15th Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 15th Foot

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on June 22 1685 in Nottingham as the "Sir William Clifton's Regiment of Foot".

In July 1689, during the Jacobite rising (1689-92), the regiment served in Scotland and fought in the Battle of Killiecrankie. In April 1690, it took part in the Battle of Cromdale.

In the Spring of 1694, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment embarked for Flanders. In the Autumn of the same year, it took part in the capture of Huy; in 1695, in the attack of Fort Knokke and in the Siege of Namur. In 1697, it returned to England.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was sent on the continent in 1702 as part of Marlborough's Army. During this war, it took part in the battles of Blenheim, Ramillies, Malpaquet and Oudenarde.

In 1719, the regiment was sent to Scotland to quench the Jacobite Rising and took part in the Battle of Glen Shiel.

in March 1741, during the War of Jenkins' Ear, the regiment served briefly in the West Indies and South America, taking part in the Battle of Cartagena de Indias.

In 1746, during the Jacobite Rising, the regiment fought in the decisive Battle of Culloden.

On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "15th Regiment of Foot".

During the Seven Years's War, the regiment was under the command of:

Service during the War

In September 1757, the regiment was stationed on the Isle of Wight and embarked on the fleet for the unsuccessful and wasteful raid on Rochefort.

In 1758, the regiment was selected for the planned Campaign against Louisbourg. Sailing from Britain, it arrived at Halifax in mid-April. The British Fleet departed Halifax on May 28 for Louisbourg. In June and July, the regiment took part in the Siege of Louisbourg. On June 8, when Amherst's Army landed near Louisbourg, the regiment was part of the left brigade under Lawrence. Louisbourg surrendered on July 27.

In 1759, the regiment was part of the expedition against Québec. During this expedition, it belonged to Brigadier-General Monckton's Brigade. On June 27, the army landed on Île-d'Orléans and were drawn up on the beach near the village of Saint-Laurent. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Beauport where it was part of the second wave with the 78th Fraser's Highlanders. The assault failed and, towards 7:30 p.m., the British retreated in good order. The 15th Foot rowed for Pointe Lévis. The grenadiers suffered heavy losses in this fight. On September 13, the regiment took part in the victorious Battle of the Plains of Abraham near Québec. It was deployed on the left wing, protecting the left flank. Finally, on September 18, Québec surrendered. At the end of October, when Vice-Admiral Saunders left with his fleet for Great Britain, the regiment, whose ranks had been replenished to about 550 men by drafts from the 62nd Foot and 69th Foot, remained as garrison in Québec along with 9 other battalions. The mourning worn for the loss of General Wolfe at the Heights of Abraham was perpetuated in the black background to the silver rose of the collar dogs worn by the regiment for many years.

On April 28 1760, at the defeat of Sainte-Foy, the regiment was in Burton's Brigade on the right wing.

In 1761, the regiment laid idle in North America for most of the year before being sent to the West Indies where it arrived in Carlisle Bay in Barbados on December 24.

In January and February 1762, the regiment took part in the siege of Fort Royal and in the conquest of Martinique Island. Then from March to August, it participated in the siege and capture of Havanna, suffering heavy losses from sickness during the following months.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier
15th Foot Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
British mitre with: a yellow front edged white embroidered with white floral twigs and with the white King's cipher surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband); a small red front flap edged white with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent" in white and with a white bottom strip; red back; a yellow headband edged white probably wearing the number 15 in the middle part behind; a white pompom with yellow inner threads
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined yellow and laced white (white braid bordered with thin yellow braids dotted in blue) with 3 pewter buttons and 3 white buttonholes (same lace as above) under the lapel
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red (left shoulder)
Lapels yellow laced white (same lace as above) with 7 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets horizontal pockets laced white (same lace as above) with a vertical extension
Cuffs yellow (slashed in the British pattern) laced white (same lace as above)
Turnbacks yellow
Waistcoat brick red laced white (same lace as above)
Breeches brick red
Gaiters white with black buttons
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white (natural leather as per some authors)
Waistbelt white (natural leather as per some authors)
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with with a "Brown Bess" muskets, a bayonet and a sword. They also carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

Officers

Officers of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences

  • silver gorget around the neck
  • a silver aiguilette on the rigt shoulder
  • silver lace instead of normal lace
  • a crimson sash

Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command; however, officers of the grenadier company wore a more decorated mitre cap.

Officers generally carried a spontoon, however, in battle some carried muskets instead.

Musicians

Drummers and fifers wore a reversed coat with swallows nest and lace in white.

The drum pattern were red hoops and white drum cords over a yellow drum. The drum barrel was decorated with the silver king's cypher surmounted by a crown and with the number of the regiment under the cypher.

Colours

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose wreath around the regiment number "XV" in gold Roman numerals.

Regimental Colour: Yellow field with its centre decorated with a rose wreath around the regiment number "XV" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner

King's Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Regimental Colour - Source: PMPdeL

References

Aylor, Ron: British Regimental Drums and Colours

Boscawen, Hugh: The Capture of Louisbourg, 1758, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2011

Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

George II: The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751

May R. and G. A. Embleton: Wolfe's Army, Osprey Publishing, London, 1974

Mills, T. F.: Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

Ricketts, Campbell: Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire

Wikipedia - East Yorkshire Regiment