; this is an irreparable affront to an English warrior. If you have courage enough to meet me, take 100 of your bravest men on foot; meet me on the sea shore; I will fight you, and 100 men of mine will fight yours."

This has the true epic ring of all time, even back to the state and condition of the heroic savage who, instinct with honour, said: "Friend, if I had an axe, and thou hadst an axe, then we should see where the truth stands." But, alas! in some parts of the world where savagery is no longer heroic, the days of the true epic have gone by, its local death warrant being writ upon a "scrap of paper" crumpled in an Emperor's hand.

But the Black Watch, though it has fed, as it were, upon the hearts of lions in its immortal traditions of the far past, can live more intimately in the atmosphere of recent glories. Evan McGregor, Robert Dick, Stewart of Garth, Gordon Drummond, Hope Grant—these are immortal names appended to half its story only. Its later history is lit by the fame of the Eighth Earl of Airlie, who was killed at Diamond Hill in 1900. When he sailed from our shores for South Africa, almost his last words were: "Remember, if I am killed in action, whatever memorial you put for me, that you say on it I had died as I wished." And, in confirmation of this, after Magersfontein: "I like the Boers, and am very proud to be fighting against them…. I am very happy." A sentiment which we, in later years, can parallel with the fact that Botha's son (aged seventeen years) has enlisted to fight for Britain—a step approved by his heroic father.

It was the old 73rd (now the 2nd Battalion Black Watch) which, under General Wauchope, their former colonel, fought so heroically in the Boer War, losing their brave commander at Magersfontein. The 73rd was, from 1809 to 1881, an ordinary line regiment, the Scottish dress and kilt having been abandoned. As such it fought at Waterloo, which, among others, it gives as an "honour" to the Black Watch. In 1881 it was made the 2nd Battalion Black Watch, and resumed the doublet, kilt and feather bonnet.

The spirit of the Earl of Airlie is alive to-day—as much alive as it was in Scotland, when the "Heroes of Perthshire" laid their lives at the feet of him they believed to be their rightful king. Then, as since, they lived and died fighting; and, out of their brave deeds from that to this, there has arisen the peculiar significance of those three words—thrilling and dear to British hearts, chilling and terrible to Britain's foes—The Black Watch.


Badges.—The Royal Cypher within the Garter. The badge and motto of the Order of the Thistle. In each of the four corners the Royal Cypher, ensigned with the Royal Crown.

Battle Honours.—The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt. Mysore, Mangalore, Seringapatam, Corunna, Fuentes d'Onoro, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Waterloo, S. Africa 1846-47, 1851-53, Alma, Sevastopol, Lucknow, Ashantee, Egypt 1882-84, Tel-el-Kebir, Nile 1884-85, Kirbekan, S. Africa 1899-1902, Paardeberg.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Batts., scarlet and blue facings.

[The 1st Battn. was first formed from the independent companies raised in 1729 from the Highland clans, and received the name of Black Watch from the hue of its tartan. The newly-formed regiment greatly distinguished itself at Fontenoy and against the French in N. America. At Ticonderoga it lost 25 officers, 19 sergeants, and 603 rank and file in killed and wounded, and received the title of Royal Highlanders in recognition of its bravery. The 2nd Battn., raised in 1780, became a separate regiment in 1786, and it was this Battn. a detachment of which was in the wreck of the Birkenhead. The Black Watch gained the red hackle during the campaign in Flanders (1794-95). The 42nd was one of the four regiments mentioned in dispatches after Waterloo. The 2nd Battn. was at Magersfontein in 1899, where it lost 19 officers and over 300 killed and wounded. This regiment has a record which is only equalled by one or two regiments in the British Army.]


("The Bloodsuckers")

"Shew me a well authenticated instance of the troops of any other nation gaining and holding an 'impossible' position against fearful odds, and I will shew you a wavering in, or, at least, a qualification of, our national faith that our allied British infantry is the best in the world."—French Daily Newspaper, August, 1914.

It was at Elandslaagte that the 1st Battalion of this gallant regiment, together with the Gordon Highlanders and the Light Horse, distinguished themselves in a terrible passage of arms. The following graphic account is taken down from the words of a soldier who went through that terrible affair:

"It was nearly five o'clock on that day," he said, "when it seemed to be growing curiously dark. And we soon saw the reason. As our men moved forward the heavens opened, and from the eastern sky swept a sheet of rain. With the first stabbing drops the horses turned their heads, and no whip or spur could bring them up to it. It drove through our mackintoshes as if they were blotting-paper; the air was filled with a hissing sound, and underfoot you could see the solid earth pounded into mud, and the mud flowing away in streams of slush. The rain blotted out hill and dale and enemy in one great curtain of swooping water. You would have said that the heavens had opened to drown the wrath of man.

"Through it the guns still thundered, and the khaki column pushed doggedly on. The infantry got among the boulders and began to open out. The supports and reserves followed. Then, in a twinkling, on the stone-pitted hill-face, burst loose another storm—a storm of lead and death. In the first line, down behind the rocks, the men were firing fast, and the bullets came pelting round them. The men stooped, and staggered, and dropped limply, as if a string that held them upright had been cut. The line pushed on, and the colonel fell, shot in the arm.

"The regiment pursued their way until they came to a rocky ledge twenty feet high. Here they clung to cover, firing, then rose, and were among the shrill bullets again. A major was left at the bottom of the ridge with a pipe in his mouth, and a Mauser bullet through his leg. His company rushed on. Onwards and upwards—down, fire again—up again, and on. Another ridge won and passed, and only one more hellish hail of bullets beyond. More men down. More men hurried forward into the firing line—more death-piping bullets than ever. The air was a sieve of them; they came with unceasing ping, and beat on the boulders like a million hammers; they ploughed the rocks and tore the turf like harrows. Another ridge crowned, another whistling gust of perdition. More men down; more men pushing into the firing line. Half the officers killed or wounded—the men panted and stumbled on—another ridge taken! God! would this cursed hill never end? It was sown with bleeding and dead behind us; it was edged with stinging fire before. 'Fix bayonets!' Staff officers rushed up, urging the men on. There was now no line, only a surging wave. Devonshires, Gordon Highlanders, Manchester, and Light Horse all mixed—subalterns commanding regiments, soldiers yelling advice, officers firing carbines—all stumbling, leaping, killing, falling—all drunk with battle. At length we gained the ridge, and saw the Boer camp below. The Boers were galloping out of it helter skelter, with Lancers and Dragoon Guards spearing and stamping them into the ground. Suddenly we heard the bugle call 'Cease fire!' and, wondering slightly at such an order at such a time, we began to retire. But we were soon met by a boy bugler rushing forward, who, in reply to our remarks about the order, yelled, 'Cease fire be damned!' And then we discovered that the Boers, who had learnt our bugle calls, had blown the blast. On this, we turned about, charged again, and so made good the battle of Elandslaagte."


Badge.—The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt.

Battle Honours.—Egmont-op-Zee, Martinique, Guadaloupe, Peninsula, Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol, New Zealand, Afghanistan 1879-80, Egypt 1882, S. Africa 1899-1902, Defence of Ladysmith.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Battn., scarlet with white facings.

[1st Battn. raised in 1685, 2nd Battn. in 1801. The 1st Battn. was formerly a Battn. of the 8th Foot, and became the 63rd Regiment in 1758. It served as Mounted Infantry during the war of American Independence, and won great distinction. The 2nd Battn. was formerly the Minorca Regiment, and became part of the line in 1804 as the 97th (Queen's German) Regiment. In 1816 it became the 96th (Queen's Own), and was disbanded in 1818. Raised again in 1824. The 1st Battn. displayed great courage and steadiness during the Siege of Ladysmith (1899).]


("Scotland for Ever")

"You have saved the day, Highlanders, but you must return to your position. There is more work to be done."—Sir Denis Pack at Waterloo.

Sir Denis Pack's words at Waterloo are as true to-day as they were then. The Gordons have always saved the day, and now they must return to their position. There is more work to be done and the Gordons are there to do it, as before.

The following is an extract from a letter to Sir Walter Scott from Viscount Vanderfosse, first Advocate of the Superior Court of Justice of Brussels, dated January 5th, 1816:

"Since the arrival of the British troops on the Continent, their discipline was remarked by all those who had any communication with them. Among these respectable warriors the Scotch deserve to be particularly commemorated, and this honourable mention is due to their discipline, their patience, their humanity, and their bravery almost without example. Constant and unheard of proofs were given of devotion to their country quite extraordinary and sublime; nor must we forget that these men, so terrible in the field of battle, were mild and tranquil out of it."

Such a testimonial from so high an authority is a treasured document in the hands of the Gordons, and many are the accounts received to-day from the front, which go to show that their cheery optimism has not been dimmed by the passage of a century.

Perhaps there is no regiment that blends so nicely the simple humour characteristic of the Scot with the grim determination in which no section of our army is wanting. There are many points which soften to our hearts the fierce homicidal glory of the Gordon Highlanders. But first in importance is their grim and terrible side.

On the eventful night of the Duchess of Richmond's ball on the eve of Waterloo, Colonel Cameron, and some of the N.C. officers of the Gordon Highlanders, had been invited to give the guests of different nations there assembled a display of the Highland dances. Poets have sung the sudden call to arms at the "Cannon's opening roar," but it was not until daybreak that the Gordons marched off through the Namur Gate towards the scene of action.

On this occasion their panoply of war set everyone a-thrill. With their dark plumes waving in the breeze, and the bright sun shining on their polished accoutrements, they marched to the screel of the bagpipes. Never had the spectators beheld a prouder, braver, more athletic body of men; there was not a downcast look among them; only the fearless eye, the undaunted mien, the cheerful bearing-things which tell of strength.

In this mood they marched as far as the forest of Soignies, near Waterloo. Thence, as the day advanced, they proceeded towards Quatre Bras. The heat was intense, the dust suffocating, but, after a wearisome march, they reached Genappe, where the people were waiting for the thirsty regiment with large tubs of water, and of milk, from which the Highlanders dipped and drank as they passed through the town. Hard on this refreshment, as they came into the plain beyond, was a further refreshment to the warlike spirit of the Highlanders; it was the sound of cannon that fell upon their ears "nearer, clearer than before." There was a general quickening of pace as the excitement of promised action ran quickly through the ranks, but Colonel Cameron checked their eagerness, and held them back, though with difficulty.

It so chanced, by good luck, or good management, that the Gordons arrived at Quatre Bras just at the very moment they were needed. Wellington had come in with full information from Blücher as to the position of the Prussian army, and a fuller scorn of their tactics in selecting that position—a scorn which was justified by the event. "If they fight here," he said, in his terse and forcible way, "they will be damnably mauled." The Duke was a true prophet. They were, in two words, "mauled."

The enemy's action began with a fierce cannonade, under cover of which a brigade of infantry and lancers were hurled forward, Our Belgian-Dutch allies fell back, and their retreat was converted into a rout by the enemy, who speedily became masters of the situation. Things were critical, but, at that moment, in came the Gordon Highlanders by the Namur road. Their march broke into a double, and their ranks opened and overflowed each side of the road, deploying for immediate action. At once came an answer from a battery of the enemy perched on one of the surrounding heights. By this time the Duke was amongst the Highlanders, giving orders to seek cover in the ditches and behind the banks of the road; he and his staff following their example. They had not long to wait, under a terrible fire, before the French cuirassiers came sweeping through the fields towards them. On they came, with furious cries, a formidable body; but the Highlanders under command of the Duke, waited in grim silence, reserving their fire. "Highlanders!" the Duke cried, "don't fight until I tell you," and so the Gordons lay, ready for the signal. It came when the charging cuirassiers were within thirty yards of them. Then a fierce volley rang out, and havoc lighted on the horsemen. Horses and steel-clad riders went down pell mell, and, in the confusion, the survivors turned and fled before the coming steel. Many, whose horses were shot beneath them, attempted to cope with the Scots, but all their valour was as nothing before the bayonets of the Gordons.

At another stage of the battle, when the Duke of Brunswick's hussars were in flight before the red (Polish) lancers and French light infantry, Wellington, involved in the charge, and carried away in their mad career, was in great danger; but, seeing a way out, he headed his horse for a position that had been taken up by the Gordons. As he neared them, at full gallop, he ordered them to lie still; then he leapt the intervening fence clearing, at one jump, fence, trench, and men. With the Gordons now between him and the foe, he wheeled his horse to a standstill, and ordered the Highlanders to get ready. The Brunswickers had passed, severely handled by the French bayonets, and the grenadiers, on the right, retired to the road, leaving the Gordons an opportunity to fire obliquely upon the oncoming cavalry. These shared the same fate as the cuirassiers, being met at short distance with a volley which threw them into confusion. Those in front were cut off, by dead and wounded, from those in the rear, who retreated in disorder, while the front passed on in their headlong career, which was really a retreat, through the village. Meanwhile, the Gordons turned their attention to the rest, and put them to rout.

Now Napoleon had impressed upon Ney to act in a manner that must prove decisive. The British had to be swept entirely off the field—the fate of France depended upon this. Ney's position was a difficult one, especially as he saw that reinforcements were coming up against him. Accordingly, he attacked again vigorously, and sent two columns of cavalry down upon the posts held by the Gordons. But these met with a similar fate to those who had tried that way before. But Ney still persisted and the Gordons were suffering heavily. How the day would have gone, and what would have happened to our Highlanders had not the Guards come up on their left soon afterwards, military experts alone can conjecture; but even with their assistance—and very welcome it was—the Gordons were yet to experience a severer trial.

It came in this way. Two columns of French infantry advanced rapidly, by means of the Charleroi road, and the outskirts of the wood of Bossu, and occupied a roadside house, with a thick hedge running some distance into a field, a part of their number gaining the cover of a thickly-hedged garden on the other side of the road. The main body of these troops, some 14,000 strong, took up a position in the rear of this garden.

Colonel Cameron with difficulty curbed his eagerness to let his men go, but the Duke, who foresaw a prolonged struggle, refused to allow it. He was, as usual, waiting for the right moment. When that moment came, and the order was given, Cameron leapt the ditch, at the head of his men, with old General Barnes at his side, crying, "Come on, my old 92nd!" Then, to the shrill piping of the pibrochs, the intrepid Gordons leapt from the ditch and fell upon the enemy with an impetus that was irresistible. The bayonet did its terrible work, and the opposing column fell back in confusion.

Meanwhile other sections advanced upon the hedged garden, the house, and the field hedge, suffering heavily from these points. It was in this advance that the staff of the colour was split into six pieces by three bullets, and the staff of the king's colour by one. It was here, too, that Cameron himself was wounded. Being shot in the groin, he lost control of his horse, which galloped away with him, and finally stopped suddenly before his own groom, who was holding a second horse. There Cameron, in a fainting condition, was thrown out of the saddle violently on to the road.

Colonel Cameron died of his wound late that night, but not before he had learnt that the British arms had conquered—a fact which forms the theme of Sir Walter Scott's immortal verse:

And Sunart rough, and wild Ardgour, And Morven long shall tell, And proud Ben Nevis hear with awe, How, upon bloody Quatre-Bras, Brave Cameron heard the wild hurrah Of conquest as he fell.

Meanwhile, the Gordons had fully avenged their leader's death. With repeated rushes upon the roadside house, they did deadly work with the bayonet, and, amid the hail of bullets from superior forces of the enemy, they still continued their fierce onslaughts under conditions that would have demoralized soldiers less cool and experienced.

In the midst of the appalling fire, they separated and formed up in three parts, one part moving to the right of the house and garden, another part to the left, while a third prepared to assault the garden itself. At a given moment, when the whole battalion was ready, the order to charge was given. Then, with a resounding cheer, they rushed forward, "the bagpipes screaming out the notes of the 'Cameron's Gathering,' as they levelled their bayonets, and charged with the elastic step learnt on the hillside."

The enemy stood firm for a little while against the oncoming array of determined men; then they broke and fled, showing their backs as targets for the Highlanders, who scattered the passage of their retreat thickly with their dead bodies. In this action many prisoners were taken.

The British troops, though in the minority in guns, as well as men, stood like a rock against the searching assaults of the enemy. Ebb and flow was the order of battle, until at last the flow of our indomitable troops gained ground, and the enemy finally ebbed away.

Our last victory in that furious battle was gained foot by foot, and when, in the end, the day was won, and the stars looked down upon 10,000 slain, the piper of the Gordon Highlanders took his stand in front of the village of Quatre Bras to call the Highlanders in. "Loud and long blew Cameron," says one who heard that call of the highland mountain and the glen, "but his efforts could not gather above half of those whom his music had cheered on their march to the battlefield."

Our Gordons had been through the thick of the fight; at the close of the day they were terribly hungry, and with the cool sang-froid which is the necessary complement to the bravery of such men, they took their supper cooked and served in the cuirasses which had shone in the enemy's forefront of battle some hours before.

Various writers tell of the extreme kindness received by the Gordons after the battle from the inhabitants of Brussels and Antwerp. The "good and brave Scots" came in on drays and wagons, apparently none the worse for the fierce encounter, saving merely the loss of a leg, or an arm or two. "We're a' wantin' a leg or a' airm," cried one from the midst of a wagon-load of wounded, as if it were a kind of fraternal greeting. The good folk, seeing their plight, and not understanding the language, brought them wine in abundance, but the Highlanders did not understand the colour of it, and called for "guid sma' ale" as the next best thing to their own "white wine of the north."

Tales of suffering in those days cannot vie in magnitude with the tales of to-day, but it is interesting to note that the endurance and patience of the Highlanders, as they lay on the wagons, or came in on foot, fainting with weariness and loss of blood, called forth the remark, as they passed through the street, "the men of your country must be made of iron."

It remains to touch on the Highlanders' own account of this battle. It was simple and unpretentious in the extreme. One who had been severely wounded, and was lying on the paving stones, waiting to be attended to, was accosted by an English resident. "How you and your comrades fought!" he said. "Your bravery will be the talk of the world. There is no doubt, as the people here say, you and your countrymen are made of iron." "Hoots, man," replied the Highlander, "need ye mak' sic a din aboot the like o' that? What did we gang oot for but to fecht?"

It goes without saying that false reports of any considerable engagement were spread through the countryside, even in those days. A chronicler states that Mercer, when making his way to the scene of action, happened on a Gordon Highlander, toiling painfully along the road, badly wounded in the knee. "Halt!" cried Mercer. "Have you any information? The Belgians tell me that our army has been forced to retreat." "Na, na," replied the Scot; "it's a damned lee! When I cam' awa' they were fechtin', an' they're aye fechtin' yet." With that, he sat down on the roadside and calmly lit his pipe, while a prentice surgeon probed for the bullet in his knee.

Another incident preserved in the records of the Gordons is related by a Scotch lady who resided at that time in Antwerp. She had heard reports of a retreat from Quatre Bras, and other mis-statements concerning Mont St. Jean had also reached her ears, all to the effect that the British had suffered severe defeat; that Wellington was dangerously wounded, and that all of any account in our army were either killed or taken prisoners. Moreover, thousands of French troops had entered Brussels, and that on the heels of death and destruction came panic and dismay. Needless to say, this was not true, except in one point only—that 2,000 French had entered Brussels; but it was in the rôle of prisoners, not victors! On the following day the Scotch lady went out in search of news, and was met by a long procession of vehicles laden with the wounded. Not a word of victory could she get on any hand, until she observed, in the very last wagon, a group of Gordon Highlanders, badly wounded, and heavily bandaged. They evidently knew something, for they were throwing their bonnets in the air, and shouting: "Bony's beat! Hurrah for Bonnie Scotland! Hurrah for Merrie England! Bony's beat!" Recognizing the Highland spirit, the lady sought to learn the cause of their excitement, and they told her, between their wild cries of joy, that a rider had just sped by, bringing the glad news of victory.

It was not easy for the people of Brussels to gather the real import of this news either from the lady or the Highlanders, but it began to spread about, in what to them was an unknown tongue, though forcible in vociferation, that "Bony was beat and runnin' awa' to his ain country just as fast as he could gang." Yet there was no explaining it to them, and it was in vain that a brawny, bearded Highlander took a Belgian woman to task with the words, "Canna ye hear, ye auld witch? Are ye deaf? Bony's beat, I tell ye! I tell ye, Bony's beat, wumman!" It was no good! But the full significance of the fact was soon made known in the city, and then there was wild rejoicing on every hand.

In those times the Belgian people conceived and fostered a great love for the Gordon Highlanders, and no doubt the tradition has been handed down to this day that they are the best of soldiers, sweet and gentle in peace, and terrible in war.

The part played by the Gordons in the repulse of the Boer attack on Ladysmith, January 6th, 1900, is never to be forgotten. It was here that Lieutenant Colonel Dick-Cunyngham, V.C., fell at the head of his men. It was during the Afghan campaign that this hero of the Gordons received his V.C., when they were fighting outside Kabul in 1879. Staggered for a moment by a terrific onslaught on the part of the Afghans, the Gordons, their leading officer and colour-sergeant being killed, seemed to hesitate, when Dick-Cunyngham sprang forward, and, by his remarkable coolness and gallantry, saved the situation.

In later days, the Gordon Highlanders have maintained and even added to the reputation thus bravely won. One signal instance is found in their attacks on the Dargai heights. On October 18th, 1897, the Gordons formed part of the flanking movement under Brigadier-General Kempster. The heights were won, but were shortly re-occupied by the enemy. On the following day, a second battle was joined about this position. Under Sir William Lockhart the Gordons displayed their usual fighting power. In the "Broad Arrow" of February, 18th, 1898, Sir William Lockhart himself described the part they played:

"The Gordon Highlanders went straight up the hill without check or hesitation. Headed by their pipers, and led by Colonel Mathias, with Major Macbean on his right, and Lieutenant A. F. Gordon on his left, this splendid battalion marched across the open. It dashed through a murderous fire, and in forty minutes had won the heights, leaving three officers and thirty men killed or wounded on its way. The first rush of the Highlanders was deserving of the highest praise, for they had just undergone a very severe climb, and had reached a point beyond which other troops had been unable to advance for over three hours. The first rush was followed at short intervals by a second and a third, each led by officers; and, as the leading companies went up the path for the final assault, the remainder of the troops streamed on in support, but few of the enemy waited for the bayonet, many of them being shot down as they fled in confusion."

Supremely heroic on a point of romantic sentiment is our Gordon Highlander. When Cameron fell at Quatre Bras, he was not only mortally wounded, but pinned down by his horse. In this helpless condition he was recognised by one of the enemy, who swiftly rushed forward to bayonet him. But swifter still came the cold steel of Ewen Macmillan (the Colonel's foster brother) and pierced the would-be murderer to the heart. Ewen extricated his leader and bore him off; then, his master safe, he turned back with the set purpose of securing the saddle on which he had sat through many a victorious battle. In the thick of the fight the imperturbable Scot, amid a hail of bullets, secured that saddle and returned safely with it to his company, exhibiting it with a fine mingling of triumph and regret. "We must leave them the carcase," he said, "but they shan't get the saddle where Fassiefern sat." That was what he had risked his life a thousand times a minute for—the saddle where Fassiefern had sat!

And not only in stirring deeds of deathless glory have the Gordon Highlanders shone in the starry sky of Britain's fame. In the course of their long career they have been called upon to suffer and endure tests of hardship and privation, which prove the true mettle of the British soldier. They have played many parts in the theatre of war where the limelight did not fall. It was even their fate to take part in the terrible retreat to Bremen. Mr. W. Richards gives a grim description of some of these hardships:

"The high, keen wind carried the drifted snow and sand with such violence that the human frame could scarcely resist its power; the cold was intense; the water, which collected in the hollow eyes of the men, congealed as it fell, and hung in icicles from their eyelashes; the breath froze, and hung in icy incrustations about their haggard faces, and on the blankets and coats which they wrapped about them."

But, with the Gordons, the hardy spirit in which they weathered all this was only a modification of that which carried them into their most glorious triumphs on the field of battle. Speaking of hardships and remembering the strong spirit of camaraderie which has always existed between our soldiers of all regiments, we cannot help reminding the Gordons that their 2nd Battalion owes the Coldstreamers one ration. It happened in this way. When the Gordons arrived at Fuentes d'Onoro both officers and men were literally starving, owing to a faulty commissariat; and no sooner did the Guards get wind of this than they volunteered a ration of biscuits, from their haversacks. Now, as the Coldstreamers will not be able to get those biscuits from the enemy, who appears to have "embarked without them," they may require them again from the Gordons and they should insist on having them well buttered.


Badges.—The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt. The Royal Tiger, superscribed India.

Battle Honours.—Mysore, Seringapatam, Egmont-op-Zee, Mandora, Corunna, Fuentes d'Onoro, Almaraz, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nive, Orthes, Peninsula, Waterloo, S. Africa 1835, Delhi, Lucknow, Charasiah, Kabul 1879, Kandahar 1880, Afghanistan 1878-80, Egypt 1882-84, Tel-el-Kebir, Nile 1884-85, Chitral, Tirah, S. Africa 1889-1902, Paardeberg, Defence of Ladysmith.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with yellow facings.

[To the first regiment (the 89th), raised in 1759, there belong the romances of two notable men. One was the Duke's brother, Lord William, who afterwards ran away with Lady Sarah Bunbury, and the other was Lord George, the future rioter. A further romance belongs to the Gordons proper. When, in 1794, the 4th D. of G. was commissioned to raise a regiment for the King, with the Duke's son, Lord Huntly, as its colonel, his wife Jane, "the Bonnie Duchess," acted as her son's recruiting sergeant. Day after day she rode in among them at their gatherings, and with the King's shilling between her teeth, kissed them into the army. "Now, lads; whose for a soldier's life—and a kiss o' the Duchess Jean?" Her ambition for her son in the way of masculine counterpoise to the brilliant alliances of her daughters does not matter so much as that the Gordons sprang into being at the touch of her lips—which is a legend greatly treasured among Highlanders.]


From a Painting by R. Caton Woodville.


("The Garvies")

"Rangers of Connaught, the eyes of all Ireland are on you this day. On then, and at them, and if you do not give them the soundest thrashing they have ever got in their lives, you needn't look me in the face again in this world or the next."—Colonel-in-Command at the Front.

Towards the close of the Transvaal War the 2nd Battalion of the Connaught Rangers performed a heroic feat, which tended to mitigate the peace-with-little-honour feeling which marked the peace negotiations of 1879.

Lydenberg was garrisoned by some seventy men, fifty-three of whom were Connaught Rangers, the whole being under the command of Lieut. Long, a mere stripling lad of twenty-two. Soon after Brunker's Spruit the Boers called upon Lydenberg to surrender, thinking that the lad of twenty-two would do as he was told like an obedient boy. But they soon found that they were mistaken. Long wisely temporised, and made use of a few days thus gained to strengthen his defences. Soon came the Boers' second demand of surrender, and this time it was scornfully flung back. So, on the 6th January, the Boers' bombarded the place, but the little garrison held out, and, for twelve weeks, the forces of siege, sickness, hunger and thirst failed to break the spirit of the gallant band. Then, when peace was declared, the 94th had no cause to feel ashamed, for in their hands Lydenberg had never surrendered. The British flag still fluttered above it. Worn and exhausted by terrible hardships and privations, but still unconquered, the survivors came forth in peace.


Badges.—The Harp and Crown. The Elephant. The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt.

Motto.—"Quis Separabit."

Battle Honours.—Seringapatam, Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes d'Onoro, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Nivelle, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Central India, S. Africa 1877-79, 1899-1902, Relief of Ladysmith.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with green facings.

[Raised in 1793 in Connaught. Both Battns. gained undying fame in the Peninsula War, the regiment having the honour of forming the forlorn hope at the storming of both Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo. The regiment also fought with distinction in the Crimea and the Indian Mutiny. During the Boer War of 1899 the 1st Battn. formed part of the famous Irish Brigade in Natal, and in 1901 it became a battn. of mounted infantry.]


("The Thin Red Line")

"Wherever they have lived and fought they have carried with them the fearless picturesqueness of their indomitable mountains."

At Sevastopol, as at few other battles in the history of wars, was displayed the most magnificent valour of the Highlander. The approaches to Balaclava were protected by six batteries manned by Turks, who, it will be remembered, were in those days our allies. On October 25th, 1854, the Russians made a determined attack on these redoubts, speedily captured three of the batteries, and at once turned them on the 93rd Highlanders, under Sir Colin Campbell, compelling them to seek cover behind a slight ridge. No sooner had they done so than a horde of Russian cavalry swept down upon them, whereat Sir Colin ordered his men to breast the ridge and hold it against them at all costs. "Men," he said, "there is no retreat from here; you must die where you stand." "Ay, ay, Sir Colin," was the cool response, "and we'll do that if needs be."

The men were only two or three deep, but that "thin red line," bristling with steel, was none the less formidable for that. Every heart was staunch and every hand was steady. Nearer and nearer came the rolling thunder of the Russian cavalry, quickening as it came. They were now at 600 yards. "Fire!" the order was given, and the lead went forth, but the Russians, though galled, still came on. At 200 yards a second volley rang out, and this time the enemy wavered and could only be rallied by the remarkable determination of their officers. Their swerve was headed into a flank attack, but the Highlanders stood firm as their native rocks, and met their last onrush with volley on volley.

"Then had you seen a gallant shock
When saddles were emptied and lances broke."

The enemy, now in confusion, looked at the cold steel awaiting them, turned in dismay and fled in disorder to the shelter of their own guns.

The 93rd were also at Lucknow, and the way they came to the rescue of the hard-pressed garrison of that city makes a thrilling episode.

Well known is the story of Jessie, the Scotch nurse, who was within the fortifications of Lucknow when the final grip of despair was closing on the beleaguered garrison. Sitting musing on the hope of death as against the horrors of surrender, she suddenly raised her head and listened. Was she dreaming of the hills and glens of her native land, which she might never see again, or was that the sound of the pibrochs floating on the breeze from far away? She started up, declaring that she heard the wild music of her own country drawing nearer and nearer out of the distance. Others listened, but could hear nothing, and thought that Jessie was fey. But the simple-living Scotch folk are renowned for their second sight and clairaudience, and the event proved that Jessie was right; for at that moment, though far beyond the range of physical hearing, the Highlanders, under Sir Colin Campbell, were marching swiftly towards Lucknow, with Cameron striding at their head, blowing his loudest.


From a Painting by R. Caton Woodville.

When they arrived at the city they made no pause, but swept down on the dastardly foe with irresistible force, while the bagpipes screamed and the men cheered wildly. Then ensued a running fight lasting some hours, after which post after post was seized and occupied until finally the siege was raised, and Sir Colin Campbell and Sir Henry Havelock met within the city and shook hands on a glorious relief.


Badges.—A Boar's Head within a wreath of myrtle. A Cat within a wreath of broom, all over the label as represented in the arms of the Princess Louise, and surmounted with H.R.H.'s coronet. In each of the four corners the Princess Louise Cypher and Coronet.

Mottoes.—"Ne obliviscaris." "Sans peur."

Battle Honours.—Cape of Good Hope 1806, Rolica, Vimiera, Coronna, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Alma, Balaclava, Sevastopol, Lucknow, S. Africa 1846-47, 1851-53, 1879, 1899-1902, Modder River, Paardeberg.

Uniform.—Regular and Reserve Battns., scarlet with yellow facings.

[1st Battn. (Argyllshire Highlanders): raised in 1794 by the Duke of Argyll. 2nd Battn. (Sutherland Highlanders): raised by the Duke of Sutherland in 1800. The 1st Battn. formed the bulk of the heroes of the wreck of the Birkenhead. The 2nd Battn. were the celebrated "thin red line" at Balaclava. The regiment won great distinction during the Indian Mutiny. It formed part of General Wauchope's force at Magersfontein (1899).]


("The Old Toughs")

The Dublin Fusiliers had a large share in writing the red history of India. Their prestige has been drawn mainly from the East. Indeed, although they have been in existence 246 years, they never set eyes on the white cliffs of Dover until the other day, so to speak, in 1871. On their colours stand the Royal Tiger of Bengal, and the Indian Elephant, together with the honours—Plassey, Mysore, The Carnatic, Buxar, and many others gained in India which are unknown to any other regiment. In the conquest of India they were Clive's men, Warren Hastings' men, and "their names are the names of the victories of England." It is scarcely too much to say that Indian territory was made British by the Dublin Fusiliers. The story of how India would have become part of the French Empire but for the daring genius of an obscure youth and the indomitable valour of the Dublin Fusiliers makes thrilling reading.

The French had laid siege to Trichinopoly, knowing that, with its fall, fell India into their hands; but Clive, a young man of twenty-five years, a born genius, without any further acquirement in the way of special training, evolved as if by a heaven-sent inspiration—a sudden plan—the consummate daring of which has not been equalled in the history of any other nation. It was, in brief, to raise the siege of Trichinopoly by dealing a sledge-hammer stroke upon Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic—a city whose population was 100,000, and whose garrison consisted of 1,100 trained men. Clive proposed to subdue this strongly defended city with 200 Dublin Fusiliers and 300 Sepoys. This unheard-of intention must have had something unseen and undreamt of behind it, as the shadow of the coming event. The issue proved this. With his handful of men, tuned to his own pitch of enthusiasm, he marched boldly on Arcot during the night. He was not alone. His allies were the elements. As he neared the gates of the city, they broke loose. The lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and the rain descended in torrents. In the midst of this, he and his little band entered the city as if at the head of an unknown mighty army. These men, who came attended by the artillery of the storm gods, by the lightning's flash and search-light, seemed all too many for the garrison. Terrified, they fled in tumult and disorder, and Clive by this master-stroke, aided by That which has aided Britain many times in a moment of daring extremity, seized Arcot, and held it.

But this master-stroke required confirmation before it was effective. It yet remained for Clive, and his brave band to display the endurance and patience necessary to hold what was won. The besiegers of Trichinopoly gathered reinforcements, and beleaguered Arcot. Ten thousand men enforced that place. In the course of days four officers, nearly 100 Dublin Fusiliers and over 100 Sepoys were lost. Says an eye-witness who describes the place, "The ramparts were too narrow to admit the guns, the battlements too low to protect the soldiers." In this siege, which lasted fifty days, elephants were used by the besieging hosts. With the battering-rams slung between them, they were pushed forward against the walls, but the "Dubs" sent such a fusilade against them that the beasts turned tail, and trampled hundreds of the enemy to death.

The little body of Dublin Fusiliers and Sepoys—it was the first, but not the last time that Indian troops have fought bravely by our side—held out, and finally the enemy, after a fierce attack, in which they were worsted, retreated. Clive followed them up remorselessly. In that pursuit Pondicherry and Tanjore were taken, and now, at Plassey, were 100 British, and 2,000 Sepoys, who, in a decisive action, defeated 60,000 of the enemy under Surajah Dowlah. This superiority of a cause which, reinforcing an inferiority of men, has proved, through thick blood and thin, to be at the behest of civilisation, is not without its far-off echo in the present day.

It needs to be added that the whole of the honours of the Dublin Fusiliers, until "South Africa, 1899-1902," and "Relief of Ladysmith," were won by the Madras Fusiliers and Bombay Fusiliers (East India Company's regiments). It was only in 1881 that they were given the name "Royal Dublin Fusiliers," and as such, our English, Scotch and Welsh have never a fault to find with them.

It was at Arcot that Lieutenant Trewith, of the Madras Fusiliers, saved Clive's life at the expense of his own, and so, indirectly, yet practically, saved India. At a moment when Clive was unaware of danger Trewith saw one of the besiegers taking a long, steady aim at him through a small breach. There was no time to do anything in the way of warning. There was merely time to thrust his own body between the bullet and Clive's heart—between another Power and India. That was a moment as heroic for an individual as it was critical for a nation.

From the battle of Plassey onwards, wherever there was fighting, there were the Dublin Fusiliers. At Condore and Wandiwash, at Buxar and Sholingur, they were present—not in numbers but in force. It has ceased to be a strange thing regarding the Dublin Fusiliers that their greatest victories were those in which the odds were against them.

At Cuddalore the "Dubs" saw the first step of a romance which went far in a world of practical reality. It was there that they took no less a person than Bernadotte prisoner—Bernadotte, the born leader of men, who afterwards married Desirée Clary (the early love of Napoleon), became Field Marshal, and died King of Sweden. Little did those practical fighters think, when they treated the young Bernadotte kindly at their camp fire that they had actually captured the future father of King Oscar of Sweden—a monarch who received his name from his god-father Napoleon Bonaparte, after his favourite hero, Oscar of Ossian.

As the almost impossible name of Nundy Droog has been glorified by the "Dubs," one may fairly reason that the glory of a place-name may be derived from what takes place there. Nundy Droog is a fortress set upon a great crag, nearly half a mile high. The story of the three weeks' siege of this difficult place has a sublime climax in the final and victorious assault of the Dublin Fusiliers. It was night, and the Indian moon shone full upon the giant crag, whose serried points seemed to pierce the sky, casting deep shadows on the rocky facets and gloomy ravines. From far above fell the bugle calls of the defenders, tossed by echo from precipice to precipice, to die away in the dark spaces. Then rang out an answering clarion note from below, sounding the assault, and the Dublin Fusiliers advanced up the sides of that precipitous height. "Then," says a chronicler, with a peculiar inversion of metaphorical allusion, "hell opened above them, cannon shot ploughed through them, musketry raked them, rockets blasted them, great boulders rolled down from above and carried many away." But, undaunted, the Dublin Fusiliers climbed on and up, until at last their final dash on the summit was so determined that the enemy fled dismayed.

Later, standing in pools of blood where lay women of Cawnpore, while little baby-shoes floated about them, the Dublin Fusiliers—strong men, sobbing with grief—vowed vengeance on the perpetrators of the foulest deeds, and saw it carried out. The murderers were captured and blown from the guns, their hands smeared with the blood of their innocent victims, and, according to their own belief, their high-caste souls consequently damned for ever.

The Dublin Fusiliers fought grandly in the Boer War, and nothing could hold them back. After Colenso they were found to be only 400 strong. In view of their terrible losses it was decided to send them off to Frere to keep the communications open. It was at parade that they were informed of this, and they one and all "nabbed the rust" and swore they would be in the fighting line or die. They were expostulated with, but all arguments were of no avail; the fighting spirit was too strong, and these heroic fellows were allowed to remain to have another cut at the enemy.

During the battle of Colenso occurred a real "Irish" incident which is amusing. The "Dubs" were advancing on the enemy's left flank under a searching shell and rifle fire, when they paused for cover at a poorly-sheltered spot. Here two of the men had a private difference, and, with the battle raging round them, and the bullets whistling through their hair, they set about one another with their fists, their comrades gathering round and looking on with interest. When the matter was satisfactorily settled, and the best man had let the other up, the two shook hands, and, joining common cause against the enemy, coolly resumed the advance, and proceeded about the less personal business of the day.

It was at Lucknow that Tommy Atkins, the sentry, when he saw the people flying for the Residency, refused to leave his post, and was killed by the Sepoys. This proud nickname, Tommy Atkins, has now come to mean any soldier in the British Army, and rightly so, for, be it said, they are all built on the same plan as the one who immortalized their present name.

There are two true stories of the Dublin Fusiliers which will bear repeating; indeed, they are more than true: they are tender and true, and show the noblest form of self-sacrifice in the face of unconquering death. At Natal, when Captain Paton was severely wounded, one of his disabled men crept to his side in the cold, teeming rain, and lay with his arms about him all night long, trying to keep the necessary warmth in his body. And if you remind an old Dublin Fusilier of this touching story, he will most probably tell you another of eighty years ago, which is like unto it. There were, so the records tell, two foster-brothers in the Bombay Fusiliers (the 2nd "Dubs")—the younger an officer, and the elder a devil-may-care private. "Ye'll be lookin' after the lad," said their mother, when they left for the front. "I will," replied the reckless one; and he did. They were found, years later, upon a mountain-side in India, both dead, lying among dead and wounded. But—and here is the lump in the throat—the younger had been badly wounded, and the elder only slightly; but, dead from exposure, there he lay by his brother's side, stripped to the skin, all his clothes being piled upon his mother's younger son to keep his ebbing life-spark warm. Deep down in the devil-may-care Bombay Fusilier who did that deed was surely the spirit that conquers death, subjecting it to the higher glory of Britain.


Badges.—The Royal Tiger, superscribed, "Plassey," "Buxar." The Elephant, superscribed "Carnatic," "Mysore."

Motto.—"Spectamur Agendo."

Battle Honours.—Arcot, Condore, Wandiwash, Scholingur, Nundy Droog, Amboyna, Ternate, Banda, Pondicherry, Mahidpoor, Guzerat, Seringapatam, Kirkee, Beni Boo Ally, Aden, Punjaub, Mooltan, Goojerat, Ava, Pegu, Lucknow, S. Africa 1899-1902, Relief of Ladysmith.

Uniform.—Scarlet with blue facings.


"A battle's never lost until it's won."—Old British proverb.

"Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry."


As at Balaclava and Inkerman, a great number of our Expeditionary regiments now contending side by side at the front were present at the victorious battle of Fuentes d'Onoro, and a new significance attaches to that name from the fact that these regiments were mainly responsible for the victory on that occasion. The battle is also very noteworthy in the annals of British pluck and endurance for the number of times the little village was taken and retaken in the course of the day.

In September, 1810, Wellington, having beaten Regnier and Ney at Busaco, withdrew to his colossal defences at Torres Vedras. In the following spring he again assumed the offensive, and marched his army to Fuentes d'Onoro, where the battle of glorious incident was fought. A Highlander who was in the fight has described it in the following picturesque narrative, which as his description is taken from notes written in camp, contains no indication as to his regiment, and prudently refrains from mentioning the names of most of the other regiments, we may preface it with a list of the principal regiments engaged. They were as follow:

1st (Royal) Dragoons; 14th (King's) Hussars; 16th (Queen's) Lancers; the Coldstream Guards and Scots Guards; King's Royal Rifle Corps; the Rifle Brigade; 1st and 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry; 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders; 1st Battalion Royal Highlanders (Black Watch); 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers; 1st Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders; Norfolk Regiment; 1st Battalion Yorkshire Light Infantry; 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles; 1st Battalion Connaught Rangers; 16th Lancers; and others.

And here is his story, in the course of which the reader must make what he can of the curious fact that the cavalry on both sides were chiefly Germans!

"Our regiment was moved to the village of Fuentes d'Onoro, a few miles nearer Almeida. A great part of the way we moved through a wood of oak trees, in which the inhabitants of the surrounding villages had herds of swine feeding; here the voice of the cuckoo was never mute; night and day its simple notes were heard in every quarter of the wood.

"The village we now occupied was in Spain…. The site of the village was beautiful and romantic; it lay in a sort of ravine, down which a small river brawled over an irregular rocky bed, in some places forming precipitous falls of many feet; the acclivity on each side was occasionally abrupt, covered with trees and thick brush-wood. Three leagues to the left of our front lay the villages of Gallegos and Espeja, in and about which our Light Division and cavalry were quartered. Between this and Fuentes lay a large wood, which, receding on the right, formed a plain, flanked by a deep ravine, being a continuation of that in which the village lay. In our rear was another plain, on which our army subsequently formed, and behind that, in a valley, Villa Fermosa, the river Coa running past it.

"We had not been many days here when we received intelligence that the light troops were falling back upon our village, the enemy having recrossed the Agueda in great force, for the purpose of relieving Almeida, which we had blockaded. On the morning we received this intelligence (3rd May, 1811), our regiment turned out of the town, and took up their position with the rest of the division on a plain some distance behind it. The morning was uncommonly beautiful; the sun shone bright and warm; the various odoriferous shrubs, which were scattered profusely around, perfumed the air, and the woods rang with the song of birds.

"The Light Division and cavalry falling back, followed by the columns of the French, the various divisions of the army assembling on the plain from different quarters, their arms glittering in the sun; bugles blowing, drums beating, the various staff officers galloping about to different parts of the line giving orders, formed a scene which realized to my mind all that I had ever read of feats of arms, or the pomp of war—a scene which no one could behold unmoved, or without feeling a portion of that enthusiasm which always accompanies 'deeds of high daring'; a scene justly conceived, and well described by Moore, in the beautiful song:—

Oh, the sight entrancing
When the morning's beam is glancing
O'er files array'd
With helm and blade
And plumes in the gay wind dancing!

"Our position was now taken up in such a way that our line ran along the frontiers of Portugal, maintaining the blockade of Almeida by our left, while our right kept open the communication with Sabugal, the place where the last action was fought.

"The French advanced on our position in three columns, about three o'clock in the afternoon, and detached a strong body of troops against Fuentes, which was at this time occupied as an advance post by the 60th Regiment (1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps), and the light company of our division. The skirmishers were covered in their advance by cavalry, in consequence of which ours were obliged to fall back for greater safety to some stone fences on the outskirts of the village, while a party of our German hussars covered their retreat.

"The cavalry now commenced skirmishing, the infantry keeping up an occasional fire. It was rather remarkable that the cavalry on both sides happened to be Germans. When this was understood, volleys of insulting language, as well as shot, were exchanged between them. One of our hussars got so enraged at something one of his opponents said, that, raising his sword, he dashed forward upon him into the very centre of their line. The insulting hussar, seeing that he had no mercy to expect from his enraged foe, wheeled about his horse, and rode to the rear. The other, determined on revenge, still continued to follow him. The whole attention, on both sides, was drawn for a moment to these two, and a temporary cessation of firing took place. The French stared in astonishment at our hussar's temerity, while our men were cheering him on. The chase continued for some way to the rear of their cavalry. At last, our hussar, coming up with him, fetched a furious blow, and brought him to the ground.

"Awakening now to a sense of the danger he had thrown himself into, he set his horse at full speed to get back to his comrades, but the French, who were confounded when he passed, had recovered their surprise, and, determined on avenging the death of their comrade, they joined in pursuit, firing their pistols at him. The poor fellow was now in a hazardous plight; they were every moment gaining upon him, and he had still a long way to ride. A band of the enemy took a circuit for the purpose of intercepting him, and before he could reach the line, he was surrounded, and would have been cut to pieces, had not a party of his comrades, stimulated by the wish to save so brave a fellow, rushed forward, and arrived just in time, by making the attack general, to save his life, and brought him off in triumph.

"The overwhelming force which the French now pushed forward on the village could not be withstood by the small number of troops which defended it; they were obliged to give way, and were fairly forced to a rising ground on the other side, where stood a small chapel. The French now thought they had gained their point, but they were soon undeceived, for, being reinforced at this place by the Portuguese cacadores, our lads came to the right-about, and attacked them with such vigour that in a short time they were driven back to their old ground. While retreating through the town, one of our sergeants, who had run up the wrong street, being pushed hard by the enemy, ran into one of the houses; they were close at his heels, and he had just time to wrench open the door of a cupboard in a recess and tumble himself into a large chest, when they entered and commenced plundering the house, expressing their wonder, at the same time, concerning the sudden disappearance of the 'Anglois' whom they had seen run into the house. During the time the poor sergeant lay sweating and half smothered they were busy breaking open everything that came in their way, looking for plunder, and they had just discovered the concealed door of his hiding-place when the noise of our men cheering, as they charged the enemy through the town, forced them to take flight. The sergeant now got out, and having joined his company, assisted in driving the French back.

"No other part of the line had as yet been attacked by the French; they seemed bent on taking the village of Fuentes in the first place, as a stepping-stone, and the main body of each army lay looking at each other. Finding that the force they had sent down, great as it was, could not keep possession of the place, they sent forward two strong bodies of fresh troops to re-attack it, one of which, composed of the Irish Legion, dressed in red uniform, was at first taken for a British regiment, and they had time to form up, and give us a volley before the mistake was discovered.

"The village was now vigorously attacked by the enemy at two points, and with such a superior force, that, in spite of the unparalleled bravery of our troops, they were driven back, contesting every inch of the ground.

"On our retreat through the village, we were met by the 71st Regiment, cheering and led on by Colonel Cadogan, which had been detached from the line to our support. The chase was now turned, and although the French were obstinately intent on keeping their ground, and so eager that many of their cavalry had entered the town and rushed furiously down the streets, all their efforts were in vain; nothing could withstand the charge of the gallant 71st, and in a short time, in spite of all resistance, they cleared the village."

[This regiment (1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry) was always remarkable for its gallantry. The brave Cadogan well knew the art of rendering his men invincible; he knew that the courage of the British soldier is best called forth by associating it with his country, and he also knew how to time the few words which produced such magical effects.]

"We were now once more in possession of the place, but our loss, as well as that of the French, had been very great. In particular places of the village, where a stand had been made, or the shot brought to bear, the slaughter had been immense. The French, enraged at being thus baffled in all their attempts to attack the town, sent forward a force composed of the very flower of their army, but they gained only a temporary advantage, for, being reinforced by the 79th Regiment—although the contest remained doubtful until night—we remained in possession of it, with the exception of a few houses on the rise of the hill at the French side. The light brigade of our division was now withdrawn, and the 71st and 79th Regiments remained as a picquet in it during the night. Next morning it was again occupied as before. On the 4th both sides were busily employed burying the dead and bringing in the wounded, French and English promiscuously mixed, and assisted each other in that melancholy duty, as if they had been intimate friends…. During this day, the French generals reconnoitred our position, and next morning (the 5th), they made a movement to their left with two strong columns. This caused a corresponding movement in our lines, and it was scarcely made, when they attacked our right, composed of the 7th Division, with all their cavalry, and succeeded in turning it, but they were gallantly met by some squadrons of our dragoons, and repulsed. Their columns of infantry still continued to advance on the same point, and were much galled by the heavy fire kept up on them by the 7th Division, but in consequence of this movement, our communication with Sabugal was abandoned for a stronger position, and our army was now formed in two lines, the Light Division and cavalry in reserve. This manœuvre paralysed their attack on our line, and their efforts were chiefly confined to partial cannonading, and some charges with their cavalry, which were received and repulsed by the 3rd Regiment of Guards in one instance; but, as they were falling back, they did not perceive the charge of a different body of the enemy's cavalry in time to form, and many of them were killed, wounded, and taken prisoners. Colonel Hill, who commanded the picquets, was among the latter; the 42nd Regiment (The Black Watch) also, under Lord Blantyre, gallantly repulsed another charge made by the enemy's cavalry. The Frenchmen then attempted to push a strong body of light infantry down the ravine to the right of the 1st Division, but they were driven back by some companies of the Guards and 95th Rifles (now the "Rifle Brigade.")

"While on the right this was going on, the village of Fuentes was again attacked by a body of the Imperial Guard, and, as on the 3rd, the village was taken and retaken several times. At one time they had brought down such an overwhelming force that our troops were fairly beat out of the town, and the French formed a close column between it and us. Some guns which were posted on the rise in front of our line, having opened upon them, made them change their ground, and the 88th Regiment (Connaught Rangers) being detached from our division, led on by the heroic General McKinnon (who commanded our right brigade), charged them furiously, and drove them back through the village with great slaughter.

"Some time previous to this, General Picton had had occasion to check this regiment for some little plundering affair they had been guilty of, and he was so offended at their conduct that, in addressing them, he had told them they were the greatest 'blackguards' in the army. But, as he was always as ready to give praise as censure, where it was due, when they were returning from this gallant and effective charge, he exclaimed, 'Well done, the brave 88th!' Some of them who had been stung at his former reproaches cried out, 'Are we the greatest blackguards in the army now?' The valiant Picton smiled, and replied: 'No, no, you are brave and gallant soldiers; this day has redeemed your character.'

"At one time during the contest, when the enemy had gained a partial position of the village, our light troops had retired into a small wood above it, where they were huddled together without any regularity (a French officer, while leading on his men, having been killed in our front), a bugler of the 83rd Regiment (now 1st Battalion Irish Rifles) starting out between the fire of both parties, seized his gold watch; but he had scarcely returned, when a cannon shot from the enemy came whistling past him, and he fell lifeless on the spot. The blood spurted out of his nose and ears, but with the exception of this, there was neither wound nor bruise on his body—the shot had not touched him.

"The phenomenon here described has been the subject of much discussion among medical men; some attribute it to the shot becoming electrical, and parting with its electricity in passing the body, while others maintain that the ball does strike the individual obliquely, and although there is no appearance of injury on the surface, there always exists serious derangement of the system internally.

"We had regained possession of the village a short time after, and got a little breathing time…. After the various takings and retakings of the village, night again found us in possession of it. On the 6th, no attempt was made to renew the attack, and, as on the 4th, the army on each side was employed burying the dead, and looking after the wounded. On the 7th, we still remained quiet, but on this day the whole French army were reviewed on the plain by Massena. On the 8th, the French sentries were withdrawn at daylight, the main body of the enemy having retired during the night to the woods between Fuentes and Gallegos. On the 9th they broke up, and retired from their position, and on the 10th they had recrossed the Agueda without having accomplished the relief of Almeida."

Full of interest and significance as was the battle of Fuentes d'Onoro, it remains that the most sanguinary and glorious battle of the Peninsular War, as far as the soldiers were concerned, was that of Albuera where, on May 16th, the skilful Soult was defeated by Beresford, with tremendous slaughter.

Just as the battle of Fuentes arose out of the determination of Massena to save Almeida, so that of Albuera was owing to Soult's desire to save Badajoz, which was in siege by Beresford. Wellington was returning victorious from the north to join Beresford, but, before he arrived, the bloodiest battle of the Peninsula was over.

Before the siege of Badajoz was well compacted Soult came up with a superior force, and Beresford decided to raise the siege and stake the issue on a pitched battle. The Allies took up their position on the ridge of Albuera, some 28,000 strong, including 10,000 half-trained Spaniards, who were something between a hindrance and a help. Soult's force consisted of 19,000 picked infantry, 4,000 cavalry, and fifty guns.

It is the very climax and turning point of this fight that interests us here. It came at a time when Houghton's Brigade, being practically worsted in an assault on the ridge, were failed by Beresford, but succored by Colonel Hardinge, who, on his own responsibility, ordered the advance of General Cole's Division against the enemy. This, the 4th Division, consisting mainly of British fusiliers, succeeded in turning the tide of battle. Cole himself led the fusiliers up the hill, on the crest of which the French with their artillery were stationed in force; and, as if that were not superiority enough, the whole of Soult's reserve was advancing in mass to support the columns on the ridge. Houghton's Brigade held on in what seemed a losing fight. The ground was heaped with dead, and the Polish lancers were beginning to gather round the British guns. The brigade saw defeat and destruction staring it in the face. But they endured for sheer tenacity's sake, not knowing that but a few moments more mattered everything. The Royal Welsh Fusiliers swept steadily upwards, attacked the savage lancers, charged their gathering hosts, and put the enemy to rout. It was Houghton's Brigade that had borne the brunt, but it was the Welsh Fusiliers that decided the victory.

Napier has pictured this glorious passage of arms so vividly that it is no man's presumptuous task to describe it independently. "Such a gallant line," he says, "issuing from the midst of smoke, and rapidly separating itself from the confused and broken multitude, startled the enemy's heavy masses which were increasing and pressing onwards as to an assured victory. They wavered, hesitated, and then, vomiting forth a storm of fire, hastily endeavoured to enlarge their front, while a fearful discharge of grape from all their artillery whistled through the British ranks. Sir William Myers was killed. Cole, and the three Colonels: Ellis, Blakeney, and Hawkshawe, fell wounded, and the fusilier battalions, struck by the iron tempest, reeled and staggered like sinking ships. Suddenly and sternly recovering, they closed on their terrible enemies, and then was seen with what a strength and majesty the British soldier fights. In vain did Soult, by voice and gesture, animate his Frenchmen; in vain did the hardiest veterans, extricating themselves from the crowded columns, sacrifice their lives to gain time for the mass to open out on such a fair field; in vain did the mass itself bear up, and, fiercely arising, fire indiscriminately upon friends and foes, while the horsemen hovering on the flank, threatened to charge the advancing line. Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry. No sudden burst of undisciplined valour, no nervous enthusiasm weakened the stability of their order; their flashing eyes were bent on the dark columns in their front; their measured tread shook the ground; their dreadful volleys swept away the head of every formation; their deafening shouts overpowered the dissonant cries that broke from all parts of the tumultuous crowd as, foot by foot, and with a horrid carnage, it was driven by the incessant vigour of the attack to the farthest edge of the hill. In vain did the French reserves, joining with the struggling multitudes, endeavour to sustain the fight; their efforts only increased the irremediable confusion, and the mighty mass, giving way like a loosened cliff, went headlong down the ascent. The rain flowed after in streams discoloured with blood, and 1,500 unwounded men, the remnant of 6,000 unconquerable British soldiers, stood triumphant on the fatal hill."

It must be added to this classic word-picture of the fight on the ridge that Marshal Beresford in his despatch to Lord Wellington, dated Albuera, 18th May, said, "It was observed that our dead, particularly the 57th Regiment (the "Die Hards" of Albuera), were lying as they had fought in the ranks, and that every wound was in front."


"The Cavalry do as they like to the enemy until they are confronted by thrice their numbers….

"Our Artillery has never been opposed to less than three or four times their numbers."—Sir John French at the Front.

The majority of the Expeditionary Forces now at the front carry in their hearts if not on their standards the glorious legends of Balaclava and of Inkerman. At a time when it has become so evident that the tendency of the Prussian military system is to crush individual initiative, while that of the British system is to encourage it on equal terms with a free and unhesitating obedience to the will of the commander, the battles of Balaclava and Inkerman are of peculiar significance, for, while Balaclava contains a glorious instance of blind obedience, Inkerman stands alone as a sanguinary conflict in which, to quote an eye-witness, "every man was his own general." For this reason it has been called a "soldiers' battle," and as such it forms a useful example, not only of the fine behaviour of our soldiers when thrown on the limit of their own individual resources, but also of the self-reliant valour and do-or-die spirit that has brought them through so many desperately prolonged struggles before and since. The fact that Inkerman was fought and won in a thick fog makes it all the more wonderful and satisfactory that the units, and even individuals, of our army on that occasion co-operated well within the boundaries of a sound and discreet initiative. Many full descriptions have been given of Balaclava and Inkerman. Our space here will not allow of more than a brief account of some of the glorious deeds on those fields of victory.

On October 25th, 1885, the Russians made a bold attempt to take Balaclava, and the tale of their defeat is the immortal tale of two of the finest cavalry charges ever known in the history of war. Immortalised in verse by Tennyson, the "Charge of the Light Brigade" is a deed bringing honour and glory for all time; yet the charge of the Heavy Brigade earlier on the same day was an affair even more deadly to the enemy and more responsible for the final victory.

At the first attack of the Russians the 93rd (Sutherland) Highlanders were called upon to face them and defend the foremost approach. Eight Squadrons of General Scarlett's Heavy Brigade on the left wing were at once ordered to their assistance. Of these the Scots Greys and Inniskillings were diverted to check the advance of a body of Russian cavalry 3,000 strong, which was descending from the hill into the valley. It all happened on the spur of the moment. As soon as Scarlett became aware of the meaning of those 3,000 of the enemy he made up his mind in a flash. It was one of the intuitions that determine the fortune of war. "Left wheel into line!" and the Greys and Inniskillings were ready. They saw the cause and understood the intention. They wheeled into line, and as they formed up with quick, cool decision, the Russians paused, as if to calculate, some 500 paces away. "Charge!" And the Greys and Inniskillings, with Scarlett at their head, thundered forward on the enemy.

It was a gallant and almost desperate undertaking, for the two squadrons were greatly out-numbered by the opposing force; but it was so sudden, unexpected and headlong, that the Russians were thrown into hesitation and scarcely knew on the spur of the moment the best way to meet it. After the terrible clash of meeting they could do no more than try to close in on the English, and in this, by dint of superior numbers, they must in the end have wiped our men out had it not been that in the very thick of it help came from several sides. First, small detachments of other "Heavies" came up rapidly and fell upon the enclosing Russians so fiercely that their plan was weakened. Then a whole squadron of Inniskillings from our right swept down on the enemy's left and completely frustrated its encircling movement. Finally, from different quarters, the 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards and the Royals came up like a whirlwind, and the result of it all was a fight of the wildest and most terrible kind. In the thick of it were Scarlett and his two squadrons, and the enemy were cut up and swept away like chaff before the terrible onslaught within and without, until at last they broke and fled in utter confusion back over the crest of the hill. So, in glorious victory, ended the Charge of the Heavy Brigade, a splendid feat of generalship and valour which, though unsung by Laureates, nevertheless throws a tremendous weight of tradition into the spirit of the "Heavies" who, with three of their regiments—the Scots Greys, and the 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards, are to-day repeating such deeds at the front without being aware that they are doing anything extraordinary.

The Charge of the Light Brigade is a matter that all the world knows while all the world wonders—in one sense, that it was ever undertaken, and, in another, that mortal flesh and blood could dare so desperate and unwarlike a deed at the behest of discipline and still succeed in turning it to glorious account. What happened is household reading, but who could be restrained from relating it, and who can refrain from reading it yet once more?

The Light Brigade, with the 13th Light Dragoons and the 17th Lancers in the first line, the 11th Hussars in the second, and the 4th Light Dragoons and the 8th Hussars in the third, was drawn up two deep as soon as the ambiguous order arrived. The Heavy Brigade was in readiness to support, with Lord Lucan commanding in person the Greys and Royals. A brief question as to the meaning of the order and a quick reply that it was no time to question, but merely to obey, and then the trumpet rang out for the charge. It had no uncertain sound and every man prepared to do and die as they went down the hill with Lord Cardigan at their head at a speed approaching twenty miles an hour. Sheets of flame, and a hail of lead, leapt out upon their flanks from the Russian infantry. Captain Nolan darted out across their front, shouting and waving his sword in the futile effort to explain that it was all a mistake. But their minds were made up and they did not heed or could not understand his gestures, at so swift a pace; and then, swifter still, a fragment of shell tore its way through Nolan's heart and his horse wheeled and bore him, dead, but still upright, through the advancing ranks before he fell.

Meanwhile the brigade hurled forward, through the dense pall of smoke before the guns, into that dreadful impact which has shown the nations for ever what our heroes can do. Those who passed between the shot and shell passed also between the guns, sabring the gunners as they went, until they launched upon the squadron beyond. Then ensued a mighty conflict for the possession of the guns. While those in the first line fought fiercely with the enemy's cavalry the second and third lines thundered in and made their business plain. It was to silence the guns, and with all the courage of their kind they did it. Their tracks could be traced next day on the field by the lines of dead whose heads were not left upon their bodies, or were cloven "from the nave to the chaps." The fight was unequal, but they did not seem to realise it, for they fought their way back with a persistency that sent an undying thrill through all the world. These heroes fought on, and would have done so to the last drop had it not been for a timely charge of the French Chasseurs d'Afrique upon the pressing hosts of the enemy. Thus they were extricated—all that were left of them. "Then they rode back"—some 170 in formation.

When they lined up in their original position and Lord Cardigan counted them in a glance, he said "Men, it was a mad-brained trick, but it was no fault of mine." Later, when the French General was asked his opinion, he replied, "It was magnificent, but it was not war." Later still, when Lord Cardigan came home, Queen Victoria asked him simply, "Where is my army?" Yet, though critics may speak of "absolute inutility," and calculating militarists of "sheer waste of life," it still remains that the crowning glory of the Light Brigade, born that day at Balaclava, has outlived all the survivors of that deathless fray, and will still live on when the sword of the conquered has been beaten once more into the ploughshare of peace. Ask any man of the 11th Hussars fighting at the front to-day what he thinks about the Charge of the Light Brigade, and, whatever he says, he will stand an inch higher while saying it. And so it is with the nation. In these days, from the Secretary for War to the latest recruit—even to the humblest non-combatant grimly enduring—we are greater, stronger, more whole-hearted for the memory of that glorious episode. It is far reaching. It is immortal.

"When can their glory fade?
Oh! the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade;
Noble Six Hundred!"

Ten days had elapsed since their defeat at Balaclava when the Russians planned an over-whelming attack on our besieging army. Their objective was Mount Inkerman, their methods were secret, and their men 60,000. The event shows that they hoped, by sending a strong force to the west of Sevastopol and some 20,000 men to engage our army in the field, to carry Inkerman, and so compel us to raise the siege.

Through the mists of the cold November morning the Russians, stirred to the highest enthusiasm by the priests, advanced on Inkerman, and a fight of the most desperate character ensued. Our Second Division, sore pressed by overwhelming numbers, was suffering heavily, when, notwithstanding the fog, the enemy's strategy became apparent, and the Rifle Brigade were sent hurrying up from the field to their assistance. The 50th followed, and the battle round Inkerman, now a trifle less unequal, eddied and swirled and locked, turning now in favour of one side and now the other. All sides belched flame and in turn were bespattered with lead. Here a heap of Russian slain, and there, through a rift of the mist, a fitful gleam of serried bayonets. The British broke ranks and formed squares, and, in this formation, every square found work of its own in repelling the fierce and sudden rushes of the enemy. A couple of 18-pounders were brought up and long gaps were hewn out of the deep ranks of the attacking host. Small groups found antagonists by instinct in the mist and fought to a finish on their own. Commanders became fighting-men, and every fighting-man his own commander. It rested with each and all who had in common, not only the fog, but a general purpose, to see that they kept their place between anything Russian and the summit of Inkerman; and, in the process of this, hand-to-hand combats as heroic as any in the Trojan War were joined. "A series of dreadful deeds of daring," says Davenport Adams, "of sanguinary hand-to-hand fights, of despairing rallies, of desperate assaults in glens and valleys, in brush-wood and glades and remote dales, from which the conquerors issued only to engage fresh foes, till the old supremacy, so readily assailed, was again triumphant and the battalions of the Czar gave way before our steady courage and the chivalrous fire of France."

Wyman & Sons Ltd., Printers, London and Reading.

Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.

Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been retained as printed.