Gloucester Regiment

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The history of the Gloucester Regiment in military art prints from Gibson's Regiment 1694 to the Gloucestershire Regiment of World War Two. Historical military prints of the Gloucesters include the battle of Waterloo and the Battle of Alexandria.

The two battalions forming this regiment wre the 28th (North Gliucestershire), and 61st (South Gloucestershire), which were "linked" before they were territorialised.  The former, raised in 1694, was, with the exception of a detachment left at Newfoundland, disbanded four years later; but it reappears in the "Army List" in 1702.  It took part in the battles of Huy, Neer-Hespen, and Ramillies, was decimated at Almanza, was with the Vigo expedition in 1719, was present at Fontenoy, and in the L'Orient expedition of 1746.

The next names on its colours to that of "Ramillies", which is the first, are "Louisburg" and "Quebec, 1759".  These were granted for its services in the campaign which cost Wolfe his life, and for its work at Montreal and Sillery.  The 28th also assisted in the capture of Martinique and Havannah, and seemed fated to see most of its active service in the West; for, after fighting in the War of American Independence at Brooklyn, White Plains, Brandywine, and Germanstown, it was employed in 1778 at St Lucia and St Kitts; and in 1796 it again returned to the West Indies, to serve at St Lucia and Grenada.

Meanwhile it had fought also in Flanders, at Nimeguen and Gueldermalsen, in 1794; and after service at Minorca and Cadiz, it embarked for the Egyptian campaign of 1801.  There, at Alexandria, it won the distinction, peculiar to the 28th, of having the number formerly, and now the Sphinx, both in front and in rear of the head dress.  For in the battle it was attacked in rear as well as in front, and met the assualt in line, the men standing back to back.  It took part also in the affairs of Mandora and Aboukir.

After service at Copenhagen and elsewhere the 28th went to Portugal.  It was in the retreat to Corunna; afterwards at Walcheren, leaving a part of its strength to fight at the Douro and Talavera, and at Busaco, Torres Vedras, Badajoz, and Albuhera.  In this latter fighting a 2nd battalion, formed in 1803, and disbanded in 1815, took part.  The other battalion served at Arroyo dos Molinos, Almaraz, Burgos, Vittoria, the Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, and Toulouse.  At Waterloo it suffered heavily, being reduced to four companies, and the "colour staffs were shot to pieces; one of them was two yards long, the other only one".  The French cavalry failed to break their square, and the 28th stood firm, with Picton's cry, "Remember Egypt!" in their ears.

Despached to India in 1842, the 28th was prevented by sickness from taking part in the Afghan campaign, and saw no further fighting until 1854, when it was filled up to war strength with some difficulty; but it distinguished itself at Alma, Inkerman and Sevastopol, where the men showed the greatest bravery in the attack on the cemeteries.

The 61st was formed form the 2nd battalion of the Buffs, and received its number in 1758.  It had two predecessors; the first existed from 1742 to 1748, and the second afterwards became the 59th.  It first saw service, as the 61st, at Guadaloupe in 1759, and next at the celebrated defence of Minorca in 1781; at St Lucia in 1795; and in America from 1776 to 1780, where it fought at Stillwater.

After serving in South Africa in 1799, in joined General Baird's command for the Egyptian campaign, and, marching across the desert from Kosseir on the Red Sea, reached Kennah, on the Nile, in ten days.  The march was most distressing, and a drummer died of exhaustion.  Private Connell, when he was reported missing, had the heroism to go back and find him, notwithstanding his own weariness.  He found the drummer dead; but Connell's conduct in this case led to his being eventually commissioned in the 61st.  The regiment took part in the siege of Alexandria, after which the officers were given gold medals by the Sultan, and "Egypt", with the Sphinx, was added to the colours.  At Maida, in 1806, the flank companies crossed bayonets with the French; and for their gallantry the word "Maida" was placed on the "appointments of the grenadiers and light infantry of the 61st"

A 2nd battalion, raised in 1803, did duty in Ireland, and was disbanded in 1814.  Meanwhile the whole of the 1st battalion was despatched to Portugal in 1809, and remained there till the end of the war, sharing in the glories of Talavera (where Corporal Rose distinguished himself, and was eventually rewarded with a commission), Busaco, Almeida, Ciudad Rodrigo; at the siege of the forts of San Vincente, St Cajetano, and La Merced, outside Salamanca; at the battle of Salamanca (where Privates Crawford and Coulson carried the colours to the front when the officers fell); and at Burgos, the Pyrenees, the Nivelle, Nive Bayonne, Orthes, Tarbes, and Toulouse.

The 61 was despatched to India in 1845, and did not return home until 1860.  Duting this period it took part in the Sikh War, fought at Sadoolapore, Chillianwallah, and Goojerat, was engaged in the frontier war near Peshawur in 1851, and finally at the siege of Delhi during the Mutiny.  Here Doctor H. T. Reade gained the Cross for Valour.

The present facings are white; but the 28th had originally yellow, and the 61st pale buff facings, the latter from its having been once a battalion of the 3rd Foot.  The buttons bear the royal crest and the initials "G.R." within a laurel wreath of single leaves; the tunic collar bears the Sphinx over "Egypt". with two laurel twigs; in the front and on the back of the helmet is also the Sphinx etc.; and the waistplate has, in addition, the territorial title.  The latter, with the arms of the city of Gloucester, is worn on the forage cap.

The Royal South Gloucester and the Royal North Gloucester Militia form the 3rd and 4th battalions.  They were raised in 1750 and 1761, and the latter had the royal crest on its buttons.  The Volunteer battalions are the 1st Gloucestershire, Bristol (green with green facings), and the 2nd Gloucestershire, Gloucester (green and red).  The 28th were called "The Braggs" from the name of one of their colonels, who is said to have commanded the regiment for twenty five years, and "The Slashers", either from their bravery at White Plains and the Brunx, when they wore short swords, and used them, or from the story that on one occasion in Canada some of the officers disguised themselves as Indians, and attacked a magistrate who had given great offence to the regiment, "and with their swords slashed off his ear".  The depot is at Bristol.

Extract from "The British Army and Auxiliary Forces" Colonel C. Cooper King, R.M.A. , 1894

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Glosters Return by David Griffin


Glosters Return by David Griffin

The allied invasion of Normandy Operation Overlord was the greatest sea-bourne military operation in history. Key to its success and at the heart of the invasion were the Landings of the British 50th division on Gold beach and the Canadian 3rd Division on Juno beach. They provided a vital link between the landings of the British 3rd Division on Sword beach and the Americans on Omaha and Utah beaches. They were also crucial in securing the beachhead and the drive inland to Bayeux and Caen.
Item Code : DHM1360Glosters Return by David Griffin - Editions Available
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28th Gloucester Regiment at Waterloo by William Barnes Wollen.


28th Gloucester Regiment at Waterloo by William Barnes Wollen.

Under the command of James Kempt and as part of the 8th Brigade (consisting of the 1/28th Reg 1/32nd Reg 79th Reg and the 1/95th regiment) the 28th Gloucester Regiment fought at Quatre Bras and at Waterloo. The regiment distinguished itself during the battle and were mentioned in the dispatches of the Duke of Wellington. The 28th Regiment continued to wear the old style stovepipe shako, distinguishing them from most British regiments that had adopted the new Belgic shako. In this painting the 28th Gloucester are seen repulsing the French Cuirassiers while in a square. During the Battle of Alexandria some 14 years earlier, the 28th Gloucester Regiment were given the unique honour of wearing a badge on both the front and rear of their head dress. From 1751 to 1782 they were the 28th Regiment of Foot, and merged with the 61st (South Gloucestershire) regiment to form the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1881.
Item Code : DHM001628th Gloucester Regiment at Waterloo by William Barnes Wollen. - Editions Available
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Battle of Alexandria by Peter Archer.


Battle of Alexandria by Peter Archer.

Depicting the Royal Artillery along with the Gloucester regiment and Black Watch against Napoleons forces in Egypt 21st March 1801.
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Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler.


Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler.

28th Gloucester Regiment shown in square repelling the French cavalry.
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Gloucestershire Regiment by Richard Simkin.


Gloucestershire Regiment by Richard Simkin.

Item Code : UN0267Gloucestershire Regiment by Richard Simkin. - Editions Available
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Surgeon General Herbert Taylor Reade VC.


Surgeon General Herbert Taylor Reade VC.

Winning his VC during the Siege of Dehli, 14th September 1857, with a small number of men of the 61st foot, cleared rebels from the rooftops, where they had been firing down on wounded men that Reade had been attending.
Item Code : VAR0482Surgeon General Herbert Taylor Reade VC. - Editions Available
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61st Foot at the Battle of Salamanca by Tom Croft.


61st Foot at the Battle of Salamanca by Tom Croft.

61st Foot (South Gloucestershire) The Battle of Salamanca, 22nd July 1812.
Item Code : DHM941861st Foot at the Battle of Salamanca by Tom Croft. - Editions Available
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