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Scottish Regiments
Lord MacLeod's Highlanders
1818 - 1873

FROM 1818 to 1822 this regiment performed garrison duties at various places in England, a mere enumeration of which would not be interesting, and is needless here. While at Chatham in 1821, the strength of the regiment was reduced to 576 rank and file. In 1822 it sailed from Liverpool for Dublin, where it arrived on the 3rd of May, and remained there till the beginning of October, when it was marched to the south of Ireland. Here it remained until May 1824, having its headquarters at Fermoy, with detachments stationed at various villages in order that disturbances might be suppressed and other maintained. The nature of the duties which the regiment had to perform can be seen by reference to our account of the 42nd about this period. In January 1824 Lieutenant-General Sir Gordon Drummond was removed from the colonelcy of the 88th to that of the 71st, vacant by the death of General Francis Dundas.

In May the regiment proceeded to Cork to re-embark for North America; but before doing so, Colonel Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, commanding the regiment, received very gratifying addresses from the magistrates and inhabitants of Fermoy, praising highly the conduct of the regiment, which had now the esteem of all classes. The 7lst embarked at Cork for North America on the 14th, 16th, 17th, and 18th of May 1824, and arrived at Quebec about a month thereafter, at which place the headquarters of the regiment was stationed. The 71st remained in America performing garrison duty at various places till 1831. In May 1827 the headquarters was removed to Montreal; preparatory to the change, the service companies were inspected by Lieutenant-General the Earl of Dalhousie, who assured Lieutenant-Colonel Jones that he never had seen any regiment in more perfect order. In May 1828 the regiment removed to Kingston, where it remained for a year, and where it suffered much from fever and ague. From this place headquarters removed to Toronto in June 1829, and companies were sent out to occupy various posts; the 71st remained there for two years.

In June 1825 the strength of the regiment had been increased to 710 rank and file, who were formed into 6 service and 4 depôt companies, the latter stationed in England; the movements of the former we have been narrating. In August 1829 the depôt companies removed from Gravesend to Berwick-on-Tweed, and in June 1830 from the latter place to Edinburgh Castle. In September 1829 Major-General Sir Colin Halkett succeeded General Drummond as colonel of the 71st.

In May 1831 the service companies returned to Quebec, where they stayed four months, sailing in October for Bermuda, where they were stationed till September 1834. While at Bermuda, in February 1834, the tartan plaid scarf was restored to the 71st by authority of the King. In September of that year the 6 service companies left Bermuda for Britain, arriving at Leith in October 19th. The regiment was stationed at Edinburgh till May 1836, when it embarked for Ireland, and was stationed at Dublin till June 1837, when it proceeded to Kilkeany. The regiment remained in Ireland till April 1838, on the 16th of which month the 6 service companies again sailed from Cork to Canada. The four depôt companies remained in Ireland till June 1839, when they sailed from Cork to Scotland, and were stationed at Stirling. While in Ireland, March 1838, Major-General Sir Samuel Ford Whittingham succeeded Sir Colin Halkett to the colonelcy of the regiment, and he again was succeeded in March 1841 by Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Reynell, formerly so intimately associated with the regiment as its lieutenant-colonel. The strength of the regiment was in August 1838 increased to 800.

During 1840 the 6 service companies were stationed at St John’s, Lower Canada.

The service companies proceeded from St John’s to Montreal, in two divisions, on the 27th and 28th of April 1842.

In consequence of the augmentation which took place in the army at this period, the 71st regiment was ordered to be divided into two battalions, the 6 service companies being termed the first battalion, and the depôt, augmented by two new companies, being styled the reserve battalion. The depôt was accordingly moved from Stirling to Chichester in 1842, and after receiving 180 volunteers from other corps, was there organised into a battalion for foreign service.

The reserve battalion of the 71st, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel James England, embarked at Portsmouth in Her Majesty’s troop-ship "Resistance," which sailed for Canada on the 13th of August 1842, and landed at Montreal on the 23d of September, where the first battalion was likewise stationed, under the command of Major William Denny, who, upon the arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel England, took charge of the reserve battalion.

The reserve battalion marched from Montreal to Chambly on the 5th of May 1843, and arrived there on the same day.

The first battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel England, embarked at Quebec for the West Indies in the "Java" transport, on the 20th of October 1843. The headquarters disembarked at Grenada on the 15th of December following.

The headquarters of the first battalion embarked on the 25th of December 1844, at Grenada for Antigua, where they continued during 1845. On the 11th of May 1845, the headquarters and three companies of the regiment marched from Chambly, and arrived in Kingston, in Canada, on the 14th of that month.

On the 18th of April 1846, the headquarters and four companies of the first battalion embarked at Antigua on board the transport "Princess Royal," and on the 24th of the same month landed at Barbadoes.

The first battalion, under the command of Captain Nathaniel Massey Stack, embarked for England at Barbadoes on the 29th and 30th of December 1846, on board H.M. ship "Belleisle." On the 6th of October they had left Kingstown in Canada West, and arrived at La Prairie on the 8th of the same month.

The ship "Belleisle," having the first battalion on board, sailed for Portsmouth on January 1st 1847, and arrived at Spithead on the 25th. After disembarking the battalion at Portsmouth it proceeded to Winchester, where it remained till July 19th, when it was conveyed in three divisions by railway to Glasgow, and on December 21st was removed to Edinburgh.

On the 18th of February 1848, Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, K.C.R, from the 9th Foot, was appointed colonel of the regiment in room of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Reynell, Bart., who had died at Arundel on February 10, 1848; and on the death of the new colonel at Salford, on January 26th 1849, about a year after, Lieutenant-General Sir James Macdonell, K.C.B., from the 79th Foot, was appointed to the colonelcy of the regiment on February 8, 1849.

In compliance with instructions received upon the occasion of Her Majesty’s visit in Dublin, the headquarters of the first battalion with the effectives of three companies, proceeded from Naas to that garrison on the 28th of July, and were encamped in the Phoenix Park The three detached companies also joined at the encampment on the same day.

The headquarters and two companies of the reserve battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Hew Dalrymple, Bart., proceeded from St John’s to Montreal in aid of the civil power, on the 28th of April 1849. The headquarters and three companies quitted Montreal and encamped on the Island of St Helen’s on the 30th of June, but returned to St John’s on the 16th of July. On the 17th of August 1849, the headquarters and two companies proceeded from St John’s to Montreal in aid of the civil power, and returned to St John’s on the 6th of September.

The Queen having arrived in Dublin on the 6th of August, the first battalion had the honour of sharing in the grand review which took place in the park on the 9th, in presence of Her Majesty and Prince Albert, after which a highly complimentary general order was issued, expressing the high approval of Her Majesty and Prince Albert of the conduct of the troops present at the review.

On the 10th of August 1849 Her Majesty and Prince Albert and the Royal Family left Dublin, and the 71st furnished a guard of honour, under Captain T. H. Colville, at the railway station; and on the 11th, the lieutenant-general commanding marked his very high appreciation of the services of the troops stationed in Dublin during the above auspicious occasion, by publishing another highly complimentary general order.

In addition to the remarks in the general order of Lieutenant-General Sir Edward Blackeney, which reflected so much credit on the 71st Highland Light Infantry, in common with the other regiments in garrison, Major-General H.R.H. Prince George of Cambridge was graciously pleased to express his approbation of the high state of efficiency and good conduct of the battalion; and as its stay in Dublin was intended to be only during Her Majesty’s visit, the headquarters and three companies returned to Naas on the 13th of August 1849, detaching on the same day three companies to Maryborough, Carlow, and Newbridge.

During the months of March and April 1850, the various scattered companies of the 71st were removed to Dublin, where the whole battalion was stationed at the Richmond Barracks.

The headquarters and two companies of the reserve battalion quitted St John’s and Chambly on the 21st of May 1850, and arrived at Toronto on the 23rd of that month, where the battalion was joined by the other companies, and it continued there during the remainder of the year.

In May 1852 the reserve battalion proceeded from Toronto to Kingston. On the 8th of June following, Lieutenant-Colonel Hew Dalrymple, Bart., retired from the service by the sale of his commission, and was succeeded by Lieutenant - Colonel Nathaniel Massey Stack.

Instructions having been received for the battalion to embark at Glasgow for Ireland, three companies proceeded to Dublin on the 27th, and the headquarters, with the three remaining companies, embarked on board the "Viceroy" steamer on the 1st of May, and arrived at Dublin on the 2nd. Companies were detached to various places, and the headquarters proceeded from Dublin to Naas on the 20th of May.

On the 4th of July Lieutenant-Colonel William Denny, having arrived from Canada, assumed the command of the battalion, when Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Hew Dalrymple, Bart, proceeded to rejoin the reserve battalion.

H.R.H. Major-General Prince George of Cambridge, commanding the Dublin district, made the autumn half-yearly inspection of the regiment on the 13th of October 1849, on which occasion H.R.H. expressed personally to the regiment his satisfaction and approbation of their appearance and steadiness under arms, and the marked improvement that had been effected.

A draft of the reserve battalion, consisting of 2 subalterns, 2 sergeants, and 90 rank and file, embarked at Cork for Canada on the 4th of May of the same year.

The state of discipline in the regiment was reported to be good on its arrival in Dublin, and during its stay in that garrison it was most favourably reported upon. The accompanying extracts, which were conveyed to the commanding officers by order, are creditable to the character of the regiment

"DUBLIN, 21st July 1861.

"The Commander-in-Chief is glad to find that His Royal Highness considers the recruits lately joined to be of a superior description, and that he is enabled to speak with unqualified praise on the state of the discipline to which the regiment has arrived since it formed part of the garrison of Dublin.

"Officer Commanding
"1st Bat. 71st Regt.’

The following is an extract from a letter received from the Adjutant-General of the Forces, having reference to the confidential report of H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, of the 1st battalion of the 71st Highland Light Infantry, for the second period of 1850:—.

"Asst. Adjt.-General’s Office,
"DUBLIN, 28th January 1851.

"The progress made by this battalion during the half year is extremely satisfactory to the Commander-in-Chief; and in the highest degree creditable to Lieutenant-Colonel Denny and his officers, who may congratulate themselves on having brought the battalion into a state of efficiency of which it certainly could not boast when the lieutenant-colonel assumed the command.

"W. F. Forster, A.A.-G’

During 1851 and 1852 the regiment remained in Ireland, moving about in detachments from place to place, and performing efficiently a variety of duties, agreeable and disagreeable, in that disturbed country, and sending off now and then small parties to join the reserve battalion in Canada. In August the regiment removed to Kilkenny.

On the 1st of November 1852, a communication was received for the battalion to be held in readiness for embarkation for the Mediterranean, and in compliance therewith, the service and depôt companies were formed on the 1st of January 1853; and on the 3rd the battalion received new colours. On the arrival of the battalion at Cork, the old colours were placed over a tablet erected at Kinsale, to the memory of the late Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, a native of that place, who commanded the regiment for many years. During February and March the regiment sailed in detachments for Corfu.

By a War Office letter of 20th of February 1854, the regiment was to be augmented, from the 1st of April, by one pipe-major and five pipers.

The reserve battalion remained in Canada from 1849 to 1853, having been stationed successively at St John’s, Toronto, Kingston, and Quebec, returning from Canada in 1854, and forming the depot of the regiment at Canterbury in October.

On the outbreak of the Crimean war all the effectives, with a proportion of officers, consisting of 1 major, 3 captains, 6 subaltens, 20 serjeants, 6 buglers, and 391 rank and file—total, 417—were ordered to proceed to the Crimea, and embarked at Portsmouth, on board the "Royal Albert," November 24, and landed at Balaclava on the 20th of December. The first battalion joined the reserve in February 1855.

Major-General A. F. Mackintosh, Commander of the Forces in the lonian Islands, issued the following order prior to the embarkation of the first battalion from Corfu for the Crimea, in January 1855 :—

"General Order.
"Deputy Qr.-Master General’s Office,
"Corfu, 24th .January 1855.

"The Major-General commanding addresses a few words to the 71st Light Infantry on their departure for the seat of war.

"The Major-General first saw the 71st a good many years ago, on a day when their commanding officer fell at their head; he has since often met the regiment in various parts of the world, and has always remarked among both the officers and men of the regiment that high military spirit and personal activity still conspicuous, which caused it to be selected and organised as a light corps.

"They are now about to appear on a scene where their predecessors in the regiment have so often distinguished themselves—the field of battle,—and the Major-General wishes them a prosperous passage, followed by a glorious career.

"Dep. Qr.-Mr. General."

During the time the 71st was in the Crimea, it had no chance of distinguishing itself in any great action, as had the 42d, and the other two Highland regiments with which it was brigaded. Nevertheless, the 71st had many fatiguing and critical duties to perform, which it did with efficiency; as will be seen, it was mainly occupied in expeditions to various parts of the Crimea.

The regiment embarked on the 3rd of May on board the "Furious" and the "Gladiator" steam frigates, forming part of the first expedition to Kertch, returning to Balaclava on the 8th. The regiment moved to the front on the 9th of May, and joined the third brigade of the fourth division in camp, before Sebastopol, performing satisfactorily the very trying duties in the trenches. Here, however, it did not long remain, as on May 22nd it embarked at Balaclava, on board the steam frigates "Sidon" and "Valorous," and proceeded to Kertch with the expeditionary force of the allied army.

Landing at Kamiesch Bouroun, about five miles from Kertch, on the 24th of May, under cover of the gun-boats, it bivouacked that night, and marched to Kertch the following morning, proceeding the same day to Yenikali, where it encamped.

The regiment re-embarked at Yenikali on the 10th of June on board the steam frigates "Sidon" and "Valorous," to return to the headquarters of the army, but was again disembarked—the headquarters and right wing at Yenikali on June the 12th, and the left wing at Cape St Paul on the 14th—to protect these points, in conjunction with a French and Turkish force. One company moved into Kertch from Yenikali, August 4th, and the left wing from Cape St Paul to Kertch, September 22nd.

Three companies, under Major Hunter, embarked at Kertch, September 24th, and proceeded with the French on a joint expedition to Taman. Taman and Phanagoria were bombarded by the French and English gunboats, and taken possession of by the allied expeditionary force on the same day. A large supply of hutting material and fuel was obtained for the use of the troops from these places, after which they were fired and abandoned. The expedition returned to Kertch on the 3rd of October.

A draft, consisting of 1 captain, 5 subalterns, 4 sergeants, and 121 rank and file from the reserve companies at Malta, landed at Balaclava in August, was moved to the front, and attached to the Highland division in camp before Sebastopol. It was present at the fall of Sebastopol, under the command of Major Campbell, and joined the headquarters of the regiment at Yenikali on the 2nd of October.

Until the 22nd of June 1856, the various companies were kept moving between Yenikali and Kertch. On that date Kertch and Cape St Paul were handed over by the regiment to the Russians, the Turks and French having already evacuated the Crimea.

The headquarters and six companies embarked on board the steamship "Pacific," and two companies on board the "Gibraltar," on the 22nd of June, for passage to Malta.

During the stay of the 71st in Malta, from July 1856 to January 1858, there is nothing of importance to record except the death of Sir James Macdonell on the 15th of May 1857.

The regiment received orders by telegram from England to proceed overland to India on the evening of the 2nd of January 1858, and on the morning of the 4th it embarked on board H.M. ship "Princess Royal" and the steam frigate "Vulture." The headquarters and right wing arrived at Bombay on February 6th, and the left wing on the 8th; the right wing proceeding to Mhow by bullock train in detachments of about forty daily, the first of which left Bombay on the 26th of February, and the last arrived at Mhow, March 17th. It marched from Mhow on the 30th March to join the Central India Field Force, and joined the second brigade at Mote on May 3rd. It was present at the action in Rose’s attack on the enemy at Kooneh, May 7th, when eight men fell dead in the ranks, and upwards of

twenty officers and men had to be carried from the field on account of the heat of the sun. It was present also at the actions at Muttra and Deapoora, 16th and 17th May; at the latter places the principal attacks of the enemy were repulsed by this regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell commanding the brigade, Major Rich commanding the regiment, and Battalion Major Loftus, were specially mentioned by the major-general. The regiment was present at the battle of Gowlowlee, May 22nd, the occupation of Calpee, May 23rd, and it marched on Gwalior with the 1st Brigade Central India Field Force; at the action of Moorar on the 16th of June, in which the 71st took a prominent part. It was while rushing on at the head of a company of this regiment that Lieutenant Wyndham Neave fell mortally wounded, and that Sergeant Hugh M’Gill, 1 corporal, and 2 privates were killed. Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, Major Rich, and Lieutenant Scott were specially mentioned; and Sergeant Ewing and Private George Rodgers were recommended for the Victoria Cross.

On the evening of the 18th of June the regiment formed part of a column for the support of Brigadier Smith’s brigade, and advanced on Gwalior with the whole force on the 19th and 20th.

After the capture of Gwalior on the 20th of June, the headquarter’s wing marched back to Moorar cantonments, where it was stationed till the 12th of August, when it returne4 to Gwalior, and was stationed at the Lushker and Phool Bagh, and returned again to Moorar on the 6th of June 1859.

On the 11th of November 1858, a detachment from headquarters went on field-service to the Sind River, had two skirmishes with the rebels, and returned to Gwalior on the 9th of February 1859.

On the 29th of November 1858, another detachment from headquarters went on field service, and had skirmishes with the rebels at Ranode and Nainewass. At the latter place three were killed. This detachment returned to Gwalior on 27th of May 1859.

The left wing marched from Bombay on the 11th of March 1858, and arrived at Mhow on 17th of April, and on the 9th of June a company was detached from Mhow to Indore. The greater portion of the loft wing proceeded on field-service, under Major-General Michel, C.B., and on 2nd September 1858 was present at the action at Rajghur. In the action at Mongrowlee, on September the 15th, the 71st had one private killed. In the action at Sindwaho on October the 19th, and that at Koorai on October the 25th, the 71st had no casualties. The left wing arrived at Bhopal on the 17th of November 1858, and marched to Goonah on the 17th of January 1859.

On the 25th of November a party of 50 rank and file left Mhow on camels, with a column under command of Major Sutherlaad, 92d Highlanders, and were engaged with the rebels at Rajpore on the same day, after which they returned to Mhow.

On the 1st of January 1859, the company stationed at Indore marched from that place en route to join a column on service under Brigadier-General Sir R. Napier,; K.C.B., and was present at the attack of the Fort of Naharghur, 17th of January, where two privates were wounded. Captain Lambton was specially mentioned for his daring attack.

The headquarters of the regiment were inspected by the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Clyde, on the 2nd of December 1859. His Excellency expressed his satisfaction, both with what he himself saw and the reports which he had received regarding the state of the regiment from other sources. The report made by Lord Clyde to H.RH. the General Commanding-in-Chief, produced the following Letter from the Adjutant-General of the Forces, highly complimentary to the commanding officer and all ranks of the regiment :—

Horse Guards,
"24th January 1860.

"Sir,—His Royal Highness the General Commanding-in-Chief is much gratified to hear from General Lord Clyde, Commander-in-Chief in India, that at his Lordship’s last visit to the station occupied by the regiment under your command, he found it in the highest order.

"After the recent arduous and continuous duties on which it has been employed, great credit is due to its commanding officer, Colonel William Hope, and to every rank in the corps, and H.R.H. requests that his opinion may be communicated to them accordingly.— I have the honour to be, &c.

"Officer Commanding
"71st Highlanders."

In the month of January 1860, intimation was received of the death of Lieutenant-Colonel R. D. Campbell, C.B., in London, on the 4th of December 1859, and the command of the 71st devolved on Lieutenant-Colonel Hope, C.B.

On the 22nd of July cholera broke out in the regiment. It first appeared in the hospital in cantonments, but the next day spread to the barracks, and, two or three days later, reached the fortress of Gwalior. The companies in cantonments, with the exception of one, moved under canvas; two of those in the fort moved down into quarters at the Phool Bagh. Notwithstanding these movements, the epidemic continued until the beginning of September and did not finally disappear until the 16th of that month, having carried off 1 colour-sergeant, 2 sergeants, 2 corporals, 1 piper, 1 bugler, and 62 men, 11 women and 11 children.

On the 11th of November 1860 the order for the relief was received, and on the 20th of the next month the regiment marched for Sealkote, Punjab, having been relieved at Gwalior by the 27th Inniskillings.

The state of discipline of the regiment while in the Gwalior district can be gathered from the following extract from a report from the Political Agent, Gwalior, to the Government of India, dated 15th June 1860:-

"When it was determined in June last to post a British force at the Lushker, the people expected with dread and deprecation a violent and dangerous, at least a rude and overbearing soldiery; but Her Majesty’s 71st Highlanders soon dispelled their fears and created pleasant feelings.

"His Highness and the best informed men of the Durbar have assured me that those soldiers who passed ten months in the Phool Bagh have, by their manners, habits, dealings, and whole demeanour, so conciliated the respect and regards of all, that nothing would be more acceptable than the domestication of such a force in the capital.

"The Durbar considers further, that it would bring to Gwalior incalculable industrial advantages, through affording a constant supply of superintendents of public works and skilled labourers.

"I venture to express the hope, that his Excellency may consider the Durbar’s view of the conduct of Her Majesty’s 71st, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, C.B., a very high and true compliment, as worthy of express recognition as good conduct in the field. It is in my humble judgment a most fully deserved compliment.

"Political Agent."

"Camp Agra,
"29th November 1859.

"Mv Lord,—As your Lordship is going to Gwalior, I trust you will not think that I exceed my office, if I venture to send you an extract from a report of June last, in which I attract the attention of the Government to the admirable conduct of Her Majesty’s 71st Highlanders, and to its appreciation by Maharajah Scindia and his people.

"The importance of such conduct on the part of the first British troops stationed at the capital of Gwalior might scarcely be overstated.

"Having lived with the 71st at the Phool Bagh for about twelve months, my pride in them as soldiers and countrymen must be my excuse to your Lordship for venturing upon this irregular communication of my impressions. General Napior’s views will, I trust, confirm them.

" Political Agent.’

Various drafts joined the service companies in 1860. The regiment marched into Sealkote on Sunday, the 17th of February 1861.

The brigadier-general, commanding the Lahore division, made his first half-yearly inspection of the regiment on the 26th of April 1861, and published the following order on the conclusion of this duty :— "Extract from Station Orders, dated Sealkote,

27th April 1871.

"Brigadier-General Ferryman, C.B., having completed the inspection of the 71st Highland Light Infantry, begs to express to Lieut.Col. Rich and the regiment his great satisfaction with everything he has seen. The drill is excellent; it could not be better; and the officers are well instructed. He will, therefore, have much pleasure in making a very high report to the Commander-in-Chief of everything he has witnessed."

The regiment remained at Sealkote till the 1st of November 1862, when headquarters and seven companies marched en route to Nowshera, and arrived at that station on the 21st of the same month, having detached one company at Attock to garrison the fortress.

On the 14th of October 1863, headquarters, under Lieut.-Col.Hope, C.B., moved from Nowa-Killa in the Yuzufzai country, arriving on the 18th of October at Nowshera, where the sick were left. At Nowa-Killa was assembled the force about to be employed in the hill country to the eastward, and the command was assumed by Brigadier-General Sir Neville Chamberlain, K.C.B. The object of the expedition was to destroy Mulka, on the Mahabun Mountains, the stronghold of certain Hindostanee refugees, generally known as the Sitana Fanatics, who infested our frontier and preyed on the villages. Mulka is just beyond our frontier line, and in the territory of the Indoons.

The direct route to Mulka by the Chinglae Pass being reported to be stockaded, it was decided to take the more circuitous one by the Umbeylah Pass and the Chumla Valley. The brigadier-general decided on having a small native force at Nowa-KiUa, and forming a depôt for the European troops at Roostum, which is near the entrance to the Umbeylah Pass, and directed the sick and the regimental band to remain there accordingly. 99 men of the 71st of all ranks were detached to remain at Roostum under Lieut. Boulderson.

The force marched in two divisions,—the first, all of native troops under command of Lieut.-Col. Wilde, C.B., of the corps of Guides, on 19th October; and the second, which included all the European troops, on the 20th of October, under the brigadier-general.

The pass was seized by Lieut-Col. Wilde without difficulty, but owing to the rugged nature of the ground, the so-called road being merely a path hardly practicable for loaded cattle, the troops were not concentrated at the crest of the pass until nearly 8 o’clock in the evening, and the baggage, of which much was lost or destroyed, was not all up for four days. The heavy guns were shifted on to elephants at the bottom of the pass, and got up without much difficulty.

On the 21st more ground to the front was taken, and the regiment marched down in the direction of Umbeylah about a quarter of a mile, and encamped on a small piece of level ground, and not far from a small stream of water. On the 22nd a reconnaissance was made in the Chumla Valley under the orders of Lieut.-Col. Taylor, C.E., with a small body of native cavalry, supported by the 20th Native Infantry. This party penetrated some distance into the valley without being molested; but on its return near sunset it was attacked near the village of Umbeylah, and sustained some loss. Their assailants, who were chiefly of the Boneyir tribe, followed up the 20th Native Infantry in great numbers, and commenced a general attack upon the force, which was immediately turned out and placed in position with some difficulty owing to the darkness. The attack was, however, repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy and slight loss on the British side, the 71st sustaining none. This attack by the Boneyir was not anticipated.

There was no intention of entering the Boneyir Valley, the pass of which is close to the village of Umbeylah; but this had not been explained to them. They were doubtless unwilling to allow a force to enter even the Chumla Valley, the inhabitants of which are closely connected with them, and the opportunity of attacking the invaders at a disadvantage, as they thought, was not to be lost by these warlike mountaineers.

The unexpected hostility of this numerous and warlike tribe, superadded to the difficulty regarding the baggage, and the delay now become necessary to bring up additional supplies, entirely changed the aspect of affairs, and it became apparent that the force must remain on its present ground for some days at least; orders were accordingly given to throw up breastworks along the front and flanks. The front line, which was across the valley or pass, was chiefly occupied by the European troops; while the flanks, which were on the hills on each side, were entirely occupied by native troops, until the 26th.

On the 25th, 100 men under command of Captain Aldridge, and 15 marksmen, were employed in meeting a slight attack made on the right flank; but no casualty occurred in the 71st. On the 26th, the marksmen, 1 sergeant and 15 men, were with an equal number of the 101st Royal Bengal Fusiliers ordered up to the left flank, which was threatened. Shortly afterwards, Major Parker with 150 men of the 71st proceeded as a further reinforcement. Both these parties obtained great praise for steadiness and gallantry in this, the most serious attack that had yet occurred. The marksmen occupied the post called the Eagle’s Nest, which was several times attacked by the enemy in great numbers, and with great determination. Many were shot down when close to the breastwork.

Major Brownlow, 20th Native Infantry commanding the post, made a most favourable report of the conduct of this small party, and especially named privates William Clapperton and George Stewart as having exhibited great gallantry and coolness. These men’s names afterwards appeared in General Orders, and they were recommended for the "medal for service in the field."

The conduct of the party under Major Parker was also eulogised by Lieut.-Col. Vaughan, who commanded the picquets on the left flank, and Major Parker’s name was afterwards specially brought to the notice of the Commander-in-Chief. On this day the casualties were, 1 killed and 5 wounded. Major Parker’s party remained on the heights during the 26th and 27th, and was relieved on the 28th by equal numbers of the 101st regiment.

On the 30th the regiment assisted in repulsing a very spirited, but not well-sustained attack made by the enemy about dawn on the front line of the picquets in the valley, when 3 men were wounded.

On several days the regiment furnished a strong working party to make a new road, leading from the right flank to the village of Umbeylah. On the 6th of November an armed party, under Ensign C.B. Murray, was ordered out to cover the working party, and about a mile from the nearest post it soon became evident that the enemy intended to molest the party. Accordingly, about 11 A.M. a reinforcement of 50 men, under Captain Mounsey, proceeded to the threatened point. Captain Mounsey was placed by the commanding officer, Major Harding, at a point considerably higher than that occupied by Ensign Murray, and nearer to camp, where he materially assisted in protecting Ensign Murray’s left flank, which was threatened. Soon after 1 o’clock the working party was withdrawn. Corresponding orders were, however, omitted to be sent to Ensign Murray’s party, which consequently held its ground along with a party of the 20th Native Infantry; and Captain Mounsey having been ordered to take up a fresh position still higher up the hill, the party under Ensign Murray, no longer assisted by the flank fire of the other, could only hold its ground, and was nearly surrounded.

About 2 P.M. Ensign Murray was killed, and other casualties having occurred, Major Harding, who had joined soon after, decided on holding the ground till dark, when he hoped to be able to carry off the wounded, which could not be done under the enemy’s fire. Major Harding finally retired without the wounded, but was killed in the retreat. Captain Mounsey having proceeded to the point to which he was directed, assisted by parties of the Guide corps and 1st Punjab Infantry, twice charged and drove the enemy off; and, without casualty to his own party, protected some wounded officers and men until they could be removed. For this service he was specially mentioned to the Commander-in-Chief, as was also Lieutenant Davidson of the Indian army, attached to, and doing duty with the list, for gallantry in assisting a wounded officer. In addition to the above-named officers, sergeant J. B. Adams and 2 privates were killed, and 5 wounded.

On the 18th of November, at daylight, a change of position was effected, and the whole force was concentrated on the heights, which up to that time had been on the right flank. The movement was completed by 8 o’clock A.M., without molestation, and apparently without the knowledge of the enemy, who soon afterwards appeared in great force in the valley and occupied the abandoned position.

An attack on Captain Griffan’s battery, which was supported by two companies of the 71st, was at first threatened, but the enemy soon turned his attention to the post occupied by the 14th Native Infantry, commanded by Major Ross, and which had now become our advanced post on the left. Repeated attacks were made on this post. Reinforcements being called for, Captain Smith’s company, 2 officers and 34 bayonets, was pushed forward about 2 P.M. The enemy was in great force, and between 5 and 6 P.M. the picquets were obliged to retire to a second line of breastwork. During its occupation of the advance line and in the retreat, Captain Smith’s company suffered severely. The captain himself had his leg broken by a matchlock ball, and was cut down. Lieutenant Gore Jones of the 79th, who was attached to the company, was shot in the head. The picquet reformed in the second line, and were joined by two companies of the 71st under Major Parker, who resumed command. They were furiously attacked, but after a severe hand-to-hand struggle repulsed the enemy at all points, and retained possession of the ground until after nightfall, when the whole were withdrawn by the brigadier-general, as the occupation of this point was not considered necessary or advisable. Major Parker was specially mentioned for this service.

There were killed on this occasion Captain C. F. Smith, Lieutenant Gore Jones, and 4 privates the wounded were Sergeant John Hunter and 4 privates.

On the morning of the 19th Captain AIdridge was shot, when returning from visiting the advance sentries of the Lalloo picquet. Four companies of the regiment relieved an equal number of the 101st on the upper picquet, on which the enemy continued firing all day, when 2 privates were wounded.

The 101st took the picquets of the upper camp, and also held the advanced post known as the Craig picquet.. About 3 P.M. the enemy made a sudden and furious attack in great force on the Craig picquet, and succeeded in obtaining possession of it. The 71st was at once ordered to re-take it. This post was situated on the apex of a very steep and rocky hill, of which the enemy had disputed possession on several occasions. Supported by a concentrated artillery fire and by two native corps, the 5th Ghoorkas and the 5th Punjab Infantry, the regiment, led by Colonel Hope, soon regained possession, and the combined force drove the enemy back over the nearest hill. A heavy flanking fire was maintained on the enemy by the water picquet, which also suffered some loss. The loss of the regiment was severe. The post was held that night by 270 of the list, under Major Parker, who also assumed command of the regiment. Brigadier-General Sir N. Chamberlain was wounded in the attack, and eventually had to resign command of the force to Major-General Garvock.

His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Hugh Rose, signified his entire approval of the gallantry of the regiment and of all the troops employed on this occasion. Casualties on the 20th of November 1863,—killed, 6 privates; wounded, Colonel W. Hope, C.B., 2 sergeants, 3 corporals, and 20 privates.

After his repulse with very heavy loss on the 20th, the enemy refrained from attacking any of our posts until the 15th of December, during which interval Major-General Garvock took command, and the 7th Fusiliers and the 93rd Highlanders having arrived, the duty became less severe. Previous to the arrival of these regiments no soldier in camp could be said to be off duty day or night. An exchange of posts from the upper camp to the lower was the only relief; the upper camp being much more exposed.

On the 15th December, the regiment being on picquet duty, did not accompany the portion of the force which, under the major-general, with Brigadiers Turner and Wilde commanding brigades, advanced and drove the enemy from all its posts in front, and from the village of Lalloo, but assisted in repulsing a very determined counter attack made by a strong force on the Craig picquet and upper camp generally.

On the 16th the major-general advanced and again defeated the enemy at the village of Umbeylah, which with Lalleo was burned. On the following morning the enemy sent into the major-general’s camp and tendered submission, which was accepted. A small force was detached with a strong party of Boneyirs co-operating, to destroy Mulka. This was done without actual opposition, but this force was very critically situated for a short time.

The regiment returned to Nowa-Killa, and reached Nowshera on the 30th, whence it marched on the 4th of January 1864, reaching Peshawur on the 5th.

On the 21st the regiment was inspected by His Excellency, Sir Hugh Rose, G.C.B., Commander-in-Chief, who expressed himself in the most complimentary manner with reference to the conduct of the regiment in the late campaign. He called the three men whose names had appeared in General Orders—privates Malcolm, Clapperton, and Stewart—to the front, and addressed some words of approval and encouragement to them.

On the 28th of April the regiment was inspected by Major-General Garvock, who also spoke in high terms of its conduct and discipline.

On the 23rd of October, pursuant to orders from England, the regiment marched to Calcutta for embarkation. It arrived at Rawul Pindee on the 30th; and on the 1st of November the half-yearly inspection was made by Sir John Garvock, G.C.B.

The regiment having been called on to furnish volunteers to regiments serving in the Bengal Presidency, 200 men volunteered, and were transferred to other regiments.

On the 9th of November, the regiment resumed its march by Lahore, Umritsur, and Loodiana to Umballa, where it arrived on the 13th of December; and on the following day was present at a general parade of the troops in the station, where medals for gallant service in the field were presented by Major-General Lord George Paget to Sergeant-Major John Blackwood, and privates Macdonald, Malcolm, Clapperton, and Stewart, for distinguished conduct in the field. The Sergeant-Major was also granted a pension of £15 in addition to the medal.

The regiment arrived at Delhi on the 26th of December; and on the 4th of January 1865, one wing proceeded by rail to Allahabad, and was followed next day by the other wing.

On the 21st and 23d the regiment proceeded by rail to Chinsurah, 25 miles from Calcutta, where it remained until it embarked—the right wing and head-quarters; under the command of Colonel Hope, on the 4th of February, in the steamship "Mauritius," and the left wing, commanded by Major Gore, in the "Albert Victor," on the 14th of February. The right wing arrived and disembarked at Plymouth on the 29th of May, having touched at Madras, the Cape, and Fayal. It remained at Plymouth until the 7th of June, when it was sent to Leith in H.M.’s ship "Urgent," and arrived in Edinburgh on the 12th, where it occupied the Castle.

The left wing arrived at Gravesend on the 19th of June, where it landed, and was afterwards taken round to Leith by the "Urgent," and joined the head-quarters in Edinburgh Castle on the 25th of June.

The following General and Divisional Orders were published previous to the regiment quitting India:-

Extract of Divisional Order by Major-General Sir John Garvock, K.G.B., commanding Peshawur Division.
"RAWUL PINDEE, 1st November 1864.

"The 71st Highland Light Infantry being about to leave the Peshawur Division, en route to England, the Major-General commanding desires to offer them his best wishes on the occasion.

"He has known the regiment for a number of years. He was very intimately associated with it in the Mediterranean, and his interest in it is now naturally increased in no small degree by its having served under him in the field and done its part, and done it well, in obtaining for him those honours which Her Majesty has been pleased to confer.

"The Major-General had not assumed the command of the Yuzufzai Field Force when the 71st re-captured the Craig Picquet, but he well knows that it was a most gallant exploit.

"Sir John Garvock, K.C.B., begs Colonel Hope, C.B., and the officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers of the 71st Highland Light Infantry, to believe that, although they will be soon no longer under his command, he will continue to take the liveliest interest in their career; and he now wishes them a speedy and prosperous voyage."

General Orders
By His Excellency the Commander-in-chief.

27th January 1865.

"The services of the 71st Highland Light Infantry in India entitle them, on their departure for England, to honourable mention in general orders.

"A wing of the regiment on their arrival in India in 1858 joined the Central India Field Force, and His Excellency is therefore enabled to bear testimony to the good services which they performed, and the excellent spirit which they displayed during that campaign.

"The regiment more recently distinguished itself under their commanding office; Colonel Hope, C.B., in the late operations on the frontier.

"Sir Hugh Rose cannot, in justice to military merit, speak of the 71st in a General Order without reverting to an earlier period, when in two great campaigns in Europe they won a reputation which has earned them an honoured page in history.

"Sir Hugh Rose’s best wishes attend this distinguished regiment on their leaving his command for home.

"By order of His Excellency the Commander-in-chief.

"Colonel, Adjutant-General."

The depot companies, commanded by Brevet-Major Lambton, joined the regiment in Edinburgh, and the establishment of the regiment was fixed at 12 companies, with 54 sergeants, 31 buglers and pipers, and 700 rank and file.

The autumn inspection was made by Major-General Walker, on the 4th of October 1865.

"HORSE-GUARDS, 13th February 1866.

"Referring to your confidential report on the list regiment, dated the 4th of October last, in which you represent that a sword is worn by the officers which is not regulation, I am directed by the Field-Marshal Commander-in-chief, to acquaint you that H.R.H having seen the sword in question, has no objection to the continuance of its use, the list being a Light Infantry Regiment.

"For levees, &c., the basket hilt should be worn, which, it is understood, can be made removable, and the cross-bar substituted at pleasure.

"I have, &c.,

"Major-General Walker, C.B.,
Commanding North Britain."

In October 1865, during the stay of the regiment in Edinburgh Castle, it sustained the loss by death of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Parker, on which occasion the following Regimental Order was published by Colonel Hope :—

"The Commanding Officer regrets to have to announce to the regiment the demise of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Parker, which occurred this morning at 8 a.m. Colonel Hope feels certain that the announcement will be received with the deepest regret for the loss sustained, as well by the regiment, as by Her Majesty’s service generally. Lieutenant-Colonel Parker has departed after a service of twenty-three years in the regiment, many of which he passed in distant countries and in active services against the enemies of his country. On more than one occasion, and as recently as 1863, his services in the field met with such approbation from general officers under whom he served, as to induce them to name him in public despatches.

"Colonel Hope can only express his opinion that no officer more faithfully and ably sustained the honour and reputation of the regiment than did Lieutenant-Colonel Parke; and that none better merited the honours done him."

In February 1866, the regiment removed to Aldershot, where the spring inspection was made on the 2nd of May 1866; and also the autumn inspection by Brigadier-General Sir Alfred Horsford, .K.C.B., who was pleased to comment highly on the appearance and discipline of the regiment.

In December the regiment removed to Ireland, and was distributed in Fermoy, Cork, and Ballincollig; head-quarters being at Fermoy.

On the 27th November 1867, Colonel Hope retired from the command of the regiment, which he had held for many years, and in which capacity he had gained alike, the esteem and love both of officers and men. His retirement, which was forced upon him by his continued ill health, was felt to be an occasion upon which each individual member of the regiment lost a valued friend as well as a brave commander. On leaving he issued the following Order:—

"Colonel Hope has this day (18th of November 1867), relinquished the command of the regiment, which he has held for eight years, and handed it over to Major Macdonnell, who also will be his successor.

"Having served so many years—in fact, from his boyhood—in the regiment, and having commanded for the last eight years, he need hardly say that he quits the 71st with the greatest sorrow and regret.

"It has been his anxious wish at all times to maintain intact the reputation of the regiment as it was received by him; and this wish has, he believes, been gratified.

"Since the regiment was embodied, now 90 years ago, in all parts of the world,—in India, in the Cape of Good Hope, in South America, in Spain,—the 71st has been equally renowned for conduct and discipline—in the field before the enemy, during a long peace, and in quarters at home and abroad. It has also received the approbation of superior military authorities.

"Since the breaking out of the war with Russia, it has seen service in the Crimea, and the Indian Mutiny brought it once more to India, where its early laurels were won.

"In the Central Indian Campaign of 1858, the regiment served under Sir Hugh Rose, and received commendations from that distinguished officer (now Lord Strathnairn), as it did with other commanders, with whom that desultory campaign brought it into contact.

"1863 again saw the regiment in the Yuzufzai Hills, opposed to the warlike tribes of Central Asia. Colonel Hope can never forget the devotion of all officers and soldiers in the short but arduous campaign, nor the handsome terms in which Lord Strathnairn, then the Commander-in-Chief in India, acknowledged their services on its termination.

"Colonel Hope is well aware that this short recital of the regimental history is well known to all the older officers and soldiers, many of whom took part in the exploits of the list during the last twelve years, but he mentions them now that they may be known and remembered by the younger members, and with the confident hope that it will never be forgotten that the 71st has a reputation and a name in the British army, which must be maintained at all hazards.

"Colonel Hope now bids farewell to all his comrade officers and soldiers with every good wish for their prosperity and happiness."

The command of the regiment now devolved upon Major John Ignatius Macdonnell, who obtained his promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel by Colonel Hope’s retirement. He took over the command with the good wishes and confidence of every one, having served in the regiment from the date of his first commission, on the 26th of April 1844, and been with it during the Crimea, Central Indian, and Yuzufzai campaigns.

The detachment of the regiment at Tralee was inspected by Lord Strathnairn, Commander of the Forces in Ireland, October 28th, 1867, and favourably reported upon.

During the stay of the 71st in the south of Ireland, parts of it were on several occasions called out in aid of the civil authorities during the Fenian disturbances; and it was held to be greatly to the credit of the regiment, that during this trying time with the inhabitants of the south of Ireland in open revolt against Her Majesty’s authority, there were no complaints of quarrels or other disturbances between any civilians and soldiers of the 71st.

The establishment of the regiment was increased from the 1st of April 1868 to the following standard :—12 companies; 1 colonel; 1 lieutenant-colonel; 2 majors; 12 captains; 14 lieutenants; 10 ensigns; 1 paymaster; 1 adjutant; 1 quarter-master; 1 surgeon; 1 assistant-surgeon; 57 sergeants; 31 buglers and pipers; and 800 rank and file.

On the 22nd of July 1868, the regiment removed from Dublin to the Curragh, where it remained during summer, employed exclusively in practising field manoeuvring, and in taking part in movements on a large scale with the rest of the division.

General Lord Strathnairn inspected the regiment before leaving his command, and expressed his regret at losing it, while he still further complimented it on its steadiness and good behaviour.

Two depot companies having been formed, they proceeded on the 9th of October for Aberdeen, to join the 15th depot battalion there.

On the 17th of October the regiment left the Curragh, and embarked at Dublin on board H.M.S. "Simoom" for Gibraltar, where it arrived on the 22d, disembarked on the 23d, and encamped under canvas on the North Front Camping Ground until the 29th, whence it marched into quarters and was distributed between Europa and Buena Vista Barracks.

On the 13th of March 1870 the regiment sustained the loss by death, of its Colonel, General the Hon. Charles Grey, on which occasion the following Order was published by the commanding officer :—

"It is with the deepest regret that the commanding officer has to announce to the regiment the death of General the Hon. Charles Grey, Colonel of the 71st Highland Light Infantry. This officer has peculiar claims on the sympathy of the regiment, from the deep interest he has always taken in its welfare, and his warm attachment to a corps in which he served for upwards of ten years. On all occasions he had exerted his powerful interest to promote every measure required for the honour of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, and never did he cease to watch with the kindliest feelings the varied and honourable career in distant lands of his old regiment, which he had been so proud of commanding in his early life.

"The officers will wear regimental mourning for the period of one month.’

The vacancy in the colonelcy was filled up by the appointment thereto of Lieutenant-General Robert Law, K.H., which was notified to the regiment by the commanding officer in the following terms :— "The commanding officer has much pleasure in informing the regiment that Lieutenant-General Robert Law, K.H., has been appointed colonel of the regiment, as successor to the late General the Honourable Charles Grey.

The following account of General Law’s services in the 71st will sufficiently inform the regiment how much he is entitled to their respect."

Lieutenant-General Law served with the 71st Light Infantry on Sir John Moore’s retreat at the action of Lago and the battle of Corunna; the expedition to Walcheren, Liege, Ter Verre, and Flushing; subsequently in Portugal, Spain, and the south of France, from 1810 to 1814; the action of Sobraon; the entering of the lines of Tones Vedras; the pursuit of Massena through Portugal; the battle of Fuentes d’Onor, on the 3rd and 5th of May 1811 (where he was wounded in two places); the covering the two last sieges of Badajos; the surprise and defeat of Girard’s corps at Arroyo del Molino; the storming and destruction of the enemy’s tête-du-pout and other works at Almarez; the defence of the Alba-de-Tormes; the battles in the Pyrenees,in July 1813, where, on the 30th, the command of an important post devolved upon him; the attack on Sorauren; the capture at Elizondo of the convoy of supplies destined for the relief of Pamplona; the battles of the Nivelle and the Nive; the action at the Bridge of Cambo; the affair at Hellette, St Palais, Arrivarelle, and Garris; and the action at Aire. He was employed in command of an armed boat on night duties; in the affair with picquets on the river Adour; at the battle of St Pierre, near Bayonne, on the 13th of December 1813; at the battle of Orthes; and the action at Tarbes, where he was wounded.

In the foregoing services he was long Adjutant of his regiment, and latterly acted as such to the light battalion of his brigade. He served also in the campaign of 1815, including the battle of Waterloo, where he was severely wounded by a cannon shot, which also killed his horse; he served also three years in the Army of Occupation in France, and received the war-medal with six clasps, and was made a K.H. He died May 16, 1874, aged 84, and was succeeded by the Hon. Geo. Cadogan, K.C.B., from Colonel of the 106th foot.

1777-1818 | Return to Index Page | 1873-1886


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