The 62nd, the Wiltshire Regiment, was amalgamated with
its linked battalion, the 99th Duke of Edinburgh’s
(Lancashire), in 1881. As the
2nd battalion of the 4th Foot, it assisted in the
defence of Minorca, and began a separate existence as the 62nd
in 1758. The county title was
given in 1782. The first
regiment so numbered became a battalion of the 60th in 1755. As an independent regiment the 62nd was with Wolfe
at Quebec in 1759; behaved with great gallantry in the defence of
Carrickfergus against the French the following year; surrendered with
Burgoyne at Saratoga, after bearing the brunt of the battle there and at
Stillwater; and, after other services, was sent to Jamaica against the
Maroons, in 1791, when it lost twenty-five officers and the bulk of the
men from disease. In the
Egyptian campaign of 1801 the regiment did duty at Alexandria and Rosetta;
the flank companies were despatched to relieve the castle of Seylla in
1808; and for the second time the 62nd embarked for Sicily (in
1809), and assisted on this occasion to capture Ischia and Procida.
The destruction of the batteries at Palermo was effected by three
companies in 1811, and the grenadier company also saw service at the
Bidassoa, Nivelle, and the “Mayor’s House” near Boulogne.
After much general duty in various parts of the world, it shared in
the glories of Ferozeshah (losing 18 officers and 280 men killed and
wounded) and of Sobraon, whilst a detachment was present at Aliwal.
Curiously enough, twice
during the campaign were the colours lost; the first time they were sunk
in a boat on the Ganges, and though they were recovered, they were, on the
second occasion, destroyed by fire in a boat on the same river.
The 62nd was despatched to the Crimea in 1854, and lost
heavily during the prolonged siege which added “Sevastopol” to the
list of regimental honours.
A 2nd battalion, raised in 1804, served in the Peninsula
at the nive and Nivelle, formed part of the Army of Occupation of France,
and was disbanded in 1820.
The 99th was formed at Glasgow in 1824, was named “the
Lanarkshire Regiment” in 1832, and the “Duke of Edinburgh’s” in
1874. It has had five
predecessors. The first
existed from 1760 to 1763; the second (the Jamaica Regiment), 1780 to
1783; the third, 1794 to 1798; the fourth (Prince of wale’s Tipperary),
formed in 1804, became the 98th in 1818; and the fifth, raised
in 1805 as the 100th, became the 99th in 1815, and
was disbanded in 1818 as “H.R.H. the Prince Regent’s county of Dublin
Regiment.” The first active
service seen by the regiment was in the Maori War of 1845, when two
companies were despatched from Sydney, and the men shared in the repulse
at Ohaianai and its final capture, and in the fight at Ruapekapeka the
The year 1860 saw them in China.
The 99th was engaged in that campaign against the
pirates of Chusan, in the actions on the 18th and 21st
September between Pehtung and Pekin, and the capture of the
capital-returning at the peace to Hong Kong.
Thence one company was transferred to Shanghai in 1862, to assist
in the suppression of the Taeping Rebellion there, the whole regiment
returning home from the China seas in 1869.
In 1878 the 99th embarked for South Africa, where two
companies fought at the battle on the Inyezane and were then shut up in
fort Ekowe, and the rest of the battalion formed part of the column of
relief which defeated the Zulus at Ginghilovo.
Since then the 99th has seen much foreign but no active
Formerly the “splash” was worn on the buttons of the 62nd,
because at the siege of Carrickfergus Castle by the French, in 1760, the
men ran short of ammunition and used their buttons instead.
The buff facings of the 62nd and the yellow of the 99th
were changed to white in 1881. The
Maltese Cross the badge of both the 62nd and the Royal Wilts
Militia; but to that has been added the cipher and coronet of the “Duke
of Edinburgh.” The coronet
and cipher appears on the button (with Wiltshire Regiment), on a Maltese
Cross on the collar; the same, with the name added, on the helmet,
waist-plate, and forage-cap.
The Royal Wiltshire Militia, formed in 1759, composes the 3rd
battalion. The Volunteer
battalions are the 1st Wiltshire, Warminster, and the 2nd
Wiltshire, Chippenham. Both
are dressed in green with black facings.
The 62nd were known as the “Springers,” when acting
as Light Infantry in Burgoyne’s campaign, from the rapidity of their
pursuit of the Americans in 1777.
depot was at Devizes (Excerpt from her majesty's Army by Richards)