24th Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 24th Foot

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.

In July 1761, the regiment was with Granby's Corps in Germany and, on July 16, it took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white and a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier
24th Foot Grenadier Mitre Cap (as per Morier in 1751) - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
British mitre with: a willow green front edged white, embroidered with white floral twigs and light green oak leaves and with a 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" and with dark blue bottom strip with 3 yellow stripes; red back; a willow green headband edged white probably wearing the number 24 in the middle part behind; a willow green pompom with white inner threads
Neckstock white
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
Collar none
Shoulder Straps brick red (left shoulder only)
Lapels willow green 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)
Cuffs willow green slashed cuffs laced white (same lace as above) with 4 pewter buttons and 4 white buttonholes (same lace as above) on the sleeve above each the cuff
Turnbacks willow green
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
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a “Brown Bess” muskets, a bayonet and a sword.

Officers

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.

Musicians

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.

Colours

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.

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

References

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

24th Regiment of Foot in North America

N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.