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96th Regiment of Foot
Active 1803 to 1818.
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Line Infantry
Size Two battalions
Commanders
Colonel of
the Regiment

(1804-5) Sir George Ludlow
(1805-18) Sir George Don GCB[1]

(1818) Sir Thomas Hislop, Bart, GCB[2]

The 96th Regiment of Foot was the fourth light infantry regiment of the British Army to bear this name. It was originally created from the 2nd Battalion of the 52nd Regiment of Foot in 1803 at the start of the Napoleonic Wars. Initially a single battalion regiment, a second battalion was raised in 1804. The Regiment was based mainly in the Caribbean and on Jersey. Following the defeat of Napoleon, the British army was reduced in size, and the regiment was disbanded in 1818 as the 95th Foot.

1st Battalion[]

The regiment was created by an order issued on the 10th January 1803. "It being His Majesty's pleasure that from the 25th ult. the 2nd Battalion of the 52nd regiment should be numbered the 96th Regiment of Foot, I am commanded by the Commander-in-Chief to signify the same to you, and to desire that in consequence of this arrangement you will be pleased to give the necessary orders for posting a due proportion of the officers of the present battalions of the 52nd Regiment to the 96th Regiment."[3]

Over the next month officers from the 52nd were allocated to the new Regiment, along with the grenadiers of the 52nd. Regimental strength was also built up through recruitment activity across England, such as in Nottingham & Norwich. The two regiments finally parted on 23rd February 1803, and the 96th Foot marched to Chatham where they soon sailed to Fermoy in Ireland.[3][4]

From Fermoy the Regiment moved to Brandon and then Midleton - all in the county of Cork.[4] Whilst in Midleton they became the 1st Battalion when the 2nd Battalion was created in September 1804, and it was from here they sailed in February 1805 to the Caribbean,[5] as part of the British military activity and occupation of several of the islands during the war.

Initially they were stationed in Barbados from March to July 1805.[5] From there they were moved to Antigua until Feb 1808.[6] Their next location was on St Croix, and the nearby island of St Thomas, now parts of the US Virgin Islands but at the time part of the Danish West Indies (Denmark-Norway was allied with France from late 1807). From March 1808 to December 1814[7] they were based at Christiansted, St Croix, with a small outpost on St Thomas.

Following the Invasion of Martinique in 1809, although not part of the invasion, the battalion was then stationed on the island from March 1815 until June 1816. With the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815 the island was handed back to France and the battalion returned to the UK.[8]

2nd Battalion[]

The 2nd Battalion was based for a number of years on Jersey,[9] where their Colonel in Chief, Sir George Don, was Lieutenant Governor.

After 1816, as 95th Regiment[]

In 1816 the 95th Regiment of Foot became the Rifle Brigade leading to a renumbering of the regiments. Consequently the 96th became the 95th Regiment of Foot.[10]

Over the next two years the 1st Battalion of the 95th Regiment was stationed at Nottingham and then in Liverpool & Chester. One deployment in summer 1818 was to provide service in Warrington during the general election that year. Finally in autumn 1818 they moved to Sunderland[8] where they were disbanded at the end of the year.[11]

References[]

  1. Philippart, John (1820). The Royal Military Calendar, Or Army Service and Commission Book: Containing the Services and Progress of Promotion of the Generals, Lieutenant-generals, Major-generals, Colonels, Lieutenant-colonels, and Majors of the Army, According to Seniority: with Details of the Principal Military Events of the Last Century. A.J. Valpy, sold by T. Egerton. p. 11. 
  2. Philippart, John (1820). The Royal Military Calendar, Or Army Service and Commission Book: Containing the Services and Progress of Promotion of the Generals, Lieutenant-generals, Major-generals, Colonels, Lieutenant-colonels, and Majors of the Army, According to Seniority: with Details of the Principal Military Events of the Last Century. A.J. Valpy, sold by T. Egerton. p. 337. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wylly, HC (1923). History of the Manchester Regiment (Late the 63rd and 96th Foot), Vol 1, pages 175-6. Forster Groom & Co.
  4. 4.0 4.1 General Muster Book, 96th Foot, WO12/9592. The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, London
  5. 5.0 5.1 General Muster Book, 96th Foot, 1st Battalion, WO12/9594. The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, London
  6. General Muster Book, 96th Foot, 1st Battalion, WO12/9595. The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, London
  7. General Muster Book, 96th Foot, 1st Battalion, WO12/9597. The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, London
  8. 8.0 8.1 General Muster Book, 95th Foot, 1st Battalion, WO12/9526. The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, London
  9. General Muster Book, 96th Foot, 2nd Battalion, WO12/9653. The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, London
  10. "The Prince Regent, in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, has been pleased to direct, that the Battalions of the 95th Regiment shall in future be styled the Rifle Brigade, and that it shall be taken out of the numbered Regiments of the Line.
    His Royal Highness has also been pleased to direct, that the numbers of the following Corps shall accordingly be altered, viz.
    The 96th Regiment to be numbered the 95th Regiment." "No. 17115". 2 March 1816. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/17115/page/ 
  11. Swinson, Arthur (1972). A Register of the Regiments and Corps of the British Army. London: The Archive Press. p. 197. ISBN 0-85591-000-3. 

See also[]

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