Origin and History
The regiment was raised at Winchester on March 1 1741 as the "Thomas Fowke's Regiment of Foot". By 1747, it ranked as 54th Foot.
In 1748, the regiment garrisoned Minorca.
On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "43rd Regiment of Foot".
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since February 7 1746: James Kennedy
- from March 24 1761: Sharrington Talbot
- from April 12 1762 to September 26 1766: Bennet Noel
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 43rd Foot spent the Winter 1757/1758 at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.
In Spring 1758, the regiment returned to Halifax.
During winter 1758-59, the regiment garrisoned Fort Cumberland (former Fort Beauséjour in actual New Brunswick).
In January 1759, 4 soldiers and a ranger were waylaid not far from Fort Cumberland, disabled by bullets, and then scalped alive. They were found frozen the next morning. About the middle of April, a British schooner arrived at Fort Cumberland. The regiment then received orders to hold itself ready to embark for Louisbourg and join the expedition against Québec under command of Major-General James Wolfe. Almost 3 weeks later, transports arrived at Fort Cumberland to carry the regiment. These transports brought provincial troops raised in New England to take their place. On their way to Louisbourg the transports carrying the 43rd Foot became separated. A vessel took shelter for a time in Passamaquoddy Bay then passed the Grand Menan, and steered southward and eastward along the coast of Nova Scotia. On May 24, an isolated British vessel carrying part of the 43rd Foot came in sight of Louisbourg. From June 1 to 6, the expedition left Louisbourg. The regiment then belonged to Brigadier-General Monckton's Brigade. On June 27, the army landed on Isle-d'Orléans and were drawn up on the beach near the village of Saint-Laurent. 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. About the middle of August, Wolfe sent rangers, light infantry and Highlanders to waste the settlements far and wide around Québec. Wherever resistance was offered, farmhouses and villages were laid in ashes, though churches were generally spared. Near Saint-Joachim there was a severe skirmish, followed by atrocious cruelties. Captain Alexander Montgomery, of the 43rd Foot, ordered the prisoners to be shot in cold blood, to the indignation of his own officers. Robineau de Portneuf, curé of Saint-Joachim, placed himself at the head of 30 parishioners and took possession of a large stone house in the adjacent parish of Château-Richer, where for a time he held the British at bay. At length he and his followers were drawn out into ambush, where they were surrounded and killed. Late in the evening of September 12, 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 took part in the victorious Battle of the Plains of Abraham near Québec. It was deployed on the right wing. 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 550 men by drafts from the 62nd Foot and 69th Foot, remained as garrison in Québec along with 9 other battalions.
On April 28 1760, at the defeat of Sainte-Foy, the regiment was in Fraser's Brigade on the left wing. After the arrival of a relief force from Great Britain, the regiment took part in the three pronged attack against Montréal. In September, it was present for the surrender of Montréal.
In 1761, the regiment laid idle in North America 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 siege of Fort Royal and in the conquest of Martinique Island. Then from March to August, it participated in the siege and capture of Havana suffering heavy losses from sickness during the following months.
In 1763, the regiment returned to England.
|Coat||brick red laced and edged white (white braid ornamented with dark blue stars and bordered with a thin red stripe on each side) with brick red shoulder wing laced white (same lace as above) and with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above) with
|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 greyish white, 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 greyish white, with a dark blue king's cypher and a golden crown, and the number “XLIII” under it. The rims were red.
King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XLIII" in gold Roman numerals.
Regimental Colour: red cross of St. George in a greyish white field with its centre decorated with a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XLIII" 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)
Wikipedia: 43rd Foot
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.