Regiment of Fusiliers

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The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers formed in 1968 by the amalgamation of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and Lancashire Fusiliers. Regimental art prints of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers available from Cranston Fine Arts.

The Royal Fusiliers  In the British army in 1605 the ordinary regiments of the Line were composed of musketeers, who carried a heavy musket; pikemen, armed with 16 to24 feet pikes and swords, and grenadiers, who carried hand-grenades as well.  But there were also regiments of “Ordnance,” trained “for the care and protection of cannon,” and these carried, instead of the musket, a “snap-hance” or “fusil,” with sword and bayonet.  They did not carry colours, and therefore, for the rank of ensign was substituted that of lieutenant in the subaltern grade.  On the increase to the army consequent on Monmouth’s rebellion, James 2nd.  Ordered the formation of an “ordnance regiment,” to be called the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.  It was the first that had been definitely equipped as such.

           Lord Dartmouth, its first colonel, raised ten companies of Fusiliers and one of Miners in and about London, and to these were added two other independent companies which had long existed in the Tower.  The uniform was scarlet with yellow “livery,” caps similar to those worn by the Grenadiers, and grey breeches and stockings.  The regiment joined the camp on Hounslow Heath, in charge of the train of artillery.

           On the threatened invasion of the Prince of Orange some men served as marines on board the fleet, as they did later in 1703, and in 1756, under Byng, when they engaged the French fleet off Minorca.  After 1688 it ceased to be an “ordnance regiment,” but retained its armament as a Fusilier regiment without, as in the other “battaglia,” having a proportion of pikemen.  It embarked as an ordinary infantry regiment for the campaign in Flanders in 1689, and first saw fighting at Walcourt, shortly after which Marlborough became its colonel; and after a short period of service in Ireland at the sieges of Cork and Kinsale, it returned to Flanders to serve with King William at Steenkirk, Landen, and Namur.

           It formed part of Ormond’s expedition against Cadiz in 1702, when, though failing to take it, it captured the towns of Rota, Port St. Mary, and Fort St. Catherine, finishing by the destruction of the Spanish ships under French convoy in Vigo Bay.  From that time until 1773, when it embarked for Canada, its history was comparatively uneventful; but there it formed part of the garrison of St. John’s Fort Chambly, and Quebec.  The two former, after a short siege, surrendered to Colonel Montgomery, who commanded the American army; but the same force, in the effort to storm Quebec, was roughly repulsed, and its leader slain.  Shortly after this defeat the garrison made a successful sortie, the chief results of which was to compel the Americans to abandon Canada.

           Transferred to New York, it saw much arduous work and severe fighting in the South, being present at the actions at Staten Island, Forts Montgomery, Clinton, and Constitution; at Philadelphia, Newhaven, and Cornwallis says in his despatch, “two three-pounders were taken, and I fear the colours of the 7th Regiment shared the same fate.

           Returning to England soon after, a second battalion was added.  The first joined in the attack on Copenhagen in 1807, and two years later formed part of the expedition against Martinique.  This is the first name the regiment is authorised to wear on its colours, and the honour was bestowed in consequence of its gallantry in the capture of that island, where it was brigaded with the 23rd Royal Welsh Fruiliers.  Meanwhile the 2nd battalion took part in the expulsion of the French from Oporto, as well as the battle Talavera, which is the second name on its colours; and in 1810 the 1st battalion was also transferred to the Peninsula.  The regiment there took part in the following battles, which are not specifically claimed among the honours, namely, Busaco, Olivenza, Ciudad, Rodrigo, Aldea de Pont, Montevite, Pampeluna, and Bidassoa; but it bears on the battle-roll the names of “Albuhera,” “Badajoz,” “Salamanca,” “Vittoria,” “Pyrenees,” “Orthes,” “Toulouse,” and “Peninsula.”

           Gold medals were awarded to the colonels for many of these fights, and between 1809and 1814, inclusive, nine non-commissioned officers are recorded as receiving commission. During most of this time they had formed part of the Fusilier Brigade, consisting of the 2nd battalion of the 7th and the 1st battalion of the 23rd, and the bravery of their charge in line against the heavy column at Albuhera, where they lost two-thirds of their strength, is graphically told in Napier’s history of the war.            “The Fusiliers”, says Sir Henry Hardinge, “exceeded anything that the usual word ‘gallantry’ can convey.  They recaptured, too, a gun, and a colour belonging to the Buffs, which had been lost during a convoy charge earlier in the day.”

           There is a curious difference between what was considered indiscipline among men, and not among officers apparently, at this time; for in April, 1809, the sergeants of the regiment presented their adjutant with an address (no promotion) “expressive of their regard and gratitude for the manner in which he had performed the duty of adjutant.”  This brought the men a serious reprimand in general orders as having, “however unintentionally, been guilty of an act of great insubordination” in thus bestowing commendation on their superior officer.  Later in the same year however, on the retirement of Lieutenant-Colonel Pakenham, the officers presented him with his portrait, and a sword valued at two hundred guineas, “as a mark of their sincere regard for him as an officer and a gentleman, of their admiration of his manly virtues and zeal for the service.”  It is difficult to see in what the distinction between the two cases lies, save the mere phraseology; but it is evident here that “what in the officer is but a choleric word, in the soldier is rank blasphemy.”            

           The uniform had followed the usual alterations.  The yellow-faced coat of 1685 had given place in1751 to the tall grenadier cap, bearing the rose and garter crowned and the white horse with “Nec aspera terrent,” a scarlet coat with royal blue facings, and extremely broad yellow belts, carrying French sword and bayonet.  This in 1846 had been replaced by the scarlet coatee, with scales, the white cross-belt supporting the bayonet in a frog, and the fusilier “cap”.  So dressed, the “City of London Regiment “ next saw service in the Crimea; and for its good work at the Alma, Inkerman, and notably in the repulse of the great sortie of the 26th of October, 1854, it added these battles and “Sevastopol” to its roll.  Five Victoria Crosses were won in the campaign-by Privates Hughes and Norman, Lieutenant Hope, Captain Jones, and Assistant-Surgeon Hale.  Though in India during the Mutiny, its operations were confined to Scinde; but it took part in the frontier fighting of 1863, and later on a second battalion, raised in 1858, shared in the Afghan campaign , where it assisted in the defence of Kandahar, and the battle which raised the siege.  For this the titles “Kandahar, 1880,” and “Afghanistan, 1879-80” closes, at present, a record of gallant duty well done.    The present uniform is scarlet, with blue facings.  The grenade, with the rose on the ball, is worn on the buttons and the collar, and on the caps is the same badge, with, in addition, the crowned garter and the White Horse.  The Militia battalions are the (3rd) Royal Westminster, the (4th) Royal London, and the (5th) Royal South Middlesex.  Of these the 3rd battalion bears on its colours “Mediterranean,” because of its services during the Russian War.   The 1st Volunteer Battalion is the 16th Middlesex, the 2nd the 23rd Middlesex; the 3rd the 11th Middlesex.  All are clothed in scarlet with blue facings.  The Royal Fusiliers has borne the name of the “Hanoverian White Horse,” from bearing this badge as a decoration; and at another period that of the “Elegant Extracts,” from the officers having been selected from other regiments.    The regimental district has its headquarters was in Hounslow.   

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The Fusiliers at the Battle of Albuera by David Rowlands.


The Fusiliers at the Battle of Albuera by David Rowlands.

The Duke of Wellington while besieging the fort of Badajoz was told of an approaching French Amy of 23,000 troops under Marshal Nicholas Soult. The Duke of Wellington despatched General William Beresford with a force of 6,000 British troops and 24,000 Spanish troops who took up position overlooking the village of Albuera. The French attacked on the morning of the 16th May, Marshal Soult launched a feint attack on Beresfords left flank, while his main force attacked Beresfords right flank. The Spanish troops were overwhelmed by French musketry and a cavalry charge, at this point the British second division were brought from the other flank to stop the attack. It was here that the Middlesex regiment, 57th of Foot, lost a total of 423 men from their force of 575 and at this battle earned the nickname the Die-Hards. The allied forces were saved when the British and Portuguese reserves were brought forward and charged uphill against the French force. The French force were able to retire in .........


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Reconnaissance Group Action ,3rd Fusiliers Battle Group by David Rowlands.


Reconnaissance Group Action ,3rd Fusiliers Battle Group by David Rowlands.

Objective Brass, 26th February 1991. At the forefront of the Fusiliers Battle Group throughout the land war was the Recce Platoon. Once in the desert, it became part of the Reconnaissance Group which was formed to provide a force with an integral anti-tank capability. Such a unit was able to act independently and defend itself, should the need arise. The Recce Group was commanded by Major Corin Pearce. 4th Armoured Brigade attacked the enemy formations sequentially, and as the Battle Group paused on Objective COPPER SOUTH, the Reconnaissance Group moved forward to screen the formation and establish the Forming Up Position (FUP) for the forthcoming attack on Objective BRASS. Corporal Derek McManus of The Queen's Own Highlanders in his CVR(T) Scimitar (callsign Two Three Alpha) encountered an Iraqi command bunker, and ordered an Iraqi to tell those inside to surrender. The occupants refused, so McManus threw an L2A2 grenade into the doorway of the bunker. With Corporal Dave .........


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Assault on Iraqi Artillery Positions, 3rd Fusiliers Battle Group by David Rowlands.


Assault on Iraqi Artillery Positions, 3rd Fusiliers Battle Group by David Rowlands.

Objective Steel, 26th February 1991. Just before the start of the ground offensive, the artist was invited by 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers to join them in the desert, and jumped at the opportunity. After various adventures with other units in trying to reach their location in the flat, featureless terrain, I was attached to the crew of a Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle of C Company, Callsign Zero Charlie, commanded by Captain Bob Keating. The Battlegroup made a wide sweep around the enemy and attacked them unexpectedly from the west. The area codenamed Objective STEEL consisted of dugouts, trenches and artillery pieces. In this painting, soldiers are dismounting from Warriors with fixed bayonets to capture Iraqi artillery, which was uselessly pointing to the South. The green pennant flying from an antenna denotes C Company. The black desert rat painted on the rear stowage bin was the badge of 4th Armoured Brigade. The battlegroup halted around the final Iraq.........


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Royal Fusiliers by Richard Simkin


Royal Fusiliers by Richard Simkin



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Royal Fusiliers by Harry Payne.


Royal Fusiliers by Harry Payne.



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The Royal Fusiliers by Richard Simkin (P)


The Royal Fusiliers by Richard Simkin (P)



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Original chromolithograph published 1895.
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Lance-Sergeant F. L. Hastings Bombing Seven Of The Enemy Who Were Attempting To Seize The Lip Of A Mine Crater.


Lance-Sergeant F. L. Hastings Bombing Seven Of The Enemy Who Were Attempting To Seize The Lip Of A Mine Crater.

After the enemy had exploded a mine, Lance-Sergeant F. L. Hastings, of the Royal Fusiliers, rushed off with two men, through a heavy barrage of shrapnel, telling the rest of his party to follow as quickly as possible. On reaching the lip of the crafter he met seven of the enemy creeping round to seize the lip. He attacked them and bombed them off. For his conspicuous gallantry he was subsequently awarded the D.C.M.


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Item Code : DTE0738Lance-Sergeant F. L. Hastings Bombing Seven Of The Enemy Who Were Attempting To Seize The Lip Of A Mine Crater. - Editions Available
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PRINT First World War antique black and white book plate published c.1916-18 of glorious acts of heroism during the Great War. This plate may also have text on the reverse side which does not affect the framed side. Title and text describing the event beneath image as shown.
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Temporary Lieutenant Wilbur Dartnell Sacrifices His Life In Staying With His Wounded Men.


Temporary Lieutenant Wilbur Dartnell Sacrifices His Life In Staying With His Wounded Men.

During a mounted infantry engagement near Maktau in East Africa, on September 3rd 1915, the enemy pressed forward to within a few yards of the British force, and it became impossible to get the more severely wounded men away. Temporary Lieutenant Wilbur Dartnell, of the late 25th (Service) Battalion (Frontiersmen) The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), who was himself being carried away wounded in the leg, seeing what was happening and knowing that the enemys black troops would murder the wounded, insisted on being left behind in the hope of saving the lives of the other wounded men. His gallant attempt to save others, however, resulted in his losing his life. For his most conspicuous bravery a posthumous award of the V.C. was made.


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Item Code : DTE0338Temporary Lieutenant Wilbur Dartnell Sacrifices His Life In Staying With His Wounded Men. - Editions Available
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Captain (Temporary Lieutenant- Colonel) R. B. Barker Organizing The Defences Of A Wood.


Captain (Temporary Lieutenant- Colonel) R. B. Barker Organizing The Defences Of A Wood.

During operations Captain (Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Randle Barnett Barker, of the Royal Fusiliers, took over and organised the defences of a wood great skill, after making a personal reconnaissance of the whole wood under shell and machine gun fire. He had done other fine work, displaying great bravery, and has been awarded the D.S.O.


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Item Code : DTE0800Captain (Temporary Lieutenant- Colonel) R. B. Barker Organizing The Defences Of A Wood. - Editions Available
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Sergeant Tuersley running to assist a wounded Corporal half of whose leg had been blown off by a shell.


Sergeant Tuersley running to assist a wounded Corporal half of whose leg had been blown off by a shell.

On working his way out of the debris of a parapet at Fleurbaix in which he had been buried on the afternoon of November 9th 1914, Sergeant Charles Leonard Tuersley, of the 1st Royal Fusiliers, heard a man calling from a trench near by. On running round he found that a section commander, Corporal Tanner, had had half of his leg blown off. Sergeant Tuersley at once applied an improvised tourniquet, but while he was bending over the wounded man a shell burst near by. Two pieces struck the Sergeant in the back, but though bleeding freely he continued to attend to his comrade. He refused to retire for treatment until the wounded Corporal had been removed. For his conspicuous gallantry Sergeant Tuersley was awarded the D.C.M.


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Item Code : DTE0512Sergeant Tuersley running to assist a wounded Corporal half of whose leg had been blown off by a shell. - Editions Available
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PRINT First World War antique black and white book plate published c.1916-18 of glorious acts of heroism during the Great War. This plate may also have text on the reverse side which does not affect the framed side. Title and text describing the event beneath image as shown.
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Sergeant-Major Sharpington Rescuing An Old Woman From A Burning Farm.


Sergeant-Major Sharpington Rescuing An Old Woman From A Burning Farm.

On November 6th 1914, a German set fire, near the village of Fleurbaix, to a farm which belonged to an old woman who had refused to leave it though it was always in danger of destruction. The old womans existence was known to Sergeant-Major Sharpington, who was with his company of 1st Royal Fusiliers in a trench near by. The building was in a blaze, but without hesitation he entered it through a window, found its occupant unconscious on the floor, and carried her to safety through a hole in the wall made by a shell. For this action he received the D.C.M.


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Item Code : DTE0020Sergeant-Major Sharpington Rescuing An Old Woman From A Burning Farm. - Editions Available
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Surgeon Major Thomas Egerton Hale by Hussaly.


Surgeon Major Thomas Egerton Hale by Hussaly.

Winning his VC while serving with the 7th Regiment, Royal Fusiliers, at the Siege of Sebastopol. Under heavy fire, he carried several wounded men across open ground to safety, 8th September 1855.


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