Origin and History
The regiment was created on March 8 1689 and raised in Shropshire from March 28 1689 and was originally known as the "Sir Edward Dering's Regiment of Foot". It initially wore a blue uniform.
In August 1689, the regiment embarked for Ireland where it campaigned until 1691. By December 1691, it was stationed in Bridgwater, Glastonbury and Wells; by May 1692, in Guildford. From August 1692, the regiment was involved in the Nine Years' War (1688–97). From September 1694 to March 1695, it was stationed in Maidstone, Essex, Suffolk and London. From March 1695, it served in the Mediterranean. In March 1696, it returned to London, then went to Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. From June 1 1697, it campaigned in the Spanish Netherlands.
In November 1697, the regiment was sent to Ireland where it remained until May 1700.
In February 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession, William Seymour transferred to the Queen's Foot and John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough took command of the regiment. The same year, it was sent to the continent. On August 13 1704, the regiment then known as "Marlborough's Regiment" took part in the Battle of Blenheim where it was attached to Rowe's Brigade who advanced against Blenheim. It was initially repulsed and came back to the attack two times before making itself master of the position. On May 23 1706, the regiment took part in the Battle of Ramillies; on July 11 1708, in the Battle of Oudenarde and was later present at the siege of Lille. On September 11 1709, it fought in the Battle of Malplaquet. In 1710, it took part in the siege of Douai. At the end of the war, in August 1713, it was sent back to Ireland where it was stationed until September 1719.
Until 1751, the regiment was known by the names of its successive colonels. On July 1 1751, it officially became the "24th Regiment of Foot".
As per a resolution of September 20 1756, a second battalion was exceptionally added to the regiment. Two years later, in 1758, this second battalion was made a distinct regiment as the 69th Regiment of Foot.
During the Seven Years's War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since February 8 1752 until January 15 1776: Lieutenant-General Edward Cornwallis
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was stationed in Minorca when the French launched an amphibious expedition against Minorca. After the capitulation of the British force defending the Fortress of St. Philip on June 28, the regiment was sent to Gibraltar.
In September 1757, the regiment was stationed on the Isle of Wight and embarked on the fleet for the aborted raid on Rochefort.
In May 1758, the regiment was at the Isle of Wight in preparation for a raid on the French Coasts. It then embarked on the fleet and took part in the expedition from June 1 to July 1. It also participated in a second expedition on the French Coasts from August to September of the same year. On September 11, its grenadiers suffered heavy losses while reembarking during the Combat of Saint-Cast.
As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in England and counted 1 battalion for a total of 900 men.
In May 1760, the regiment was part of the British reinforcements sent to Ferdinand of Brunswick. The British force disembarked in the Weser and, by June 17, had joined Ferdinand's Army at Fritzlar. On July 10, the regiment was with the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick at the Combat of Corbach where, along with other British regiments, it covered the retreat of the defeated Allied army.
|Coat||brick red lined willow green and laced white (white braid with one large green stripe edging) with 3 pewter buttons and 3 white buttonholes (same lace as above) under the lapel
|Waistcoat||brick red laced white (same lace as above)|
|Gaiters||white with black buttons|
brown, grey or black during campaigns (black after 1759)
Troopers were armed with a “Brown Bess” muskets, a bayonet and a sword.
Officers of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences:
- a silver gorget around the neck
- a silver aiguillette on the right shoulder
- silver lace instead of the normal white lace
- a crimson sash
Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command. However, officers of grenadiers wore a more decorated mitre than the privates.
Officers were usually armed with a spontoon. However, in action, some carried a musket rather than the usual spontoon.
The drum body was willow green decorated with the King's cypher surmounted by a crown with the number “XXIV” in Roman numerals pained underneath.
King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose wreath around the regiment number "XXIV" in gold Roman numerals.
Regimental Colour: Willow green field with its centre decorated with a rose wreath around the regiment number "XXIV" in gold Roman numerals.
N.B.: since this regiment exceptionally counted 2 battalions, the colours of the 2nd Battalion were distinguished by a flaming ray superposed to the upper left branch of the saltire.
Aylor, Ron: British Regimental Drums and Colours
Farmer, John S.: The Regimental Records of the British Army, London: Grant Richards, 1901
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
Mills, T. F.: Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately seems to have disappeared from the web)
Morier, David: Paintings of the British Grenadiers in 1751
Walton, Clifford: History of the British Standing Army A.D. 1660 to 1700, London, 1894, pp. 78-79
N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.