Napoleon Series Discussion Forum

Re: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1809
In Response To: Re: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1809 ()

The 29th were wearing their queues at Rolica, as I recall, on 17 August 1808! However this was specifically at their CO, Colonel the Hon. George Lake's orders! He was the first officer of field rank to be killed in the Peninsular War.

From the accounts in the regimental history of 1891, it seems uncertain whether it was the entire regiment or simply Colonel Lake - described by one memorialist as dressed
"in strictest accordance with King's Regulations*" (p.278) - who was wearing a queue at Rolica. "Egad, sir"- he is reported to have said," if I am killed today, I mean t die like a gentleman." (Recollections of my military life' by Colonel G.Landmann R.E., 1854). The lateness of the anecdote makes the question even more hazy.

In any case, as it was not even a month after the order to remove the queue had been issued (20 July 1808), the claim of the 29th to being "the last regiment in the Peninsula to retain the queue" does rather look like one of those nebulous claims beloved of regimental anthologies. (e.g. 'The first regiment to wear pantaloons in India' etc)

{*Of course, Lake wasn't dressed according to King's Regulations since the queue had been abolished before the expedition left Southampton}

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Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1809
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Cutting the queues 1808
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