45th Foot

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 45th Foot

Origin and History

The regiment was initially raised in 1739 as the 2nd Marine Regiment which was soon disbanded.

The regiment was re-raised in 1741 as the "Daniel Houghton's Regiment of Foot", initially ranking 56th. Until 1751, it was known by the names of its successive colonels.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment garrisoned Gibraltar from 1743 to 1745. In 1747, it was transferred to Nova Scotia in Canada.

In 1748 and 1749, the regiment served in Newfoundland. In 1750, it was stationed at Halifax and at Chignecto on the border between Nova Scotia and French Acadie.

On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British infantry, the regiment was designated as the "45th Regiment of Foot".

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

  • at the beginning of the Seven Years' War: Robinson
  • from 1761: Boscawen

Service during the War

In 1755, the regiment was part of the Nova Scotia garrison.

In 1757, the regiment was selected for the planned campaign against Louisbourg or Québec. However, three French Naval Squadrons reinforced Louisbourg that summer and the British expedition was cancelled. The 45th Foot spent the Winter 1757/1758 at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In 1758, the regiment took part in the second attempt against the fortress of Louisbourg in Canada. On May 28, the British Fleet departed Halifax. On June 8, when Amherst's Army landed near Louisbourg, the regiment was part of the left brigade under Lawrence. In June and July, it 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 grenadiers of the regiment were part of the expedition against Québec. They formed a combined battalion known as the "Louisbourg Grenadiers" with the grenadiers of the 22nd Foot and the 40th Foot. On July 31, they took part in the failed attack on the shores of Beauport, suffering heavy losses in the fight. On September 13, the grenadiers took part in the Battle of the Plain of Abraham where they were deployed on the right flank, taking a prominent part in the glorious victory. Québec finally surrendered on September 18. At the end of October, Vice-Admiral Saunders fired his farewell salute and dropped down the Saint-Laurent River with his fleet. The grenadiers of the regiment, who had formed part of the “Louisbourg Grenadiers” during this campaign, embarked aboard the fleet and returned to Louisbourg where they wintered.

From 1760 to 1763, the regiment garrisoned Halifax.

In 1762, the regiment took part in the relief of Newfoundland.

In 1766, when the regiment returned to Great Britain, it was stationed in Ireland.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier
45th Foot Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
British mitre with: a dark green front edged white and embroidered with white scroll work, a white King's cypher surmounted by a crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband); a small red front flap with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent" and with a dark green with yellow stripes bottom strip; red back; a dark green headband edged white wearing the number 45 in the middle part behind; a dark green within white pompom
Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined deep green and laced and edged white (white braid with a thin deep green stripe and deep green stars) with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels (same lace as above)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels deep green laced white (same lace as above) with 7 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes (same lace as above)
Pockets horizontal pockets with white laces (same lace as above), each with pewter buttons
Cuffs deep green (slashed in the British pattern) laced white (same lace as above) with white buttonholes and white buttons on the sleeve
Turnbacks deep 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 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.

Musicians

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The drummers of the regiment were clothed in deep green, 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 deep green, with the king's cypher and crown, and the number “XLV” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

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

Regimental Colour: deep green field; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle wreath around the regiment number "XLV" in gold Roman numerals. The Union in the upper left corner.

King's Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

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

May R. and G. A. Embleton: Wolfe's Army, Osprey Publishing, London, 1974

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.

Acknowledgements

Kenneth P. Dunne and Barry Fitzgerald for additional information on the history of this regiment.