Origin and History
The regiment was raised on March 5 1694 at Portsmouth by Colonel John Gibson and named the “Sir John Gibson's Regiment of Foot”. In 1697, the regiment was sent to Newfoundland to protect the island against French enterprises. During the winter of 1697-98, it suffered heavy losses due to extreme weather conditions.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was sent to the Netherlands in 1704. In 1705, it took part in the battle on the fortified lines of the Geet (July 18). On May 23 1706, it was at the battle of Ramillies and then took part in the siege of Ostend before returning to England. In 1707, the regiment was sent to Spain where it fought at the Battle of Almanza (April 25), suffering heavy losses.
In September 1719, the regiment was part of the English force who attacked Vigo in Spain.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment became the “28th Foot” in 1742. In 1743, it was sent to the Netherlands. On May 11 1745, it fought in the Battle of Fontenoy where it lost 137 men.
From 1749 to 1757, the regiment was stationed in Ireland.
On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the “28th Regiment of Foot”.
By the time of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was composed of Irish Catholics.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since October 10 1734: Philip Bragg
- from October 24 1759 to July 15 1773: George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment was selected for the planned campaign against Louisbourg or Québec. On May 7, the transport fleet sailed from Cork, Ireland, arriving at Halifax on July 9. Three French Naval Squadrons reinforced Louisbourg that summer and the British expedition was cancelled. The 28th Foot spent the Winter 1757/1758 at Chignecto, Nova Scotia.
In 1758, the regiment took part in the amphibious expedition against the Fortress of Louisbourg in Canada. It embarked on April 17 and arrived at Halifax on May 9. On May 28, the British Fleet sailed from Halifax for Louisbourg. The expedition was under the command of General Amherst. On June 8, when Amherst's Army landed near Louisbourg, the regiment was part of the left brigade under Lawrence. In June and July, the regiment, held in reserve, took part in the Siege of Louisbourg which surrendered on July 27. After the capture of the fortress, the regiment remained there as part of the garrison.
In 1759, the regiment took part in the amphibious expedition against Québec, it belonged to Brigadier-General Townsend'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 9, a skirmish occurred near the Montmorency Fall. Dank's Rangers were attacked and defeated by a party of Canadians and Ottawa Indians who was in turn repulsed by the grenadiers of the 28th Foot. On July 31, the grenadiers of the regiment took part in the failed attack on the shores of Beauport, suffering heavy losses in the fight. Late in the evening of September 12, 300 men of the regiment formed part of the first 1,700 men who were ordered from the British vessels above Québec into bateaux in preparation for a landing at Anse-au-Foulon. On September 13, the regiment led the way when the army climbed the heights of Québec. It then took part in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham near Québec where it was placed on the right flank. General Wolfe charged at its head. On September 18, Québec finally 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 650 men by drafts from the 62nd Foot and 69th Foot, remained as garrison in Québec along with 9 other battalions.
In 1761, the regiment assumed garrison duty in Montréal 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 expedition against Martinique Island and in the siege of Fort Royal. Then from March to August, it participated in the expedition against Cuba and in the siege and capture of Havana, suffering heavy losses from sickness during the following months. After a year in Cuba the regiment went to New York with a strength of only 208 men.
|Coat||brick red lined bright yellow and laced white (white braid decorated 2 bright yellow outer stripes and, in the center, small dark blue rhombuses bordered by a dark blue zigzag on each side) with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above)
|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 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 of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences
- silver gorget around the neck
- an aiguilette on the right 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.
According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:
- The drummers of the regiment were clothed in bright yellow, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with red, and laced in such manner as the colonel shall think fit for distinction sake, the lace, however, was of the colours of that on the soldiers' coats.
- The front or forepart of the drums were painted bright yellow, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “XXVIII” under it. The rims were red.
King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XXVIII" in gold Roman numerals.
Regimental Colour: bright yellow field with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XXVIII" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.
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
Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II, p. 90-103
Mills, T. F.: Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately seems to have disappeared from the web)
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.