37th Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 37th Foot

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on February 13 1702 in Dublin by Thomas Meredith

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in May 1703, the regiment sailed for the Netherlands where it garrisoned Breda. In 1704, it was part of Marlborough's army for the campaign of the Danube. On July 2, the regiment took part to the storming of the Schellenberg. On August 13, it fought at the battle of Blenheim. In 1706, on May 23, the regiment was at the battle of Ramillies. In 1708, it took part to the siege of Lille and to the capture of Bruges and Ghent. On September 11 1709, the regiment took part to the battle of Malplaquet. The regiment was then transferred to North America to assist the New England colonies in their struggle against the French. In August 1711, the regiment sailed up the Saint-Laurent river aboard a British fleet, loosing more then 250 men when one of the ships sank during a storm. In 1715, the regiment was back to Europe where it served in Scotland during the First Jacobite Rebellion.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in June 1742, the regiment sailed for the Netherlands. On June 27 1743, it took part to the battle of Dettingen. In 1745, the regiment was transferred to Scotland to contain the Second Jacobite Uprising. On January 17 1746, it was present at the defeat of Falkirk. A few months later, on April 16, it fought at the victorious battle of Culloden. It was stationed in Scotland until 1747 when it returned to the Lower Countries. On July 2 1747, it was at the battle of Lauffeld.

In 1749, after the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment returned to Great Britain and was almost immediately sent to Minorca to assume garrison duty.

On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "37th Regiment of Foot".

In 1754, the regiment left Minorca and returned to Great Britain.

As per a resolution of September 20 1756, a second battalion was exceptionally added to the regiment. However, this second battalion was detached from its parent regiment in April 1758 to form the 75th Regiment of Foot.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • in 1758: Stuart

Service during the War

In the summer of 1758, the regiment was among the first British contingent (6,000 men) sent to reinforce the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany. The contingent embarked at Gravesend on July 19, disembarked at Emden on August 3 and arrived at Coesfeld on August 17, after marching through a very heavy rain.

In June 1759, the regiment was part of the main Allied army under the command of the duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. The grenadiers of the regiment were attached to Maxwell Grenadier Battalion. On August 1, the regiment took part in the battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the 3rd column from the right under major-general Waldegrave. Misinterpreting orders, Waldegrave advanced with extraordinary bravery straight upon the cavalry deployed on the left of the French centre. The first line of French cavalry (11 sqns) charged Waldegrave first line but was thrown back. The second line of French cavalry was equally repulsed though with more difficulty. Now the French reserve, consisting of the Gendarmerie de France and the Carabiniers, attempted a third attack upon the 9 brave battalions. It charged and broke through the first line of Allied infantry. However, the second line received them with a deadly fire and forced them to retire. The astonishing attack of the British infantry had virtually gained the day. In this battlem the regiment lost 3 officers, 1 sergeant and 69 men killed and 12 officers, 4 sergeants, 4 drummers and 180 men wounded. More than half its strength...

On July 16 1761, the regiment was with Granby's corps in Germany and, on July 16, took part in the battle of Vellinghausen.

To do: more detail on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier British mitre with: a yellow front embroidered with the King's cypher in red and a crown over it; a small red front flap with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent"; red back; a yellow headband wearing the number 37 in red in the middle part behind
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined yellow and laced white (white braid with 3 thin yellow/white/yellow stripes in the middle and one blue zigzag on one side and one red zigzag on the other) with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels yellow laced white (same lace as above) with 7 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets vertical pockets with white fishbone laces (same lace as above), each with pewter buttons
Cuffs yellow (slashed in the British pattern) laced white (same lace as above) with fishbone laces (same lace as above) on the sleeve above each cuff
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 natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
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
  • 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.

NCOs

The coat of the NCO was made of the same woollen fabric as the trooper's one.

Sergeants carried halberds and had a crimson sash with a narrow yellow central line, worn round the waist.

Corporals had a knot of white tape on the right shoulder.

Musicians

Drummers wore a mitre cap similar to the grenadier mitre cap but with a lower crown. The front was decorated with a trophy of drums and banners.

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The drummers of the regiment were clothed in red, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with yellow, 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 yellow, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “XXXVII” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

For all colours, cords and tassels were crimson and gold.

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

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

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

References

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

Harris, W. J.; The Royal Hampshire Regiment (The Tigers), in This England

Knowles, L.; Minden and the Seven Year's War, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton & Co. Ltd, London, 1914

Lawson, Cecil C. P., A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II

Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth

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