Origin and History
The regiment was raised at Lichfield on 2 June 1705 as the “Luke Lillingston's Regiment of Foot”.
In 1716, the regiment was sent to the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean where it was stationed till 1765.
On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "38th Regiment of Foot".
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from May 26, 1756: Major-General Sir James Ross
- from October 12, 1760: Major-General David Watson
- from November 11, 1761: Major-General Andrew Robinson
- from April 12, 1762 to November 24, 1766: Major-General Hon. Sharrington Talbot
Service during the War
At the outbreak of the war, the regiment was still garrisoning the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.
At the beginning of 1759, the regiment took part in the expedition against Martinique and Guadeloupe. After the surrender of Guadeloupe (May 1st), the regiment, who had suffered heavy losses during this difficult campaign, returned to its old quarters in the Leeward Islands.
In January and February 1762, the regiment took part in the siege of Fort Royal and to the conquest of Martinique Island. Then from March to August, it participated to the siege and capture of Havana suffering heavy losses from sickness during the following months.
|Coat||brick red lined with brown linen (for the Leeward Islands station) and laced and edged white (white braid with one yellow central stripe and edged with 2 green stripes) 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 fore part of the drums was painted bright yellow, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “XXXVIII” under it. The rims were red.
King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XXXVIII" in gold Roman numerals.
Regimental Colour: bright yellow field; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XXXVIII" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.
Aylor, Ron, British Regimental Drums and Colours
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)
Wikipedia 38th Foot
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.