Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

British Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 23rd Regiment of Foot

By Steve Brown

Secondary Titles:

Royal Welch Fusiliers

Regimental History

1689:

16 March – raised by Henry, Lord Herbert of Chirbury for service in Ireland

1804:

10 October – 2nd Battalion formed in Chester

1814:

25 October – 2nd Battalion disbanded in Chester.

Colonels

1786:

21 April

Richard Grenville

Stations and Combats – 1st Battalion

1793:

Ireland ; Cork; November – flank companies to West Indies

1794:

January – flank companies at Barbados; March – rest of battalion to West Indies; May - San Domingo; June - Port-au-Prince; flank companies to Martinique, St Lucia, Guadeloupe

1795:

West Indies – high fever death rate

1796:

West Indies; 60 men into 60th Foot; 46 survivors to England

1797:

England ; recruiting

1798:

Canterbury; Ramsgate; May – flank companies to Ostend – taken POW; August – Guernsey

1799:

Guernsey; September – to Holland - Keeten; Bergen; Egmont-Op-Zee; Castricum; Alkmaar; December – to England

1800:

Battle Barracks; May – Exeter; Plymouth; Netley; June – Quiberon Bay; July – Isle de Houat; Ferrol; Vigo; September – Gibraltar; November – Malta

1801:

Malta ; Sea of Marmora; May – EGYPT ; Aboukir; Lake Mareotis; Alexandria; siege of Cairo; October – Malta

1802:

February – Gibraltar

1803:

Gibraltar

1804:

Gibraltar; to England

1805:

England ; October – to Hanover; November - Cuxhaven

1806:

Leesam; Bremen; February – to England ; Harwich

1807:

February – draft of 257 men from 2nd battalion; July – Copenhagen; October – Yarmouth

1808:

January – Portsmouth; to Nova Scotia – Halifax; Annapolis Royal; December - to West Indies; Barbados

1809:

January – Martinique; St Christopher; June – to Nova Scotia; Halifax; Annapolis Royal

1810:

Nova Scotia – Halifax; November – to Peninsula; December – Portugal

1811:

1st siege of Badajoz; ALBUERA (257 casualties); received drafts from 2nd Battalion

1812:

Ciudad Rodrigo; BADAJOZ; SALAMANCA; Madrid; Burgos

1813:

VITTORIA; PYRENEES; Echelar; 2nd siege San Sebastian; NIVELLE

1814:

ORTHEZ; TOULOUSE; June – to England ; Portsmouth

1815:

May – Gosport; Ghent; Brussels; WATERLOO; Cambrai; Paris; Army of Occupation

1818:

November – Calais to Dover.

Stations and Combats – 2nd Battalion

1804:

Raised in Chester - men from Anglesey, Caernarvon, Denbigh, Flint and Merioneth

1805:

February - Wrexham; November - Chester

1806:

Wrexham

1807:

Provided draft to 1st battalion; November – Portsmouth; to Ireland ; Cork

1808:

January – Loughrea; June – Curragh; September – Cork; to Peninsula; October - Corunna

1809:

Retreat to Corunna; CORUNNA; February – England ; September – to Walcheren; Flushing; to England

1810:

Carmarthen

1811:

Carmarthen; April – Guernsey; Alderney; sent drafts to 1st Battalion after Albuera

1812:

Haverfordwest

1813:

Haverfordwest

1814:

October - disbanded at Chester.

Careers of Senior Officers (shown as highest rank attained in regiment in the period)

Lt. Col. Nisbet Balfour

Born Fife Scotland 1743; served in American War, wounded at Bunker Hill; Major in 4th Foot 4 June 1777; Lieutenant-Colonel in 23rd Foot 31 January 1778; MP 1790 to 1802; brevet Colonel 20 November 1802; subsequently Major-General 12 October 1793; Lieutenant-General 1 January 1798; General 25 September 1803; died Fife 1823.

Major Thomas Gubbins

Major in 23rd Foot 6 March 1790; resigned April 1794.

Major Gordon Drummond

Born in Quebec 1771; Major in 23rd Foot 11 April 1794 (on transfer from 41st Foot); Lieutenant-Colonel in 8th Foot April 1794; subsequently Major-General 1 January 1805; Lieutenant-General 4 June 1811; Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada 1813; later Governor-General of Canada; died 1854.

Major Simon Foote

Major in 23rd Foot 22 April 1794 (on transfer from 83rd Foot); died May 1795.

Major John Henry Campbell

Major in 23rd Foot 8 May 1795; retired January 1797.

Lt. Col. John Joyner Ellis

Born John Joyner, adopted Ellis surname when adopted by Governor Henry Ellis of Georgia in England in 1758; Lieutenant-Colonel in 23rd Foot 6 December 1793 (on transfer from 41st Foot); brevet Colonel 21 August 1795; subsequently Major-General 18 June 1798; died 1804.

Lt. Col. Thomas Peter

Served in American War 1775 to 1783; Major in 93rd Foot 15 January 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel in 93rd Foot 1 September 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel in 2nd Foot 25 February 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel in 23rd Foot 1 September 1795; exchanged to half-pay of 118th Foot March 1798; brevet Colonel 1 January 1800; Colonel of Canadian Fencibles 1803; subsequently Major-General 25 April 1808; Lieutenant-General 4 June 1813; died 1828.

Major Philip Kearney Skinner

Born New Jersey 175?; served in North America 1782 to 1783; Major in 23rd Foot 1 September 1795; taken POW in Ostend raid 1798; Lieutenant-Colonel in 56th Foot 11 December 1799; subsequently Major-General 1 January 1812; died 1826.

Lt. Col. Richard Wogan Talbot

Born Ireland 1766; Lieutenant-Colonel in 118th Foot 22 July 1794; served in Holland 1794 to 1796; on half-pay 1796; Lieutenant-Colonel in 23rd Foot 15 March 1798; taken POW at Ostend 1798; served in Helder 1799; brevet Colonel 1 January 1800; retired June 1800; Inspecting Field Officer of Yeomanry in Ireland 1800; Baron Talbot de Malahide 1834; died 1849.

Lt. Col. John Hall

Major in 23rd Foot 18 January 1797 (on transfer from 46th Foot); Lieutenant-Colonel 12 June 1800; commanded 23rd Foot in Egypt; retired on half-pay of 20th Foot November 1804; brevet Colonel 25 July 1810; subsequently Major-General 4 June 1813.

Major James McKenzie

Major in 23rd Foot 18 January 1797; died March 1801.

Lt. Col. Evan Jones

Major in 23rd Foot 28 July 1800; Lieutenant-Colonel 23 November 1804; commanded 2/23rd Foot 1804 to 1808; retired February 1808.

Major Thomas Bury

Major in 23rd Foot 5 April 1801; retired December 1807.

Lt. Col. James Losack

Major in 82nd Foot 14 May 1796; Lieutenant-Colonel in 82nd Foot 18 August 1804; Lieutenant-Colonel in 23rd Foot 14 November 1804; commanded 1/23rd Foot 1804 to 1807; retired April 1807.

Lt. Col. Sir Henry Walton Ellis, K.C.B.

Born Cheltenham 1782, son of Major (later Lt. Col.) John Joyner Ellis; served at Ostend 1798; wounded at Helder 1799; wounded in Egypt 1801; Major in 23rd Foot 23 October 1804; Lieutenant-Colonel 23 April 1807; commanded 1/23rd Foot in Copenhagen, North America, West Indies; commanded 1/23rd Foot in Peninsula December 1810 to April 1814; temporarily commanded a brigade in 4th Division May to October 1812; wounded at Albuera, Badajoz, Salamanca and Sorauren; brevet Colonel 4 June 1814; wounded at Waterloo (his seventh wound), died 20 June 1815.

Major George McKenzie

Major in 23rd Foot 23 October 1804; retired May 1806.

Major Thomas Pearson, C.B., K.C.H.

Served in Helder 1799; served in Egypt 1801; Major in 23rd Foot 8 December 1804; served in Copenhagen 1807; served in Martinique 1809; served in Peninsula December 1810 to November 1811; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 4 June 1811; severely wounded at Aldea de Ponte 27 September 1811; Inspecting Field Officer in Canada 1812; died 1847.

Major Francis Needham Offley

Major in 23rd Foot 15 May 1806; served on Martinique 1809; Lieutenant-Colonel of 1st Loyal Lusitanian Legion 29 December 1810; Lieutenant-Colonel of 8th Cacadores; retired from Portuguese service November 1811; served in Peninsula with 1/23rd Foot December 1811 to July 1812;  killed in action at Salamanca 22 July 1812.

Lt. Col. Charles Sutton, K.C.B.

Served in Helder 1799; served in Hanover 1805; Major in 23rd Foot 23 April 1807; served in Peninsula with 2/23rd Foot October 1808 to January 1809; Lieutenant-Colonel of 9th Portuguese Line 26 August 1809; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 30 May 1811; Lieutenant-Colonel 17 June 1813; Colonel in Portuguese service July 1813 to April 1814; on half-pay 1814; died 1828.

Lt. Col. William Edgell Wyatt, C.B.

Served in Helder 1799; Major in 29th Foot 23 July 1803; Lieutenant-Colonel in 23rd Foot 18 February 1808 (on transfer from 29th Foot); commanded 2/23rd Foot 1808 to 1813; served in Peninsula with 2/23rd Foot October 1808 to January 1809; Inspecting Field Officer of a Recruiting District June 1813; died 1821.

Lt. Col. Thomas Dalmer, C.B.

Served at Ostend 1798; served at Helder 1799; served in Egypt 1801; served in Hanover 1805; served at Copenhagen 1807; Major in 23rd Foot 10 December 1807; served in peninsula with 2/23rd Foot October 1808 to January 1809; again in Peninsula with 1/23rd Foot August to October 1811; and again July 1812 to August 1813; wounded at Salamanca 22 July 1812; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 17 August 1812; commanded 23rd Foot after Waterloo; Lieutenant-Colonel 20 July 1815; on half-pay 43rd Foot 1817; subsequently Major-General 28 June 1838; Lieutenant-General 11 November 1851; died 1854.

Major John Humphrey Edward Hill, C.B.

Born Devon c.1785; served at Helder 1799; served in Egypt 1801; served in Hanover 1805; served on Martinique 1809; served in Peninsula with 1/23rd Foot December 1810 to August 1811; Major in 5th Cacadores 3 August 1811; Lieutenant-Colonel of 4th Portuguese Line 15 November 1811; Major in 23rd Foot 12 March 1812; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 21 September 1813; in Portuguese service until April 1814; wounded at Waterloo; to 49th Foot in 1823; retired 1829.

Major William Lewis Hurford, C.B.

Born London 1777; served in Egypt 1801; served at Copenhagen 1807; served in West Indies 1809; served in Peninsula with 1/23rd Foot December 1810 to June 1811; Major in 23rd Foot 16 August 1812; commanded 2/23rd Foot 1813; again in Peninsula January to April 1814; commanded 1/23rd Foot at Orthez and Toulouse; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 3 March 1814; on half-pay 1820.

Major John Thomas Leahy

Born Cork 1783; served at Helder 1799; served at Copenhagen 1807; served on Martinique 1809; served in Peninsula with 1/23rd Foot December 1810 to June 1812; wounded at Badajoz; commanded 1/23rd Foot for a time after Badajoz; Major in 23rd Foot 17 June 1813; on half-pay 1814; Major in 7th Foot 1815; retired 1835; died Sydney 1839.

Sources:

War Office. Army Lists 1796 to 1815. London: various years.

Chichester, Henry Manners, and Burges-Short, Henry. The Records and Badges of Every Regiment and Corps in the British Army. London: William Clowes & Sons, 1895.

Dalton, Charles. The Waterloo Roll Call. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1904.

Fletcher, Ian. Wellington’s Regiments. Staplehurst: Spellmount, 1994.

Hall, John A. A History of the Peninsular War: Volume VIII – The Biographical Dictionary of British Officers Killed and Wounded 1808-1814.  London: Greenhill Books, 1998.

McKenna, Michael G. The British Army – And Its Regiments and Battalions. West Chester, Ohio: The Nafziger Collection. 2004.

Park, S.J. and Nafziger, G.F. The British Miltary – Its System and Organization 1803-1815. Cambridge, Ontario: Rafm Co. Inc. 1983.

Philippart, John. The Royal Military Calendar, or Army Service and Commission Book. London: A.J. Valpy, 1820.

Reid, Stuart. Wellington’s Officers, Volume 1. Leigh-On-Sea: Partizan Press, 2008.

Westlake, Ray. English & Welsh Infantry Regiments - An Illustrated Record of Service 1662-1994. Staplehurst: Spellmount, 2002.

London Gazette Website. September 2009.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2009

 

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