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76th Regiment of Foot
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76th Regiment of Foot

This article is part of the
The Duke of Wellington's Regiment History.
The Duke of Wellington's Regiment
33rd Regiment of Foot
76th Regiment of Foot


The 76th Regiment of Foot was raised for service in India by the East India Company in 1787, due to fears that war with France was imminent. The threat however, soon dissipated, and the Company subsequently refused to support or embark the regiment, Because of this, Parliament passed the East India Declaratory Act, which required that troops that are deemed necessary for the security of ovserseas territories be funded and supported by those territories. The regiment would remain in India until 1806.

The regiment took part in a number of battles of the Mahratta Wars, including the Battle of Ally Guhr, when British forces besieged it. At the time it was one of the strongest forts in all of India, and was commanded by General Perron, a Frenchman. The 76th fought stoutly during that battle, against astonishing resistance by the enemy forces, receiving a number of dead and wounded, in no large part due to the fierce hand-to-hand fighting that took place during the action. The regiment also took part in the capture of Delhi and Agra, as well as the Battle of Leswaree, where they performed with great courage in one of the bloodiest of battles.

For their distinguished service in these actions, King George III gave his authorisation to the 76th, to allow them to have the word "Hindoostan" to be emblazoned upon on the colours, along with an "elephant" badge, with a howdah atop the elephant, also inscribed with the word "Hindoostan". They were also given an honourary colour, making the regiment the only one to carry four colours on parade. The names inscribed upon the colour were "Ally Ghur", "Delhi", "Agra" and "Leswaree".


In 1806 the regiment returned to the UK. The following year, the regiment was deployed to Jersey for garrison duty. They were stationed there until 1808, when the 76th were then deployed to Spain to take part in the Peninsular War.

In that campaign, the regiment fought at the Battle of La Corunna in January 1809, as part of the 2nd Division, which was under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir John Hope. The 76th fought with distinction in a battle that caused 800 casualties for the British and 1,500 for the French.

In that same year, the 76th were then involved in the disastrous expedition to the Low Countries. Some 39,000 troops landed at Walcheren, with the objectives of destroying the French fleet, believed to be at Flushing, and to assist the Austrians who were now at war with France. Unfortunately, by the time the British forces had actually landed, the Austrians had been defeated. The British did capture their objective of Flushing, but the French fleet had already escaped, making their way to Antwerp. During the expedition, the 76th were part of the 3rd Division, which landed on Walcheren Island, while other divisions landed on South Beveland Island. Over 4,000 died in the expedition, only 106 died due to combat, the rest died of Walcheren Fever. Many thousands who took part in the expedition were still weakened by the illness, despite them returning to Britain. It was a truly disastrous campaign.

In 1813, the 76th returned to Spain, taking part in a number of actions in the closing months of the campaign. The Peninsular War was soon over though. The 76th were not to get any respite from war however and were soon dispatched to take part in the British-American War, a war that had begin just a year before, in 1812.

Garrison Duties

The 76th, now in Canada, were part of the force that took part in the failed Battle of Platsberg at Lake Champlain in September 1814. The regiment then served thirteen years in Canada, defending Canada's border with the USA, against any further aggression by Canada's neighbours. The regiment did this duty professionaly, despite, no doubt, the boredom that was ever-present in doing these duties. The 76th finally returned home in 1827, their job done.

The 76th then, due to peace that would not be shattered until the 1850s, had garrison duties as their main role. They went to the West Indies, the Mediterranean, and in 1834, the 76th returned to Canada. They were then stationed in Bermuda for just a year, from 1840-41, before returning to Canada. They left in 1843. In 1850 they were deployed to the only British possession in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta, also being deployed to Corfu. In 1853, the regiment was again sent to Canada, staying there until 1857, performing numerous duties, including putting out fires that occasionaly occurred. In 1858, the regiment was stationed in Dublin. In 1861, the 76th arrived in Glasgow, with a few companies being dispatched to Ayr and Paisley. The following year, the regiment was moved to Aldershot, first by sea to Liverpool, then by rail to their final destination. In 1865, the 76th returned to the country they had been created for, India. They remained there until 1868, being deployed to Burma, remaining there for a further three years.

In 1881, the 76th amalgamated with the 33rd, forming the present-day Duke of Wellington's Regiment.

Battle Honours

Mysore, Ally Ghur, Delhi 1803, Leswaree, Deig, Hindoostan, Corunna, Nive, Peninsula

Other Information