1800. The strength of the Marines was 24,231.
1800. Wednesday 5th February. Fairy and Harpy engaged Pallas.
1800. Thursday 6th February. Loire and consorts captured Pallas.
1800. Tuesday February 18th. Alexander and Success captured Genereux and transports.
1800. February. A large convoy under the Command of Contre-Admiral
Jean-Baptiste Perrée sailed from Toulon in France to try and resupply
its besieged garrison of Valletta on the Island of Malta. The blockade
squadron under the Command of Rear Admiral Lord Nelson intercepted the
convoy and in the brief battle Jean Baptise Perrée was killed and his
1800. Sunday 2nd March. Nereide captured Vengeance.
1800. Wednesday 5th March. Phoebe captured Heureux.
1800. Friday 21st March. Petrel captured Ligurienne.
1800. Sunday 30th March. Penelope and consorts captured Guillaume Tell.
The French ship Guillaume Tell set sail from Valletta to Toulon
France laden with soldiers to try and break the blockade of Malta.
However, it was intercepted, and after a long battle it finally
surrender to a larger British squadron Commanded by Rear Admiral
Nelson. The defeat rendered the French position on Valletta untenable,
and its surrender inevitable. Although the town of Vaubois held out for
further five months. It eventually surrendered on Saturday 4th
September, by which time the garrison mortality rate from
malnourishment and typhus had reached 100 men a day. Malta was retained
by Britain, and control of the island was a factor in the outbreak of
the Napoleonic Wars in 1803. After the surrender a battalion of Marines
were garrisoned at Valetta.
1800. March. The British blockade of Genoa and Massena was besieged by the
Austrians under the Command of General Melas attacked and by the third
week in April had managed to advance towards the Var River. While
Massena and half the army in Genoa were besieged by land, by the
Austrians and under a very tight blockade by the Royal Navy. In
response Berthier moved but not to the threatened frontier, but to
Geneva and Massena and was instructed to hold Genoa until at least
Wednesday 4th June.
1800. Sunday 6th April. Emerald captured a Spanish ship.
1800. Monday 7th April. Boats of Leviathan and Emerald captured Los Ingleses.
1800. Monday 7th April. Leviathan and Emerald captured Carmen and Florentine.
1800. Saturday 12th April. Boats of Calypso cut out Diligente.
1800. Monday 21st April. Lark engaged a French privateer.
1800. Friday 25th April. Lark and boats captured Imprenable.
1800. April - June. Blockade of Genoa'.
1800. April - June. Blockade and surrender of Savona.
1800. Wednesday 21st May. Boats of Minotaur, and consort cut out a galley.
1800. Wednesday 4th June. Thames and Cynthia attacked Quiberon.
1800. Friday 6th June. Impetueux and consorts at Morbihan.
1800. Wednesday 11th June. Boats of Renown and consorts cut out Nochette and others.
1800. Monday 23rd June. Storming of forts at Quimper.
1800. Tueday 1st July. Boats of Renown and consorts at Noirmontier.
1800. Tuesday 8th July. Capture of Desiree, and consort at Dunkirk.
1800. Friday 25th July. Nemesis and Arrow captured Freya.
1800. Tuesday 29th July. Boats of Impetueux, and consort captured Cerbere.
1800. Monday 4th August. Belliqneux captured Concorde.
1800. Wednesday 20th - 21st August. Seine captured Vengeance.
1800. Sunday 24th August. Success captured Diane.
1800. Wednesday 25th August. The Battle of Ferrol. During the abortive attack
on this place by an expedition under the command of Lieutenant General Sit
James Pultney, Lieutenant Jasper Farmar and George Richards with their
detachments landed and stormed a battery of six guns which commanded
the landing area for the Army.
1800. Friday 29th August. Boats of squadron cut out Guepe.
1800. Tuesday 3rd September. Boats of Minotaur and Niger cut out Paz and Esmeralda.
1800. Wednesday 4th September. The French capitulation of Malta to the
British fleet, which had been blockading the island for two years. The
Marines occupied Valetta after its surrender.
1800. Thursday 5th September. Malta capitulated.
1800. Monday 11th September. Curacoa capitulated.
1800. September. Active engaged at Amsterdam, Curacoa.
1800. Wednesday 8th October. Gipsy captured Quid pro Quo.
1800. Monday 27th October. Boats of Phaeton cut out San Josef.
1800.Friday 7th November. Netley captured San Miguel.
1800. Thursday 13th November. Milbrook captured Bellone which afterwards escaped.
1800. Monday 17th November. Boats of squadron destroyed Reolaise.
1800. Sunday 7th December. Nile and Lurcher captured a convoy.
1800. Wednesday 10th December. Admiral Pasley captured by Spanish gun-vessels.
1801. The Baker rifle was used during the Napoleonic Wars. It continued to be in service in the British Army until the 1840's.
1801. Thursday 1st January. After the Act of Union was passed with Ireland
which incorporated Ireland into the United Kingdom, there was an influx
of Irish volunteers into the Marines.
1801. Saturday 3rd January. Boats of Melpomene cut out Senegal.
1801. Tuesday 6th January. Boats of Mercury captured French convoy of fifteen sail.
1801. Friday 9th January. Constitution captured by two French cutters.
1801. Friday 9th January. Constitution re-captured by Harpy and Greyhound.
1801. Friday 16th - 17th January. Garland and consorts captured Eclair.
1801. Tuesday 20th January. Mercury captured Sans Pareil.
1801. Friday 23rd January. Active's company in a Spanish prize captured Sta. Maria.
1801. Tuesday 27th January. Ossian and Sirius captured Dedaigneux.
1801. Tuesday 27th January. Concorde engaged Bravoure.
1801. Thursday 29th January. Bordolais sunk Curieux.
1801. Friday 13th March. The Battle of Aboukir in Egypt. The British army of
7000 strong effected its disembarkation at Aboukir, defeating the
French force opposing it. In this engagement Lieutenant E, Bailie of
the Marines was attached to the 27th Foot. The Marines detachments of
about 30 ships were formed into a battalion of just over 600 strong
(all ranks), and landed on the Saturday 12th March. This battalion was
attached to the 3rd Brigade under Lord Cavan, as were the 50th and the
79th Regiments. It was at once paraded under a blazing sun, and after 2
to 3 hours one half of the battalion set off to fill sand bags for the
batteries, while the other heavily laden with muskets and knapsacks of
the working party advanced for a considerable distance through sand in
which the men often sank knee deep. Some hours later, at 7 in the
evening, it was re-joined by the other half battalion and the whole
were ordered to march and join the rest of the army, then about 15
miles distant. After the hard day’s work the battalion had put in under
a boiling Eastern sun it reached its destination at one in the morning
of the 13th, a fine marching record for men whose services had been on
ships up to the day before.
At 5am the troops were under arms,
and the British advanced in two lines with the object of turning the
French Flank. To counter this the French descended from the hills on
which they had been posted and attacked the leading Brigades. The
engagement becoming general the Marines, owing to the narrowness of the
peninsular upon which the fighting was taking place, were somewhat
crowded in their ranks by the battalions on their right and left, and
it was at this crisis, owing to their too great eagerness to get to
close quarters with the enemy, that they suffered severe loss. Both
officers and men greatly distinguished themselves, and charged the
French so repeatedly and with such determination and gallantry that
they earned for themselves the cognomen of “The Bulldogs of the Army”.
The battalion was under the command of Colonel Walter Smith, and in Sir
Ralph Abercrombie’s Orders of the day following, he was asked to accept
the thanks of the General for himself and his battalion “for their
gallant conduct in the course of the services of yesterday.
1801. Wednesday 18th March. The Marines marched to Aboukir, and when Aboukir
Castle surrendered after some day’s bombardment, they were again
thanked in orders for their assistance and detailed as its garrison.
Two days later the Marines were relieved by the 92nd Regiment and
joined Major General Erye Coote’s Brigade before Alexandria. This city
capitulated on the Saturday 3rd September, the Marines were re-embarked
on the 5th, on which day their Brigadier Major General Finch issued the
following farewell order: “Major General Finch, in taking leave of
Lieutenant Colonel Smith and the Marines under his command, requests
him to accept his warmest thanks for the order, regularity, zeal and
attention that have uniformly marked their conduct during the period he
had the honour of commanding the First Brigade, and he shall be happy
on all occasions, to bear testimony to their merit in the correct
performance of their duty, in every respect, which has come under his
1801. Wednesday 18th February. Penguin engaged French vessels.
1801. Thursday 19th February. Capture of Africaine.
1801. Monday 2nd March. Capture of Bienvenue.
1801. Sunday 8th - 8th March. Disembarkation in Egypt. (Naval Brigade Ashore)
1801. Friday 13th March. French defeated near Alexandria. (Naval Brigade Ashore)
1801. Friday 20th March. St Bartholomew capitulated.
1801. Saturday 21st March. French defeated at Canopus. (Naval Brigade Ashore)
1801. Sunday 22nd March. Andromache and Cleopatra at Cuba.
1801. Tuesday 24th March. St. Martin, W. Indies, surrendered.
1801. Sunday 29th March. St. Thomas and St. John, W. Indies, capitulated.
1801. Monday 30th March. British Fleet forced the Sound.
1801. Tuesday 31st March. Santa Cruz, W. Indies, surrendered.
Thursday 2nd April. The Battle of Copenhagen saw a British fleet under
the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fight and strategically defeat a
Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen, Vice Admiral
Horatio Nelson led the main attack. He is supposed to have disobeyed
Sir Hyde Parker's order to withdraw by holding the telescope to his
blind eye to look at the signals from Parker. However, Parker's signals
had given him permission to withdraw at his discretion, at which Nelson
declined. His action to carry on resulted in the destruction of many of
the Danish-Norwegian ships before a truce was finally agreed. Copenhagen
is often considered to be Nelson's hardest fought Battle.
1801. Friday 3rd April. HMS Trent at Havre De Grace. The bravery of Lieutenant
Tait of the Marines (This officer had been thought to have been the
original of Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Captain Clutterbuck’.
1801. Monday 6th July. The Battle of Algeciras Bay refers to two separate
battles during July 1801 between an allied French-Spanish fleet and the
British near Gibraltar. The French drove off an attack by the larger
British fleet and captured one of their ships of the line. The battle
of Algezitas is remembered by the Heroism of Lieutenant J.D. Williams
of the HMS Hannibal.
1801. Wednesday 8th July. The second Battle of Algeciras Bay in which the
British pursued the Franco Spanish fleet, destroying two Spanish ships
and capturing one French ship. The British squadron suffered various
degrees of damage and lost 121 men killed and 240 wounded. While the
French lost 306 killed, including Captains Laindet Lalonde and
Moncousu, and 280 wounded.
The British fleet consisted of six ships of the line:
HMS Caesar 80 guns (flag of Rear-Adm. James Saumarez, with Captain Jahleel Brenton)
HMS Pompee 74 guns (Captain Charles Stirling)
HMS Spencer 74 guns (Captain Henry D’Esterre Darby)
HMS Venerable 74 guns (Captain Samuel Hood)
HMS Hannibal 74 guns (Captain Solomon Ferris)
HMS Audacious 74 guns (Captain Shuldham Peard)
The French squadron consisted of:
Formidable 80 guns (flag of Rear-Adm. Linois, with Captain Laindet Lalonde †)
Indomptable 80 guns (Captain Moncousu)
Desaix 74 guns (Captain Jean-Anne Christy de la Pallière)
Muiron 40 guns (Captain Martinencq)
The Spanish element of the Franco-Spanish squadron consisted of:
Real Carlos 112 guns (Captain Don J. Esquerra)
San Hermenegildo 112 guns (Captain Don J. Emparran)
San Fernando 94 guns (Captain Don J. Malina)
Argonauta guns 80 (Captain Don. J. Herrera)
San Agustín 74 guns (Captain Don. R. Topete)
San Sabina 44 guns (frigate carrying the flag of both Vice-Adm. Moreno and Rear Admiral Linois)
1801. Saturday 15th August – 16th August. The Attack on the Boulogne Flotilla.
1801. Thursday 16th April. St. Eustatius, W. Indies, seized.
1801. Tuesady 18th - 21st August. Marabou Island surrendered. (Naval Brigade Ashore)
1801. Wednesday 19th April. Sibylle captured Chiffonne.
1801. Wednesday 6th May. Speedy captured Gamo.
1801. Monday 25th May. Boats of Mercury re-took Bulldog.
1801. Tuesday 9th June. Kangaroo and Speedy destroyed gunboats and consorts.
1801. Wednesday June 24. Swiftsure captured by Dix Aout and consorts.
1801. Sunday 28th June. Boats of Mercury and Corso captured Tigre.
1801. Friday 3rd July. Speedy captured by French squadron.
1801. Monday 6th July. Action on Algeciras. Loss of Hannibal.
1801. Sunday 12th July. Saumarez's action off Gibraltar.
1801. Tuesday 21st July. Cutting out of Chevrette.
1801. Tuesday 21st July. Pasley engaged a 22 gun xebec.
1801. Friday 31st July. Sylph engaged a French frigate.
1801. Monday 3rd August. Pomone captured Carriere.
1801. Monday 10th August. Boats of Atalante captured Eveilie.
1801. Thursday 20th August. The Capture of the Spanish ship Neptune and
others at Corunna. Lieutenant Mark Anthony Gerrard of the Marines of HMS Fishguard was a volunteer in this cutting out affair effected
under guns of the Corunna batteries. He was presented with a sabre and
belt by his ship mates “in memory of the action with ’L’Immortalite’,
on the 20th September, the boarding expeditions at the Saintes, Penmarcks, Quimper, Noirmoutier, St. Andero, and Corunna, in
which he served as a volunteer and bore so distinguished a part.”
1801. Friday 21st August. Cutting-out operations at Etaples,
1801. August. Nelson's operations at Boulogne.
1801. Wednesday 2nd September. Alexandria surrendered. (Naval Brigade Ashore)
1801. Wednesday 2nd - 6th September. Victor destroyed a French corvette.
1801. Wednesday 2nd September. Minerve and Pomone took Succes and destroyed Bravoure.
1801. Tuesday 8th September. Sylph engaged Artemise.
1801. Sunday 13th September. Lark captured Esperanta.
1801. Sunday 13th September. Attack on Porto Ferrajo.
1801. Monday 14th September – 25th March 1802. The defence of Porto Ferrajo.
Lieutenant Lawrence and the detachment of HMS Pearl served with the
garrison. “This little force by its constancy and courage, ever set the
best of examples, and its men were always foremost on service, and
stood their posts and their guns when the Tuscan and other foreign
troops gave away. They were most useful in preparing shells, mounting
and transporting cannon and in repairing their carriages, as well as in
construction works. Their knowledge of gunnery, and their ambition to
gain honour for their Corps and themselves induced them to live in
their batteries, and the little sleep they got was alongside their
cannon.” Colonel Airey who commanded the British garrison having
applied to Admiral Sir J. Warren for his co-operation in an attack upon
some French batteries which shut up the port, 449 Marines under Captain
John Richardson and a division of 240 seamen were landed just after day
break on 14th September. They were joined by a detachment of Swiss
troops and a party of Tuscans, The Maltese Corps raised and Commanded
by Major Weir of the Marines was also engaged on this occasion. At the
beginning of the attack on the batteries on the right of the Bay,
Captain Long RN was killed while gallantly leading his men. “A
suspension of arms was maintained while his body was borne with full
military honours to the grave.” After this remarkable pause in
hostilities, Lieutenant Campbell of the Marines instantly charged, and
drove the French into a narrow pass, where, his further advance was
checked by the arrival of French reinforcements, and he had to fall
back on the garrison. Meanwhile on the other side of the bay several of
the batteries were destroyed by the British together with a large
quantity of ammunition, after which the arrival of a very superior
force of the enemy compelled a retreat to the boats.
1801. Wednesday 28th October. Pasley captured Rosario.
1801. 1st December. A mutiny broke out on board a squadron in Bantry Bay that
continued until the 11th December. The Marines remained firm to their
allegiance, and it is probable that their zealous and loyal conduct
deterred the seamen from further resistance of the Commands to their
officers. Six of the ringl eaders were executed on the 5th January 1802,
and five on the 19th of the same month.
1802. April. Mutiny of the West India Regiment at Dominica. At which the
Marines played a large part in putting it down.
1802. Friday 9th April. The 8th West India Regiment made up of free black and
runaway slave members mutinied, killing some officers and
non-commissioned officers. The mutiny was suppressed after nearly 100
of the mutineers were killed. In the subsequent investigation, it was
discovered that the black soldiers had been severely abused, and
Colonel Johnstone their commander was blamed for the mutiny and
suspended from duty.
29th April. The Marines were given the title of Royal Marines by King
George III on the recommendation of the Admiral of the Fleet John
Jervis, Earl of St Vincent Admiralty Office. “His Majesty has been
graciously pleased to signify His Commands that, in consideration of
the very rigorous services of the Marines during the late War, the
Corps shall in future be styled The Royal’ Marines by Command of their
Lordships. (Signed) Evan Nepean.” On acquiring the title of Royal, the
facings of the Marines, which had been white, were changed to Blue as
in other Royal Corps of Infantry. The Laurel was also authorised to be
borne as a testimony of the gallantry of the Marines at the siege of
Belle-Isle in the year 1761, and is encircled about the figure of the
Globe on the Colours.
1802. When the Marines were made Royal, Lord Vincent is reported to have
said: “In obtaining for them the distinction of ‘Royal’ I but
inefficiently did my duty I never knew an appeal made to them for
bonour, courage or loyalty that they did not more than realise my
biggest expectations. If ever the real danger should come to England
they will be found the country’s sheet Anchor."
Click on photo to enlarge
1802. The establishment of the Corps strength was 12,119 men.
to 1815. The
Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars fought between Napoleon's French
Empire and a series of opposing coalitions. That composed of the United
Kingdom, Prussia, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Portugal and Russia against
France. The wars where originally sparked by the French Revolution
during 1789. Napoleon went on to fight 60 battles, losing only seven,
mostly towards the end of his rein. The great French Dominion collapsed
rapidly after the disastrous invasion of Russia during 1812. Eventually
Napoleon was defeated by the Russians in 1814. He returned to France
and was finally defeated in 1815 at the battle of Waterloo, and all of
France's gains were stripped away by the victors. During the Napoleonic
Wars the Royal Marines participated in all the naval battles on board
Royal Navy's ships and several amphibious landings.
1803. Establishment of the Corps was increased to 22,467. Many officers were
allowed the retirement, and through the advocacy of the Earl St
Vincent, it was made an open list.
1803. Wednesday 18th May. Doris captured Affronteur.
1803. Saturday 28th May. Minotaur captured Franchise.
1803. Tuesday 14th June. Immortalite and consorts cut out Inabordable and Commode.
1803. Centaur and consorts took Morne Fortunee.
1803. Saturday 25th June. Endymion captured Bacchante.
1803. Monday 27th June. Boats of Loire captured Venteux.
1803. Tuesday 28th June. Goliath captured Mignonne.
1803. Tuesday 28th June. Hereule engaged Poursuivante.
1803. Thursday 30th June. Vanguard and Cumberland captured Creole.
1803. Thursday 30th June. Capture of Tobago.
1803. Saturday 2nd July. Minerve captured off Cherbourg.
1803. Monday 4th July. Boats of Naiad cut out Providence.
1803. Monday 11th July. Racoon captured Lodi.
1803. Monday 25th July. Vanguard and Tartar captured Duquesne.
1803. Monday 1st August. Boats of Hydra captured Favori.
1803. Sunday 14th August. Racoon captured Petite Fille, Amelie, and Jeune Adele.
1803. Weddnesday 17th August. Racoon destroyed Mutine.
1803. Thursday 25th August. Seagull and Colossus captured Lord Nelson (late British).
1803. Wednesday 31st August. Boadicca engaged Duguay-Trouin and Guerriere.
1803. Friday 9th September. Boats of Sheerness captured two chasse-marees.
1803. Tuesday 13th - 15th September. Cerberus and consorts at Granville.
1803. Wednesday 14th September. Dieppe bombarded by Immortalite and consorts.
1803. Tuesday 20th September. Princess Augusta repulsed Union and Wraak.
1803. Tuesday 27th September. Calais bombarded by Autumn and consorts.
1803. Thursday 29th September. Boats of Antelope in the Texel.
1803. Thursday 29th September. Leda drove ashore 23 gun-vessels.
1803. September. Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice surrendered.
1803. Monday 9th October. Boats of Atalante cut out two French vessels.
1803. Wednesday 26th October. Boats of Osprey captured Ressource.
1803. Thursday 27th October. Milbrook and boats destroyed Sept Freres.
1803. Monday 31st October. Admiral Mitchell drove ashore a French gun-brig.
1803. Friday 4th November. Launch of Blanche cut out a French schooner.
1803. Friday 4th November. Boats of Blanche cut out Albion.
1803. Saturday 5th November. Several Royal Marines in a small cutter led by
Lieutenant Nichols captured the French ship Albion off the island of
San Domingo. He later became known as fighting Nicholls. During his
remarkable career he saw action 106 times, was wounded six times,
court martialled twice, and demoted. However, he was eventually
promoted to the rank of lieutenant General.
1803. Sunday 6th November. Cutter of Blanche captured a French trooper.
1803. Monday 14th November. Boats of Blenheim and Drake captured Harmonie and stormed
1803. Wednesday 16th November. Boats of Blenheim at Martinique. Lieutenant G.
Beatty and 60 Marines storm Fort Dunkirk protecting the harbour of
Marin, while the seamen cut out L’Harmonie a French privateer.
1803. Saturday 26th November. The storming of a battery at Petite Ance
D’Arlette on Martinique. Captain Acheson Crozier. Lieutenant. W. Walker
and Marines of HMS Centaur carried a 9 gun battery of 24 pounders.
Lieutenant Walker received a sword of honour and £100 from the
1803. Wednesday 30th November. Capture of Cape Francois and Surveillante and Clorinde.
1803. Friday 16th December. Merlin destroyed the grounded British frigate Shannon.
3rd January - 25th March. The Attack on Curacao. Lieutenant Nicholls
and 199 Marines belonging to HMS Hercule, HMS Blanche, HMS Pique and HMS Gipsy were present, when fort Piscadoro was stormed and French troops
driven under the guns of Fort Republique by seamen and Marines of these
1804. January - February. Operations at Curacoa.
1804. Sunday 27th May. The cutting out of La Conception.
1804. Saturday 4th February Boats of Centaur cut out Citrieux.
1804. Sunday 5th February. Eclair engaged Grand Decide.
1804. Sunday 19th February. Boats of Drake cut out a schooner at Martinique.
1804. Monday 20th February. Active engaged 16 gunboats and took a transport.
1804. Friday 24th February. Party from Drake stormed Trinite Fort.
1804. Sunday 4th March. Boats of Blenheim cut out Curieux.
1804. Monday 5th March. Cutter of Eclair cut out Rose.
1804. Wednesday 7th March. Boats of Inconstant cut out a ship at Goree.
1804. Thursday 8th March. Goree taken.
1804. Tuesday 13th March. Emerald and consort's boats cut out Mozambique.
1804. Wednesday 14th March. Drake captured two prizes.
1804. Saturday 17th March. Penguin and boats destroyed Renommee.
1804. Friday 23rd March. Osprey engaged Egyptienne.
1804. Saturday 24th March. Wolverine captured by Blonde.
1804. Sunday 25th March. Hippomenes captured Egyptienne.
1804. Saturday 31st March. Scorpion and Beaver cut out Dutch vessels.
1804. Tuesday 3rd April. Swift captured Esperanee.
1804. Monday 9th April. Amazon captured a brig under fire at Sepet.
1804. Tuesday 10th April. Wilhelmina engaged Psyche.
1804. April - May. Operations and capture of Surinam.
1804. Tuesday 8th May. Vincejo captured by 17 French vessels.
1804. Tuesday 15th May. Cruiser and five consorts engaged 60 vessels off Blankenberg.
1804. Thursday 24th May. Reconnaissance of Toulon.
1804. Thursday 21st June. Unsuccessful engagement with Buonaparte.
1804. Wednesday 11th July. Boats of Narcissus, Seahorse and Maidstone at La Vandour.
1804. Thursday 12th July. Aigle destroyed Charente and Joie.
1804. Sunday 15th July. Lily captured by Dame Ambert.
1804. Tuesday 31st July. Tartar's boats captured Hirondelle.
1804. July - Aug. Dieppe bombarded.
1804. Sunday 12th August. Galatea's boats failed to cut out General Ernouf (late Lily).
1804. Friday 17th August. Loire captured Blonde.
1804. Saturday 18th August 1804. Lord Melville became The First Lord of the
Admiralty. The King authorised the formation of the
Royal Marine Artillery (RMA) for service on board the Bomb Ketches and
other like vessels. One company was raised for each division. They wore
blue tunics of the Royal Artillery and nicknamed ‘un-boiled lobsters’
or ‘blue Marines’. The Ketches had been originally manned by the Army's
Royal Regiment of Artillery. However, a lawsuit by a Royal Artillery
officer resulted in a court decision that Army officers were not
subject to naval orders. At that time the total force of the Marines
was 29,000 men.
1804. Saturday 25th August. Immortalite and Bruiser engaged off Boulogne.
1804. Sunday 26th August. Immortalite and consorts engaged, and Constitution sunk.
1804. 18th September. Centurion engaged Marengo, Atalante, and Semillante.
1804. Wednesday 3rd October. Indefatigable and consorts took or destroyed Fama, Medea, Mercedes, and Clara.
5th October. The capture of three Spanish Treasure ships of Cadiz. The
Captain, officers and crew of the HMS Lively, one of the ships
engaged in the capture, gave £50 to Thomas Tough, a Marine who lost his
arm in the engagement in testimony of their admiration of his “brave
and meritorious conduct in the action”.
5th October. The Battle of Cape Santa Maria, was a naval action that
took place off the southern Portuguese coast, in which a British
squadron under the command of Commodore Graham Moore attacked a Spanish
squadron Commanded by Brigadier Don José de Bustamantey Guerra, in a
time of peace, without a declaration of war between Britain and Spain.
1804. Monday 8th October. Albacore engaged off Gros Nez.
1804. Tuesday 23rd October. Cruiser lost in engagement off Ostend.
1804. Nearly ten percent of each company were comprised of foreigners, mainly
Maltese, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Each company on paper was to
comprise 1 Captain, 2 first Lieutenants, 2 second Lieutenants, 8
Sergeants, 8 Corporals, 6 Drummers and 140 Privates. Each Marine
Division also had a grenadier and a light company, (but they were
abolished in 1804). With disease, shortages and battle caused deaths,
it was highly unlikely that the paper figures were ever met. The Marine
companies were dispersed throughout the fleet and where also needed on
1805. Monday 28th January. Gipsy destroyed privateer schooner.
1805. Sunday 3rd February. Arrow and Acheron taken by Hortense and Incorruptible.
1805. Friday 8th February. Curieux captured Dame Ernouf.
1805. Thursday 14th February. San. Fiorenzo captured Psyche.
1805. Sunday 17th February. Cleopatra captured by Ville de Milan.
1805. Saturday 23rd February. Leander re-captured Cleopatra and took Ville de Milan.
1805. Wednesday 20th March. Renard blew up General Ernouf.
1805. Saturday 23rd March. Boats of Stork captured Antelope and a brig.
1805. Friday 5th April. Boats of Bacchante at Mariel, Havana.
1805. Tuesday 9th April. Gracieux destroyed a Spanish armed schooner.
1805. Monday 15th April. Boats of Papillon captured Conception.
1805. Tuesday 23rd April. Gallant and consorts captured eight gun-vessels.
1805. Thursday 25th April. Archer captured two gun-vessels.
1805. Saturday 4th May. Seahorse and boats at San Pedro.
1805. Monday 6th May. French privateer Tape a bord captured.
1805. Monday 27th May. Spanish armed schooner Concepcion captured.
1805. Friday 31st May - 2nd June. Diamond Rock bombarded and capitulated.
1805. Sunday 2nd June. Boats of Loire at Camarinas Bay.
1805. Tuesday 4th June. Boats of Loire at Muros Bay.
1805. Monday 10th June. Chiffonne and consorts engaged French gunboats.
1805. Thursday 13th June. Boats of Cambrian captured Maria.
1805. June. Boats of Seine captured Felucca Concepcion.
1805. Wednesday 3rd July. Cambrian captured Matilda.
1805. Sunday 7th - 21st July. Cambian's party in Matilda in St. Mary's River.
1805. Monday 15th July. Plumper and Teazer captured by French gun vessels.
1805. Wednesday 17th - 18th July. Ariadne and consorts engaged off Boulogne.
1805. Friday 19th July. Blanche taken and destroyed by Topaze and three corvettes.
1805. Monday 22nd July. Sir Robert Calders action off Finisterre. Known as
the Battle of Cape Finisterre off Galicia, Spain, the British fleet
under Admiral Robert Calder fought an indecisive naval battle against
the combined Franco Spanish fleet which was returning from the West
Indies. Failing to prevent the joining of Villeneuve's fleet to the
squadron of Ferrol and to strike the shattering blow that would have
freed Great Britain from the danger of an invasion. The British
received 198 dead or wounded, while the French and Spanish suffered 647
dead and wounded, 1200 were taken prisoners and two Spanish ships were
captured. Although it was a strategic victory for the British, Calder
was later court martialled and severely reprimanded for his avoiding of
the French / Spanish fleet and a further possible engagement on the
23rd and 24th July.
1805. Tuesday 23rd July. Champion and consorts engaged off Fecamp.
1805. Friday 2nd August. Phaeton and Harrier engaged Semillante and consorts.
1805.Tuesday 6th August. Blenheim engaged Marengo and Belie Poule.
1805. Saturday10th August. The British HMS Phoenix and the French ship Didon fought bitterly off the Cape Ortegal during which the far more
powerful Frenchmen rammed the British ship’s starboard quarter. The day
was saved by Marine marksmen who prevented the French from boarding
thus allowing the sailor’s time to manoeuvre a gun to sweep the Didons decks.
1805. Tuesday 13th August. Swift and boats at Truxillo.
1805. Thursday 15th August. Lord Barham
presided at the Board of Admiralty an order in Council ordered a new
division to be established a fourth division RMA company was added when
a Woolwich Division was formed. They first saw service with the
Boulogne Squadron and then at the second battle of Copenhagen that took
place from the Friday 16th August to Saturday 5th September 1807. That
saw a British bombardment of Copenhagen in order to seize the
Dan-Norwegian fleet. During the same time of the fourth division's
formation, an additional Artillery company was also added to each of
the divisions. The strength of the Corps was now listed as 30,000 men,
including four companies of artillery.
1805. Friday 16th August. Raisonnable engaged Topaze.
1805. Wednesday 21st August. Reconnaissance in Camaret Bay.
1805. Thursday 22nd August. Distant Engagement in Camaret Bay.
1805. Thursday 26th September. Calcutta captured by Magnanime and Armide.
1805. Wednesday 9th October. Princess Charlotte captured Cyane.
1805. Wednesday 16th October. Jason captured Naiade.
1805. Monday 21st October. The Battle of Trafalgar was a naval engagement
fought by the Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and
Spanish Navys, during the War of the Third Coalition from August to
December 1805 as part of the Napoleonic Wars of 1803 to 1815. Sadly it
was the battle that led to the death of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson, one
of great Britains navel and country heroes. As Lord Nelson lay wounded
on board his Flag ship HMS Victory, having been shot by a French
sniper high in the rigging of the French ship Redoubtable. Thomas
Hardy ordered Royal Marine Sergeant Secker and some sailors to carry
Nelson gently down to the orlop deck situated below the water line.
Midshipman John Pollard age 18 on board HMS
Victory is credited with being the man who killed the French sniper.
It’s estimated that 3,600 Marines took part in the battle (nearly a
third of the Corps). Some were
involved in Cutting Out Operations during the battle.
1805. Battle of Trafalgar. The British Fleet details and losses:
HMS Victory 100 guns, Vice Admiral Lord Nelson (killed), Captain T.M.
Hardy, 57 killed, 102 wounded. Captain Charles Wm. Adair (killed),
First-Lieutenant James G. Peake (wounded), Second Lieutenant Lewis
Buckle Reeves (wounded), Second Lieutenant Lewis Rotely.
HMS Temeraire 98 guns, Captain E. Harvey, 47 killed, and 76 wounded.
Captain Simon Busigny (mortally wounded), Second Lieutenant William N.
Roe, Second Lieutenant Samuel J. Payne (wounded), Second Lieutenant
John Kingston (killed).
HMS Neptune 98 guns, Captain T. F. Freemantle, 10 killed, 34 wounded.
First Lieutenant George Kendall, Second Lieutenant William Burton,
Second-Lieutenant Lewis Rooke.
HMS Leviathan 74 guns, Captain H. W. Bayntum, 4 killed, 22 wounded.
Captain George P. Wingrove, First Lieutenant Nathaniel Cole, First
Lieutenant Thomas J. W. Tane.
HMS Britannia 100 guns, Rear Admiral Earl of Northesk, Captain C. Bullen,
10 killed, 42 wounded. Captain Alexander Watson, First Lieutenant
William Jackson, Second Lieutenant L.B.J. Halloran, Second Lieutenant
HMS Conqueror 74 guns, Captain J. Pellew, 3 killed, 9 wounded. Captain
James Atcherly, Second Lieutenants Patrick Toole, and Thomas Wearing
HMS Africa 64 guns, Captain Henry Digby, 18 killed, 44 wounded. Captain
James Fynmore (wounded), First Lieutenant Thomas Brattle.
HMS Agamemnon 64 guns, Captain Sir E. Berry, 2 killed, 7 wounded. Captain
H. B. Downing, Second Lieutenant Herbert Raban, Second Lieutenant
HMS Ajax 74 guns, Lieutenant J. Pilfold, 2 killed, 9 wounded. Captain
David Boyd, Second Lieutenant J. Cinnamond, Second Lieutenant Samuel B.
HMS Orion 74 guns, Captain E. Codrington, 1 killed, 23 wounded. Captain
Henry VV. Creswell, Second Lieutenant Stephen Bridgman.
HMS Minotaur 74 guns, Captain C.M. Mansfield, 3 killed, 22 wounded.
Captain Paul Hunt, Second Lieutenant Nathaniel B. Grigg, Second
Lieutenant Thomas Reeves.
HMS Spartiate 74 guns, Captain Sir F. Lafoi'ey, 3 killed, 20 wounded.
First Lieutenant Samuel Hawkins, First Lieutenant John R. Coryton,
Second Lieutenant G.D. Hawkins.
The Lee Colum:
HMS Royal Sovereign 100 guns, Vice Admiral C. Collingwood, Captain E.
Rotheram, 47 killed, 94 wounded. Captain Joseph Vallack,
Second-Lieutenant Robert Green (killed), Second Lieutenant Armiger Wm.
Hubbard, Second Lieutenant James Le Vescomte (wounded).
HMS Belleisle 74 guns, Captain W. Hargood (wounded), 34 killed, 96
wounded. First Lieutenant John Owen (wounded), Second Lieutenant John
Weaver, Second Lieutenant Paul Harris Nicolas.
HMS Mars 74 guns, Captain G. Duff (killed), 29 killed, 69 wounded.
Captain Thos. Norman, Second Lieutenant Charles Holmes, Second
Lieutenant Robert Guthrie.
HMS Tonnant 80 guns, Captain C. Tyler (wounded), 26 killed, 50 wounded.
Captain Arthur Ball, Second Lieutenant James Cottle, First Lieutenant
HMS Bellerophon 74 guns, Captain J. Cooke (killed), 27 killed, 123
wounded. Captain James Wemyss (wounded), Second Lieutenants John Wilson
(2nd), Peter Connolly, and Luke Higgins.
HMS Colossus 74 guns, Captain J. Morris (wounded), 40 killed, 160
wounded. Captain Elias Lawrence, Second Lieutenant William Laurie,
Second-Lieutenant John Benson (wounded).
HMS Achille 74 guns, Captain R. King, 13 killed, 59 wounded. Captain
Palms Westropp (wounded), Second Lieutenants William Liddon (wounded),
and Francis Whalley.
HMS Dreadnought 98 guns, Captain J. Conn, 7 killed, 26 wounded. Captain
Thomas Timmins, First Lieutenants John M'Cullum and Thomas Lemon,
Second Lieutenant David Manley.
HMS Polyphemus 64 guns, Captain Robert Redmill, 2 killed, 4 wounded.
Captain Michael Percival, First Lieutenant John Mackintosh, Second
Lieutenant Charles Stewart.
HMS Revenge 74 guns, Captain R. Moorsom (wounded), 28 killed, 51 wounded.
Captain Peter Lely (wounded), Second Lieutenant Arthur Copperthwaite,
Second Lieutenant Henry Blackler Fairtlough.
HMS Swiftsure 74 guns, Captain H.G. Rutherford, 9 killed, 8 wounded.
First Lieutenant William Gibbins, First Lieutenant Robert Gordon,
Second Lieutenant Henry Miller.
HMS Defiance 74 guns, Captain P.C. Durham (wounded), 17 killed, 53
wounded. Captain Basil Alves, Second Lieutenant George Bristow.
HMS Thunderer 74 guns, Lieutenant J. Stockham, 4 killed, 12 wounded.
Captain Gilbert Elliott, Second Lieutenant William Hockley, Second
Lieutenant John Lister.
HMS Defence 74 guns, Captain G. Hope, 7 killed, 29 wounded. Captain
Henry Cox, First Lieutenant John Wilson (1st), Second Lieutenant Alfred
HMS Prince 98 guns, Captain R. Grindall. Captain Francis Williams,
Second Lieutenant Edward Pengelley, Second Lieutenant John Shillibeer.
Total, 450 killed, 1244 wounded.
of Marines on board the Frigates: HMS Phoebe First Lieutenant Mortimer, HMS Timson ?, HMS Euryalus Lieutenant John Sandford, HMS Naiad Lieutenants
Edward Jones and P.
The Combined Fleet:
S. Perkins; HMS Sirius, Lieutenants Thomas Moore and William Murray.
The direction in which the combined fleet now lay, with a home port
scarcely seven leagues on their lee-bow, induced Lord Nelson to
telegraph to his second in command, "I intend to pass through the van
of the enemy's line, to prevent him from getting into Cadiz," and as
the shoals of San Pedro and Trafalgar were under the lee of both
fleets, his Lordship, in order to guard against that danger, made the
signal "Prepare to anchor after close of day." Shortly afterwards that
emphatic message of "England expects every man to do his duty" was
communicated to the fleet by telegraph. The inspiring sentiment excited
the most lively enthusiasm, and was greeted by hearty cheers on board
of every ship.
Having already described the formation of the combined line of battle,
it is only necessary to observe, that the Commander-in-Chief in the Bucentaure, with the Santissima Trinidada, his second, ahead,
were directly in front of the Victory, the Santa Ana, bearing the
flag of Vice-Admiral D'Alava, was in the same direction from the HMS Royal
Sovereign whilst the Spanish Commander in Chief, Admiral Gravina, in
the Principe d'Asturias, was the rearmost ship of the combined fleet,
which formed nearly as follows, Neptuno 80 guns, Scipion 74, Intrepide 74, Rayo 100, Formidable 80, Dugnay Trouin 74, Mont
Blanc 74, San Francisco d'Asis 74, San Augustin 74, Heros 74, Santissima Trinidada 130, Bucentaure 74, Neptune 80, San
Leandro 64, Redoutable 74, San Justo 80, Indomptable 80, Santa
Ana 112, Fougueux 74, Mo-narca 74, Pluton 74, Algesiras 74, Bahama 74, Aigle 74, Swift-sure 74, Argonaute 74, Montanez 74, Argonauta 80, Berwick 74, San Juan Nepornuceno 74, San
Ildefonso 74, Achille 74, Principe d'Asturias 112.
1805. Monday 4th November. Sir Richard John Strachan’s (Colonel of Marines)
Victory in the Bay of Biscay. Sir Richard was in command of a detached
squadron including three ships of the line and four frigates in the Bay
of Biscay. Whilst sailing off Cape Finisterreon on the 2nd November the
squadron encountered four French ships of the line that had escaped
from the Battle of Trafalgar under the command of Rear Admiral Dumanoir
le Pelley. Sir Richard pursued them vigorously and forcrd them into
battle on 4th November. After a short engagement, known as the Battle
of Cape Ortegal in which he defeated and captured all of them, and in
doing so completing the destruction of the French fleet.
1805. Friday 29th November. Boats of Serpent captured San Christoval Pano.
1805. Tuesday 24th December. Egyptienne and Loire captured Libre.
1805. By the end of the year the Corps numbered thirty thousand, the largest
it ever saw during the Peninsular War.
1806. Thursday 2nd January. Wolf and consort captured two privateers.
1806. Sunday 5th - 12th January. Operations and capture of the Cape of Good Hope.
1806. Monday 6th January. Favourite captured by French squadron.
1806. Wednesday 8th January. The Battle of Blaauwberg, and the recapture of
Cape Town, was a small but significant military engagement. It
established British rule in South Africa, which was to have many
ramifications for the region during the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries. Captain McKenzie and 400 Marines played a major roll during
1806. Tuesday 28th January. Growler captured Voltigeur.
1806. tuesday 28th January. Attack captured Sorcier.
1806. January. Bruizer captured Impromptu.
1806. January. Boats of Franchise cut out Raposa.
1806. Thursday 6th February. Sir Robert Duckworth’s action off St. Domingo,
against seven ships of the French line. He captured three and burned
two, a major part of the French fleet. Only two Frigates, and a Corvet
managed to escape.
1806. Thursday 27th February. Hydra captured Furet.
1806. Saturday 8th March. Boats of Egyptienne cut out Alcide.
1806. Thursday 13th March. London and Amazon captured Marengo and Belle Poule.
1806. Monday 17th March. Boats of Pique captured Santa Clara.
1806. Friday 21st March. Boats of Colpoys at Avillas.
1806..Monday 24th March. Reindeer engaged Voltigeur and Phaeton.
1806. Wednesday 26th March. Pique captured Voltigeur and Phaeton.
1806. Friday 28th March. Niobe captured Nearque.
1806. Friday 4th April. Renommee captured Vigilante and consort.
1806. Saturday 5th April. Pallas drove ashore three French corvettes.
1806. Saturday 5th April. Boats of Pallas captured Tapageuse.
1806. Thursday 17th April. Sirius at Civita Vecchia.
1806. Saturday 19th April. Colpoys and Attack in the Douillan.
1806. Monday 21st April. Tremendous engaged Canonniere.
1806. Friday 25th April. Pallas reconnoitred Isle of Aix.
1806. April. Pallas off La Vendee.
1806. April. Pompee and squadron succoured Gaeta.
1806. April. Frisk, Contest and Pallas at Pointe d'Aiguillon.
1806. Sunday 4th May. Boats of Renommee and Nautilus cut out Giganta.
1806. Sunday 11th May. Capture of Capri.
1806. Monday 12th May. Pallas and consorts off Isle of Aix.
1806. Monday 12th May. Boats of Juno at Gaeta.
1806. Monday 12th May. The Capture of the highly fortified Island of Capri,
by Sir Sidney Smith's Marines and bluejackets, who wrestled the Island
back from the French, after Bonaparte had taken it earlier in January.
1806. Wednesday 14th May. Pallas engaged Minerve and three brigs.
1806. Thursday 15th May. Juno supported a sortie from Gaeta.
1806. Friday 23rd May. HMS Pompee Captures Convoy at Sealia.
1806. June - October. Sir H. Popham's operations in the River Plate.
1806. Thursday 22nd June. Boats of Minerve in Finistere Bay.
1806. Monday 26th June. Boats of Port Mahon captured San Josef.
1806. Friday 27th June. The taking of Buenos Ayres. Major Alezr. McKenzie and
340 Marines were present.
1806. Friday 4th July. Boats of HMS Melpomone take a French Setee.
1806. Wednesday 9th July. Powerful captured Bellone.
1806. Friday 11th July. Boats of Minerve captured Buena Dicta.
1806. Wednesday 16th July. Boats of squadron cut out Cesar.
1806. Saturday 19th July. Blanche captured Guerriere.
1806. Saturday 26th July. Greyhound and Harrier took Pallas, Vittoria, and Balavia. Loss of the Sidney.
1806. Monday 28th July. Mars captured Rhin.
1806. Wednesday 30th July. Amphion at capture of Cotrone.
1806. July. The British invasions of the Río de la Plata in South America was
a series of unsuccessful British attempts to seize control of the
Spanish colonies located around the La Plata Basin. The area was vast
and included parts of Argentina, Uruguay and especially the town of
Buenos Aires. A detachment from the British army occupied Buenos Aires
for 46 days during 1806 before being expelled.
1806. Thursday 14th August. Phosphorus beat off a French lugger.
1806. Monday 18th August. Boats of Galatea at Porto Cabello.
1806. Thursday 21st August. Boats of Galatea destroyed a privateer.
1806. Saturday 23rd August. Boats of Alexandria in the Plate.
1806. Saturday 23rd August. Anson and Arethusa captured Pomona and gunboats.
1806. Saturday 30th August. Boats of Bacchante cut out three vessels at Sta-Martha.
1806. Saturday 30th August. Pike captured a guarda-costa.
1806. Wednesday 3rd September. Squadron at Batabano.
1806. Sunday 14th September. Melampus destroyed Impetueux.
1806. Monday 15th September. Anson engaged Foudroyant.
1806. Thursday 25th September. Monarch, Centaur and Mars took four French men of war.
1806. Saturday 27th September. Dispatch captured Presidente.
1806. Tuesday 2nd October. Boats of Minerva at Oro Island.
1806. Thursday 9th October. Boats of Galatea cut out three schooners at Barcelona.
1806. Thursday 12th October. Sheldrake and consorts destroyed Salamandre.
1806. Saturday 18th October. Caroline captured Maria-Riggersbergen and three more.
1806. Tuesday 21st - 22nd October. Boats of Renommee at Colon, Majorca.
1806. Friday October. 24 to 26. Pitt captured Superbe.
1806. Saturday 1st November. Boats of Pique in Carbaret Bay.
1806. Sunday 2nd November. Pique took one privateer and destroyed another.
1806. Tuesday 11th November. Sceptre and Cornwallis engaged Semillante and batteries.
1806. Wednesday 12th November. Boats of Galatea captured Reunion.
1806. Thursday 20th November. Boats of Success captured Vengeur.
1806. Thursday 20th November. Boats of Orpheus captured Dolores.
1806. Friday 21st November. Dedaigneuse engaged Semillante.
1806. Thursday 27th November. Boats of squadron in Batavia Roads.
1806. Saturday 13th December. Halcyon captured Neptune.
1806. Tuesday 16th December. Kingfisher captured Elisabeth.
1806. Lord Howick succeeded Lord Barham as first Lord of the Admiralty.
Nothing particular occurred during the short time he was at the Board,
but under his successor, the Earl of Mulgrave, the Corps obtained many
advantages; for his Lordship being a military man, was better capable
of comprehending the real and combined interests of the Corps with that
of the public service. He appointed an additional Lieutenant Colonel
and a Major to the Woolwich division, placing it on the same footing as
the other three, and at the same time ten companies were added to the
establishment of the Corps, to appropriate the men already raised, but
not attached. Second Captains were appointed to the companies as the
Pay Captains, which gave promotion to sixteen First and sixteen Second
1807. Thursday 1st January. HMS Arethusa land and storm Fort Amsterdam
and capture Curacoa . At 1am the Frigates hove to when near the high
land of St. Barbery's, on the east end of Curacoa, and having hoisted
out the boats, and made the necessary arrangements for an immediate
attack by storm, bore away for the mouth of the harbour at 6am, with HMS Arethusa leading, followed in close order by the HMS Latona, HMS Anson,
and HMS Fisgard. The entrance is only 60 fathoms wide, and is defended by
regular fortifications, the principal of which, Fort Amsterdam,
standing on the right-hand side, mounts 60 pieces of cannon in two
tiers. Athwart the harbour, (which nowhere exceeds a quarter of a mile
in width) were the Dutch 36 gun frigate Halstaa, and 20 gun ship Surinam, besides two large armed schooners. On Middleburg height
there was a chain of forts; and Fort Republique, deemed almost
impregnable, situated upon a high hill at the bottom of the harbour,
within half gunshot distance, enfiladed the whole. At daylight HMS Arethusa, with a flag of truce at the fore, entered the port; but the
Dutch forts and shipping, taking no notice of the flag, opened a smart
although ineffective fire. The wind suddenly shifting to the north,
checked the further progress of HMS Arethusa; but in a few minutes it
veered back to northeast, thereby enabling all the frigates, except HMS Fisgard, a ground on the west side, to lay up along the harbour, and
the three remaining ships anchored in positions for cannonading the
defences of the enemy.
HMS Arethusa was now lying with her jib
boom over the wall of the town, when Captain Brisbane sent the
following Bummons to the Governor, "The British squadron are here to
protect, and not to conquer you, but to preserve to you your lives,
liberty, and property. If a shot be fired at any one of my squadron
after this summons, I shall immediately storm your batteries, you have
five minutes to accede to this determination. "No notice being taken of
this summons, the flag of truce was hauled down, and at 6-15am the
British squadron commenced the action. After the discharge of the third
broadside, Captain Brisbane, at the head of the boarders, carried the
Dutch Frigate, and HMS Latona immediately warped alongside and took
possession. In the mean time Captain Lydiard, with a division of men
from the HMS Anson, had boarded and secured the Corvette.
Captains Brisbane and Lydiard then pulled straight for the shore, and
landing together, proceeded at 7-30am. too storm Fort Amsterdam. The
vigour of the assault was irresistible, whilst some were employed in
forcing open the sea-gate, others escaladed the walls, and although the
fort was garrisoned by 276 regular troops, it was carried in about ten
minutes, and shortly afterwards the citadel and some minor forts, as
well as the town, were in the possession of the British. On the return
of Captains Brisbane and Lydiard to their respective ships, a fire was
opened upon Fort Republique, and 300 seamen and Marines were landed to
attack it in the rear, but without waiting for such encounter the fort
surrendered, and by noon the whole island of Curacoa had capitulated to
the British arms.
This unparalleled achievement was accomplished with no greater loss to
the British than 3 seamen killed, and 14 wounded. The loss on the part
of the Dutch was much more severe, the Halstaar had her Captain and 2
men killed, and 3 wounded, the Surinam 1 killed, her Commander
(dangerously) and 3 wounded, and the schooner Flying Fish, one killed
and one wounded. Total, 6 killed, and 8 wounded, whilst the killed and
wounded on shore amounted to about 200 men.
Captain Brisbane, the planner and leader of this gallant enterprise,
received the honour of Knighthood, medals were conferred on the four
Captains, the Senior Lieutenants of the HMS Arethusa and HMS Anson were
made Commanders, and Lieutenant George Peebles was promoted to the
Brevet rank of Captain.
The officers of Marines serving on board the squadron were as follows:
HMS Arethusa, First Lieutenant Octavius Scott, Second Lieutenant John
HMS Latona, First Lieutenant John Hay, Second Lieutenant ?? Henderson.
HMS Anson First Lieutenant George Peebles.
HMS Fisgard First Lieutenant A. Watts, Second Lieutenant Hugh Peregrine.
On the 21st January, at day break, the 32-gun frigate HMS Galatea,
Captain George Sayer, when cruising off the Caraccas, on the Spanish
main, discovered and chased the French I6 gun brig Lynx but it
falling calm, the boats of the Frigate under Lieutenant William Coombe,
containing 6 Officers, 50 Seamen, and 20 Marines, were sent to attack
her. It was not until 8-30pm. that the boats, formed in two lines,
arrived within hail of the brig; instantly cheering they dashed
alongside, but met with such determined opposition, that they were
compelled to sheer off. A second attempt was equally unsuccessful, but
the third attack enabled the gallant assailants, after a severe
struggle, to obtain possession of their hard earned prize. Lieutenant
Henry Walker, 5 Seamen, and 3 Marines were killed, Lieutenant Coombe, 2
Midshipmen, 15 Seamen, and 4 Marines wounded. Total of 9 killed and 22
1807. Sunday 3rd February. The battle of Montevideo, between the British and
Spanish Empires during the Napoleonic Wars, in which the British forces
captured the city. It also formed part of the British invasions of the
1807. Tuesday 6th January. Boats of Imperieuse at Arcasson.
1807. Thursday 8th January. Pickle captured Favorite.
1807. January - July. Squadron at Buenos Ayres and Montevideo.
1807. Wednesday 21st January. Boats of Galatea captured Lynx.
1807. Tuesday 27th January. Lark captured Postilion and Carmen.
1807. Tuesday 27th January. Jason re-took Favourite (late British).
1807. January. Boats of Cerberus captured a privateer.
1807. January. Jackdaw taken by a Spanish rowboat.
1807. Sunday 1st February. Lark and boats at Zispata Bay.
1807. Saturday 14th February. Bacchante and Mediator at Samana, St Domingo.
1807. February - March. Duckworth in the Dardanelles.
1807. February. The Dardanelles Operation was the Royal Navy's unsuccessful
attempt to impose British demands on the Ottoman Empire as part of the
Anglo Turkish War (1807-1809). During 1806 the French had tried to
bring about Turkey's re-entry into the war.
During the fighting
with the Turkish fleet at Fort Pesquies, that mounted 31 guns, and
fired heavily on the British squadron, and continued its fire well
after the Turkish ships had been run ashore or captured. The beach too,
was crowded with armed men, and the Pompee having fired a few shells
to disperse them, her Marines loaded and brought off a Green Standard.
Lieutenant Nichols of the Marines brought off the flag of the Captain
Pasha from the 40 gun frigate on which it flew and which he set on fire
in accordance with his orders. He then entered Fort Pesquies, spiked
the guns and set the garrison a blaze.
1807. February. The Bombardment of Constantinople.
1807. February While in the Dardanelles, Fighting Nicolls Commanding a
contingent of Marines landed at Fort Pesquies.
1807. Sunday 1st March. Hirondelle and boats of Glatton cut out a Turkish corvette.
1807. Sunday 15th March. Boats of Camus cut out six merchantmen.
1807. Tuesday 17th March. Disembarkation at Alexandria.
1807. Wednesday 18th March. Storming of enemy's works near Alexandria.
1807. Saturday 21st March. Alexandria capitulated.
1807. Saturday 21st March. Leopard attacked Chesapeake, and made her strike.
1807. Wednesday 25th March. The Slave Trade Act or the Abolition of the Slave
Trade Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed
with the title of ‘An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade’, that
received the Royal Assent. The original act is kept in the
The act abolished the slave trade in the
British Empire, in particular the Atlantic slave trade, and also
encouraged British action to press other European states to abolish
their slave trades, but it did not abolish slavery itself. Many of the
Bill's supporters thought the Act would lead to the death of slavery,
but it was not until 26 years later that slavery itself was actually
abolished. Slavery on English soil was unsupported in English law and
that position was confirmed in Somersett's Case in 1772, but it
remained legal in most of the British Empire until the Slavery
Abolition Act 1833.
1807. Friday 17th April. Sally engaged off Danzig.
1807. Wednesday 29th April. Boats of Richmond captured Gaillard.
1807. April. Pike captured by Marat.
1807. Friday 8th May. Boats of Comus cut out a felucca.
1807. Thursday 14th May. Boats of Spartan repulsed by a polacca off Nice.
1807. Saturday 16th May. Dauntless surrendered to the French at Danzig.
1807. May Spartan engaged Annibal, two frigates, and a corvette.
1807. Friday 5th June. Boats of Pomone captured gun-brig and 14 sail.
1807. Saturday 6th June. A prize schooner captured Mercedes.
1807. Saturday 25th July. Fleet assembled at Yarmouth.
1807. Saturday 6th August. Hydra at Begur.
1807. Friday 7th August. HMS Hydra attacks Begur, Catalonia.
1807. August - September. The second Battle Copenhagen. After a heavy
bombardment of the city a large contingent of Marines were landed on
the 5th September.
1807. Saturday 15th August. Comus captured Fredrickscoarn.
1807. August - September. Gambier at Copenhagen.
1807. Tuesday 18th - 21st August. Light squadron engaged in Copenhagen Roads.
1807. Tuesday 18th August. Boats of Confiance cut out Reitrada.
1807. Monday 24th August. Weazel captured four vessels and destroyed three.
1807. Tuesday 25th August. Boats of Clyde cut out a sloop at Ypont.
1807. Monday 31st August. Psyche and boats at Samarang.
1807. Saturday 5th September. Majestic and Quebec took Heligoland.
1807. Thursday 17th September. Barbara captured by General Ernouf.
1807. Wednesday 7th October. Boats of Porcupine captured Safo.
1807. Sunday 25th October. Boats of Herald cut out Cesar.
1807. Wednesday 28th October. Louisa defeated a privateer.
1807. Wednesday 4th November. Carrier captured Aclif.
1807. Friday 6th November. Renommee and Grasshopper off Cartagena.
1807. Tuesday 24th November. Ann captured a privateer and two gunboats.
1807. Friday 27th - 29th November. Boats of Porcupine at Ragusa.
1807. Thursday 3rd December. Curieux engaged Revanche.
1807. Sunday 6th December. Squadron captured Dutch vessels at Java.
1807. Friday 11th December. Grasshopper captured San Josef.
1807. Monday 21st December. St. Thomas taken from the Danes.
1807. Friday 25th December. St. Croix taken from the Danes.
1807. Saturday 26th December. Madeira capitulated.
1807. A second British invasion force stormed and occupied Montevideo,
remaining there for several months, and a third force made a second
attempt to take Buenos Aires. After several days of street-fighting
against the local militia and the Spanish colonial army. The British
suffered heavy losses amounting to half its force being killed or
wounded, and they were eventually forced to withdraw.
to 1815. The establishment strength remained at 31,400 men.
Royal Navy which at that time controlled the world's seas, established
the West Africa Squadron to patrol the coast of West Africa, and
between 1808 and 1860 they seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and
freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard. The Royal Navy declared that
ships transporting slaves were the same as pirates. Action was also
taken against African leaders who refused to agree to British treaties
to outlaw the trade, for example against ‘the usurping King of Lagos’,
who was deposed in 1851. Anti slavery treaties were signed with over 50
1808. The Corps of Colonial Marines were two units made up of former American
slaves for British service. They were created at different times and
both disbanded after the wars. They were recruited to address the
shortage of military manpower in the Caribbean. The locally recruited
men were less susceptible to tropical illnesses than were troops sent
from Britain and knew the terrain. The Corps followed the practice of
the British Army's West India Regiments in recruiting escaped slaves as
soldiers, but were loathed to view themselves as mere slave soldiers.
They were free men and they represented a psychological threat to the
slave owning American society by being armed. They were highly thought
of and as competent as their European comrades. They also received free
land grants in Canada in return for their commendable service,
achieving freedom in which the Land of Liberty had denied them.
1808. Some of the black soldiers of the 2nd West India Regiment mutinied and
killed two officers. They were subsequently overcome by loyal soldiers
of the Regiment, and seven leaders were executed. The principle
justification for using slaves and free blacks for the proposed
Regiments was the extremely high mortality rate of European soldiers in
the West Indies. A concomitant problem was that assignment to the West
Indies was extremely unpopular with the British Army, leading many to a
refusals to serve in that area.
1808. Saturday 30th January. Delight captured by the French at Reggio.
1808. Sunday 7th February. Decouverte drove ashore a privateer.
1808. Monday 8th February. Boats of Meleager captured Renard.
1808. Tuesday 9th February. Decouverte captured Dorade.
1808. Saturday 13th February. Boats of Confiance cut out a French gunboat.
1808. Wednesday 2nd March. Sappho captured Admiral Yawl.
1808. Wednesday 2nd March. Cerberus and consorts capture Marie Galante.
1808. Thursday 3rd March. The occupation of Marie Galante. 400 Royal Marines
left a garrison under Captain Chass. Tyldesley. One report read that
they suffered heavily morality from disease. The barracks being built
in a swamp.
1808. Tuesday 8th March. San Fiorenzo captured Piemontaise.
1808. Sunday 13th March. The destruction of Batteries and small craft at
Vivero. A detachment of Royal Marines of HMS Emerald, under Lieutenant
G. Meech and J. Husband. The latter receiving a Sword of Honour from
the Patriotic Fund.
1808. Monday 14th March. Childers engaged Lougon.
1808. Tuesday 15th - 20th March. Terpsichore engaged Semillante.
1808. Tuesday 22nd March. Aigle engaged off Groix.
1808. Tuesday 22nd March.. Stately and Nassau destroyed Prince Christian Frederick.
1808. Wednesday 30th March. Cerberus and consorts at Desirade.
1808. Monday 4th April. Alceste and consorts at Rota.
1808. Friday 22nd April. Goree and Superieure in action off the Saintes.
1808. Saturday 23rd April. Unsuccessful attempt to cut out Garota.
1808. Sunday 24th April. Grasshopper and Rapid at Faro.
1808. Monday 25th April. Forward and consorts captured ten sail at Flodstrand.
1808. Friday 29th April. Boats of Falcon destroyed eight sail at Endelan.
1808. Monday 2nd May. Unite captured Ronco in the Gulf of Venice.
1808. Saturday 7th May. Boats of Falcon captured two sail at Lundholm.
1808. Saturday 7th May. Redwing destroyed seven Spanish vessels.
1808. Tuesday 10th - 14th May. Wizard engaged Requin.
1808. Wednesday 11th May. Bacchante captured Griffon.
1808. Thursday 12th May. Amphion and boats engaged Baleine at Rosas.
1808. Thursday 12th May. Tartar and boats at Bergen.
1808. Thursday 19th May. Virginie captured Guelderland.
1808. Friday 20th May. Boats of Fawn cut out vessels at Porto Rico.
1808. Monday 23rd May. HMS Melpomone and Danish Gunboats
1808. Sunday 24th July and later dates. Raids on the French and Spanish
coast. Lieutenant J. Ryves Hore performed an extraordinary series of
raids on the French and Spanish coasts during the summer. Landing from HMS Imperieuse a 38 gun frigate commanded by Lord Cochrane, he took
part in the destruction of many coastal batteries and roads near
Barcelona in order to hamper the movements of the French Army in
Catalonia. On the 31st July he and his detachment seized and occupied
the castle of Mongal which completely commandered a pass on the road
from Barcelona to Gerona, then besieged by the French. To preserve the
Frenchmen he found in the castle from the fury of the Spaniards, Hore
had to escort his prisoners to the point of embarkation, after having
blown up the castle in such a way as to completely block the road.
During the latter part of August he was constantly engaged in raiding
the enemy’s posts with varying opposition, but with unvaried success,
says an official letter dated the Wednesday 28th September, “The newly
constructed semaphoric telegraphs which are of the utmost consequence
to the safety of the numerous convoys that pass along the coast of
France at Bourdique, La Pinede, St. Frontignan, Canet, and Fray have
been blown up and completely demolished, together with their telegraph
houses, fourteen barracks of gene-d’armes, one battery and the strong
tower on the lake of Frontignan. These operations had the effect of
drawing off about 2,000 French troops from the important fortress of
Figueras to defend their coastal communications.
1808. Tuesday 24th May. Swan at Bornhohn.
1808. Tuesday 31st May. Redwing took two sail at Tarifa.
1808. Wednesday 1st June. Unite captured Nettuno and Teulie.
1808. Saturday 4th June. Tickler captured by Danish gunboats.
1808. Thursday 9th June. Turbulent captured by Danish gun-vessels.
1808. Saturday 11th June. Boats of Euryalus and Cruiser off the Naskon.
1808. Sunday 19th June. Seagull captured by Danish gunboats.
1808. Thursday 23rd June. Boats of Porcupine at Civita Vecchia.
1808. Sunday 26th June. Boats of Standard captured Volpe and Leger.
1808. Sunday 3rd July. British repulsed at St. Martin and survivors captured.
1808. Wenesday 6th July. Seahorse captured Badere Zaffer.
1808. Sunday 10th July. Boats of Porcupine at Port d'Anzo.
1808. Thursday 21st July. Boats of Porcupine at Monte Circello.
1808. Thursday 28th July. Volage captured Requin.
1808. Sunday 31st July. Imperieuse at Mongal.
1808. July. A strong detachment of Royal Marines under Captain G.
Lewis was landed at Figueras to secure the landing area for the British
Army under Sir Arthur G. Lewis. The Portuguese flag was hoisted which
hundreds flocked to enrol beneath, and the post was held till the
arrival of General Anstruther’s Brigade on the 19th August.
1808. Monday 1st August. The Attack on a convoy at Noli.
1808. Monday 1st August. Wizard and boats captured guns and Vigilant at Noli.
1808. Tuesday 2nd August. Tigress captured by Danish gunboats.
1808. Monday 8th August. Boats of Porcupine cut out Conception.
1808. Thursday 11th August. Comet captured Sylphe.
1808. Thursday 11th August. Boats of squadron captured Fama and Salorman.
1808. Tuesday 16th August. Sybille captured Espiegle.
1808. Thursday 18th August. Rook captured by two French privateers.
1808. Friday 26th August. Implacable and Centaur captured Sevolod.
1808. August. Keats relieved garrisons in the Baltic.
1808. Tuesday 6th September. Recruit engaged Diligente.
1808. Monday 12th September. Laurel captured by Canonniere.
1808. Thursday 29th September. Maria captured by Departement des Landes.
1808. September. Imperieuse off Languedoc.
1808. Monday 3rd October. Carnation captured by Palinure.
1808. Monday 3rd October. Modeste captured Jena.
1808. Thursday 20th October. Africa repulsed 25 Danish gunboats.
1808. Monday 31st October. Circe captured Palinure.
1808. Tuesday 1st November. Cruiser captured a Danish brig.
1808. Monday 7th - 8th November. Excellent and Meteor at Rosas.
1808. Thursday 10th November. HMS Amethyst captures Thetis
1808. Monday 14th November. Boats of Polyphemus captured Colibri.
1808. Tuesday 15th November – 5th December. The defence of Fort Trinidad-Rosa
1808. Tuesday 15th - 5th December. Excellent and consorts at Rosas.
1808. Monday 28th November. Boats of Heureux at Mabaut.
1808. Monday 12th - 13th December. Circe and consorts captured Cygne and a schooner.
1809. Sundat 1st January. Onyx captured Dutch corvette Manly.
1809. Monday 2nd January. Amiable captured Iris.
1809. Thursday 5th January. Loire captured Hebe.
1809. Saturday 7th January – 14th January. The taking of
Cayenne. Lieutenant J. Read was mortally wounded in leading the
assault on Port Dimant.
1809. Tuesday 17th January – 18th January. Corunna. A detachment of Royal
Marines of HMS Resolution landed to destroy the batteries
commanding the harbour. Officers and men received the thanks of both
houses of Parliament for their service, but did not get the Army Medal
1809. Sunday 22nd January. Cleopatra, Jason, and Hazard captured Topaze.
1809. Monday 30th January - 24th February. Sir A. Cochrane captured Martinique.
1809. Wednesday 8th February. Horatio and consorts captured Junon.
1809. Wednesday 8th February. Amphion and Redwing dispersed French ships off Melida.
1809. Wednesday 15th February. Belle Poule captured Var.
1809. Friday 24th February. Ceasar and consorts destroyed Italienne, Calypso and Cybe.
1809. Tuesday 28th February. Fight between HMS Proserpine and two French
Frigates off Toulon. (Heroism of a private of Marines).
1809. February. A second Commandant was added to each division, and the pay
of the Commandant in London increased to £3 per day, Colonels in
Command of divisions received £2. 10s, second-Commandants received £1.
10s, and the same amount was extended to those on the retired list,
whilst the brevet officers of the establishment obtained 2 shillings
1809. Sunday 12th March. Topaze engaged Danae and Flora.
1809. Sunday 12th March. Batteries carried and guns destroyed at Lequito.
1809. Monday 20tgh March. Batteries destroyed at Baigno and Paissance.
1809. Saturday 1st April. Boats of Mercury boarded Leda at Rovigno.
1809. Saturday 1st April. Amelia destroyed batteries in Aix Roads.
1809. Wednesday 5th April. Amethyst captured Niemen.
1809. Wednesday 12th April. Lord Cochrane destroyed French ship at Basque Roads.
1809. Thursday 13th April. The attack on the French Flotilla in the Basque
1809. Friday 14th - 17th April. Pompee and consorts took Hautpoult.
1809. Saturday 15th April. Intrepid engaged Furieuse and Felicite.
1809. Sunday 23rd April. Spartan and consorts bombarded Pesaro.
1809. Wednesday 26th April. Thrasher engaged Flotilla near Boulogne.
1809. Tuesday 2nd May. Spartan and Mercury at Cesenatico.
1809. Thursday 4th May. Parthian captured Nouvelle Gironde.
1809. Thursday 11th May. Melpomene destroyed a Danish cutter.
1809. Monday 15th May. Boats of Tartar captured a Danish privateer.
1809. Monday 15th May. Mercury bombarded Rotti.
1809. Wednesday 17th May. Goldfinch engaged Mouche.
1809. Thursday 18th May. The Capture of the Island of Anholt. Involving
Lieutenant. E. Nichols and 120 Royal Marines.
1809. Sunday 21st May. Black Joke engaged Mouche.
1809. Tuesday 23rd - 30th May. Melpomene engaged a Danish flotilla.
1809. Wednesday 31st May. Topaze brought out nine vessels from St. Maura.
1809. Wednesday 7th June. The forts at Vigo were occupied by 60 stragglers
from Sir John Moores Army, aided by some seamen and Royal Marines.
(Napier) The Marines of HMS Lively garrisoned the castle of Vigo.
1809. Saturday 10th June. Amelia and Statira captured Mouche.
1809. Wednesday 14th June. Boats of Scout at Cape Croisette.
1809. Wednesday 14th - 18th June. Latona took Felicite.
1809. Monday 19th June. Bellerophon's boats carried Russian batteries at Hango..
1809. Sunday 25th June. Islands of Procida and Ischia surrendered to the British.
1809. Monday 25th - 26th June. Cyane and Espoir engaged with Ceres.
1809. Thursday 6th July. St. Domingo surrendered to the British.
1809. Thursday 6th July. Bonne Citoyenne captured Furicuse.
1809. Friday 7th July. Capture of seven Russian gunboats off Hango Head.
1809. Saturday 8th July - 13th July. The Capture of Fort Louis in Senegal.
Lieutenant Lewis B. Reeves, Royal Marines, and 50 Privates took part in
a small expedition despatched from the garrison of Goree under Major
Maxwell. The little force only 210 strong was badly pressed after
landing, when the enemy’s attack was broken by a bayonet charge
delivered by the Marines, and on the 31st Fort Louis capitulated with
its garrison of 400 men. The Marines were left to occupy the fort for a
further 7 months, during which time nearly half of them succumbed to
1809. Thursday 27th July. The capture of a Fort at Bremerle, Cuxhaven. A
detachment of Royal Marines under Lieuttenant John Benson was landed at
Ritzbuttle to cover the destruction of the fort and its guns, and to
intercept the advances of any French troops. The Marines advanced as
far as Bremerdike and Gerendoz, a distance of 28 miles.
1809. Sunday 13th August. The Bombardment of Flushing.
1809. Friday 14th July. Fort of Carri stormed and carried by boats of Scout.
1809. Tuesday 25th July. Princess Caroline and consorts captured four Russian vessels.
1809. Tuesday 25th July. Boats of Fawn captured Guadaloupe.
1809. Thursday 27th July. Forts at Cuxhaven destroyed.
1809. Friday 28th July - 4th September. Expedition to the Scheldt.
1809. Saturday 29th July. Acorn and consorts engaged off Duin.
1809. Saturday 12th August. Monkey and Lynx captured three Danish luggers.
1809. Monday 14th August. Boats of Otter captured two vessels.
1809. Monday 28th August. Battery at Cortelazzo carried by boats of Amphion.
1809. Wednesday 30th August. The occupation of Fort Walcheren. Captain F.
Liardet and 700 Marines.
1809. Thursday 7th September. Boats of Mercury captured Pugliese.
1809. Monday 11th September. Diana captured Zephyr.
1809. Thursday 21st September. The reduction of the Isle of Boubon. Lieutenant
Cottal. 6 Officers and 130 Royal Marines landed near Pointdu Galet,
together with 100 seamen, 200 of the 56th Regiment and 108 Bombay
sappers. The object of this force was to destroy the batteries
protecting the harbour of St. Paul and to take out the shipping. Five
batteries were surprised and destroyed and a quantity of shipping,
including two men of war captured or destroyed.
1809. Tuesday 17th October. Capture of French privateer at Sainte Marie.
1809. October. Zante, Cephalonia, Cerigo, and Ithaca surrendered.
1809. Wednesday 1st November. Cumberland and consorts captured 11 armed vessels.
1809. Thursday 2nd November. Victor captured by French frigate Bellone.
1809. Monday 13th November. The storming of Ras-El-Khyma. The detachments of
Marines of HMS La Chiffone and HMS Caroline were landed under
Colonel Smith in command of troops to attack the pirate strong hold of
Ras-El-Khyma in the Persian Gulf. After a short bombardment a landing
was effected on the south side of the town which was burnt and the
enemy driven out. Lieutenant T. Drury Commanded the Marines. Three
Marines obtained booty amounting to 4,500 gold Mohurs (£7,650).
1809. Monday 13th November. Chiffonne and Caroline destroyed Ras al Khyma.
1809. Friday 17th November. Linga destroyed by Chiffonne and Caroline.
1809. Sunday 27th November. Luft destroyed by Chiffonne and Caroline.
1809. Saturday 9th December. Redpole captured Grand Rodeur.
1809. Wednesday 13th December. Boats of Thetis and consorts took Nisus at Guadaloupe.
1809. Wednesday 13th December. Junon captured and destroyed by the French.
1809. Thursday 14th December. Melampus captured Bearnaise.
1809. Sunday 17th - 18th December. Sceptre and consorts took Anse la Barque, Guadaloupe.
1809. Sunday 17th December. Rosamond captured Papillon.
1809. December - 3rd January. 1810. Chiffonne and Caroline carried Shenaz by storm.
1809. To the peace in 1814, no general promotion took place in the Marines,
nor at the latter period were all the vacancies of officers killed in
action filled, and although there were 5000 supernumeraries actually
serving afloat without officers attached to them, the senior Captains
had been from thirty five to thirty two years in the service.
1809. In the General Orders issued by Lieutenant General Sir John Hope,
congratulating the army upon the successful result of the Battle of
Corunna on Monday16th of January.
1809. It is stated, “On no occasion has the undaunted valour of British
troops ever been more manifest. At the termination of a severe and
harassing march, rendered necessary by the superiority which the enemy
had acquired, and which had materially impaired the efficiency of the
troops, many disadvantages were to be encountered. These have all been
surmounted by the conduct of the troops themselves, and the enemy has
been taught, that, whatever advantages of position or of numbers he may
possess, there is inherent in the British Officers and soldiers a
bravery that knows not how to yield, that no circumstances can appal,
and that will ensure victory, when it is to be obtained by the exertion
of any human means. Active continental operations, or in maintaining
colonial territories in distant and unfavourable climes.”
1809. Up to the peace in 1814, no general promotion took place in the
Marines, nor at the latter period were all the vacancies of officers
killed in action filled up, and although there were 5000
supernumeraries actually serving afloat without officers attached to
them, the senior Captains had been from thirty-five to thirty-two years
in the service, notwithstanding the many advances that had been
conferred on the various ranks in the navy.
1810. Wednesday 10th January. Cherokee boarded and carried Aimable Nelly.
1810. Wednesday 10th January. Plover took Saratin in the Channel.
1810. Wenesday 10th January. Boats of Christian VII. and Armide in Basque Road.
1810. Friday 12th January. Scorpion captured Oreste.
1810. Friday 12th January. Booloe Comba captured from the Dutch.
1810. Thursday 18th January. Besiglio. Castle stormed and held. An official
report: “The Royal Marines were led on with their usual gallantry by
Lieutenat Moore whom I have had frequent occasion to mention for his
bravery and conduct.”
1810. Saturday 20th January. French convoy driven on shore near La Rochelle.
1810. Sunday 21st January. The Storming of the batteries at Baie Mahut,
Guadeloupe. Lieutenant Shillibeer and 30 Royal Marines served in a boat
expedition which was sent in at dusk to cut out a brig protected by two
batteries. She was boarded and taken under heavy fire. The Marines and
seamen then waded ashore, the water reaching to their waists. On
landing they at once dashed forward and drove the enemy from the
nearest battery, and closing with their bayonets the Marines compelled
them to abandon a position they had taken up in rear of a brick
breastwork. Having thrown a 24 pounder over the cliff and buried 6
howitzers in the sand, the party renewed their advance and stormed the
second battery of three24 pounders protected by a ditch around them.
After destroying the guard house and spiking the guns, two vessels were
burnt and the brig brought out “The gallant manner in which Lieutenant
Shillibeer led the Royal Marines to the charge, as well as their steady
discipline in keeping possession of the heights while the seamen were
destroying the batteries”, were specially mentioned in the official
report. On 6th February, Vieux Fort, Guadeloupe was stormed by Royal
Marines under Captain C. Abbott.
1810. Saturday 27th January - 22nd March. The defence of the fort of
Matagorda, near Cadiz. This small fort, not more than a hundred yards
square, with no ditch and no bomb proofs, was held for nearly two
months by a little garrison of 25 Royal Marines, 25 seamen from HMS
Invincible, 25 Royal Artillerymen and 67 N.C.O’s and Privates of the
94th Regiment under Captain MacLean. The fort was close to the French
lines at the Trocadero. “A Spanish 74 gunner and a Flotilla had
co-operated in the resistance till day break on the 21st March, but
then a hissing shower of heated shot made them cut their cables and run
under the walls of Cadiz, while the fire of 48 guns and mortars of the
largest size was turned on the fort, whose feeble parapet vanished
before that crashing flight of metal, leaving only the naked rampart
and undaunted hearts of the garrison for defence. The men fell fast and
the enemy shot so quick and close, that a staff bearing the Spanish
flag was broken six times in an hour, the colours were then fastened to
the angle of the work itself, but unwillingly by the men, especially
the sailors, all calling out to hoist the British ensign and
attributing the slaughter to their fighting under a foreign flag.
Thirty hours this tempest lasted, and 64 men out of 140 had fallen,
when Graham (the General commanding Cadiz) finding a diversion he had
projected impracticable, sent boats to carry off the survivors.”
Napier’s Peninsular War.
1810. Sunday 28th January - 6th February. Capture of Guadaloupe by Pompee and fleet.
1810. Monday 29th January. Boats of Phoenix and Jalouse captured Charles.
1810. Saturday 3rd February. Valiant captured Confiance.
1810. Saturday 10th February. Thistle captured Dutch corvette Havik.
1810. Tuesday 13th February. Attack on French gunboats in Basque Road.
1810. Wednesday 14th February. Rainbow and Avon engaged Nereide.
1810. Saturday 17th February. The capture of the ‘Amboyna’. Royal Marines of HMS Cornwallis, HMS Dover and HMS Samatang formed part of a small
force of 401 seamen, Royal Marines, Artillery and detachment of the
Madras European Regiment which effected this capture against formidable
fortifications manned by very superior numbers.
1810. Wednesday 21st February. Horatio captured Necessite.
1810. February. Capture of Amboyna from the Dutch.
1810. February. Surrender of the Islands of St. Martin, St. Eustatius, Saba, Saparoua, Harouka, Nasso Lant, Bouro, Manippa.
1810. Thursday 1st March. Boats of Cornwallis carried Margaretta.
1810. Thursday 22nd March. The attack on Santa Maura. The troops landed for
the attack and had to advance over a narrow isthmus defended by two
redoubts behind which was an entrenchment, mounting 4 guns, and having
a wet ditch and an abbatis in front which extended to the sea on either
side. It was manned by 500 troops. The British force consisted of 240
Royal Marines from HMS Monificent and HMS Belle Poule under the
command Captain Snowe who formed the centre of the attacking line, 160
men of De Rolls’ Regiment placed on the right, 216 men of the Calabrian
Free Corps on the left, with 100 men of the same Corps in reserve in
the rear of each flank. Brigadier general Oswald of the Calabrian Corps
was the senior officer present. The line advanced on the redoubts
covered by the fire of the Leonidas frigate, and carried them at the
point of the bayonet, after which it advanced, left and front on the
entrenchment. At the first discharge from these the Calabrians threw
themselves down and could not be got to advance in spite of every
effort to rally them, and “the indignant treatment they received from
the Marines”, remarked Nicholas. The latter, cheering, marched over
their bodies, scrambled through the abbatis and drove the enemy out of
their entrenchments at the bayonet’s point, pursuing them until
recalled to garrison the redoubts previously captured. Brigadier
General Oswald the next day issued and order in which he referred to
the ‘Great Gallantry Displayed’ by the stormers and stated that “the
intrepid manner in which the Royal Marines performed that service
claims the highest admiration.” Siege was then laid to the citadel
which, after an outwork had been taken, capitulated. The Marines lost 6
men killed, Captain Snowe and 16 men severely and Lieutenant Morrison
and 5 men slightly wounded.
1810. Wednesday 4th April. Success and Espoir at Castiglione.
1810. Friday 6thv April. Sylvia destroyed armed piratical prow in Straits of Sunda.
1810. Saturday 7th April. Sylvia captured piratical prow.
1810. Wednesday 11th April. Sylvia and boats engaged and sank piratical lugger.
1810. Thursday 12th April. Unicorn captured Esperance (late British Laurel).
1810. Tuesday 24th April. Surly and Firm captured Alcide.
1810. Wednesday 25th April. Spartan and consorts engaged at Monte Circello.
1810. Thursday 26th April. Sylvia took Echo and two transports.
1810. Tuesday 1st May. French troops defeated at Jacolet, Isle of France.
1810. Thursday 3rd May. Spartan captured Sparviere in Bay of Naples.
1810. Saturday 12th May. Tribune engaged four Danish brigs.
1810. Tuesday 22nd May. Boats of Alceste at Agaye.
1810. Saturday 26th May. Boats of Alceste captured four feluccas.
1810. May and June. Royalist engaged and captured six armed vessels.
1810. May. According to a return of the 73rd Regiment there were also some
Marines left at Hobart Australia numbering 50 of all ranks plus nine
wives of Marine privates and 19 children.
1810. Thursday 21st June. Manado surrendered to Dover.
1810. Thursday 28th June. Boats of Amphion and consorts at Groa.
1810. Friday 29th June. A convoy cut out at Groa.
1810. June. Elaborate preparations were made for the capture of Reunion, or,
as it was then called, Bourbon. Large numbers of British and Indian
troops, together with transports, were assembled at Rodriguez, and on
Sunday 24th June HMS Boadicea of 38 guns and Captain Josias Rowley. HMS Nereide of 36 guns. Captain Nisbet and Josiah Willoughby from off
Mauritius, arrived to escort the expedition.
1810. Friday 6th July. They sailed and made a rendezvous, about 50 miles from
Reunion, with a small squadron which, under Captain Samuel Pym of HMS Sirius with 36 guns had previously been cruising off Mauritius. This
squadron consisted of the HMS Iphigenia with 36 guns, Captain Henry
Lambert, and HMS Magicienne of 36 guns. At the rendezvous 3650 troops
were divided, and arrangements were perfected, and on the 7th, the
ships bore away for the different points of disembarkation. The first
brigade, under Lieutenant Colonel Frazier, was to land at Grande
Chaloupe, about six miles west of St. Denis, the capital, and the
remaining three brigades, under Lieutenant Colonels Henry S. Keating
(senior officer), Campbell, and Drummond, were to be thrown ashore at
Riviere des Pluies, about three miles to the eastward. In the
afternoon, while the enemy, who had about 600 regulars and 2700 militia
men on the island, was distracted by a demonstration off St. Marie,
Frazier, with 950 men and some howitzers, was landed at Grande Chaloupe
without opposition, and Lieutenant John Wyatt Watling of HMS Sirius occupied a height which protected the force from molestation during the
following night. At Riviere des Pluies, on the weather side of the
island, conditions were less favourable, although Willoughby, still
suffering from his musket accident, effected a landing with a few
seamen and about 150 troops, the operation was not carried out without
the drowning of four people in the surf, and the loss of several boats.
1810. Saturday 7th - 8th July. Boadicea and consorts took Isle of Bourbon.
1810. Monday 9th July. Boats of Sirius captured Edward.
1810. Tuesday 17th July. Euryalus engaged a French 74 off Toulon.
1810. Friday 20th July. Warspite and consorts off Toulon.
1810. Tuesday 23th July. Boats of Belvidera and Nemesis on the coast of Norway.
1810. Thursday 25th July. Thames and consorts at Amanthe.
1810. Monday 30th July 30. Boats of Procris took six gunboats.
1810. July Boats of Sirius destroyed a French storeship.
1810. July. The capture of Reunion.
1810. Thursday 9th August. Caroline, Piedmontaise, and Barracouta took Banda Neira.
1810. Monday 13th August. The capture of Isle De La Passe, involving Marines
on board HMS Nereide, HMS Sirius and HMS Staunch.
1810. Friday 17th August. Porte du Diable stormed and carried.
1810. Monday 20th August. Nereide engaged French frigates off Isle de la Passe.
1810. Tuesady 21st August. Boats of Sirius cut out a French prize.
1810. Thursday 23rd - 28th August. Nereide and consorts taken at Grand Port.
1810. Wednesday 29th August. Queen Charlotte repulsed a French cutter off Alderney.
1810. Thursday 30th August. Repulse and Philomel repulsed frigates off Toulon.
1810. Wednesday 5th September. Boats of Surveillante captured a French brig.
1810. Thursday 6th September. Battery captured and destroyed in the River Crache.
1810. Friday 7th September. Boats of Dreadnought carried a French vessel.
1810. Tuesday 11th September. Boats of Africaine engaged a French schooner.
1810. Tuesday 13th September. Africaine taken by Astree aud Iphigenie, but re-taken.
1810. Monday 17th September. Ceylon taken by Venus and Victor.
1810. Tuesday 18th September. Boadicea, Otter, and Staunch took Venus.
1810. Thursday 27th September. Three brigs cut out at Point Du Che. HMS
Caledia and HMS Valliant were sent to destroy three French brigs
lying under the protection of a battery at Point du Che near La
Rochelle. Five officers and 130 men of the Royal Marines were landed at
half past two in the morning in order to capture the battery. As the
boats pulled in to attack the brigs they were discovered and fired
upon. Lieutenant Little of the Royal Marine Artillery mentions in an
official despatch that immediately upon landing pushed forward with the
bayonet to assault. Supported by Captain McLachlan’s division, with
Lieutenant Coulter, both of the Royal Marines, and Lieutenant Couche
with a separate detachment, and succeeded in carrying the battery and
spiking all the guns. Lieutenant little in a personal encounter with
one of the enemy, when in the act of wrestling his musket from him,
deceived the contents in his hand, which was so much shattered in
consequence as to render amputation necessary. After the capture of the
redoubt a French force advanced from the village, but was checked by
the fire of the Marines and one of the boats. They then brought up two
field pieces to take the Marines in flank, but they instantly charged
them with the bayonet, and captured the guns. Meanwhile the boats
carried out the destruction of the brigs, and the detachment of Marines
was re-embarked in perfect order. Lieutenant Little received a reward
from the Patriotic Fund, a pension for wounds of £70 a year and an
appointment at the Woolwich Division.
1810. Friday 28th September. Boats of Rambler defeated French Dragoons.
1810. Sunday 14th October. Briseis captured Sans Souci in North Sea.
1810. Friday 19th October - 19th December. Capture of Isle of France by Illustrious and consorts.
1810. Thursday 25th October. Calliope captured Comtesse d'Hambourg.
1810. Saturday 27th October. Orestes took Loup Garou.
1810. Sunday 4th November. Boats of Blossom captured Cesar.
1810. Thursday 8th November. Boats of Quebec captured Jeune Louise.
1810. Monday 12th - 23rd November. Diana and consorts engaged at Lahougue and Tatillon
1810. Thursday 15th - 16th November. Phipps captured Barbier de Seville.
1810. Friday 23rd November. Attack Port St. Mary by boats of the Cadiz fleet.
3rd December. The capture of Mauritius. A battalion of Royal Marines
from the men of war present served with the Army under Major General
Hon. John Abercromby, who reported that “The battalion of the Royal
Marines, under the command of Captain Liardet, supported the reputation
of his distinguished Corps.”
1810. Friday 7th December. Rinaldo captured Marandeur off Dover.
1810. Monday 10th December. Rosario captured Mameloucke off Dungeness.
1810. Wednesday 12th December. Entreprenante repulsed four French privateers.
1810. Thursday 13th December. The destruction of armed and other vessels at
Palamos. The Royal Marines from the HMS Kent, HMS Ajax and HMS Cambrian, 250
in number, and having occupied the enemy’s batteries without much
resistance, the seamen brought out most of the shipping. But in
retiring through the town to re-embark they were attacked and lost 12
killed, 22 wounded, and 43 missing.
1810. Monday 17th December. Rinaldo sank a French lugger off the Owers.
1810. Monday 24th December. Boats of Diana destroyed Elise.
1810 - 1850.
The Marines uniform of the day. (taken from
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
photo to enlarge
and Portugal. In addition to the services of the Royal Marine
Battalions already mentioned, it should be said that the 3rd or
innermost line of the series of defences famous as the Lines of Torres
Vedras was occupied by the Royal Marines. This interior line extended
from Passo d’Arcos, on the Tagus, to the Tower of Junquerra on the
coast, near Fort St. Julian, was an entrenched camp occupied by the
Royal Marines. In Autumn of this year, at the suggestion of the Duke of
Wellington, Admiral Berkeley in command of the British squadron in the
Tagus, formed a Naval Brigade of 500 Royal Marines, and the same number
of seamen. Captain Lawford RN of HMS Impetueux was in command.
There were nine Captains of Marines in the Brigade and as many
subalterns as could be spared. “Leaving only one to each ship of the
line.” There was also a proportion of Naval Officers. The Brigade seems
to have marched up the left bank of the Tagus, on which there was an
armed British flotilla, to Almeirim, a place nearly opposite to Sanarem
where Marshal Massena was building and assembling boats with which to
cross the river, probably with a view of out flanking the lines of
Torres Vedras. The right of the first line rested on the Tagus at
Alhandra, some miles further down. Attempts were made to destroy some
of Massena’s boats which were drawn up on the beach by gun fire, but
with little result. Captain Ross RN seems to have been the senior
officer of Marines in the brigade. Meanwhile, a Battalion of
Marines referred to by Napier “As a superb body of Marines” had been
despatched from England, and upon its arrival the seamen were recalled
to their ships as “Their Lordships cannot approve of the landing of
seamen of the fleet.” It was this Battalion that held the third of the
Torres Vedras Lines, as mentioned above. Lieutenant Ashmore, Royal
Marines, who was on HMS Picquet near Santarem, on the night of
Massena’s retreat from the Torres Vedras, was the first to report the
1811. Thursday 10th January. Tamatave bombarded.
1811. Monday 4th February. Boats of Cerberus and Aciiz’c at Pescaro.
1811. Tuesday 12th February. The cutting out of vessels at
1811. Tuesday 5th March – 6th March. The Battle of Barossa. The Royal Marines
co-operated in the battle of Barossa by storming the enemy’s batteries
at the mouth of the Guadelete, they were brigaded with two Spanish
Regiments and ordered to destroy the batteries, which they did, but
with the French coming down in force they were obliged to re-embark
under heavy fire. A detachment under Captain G. Nicholson 300 strong
was sent to destroy a battery at Tota. Which they blew up after spiking
the guns. On the 6th March parties of Royal Marines and Seamen were
landed between Rota and Catalina. A 4 gun redoubt near Santa Maria was
stormed by a detachment under Captain P. Fottrell Royal Marines, and
with the exception of the Fort at Catalina which was too strong to be
attempted by coup-fe-main, all the coast defences between Santa Maria
and Rota were dismantled and their guns spiked.
1811. Saturday 11th March. A letter was sent to Charles Yorke, then First
Lord of the Admiralty, from Colonels Desborough and Tench, calling his
attention to the neglected position of the Corps. Mr. Yorke, in
acknowledging the receipt of this letter, informed Colonel Desborough
"that the subject was still under the consideration of the Board;" but
no further satisfaction was given to this firm, yet respectful
1811. Wednesday 13th March. Hoste’s victory off Lissa.
1811. Sunday 24th - 25th March. Berwick and consorts destroyed Amazone.
1811. Monday 25th - 27th March. The defence of Anholt. It maybe remarked that in
the account of Captain J. W. Maurice RN who commanded at Anholt, in
O’Byrne’s Naval Biography, the Royal Marines are not even mentioned as
forming the garrison, while it says that “he rendered his name for ever
famous by the brilliant manner in which he defeated an attempt made to
reduce it (Anholt) by a Danish flotilla and Army.
1811. Wednesday 27th March. Sheldrake and Tartar captured five Danish gun-brigs.
1811. Saturday 6th April. Arrow in action with chasse marées.
1811. Wednesday 1st May. Pomone and consorts destroyed Giraffe and Nourrice.
1811. Saturday 4th - 5th May. Belle Poule and Alceste at Parenza.
1811. Wednesday 8th May. Scylla boarded and carried Canonniere.
1811. Thursday 16th May. Little Belt engaged U.S. frigate President.
1811. Monday 20th May. Schomberg captured Renommee and Nereide off Madagascar.
1811. Wednesday 23rd May. Capture of 14 Dutch gun-vesseis off Java.
1811. Saturday 26th May. Boats of Sanine engaged at Sabiona.
1811. Saturday 26th May. Party from Pilot took positions at Strongooli.
1811. Saturday 26th May. Alacrity captured by Abeille.
1811. Sunday 27th June. Guadaloupe engaged Tactique and Guepe.
1811. Thursday 4th Ju1y. Boats of Unite captured St. François de Poale.
1811. Thursday 4th July. Unite and Cephalus captured three merchant vessels.
1811. Friday 19th July. Conqueror and Sultan engaged French squadron off Toulon,
1811. Sunday 21st July. The cutting out of 26 vessels at Porto Del Infreschi.
1811. Sunday 21st July. Cephalus and Thames captured 11 French gunboats and consorts.
1811. Saturday 27th July. The cutting out of 28 vessels at Ragosniza,
1811. Tuesday 30th July. Boats of Minden took Fort Marrack.
1811. Wednesday 31st July. Boats of Procris destroyed six Dutch gunboats off Java.
1811. Wednesday 31st July. Brevdrageren and Algerine engaged three Danish brigs.
1811. Friday 2nd August. Boats of Quebec and consorts took three gun-brigs.
1811. Sunday 4th - 7th August. Capture of Java by the British.
1811. Tuesday 13th August. Temerairc and Caledonia engaged a batttery near Toulon.
1811. Sunday 18th August. Hawke and boats took Heron and convoy.
1811. Saturday 24th August. Diana and Semiramis cut out Teazer and Pluvier.
1811. Thursday 29th - 31st August. Capture of Madura by Sir Francis Drake and consorts
1811. August – September. The Conquest of Java. A Battalion of Royal Marines
under the command of Brevet Major F. Liardet was landed to reinforce
the Army under Sir Samuel Achmuty. Batavia having been occupied without
resistance, the British advanced against the Dutch Army which was
entrenched at Meester Cornelis, about 9 miles from the city. After some
days fighting an assault was ordered under the command of General
Gillespie. The men detailed for this were 250 of the Royal Marines
Battalion, the Grenadiers of the 78th and two companies of the 89th
Regiment. The troops moved forward at midnight on the 25th August, and
after a desperate struggle, in which the Royal Marines bore a most
distinguished part, carried all before them. 257 officers including 3
Generals and 5,000 men were made prisoners and more than 1,000 were
found dead in the works. After the battle Sir Samuel Achmuty thus
addressed the battalion, “I have halted you to express my high opinion
of the zeal and gallantry displayed by the Royal Marines, who were
attached to the advance under general Gillespie in the action of the
25th. I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude for their exemplary
good conduct, I beg you therefore to accept my warmest thanks, and to
communicate the same to the officers and men under your command.
On the 31st August an expedition was sent to Cheribon to intercept the
retreat of the Dutch General Jansens from Meester Cornelis. As it
would have taken too long to embark troops for the purpose, HMS Nisus, HMS President, HMS Phoebe and HMS Hesper were sent round and landed
their Royal Marines together with the detachment belonging to HMS
Lion, amounting to 180 men in all, who were under the command of
Captain Welchman of the Royal Marines. The fort of Cheribon surrendered
and was occupied by Captain Welchman and his Marines, but on the news
arriving of the approach of 250 men of the enemy’s Infantry and of the
same number of Cavalry from Buitzenburg, the Marine Garrison was
relieved by a detachment of seamen in order that it might be free to
assume the offensive.
The Marines and fifty seamen were therefore mounted on horseback, and
under the command of Captain Welchman Royal Marines, were pushed
forward by forced march’s to attack a fort at Carang Sambang about 35
miles off in the interior of the island. This small advanced force was
supported by a body of troops under the command of Colonel Wood.
Captain Welchman captured 22 chests of money at Bongas, about half way
to Catang Sambang, which were sent back by Colonel Wood, and pushing on
met a Dutch officer with a flag of truce proposing the surrender of
Carang Sambang. A great quantity of stores was taken at this place
including coffee to the value of 250,000 Spanish dollars, as well as a
large number of prisoners. The Marines were now re-embarked as HMS Nisus and HMS Phoebe were moving along the coast, landed them successively
at Panca and Taggal, both of which places were taken. Samarang,
Gressie, and Sourabaya were occupied shortly afterwards, the main body
of the Marines being under the command of Captain Bunce who had become
senior officer present by the death of Major Liardet from dysentery.
Lieutenant White Royal Marines, of HMS Minden who, with his
detachment and a party of the 14th Regiment had been landed to keep
open communications with Pangorah and to procure supplies for the
squadron, was sharply attacked by considerable body of the enemy with
two guns, After 12 minutes fighting they were driven off, but just as
reinforcements were arriving from the 14th and 89th Regiments they
renewed the attack in great force. They were again defeated with some
loss. Captain E.W. Hoare. R.N. from HMS Minden, in making his
official report of this affair wrote: “I feel it my duty to report the
conduct of Captain Robert White of the Royal Marines, who commanded at
the first attack, assisted by two officers of the 14th Regiment. I was
astonished at the bravery and coolness displayed by those officer and
their men.” The reduction of the neighbouring Island of Madura was
effected by the seamen and Marines of HMS Drake and HMS Phaeton,
although the native troops had been strengthened by the landing of a
French force. Effecting a landing under cover of the darkness, the
small British force advanced on the Fort of Samanap, the capital of the
Island, in two columns, each consisting of 60 bayonets (presumably
Marines) and 20 pikemen. The Marine detachment of the ‘Hussar’ acted as
a reserve. The fort was taken by a sudden rush just before daybreak. A
spirited battle with a very superior force followed as soon as it was
light in which the resolution and superior tactics of the British
secured them the victory. Lieutenant Roch, Royal Marines, was twice
speared by the native pikemen while wresting the colours from a French
officer, whom he slew in the contest. The Conquest of Java was now
complete and the captors were rewarded by distribution of prize money
to the value of the property taken which amounted to no less than a
1811. Monday 2nd September. Manly taken by Danish brigs off the coast of Norway.
1811. Tuesday 3rd September. Rinaldo and Redpole engaged a flotilla off Boulogne.
1811. Friday 6th September. Pilot dispersed troops at Castellan.
1811. Saturday 7th September. Barbadoes and Goshawk engaged at Calvados.
1811. Sunday 8th September. Hotspur destroyed three gun brigs oI Calvados.
1811. Monday 9th - 13th September. Bucephalus engaged Nymphe and Meduse off Java.
1811. Tuesday 10th September. Boats of Victory captured Danish gunboats.
1811. Thursday 20th - 21st September. Naiad and consorts engaged a flotilla off Boulogne.
1811. Friday 11th October. Imperieuse silenced forts at Possitano.
1811. Saturday 19th October. Imperieuse and Thames took 10 polacres at Palinuro.
1811. Friday 1st - 3th November. Palinuro Heights carried by party from Imperieuse and consort.
1811. Monday 11th November. Skylark and Locust engaged the Boulogne flotilla.
1811. Friday 22nd November. Volontaire and Perlen engaged Trident and two frigates.
1811. Wednesday 27th November. Eagle captured Cereyre.
1811. Friday 29th November. Alceste, Active, and Unite took Pomone and Porsanne.
1811. Wednesday 4th December. Boats of Sultan took Langitedocienne.
1812. A recruiting poster of the day. (taken from 'Britain's
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
photo to enlarge
1812. The field officers below the rank of Commandant, who had attained the
rank of Major General, became supernumeraries, and were excused from
active duty, such duty being performed by field-officers promoted in
consequence of these vacancies.
1812. The beginning of the three year war in America.
1812. Sunday 2nd February. Southampton captured Haytian privateer Amethyste.
1812. Thursday 13th February. Apollo took French frigate Merinos.
1812. Saturday 22nd February. Victorious and Weasel captured Rivoli and Mercure.
1812. Friday 27th March. Rosario and Griffon destroyed 5 French brigs off Dieppe.
1812. Saturday 4th April. Capture of a French xebec by the Maidstone's boats.
1812. Thursday 16th April. Capture of 9 coasting vessels by the Pilot and boats.
1812. Wednesday 29th April. Boats of Leviathan and Undaunted captured 5 vessels.
1812. Wednesday 29th April. Destruction of 21 of a French convoy off the Rhone.
1812. Monday 4th May. Re-capture of Apelles, British Brig-sloop, near Etaples.
1812. Saturday 9th May. Batteries at Languelia carried, and 18 vessels destroyed.
1812. Thursday 14th May. Thames and Pilot at Port Sapri.
1812. Friday 22nd May. Northumberland and Growler destroyed 2 French frigates.
1812. Monday 25th - 26th May. Hyacinth, Termagant, and Basilisk at Almunecar.
1812. Thursday 28th May. Menelaus engaged Pauline and Ecureuil.
1812. Friday 29th May. Hyacinth and consorts captured Brave and Napoleon.
1812. May. Leviathan and consorts at Languelia and Alassio.
1812. Thursday 4th June. Boats of Medusa cut out and destroyed Dorade.
1812. Thursday 11th June. Swallow engaged Renard and Gotland.
1812. Friday 19th June. Boats of Briscis captured Urania.
1812. Saturday 20th June - 8th July. Capture of Fort Leguertis and destruction of batteries.
1812. Monday 1st June. The storming of a battery at Isle Verte, near Ciotat.
The Royal Marines were on board HMS Furieuse and HMS Menelaus.
1812. Saturday 27th June. The action at Lunguillia and Allassio.
1812. June - October. The capture of fort Lequertio and destruction of
batteries on the north coast of Spain.
1812. Thursday 2nd July. Boats of Horatio captured a Danish cutter and schooner.
1812. Friday 3rd July. Raven drove 3 French brigs on shore near Flushing.
1812. Saturday 4th July. Boats of Attack captured a French transport galliot.
1812. Monday 6th July. Dictator and consorts destroyed Nayaden, Laaland, and Kiel.
1812. Thursday 16th July. Boats of Osprey and consorts captured Eole.
1812. Tuesday 21st July. Sealark captured Ville de Caen.
1812. Sunday 23rd July. Belvidera engaged President and Congress.
1812. Thursday 30th July. Santander and Castle of Ano taken by Venerable and consorts.
1812. Monday 10th August. Battery carried at Biendom by party from Minstrel.
1812. Tuesday 11th August. Boats of Menelaus at S. Stefano.
1812. Thursday 13th August. Alert captured by U. S. Frigate Essex.
1812. Sunday 16th August. Attack sunk by Danish vessels off Foreness.
1812. Wednesday 19th August. Guerriere captured by Constitution.
1812. Monday 24th August. The Battle of Bladensburg, saw the use of Congreve
rockets by the detachment of Royal Marine Artillery (RMA) that resulted
in the rout of the US militiamen.
1812. Tuesday 1st September. Capture of Tisiphone at Port Lemo by Bacchante.
1812. Wednesday 3rd September. Boats of Menelaus took St. Juan.
1812. Friday 5th September. Alcnclatts cut out a French ship at Lake Orbitello.
1812. Monday 8th September. Laura captured by Diligent.
1812. Thursday 17th September. Capture of 17 and destruction of 6 gunboats by Eagle.
1812. Friday 18th September. Capture of 8 armed and 18 merchant vessels by Bacchante.
1812. Tuesday 29th September. Capture of 4 French vessels at Valencia by Minstrel.
1812. Tuesday 29th September. Attack on Mittau, Riga.
1812. Friday 28th August. Operations at Cadiz and the heroism of gunner John
1812. Tuesday 29th September. The attack on Mittau, Riga. Royal Marines of HMS Aboukir and HMS Ranger.
1812. Sunday 18th October. Frolic captured by U.S. sloop Wasp.
1812. Sunday 18th October. Poictiers captured Wasp and re-captured Frolic.
1812. Sunday 25th October. Macedonian captured by U.S. frigate United States.
1812. Wednesday 16th December. Albacore and consorts engaged Gloire.
1812. Monday 21st December. Destruction of tower of St. Cataldo by Apollo and Weasel.
1812. Sunday 28th December. Java captured by U.S. frigate Constitution.
1812. Monday 29th December. Royalist captured Ruse.
1813. Wednesday 6th January. Boats of Bacchante took 5 French gun-brigs.
1813. Wednesday 6th January. Boats of Havannah captured 3 vessels and a gunboat.
1813. Monday 18th January - 3rd February. Augusta and Carzola Islands captured by Apollo and troops.
1813. Tuesday 2nd February. Boats of Kingfisher took 6 vessels at Corfu.
1813. Wednesday 3rd February. The capture of the Island of Agusta.
Royal Marines and Seamen from the HMS Apollo, the 35th Regiment and
1813. Sunday 7th February. Amelia engaged Arethuse.
1813. Monday 8th February. Boats of Belvidera and consorts took Lottery.
1813. Sunday 14th February. Boats of Bacchante captured Alcinous.
1813. Monday 15th February. Batteries at Pietra-Nera stormed and carried.
1813. Wednesday 24th February. Peacock sunk by U.S. sloop Hornet.
1813. Thursday 25th February. Linnet taken by French frigate Gloire.
1813. Friday 26th February. Island of Ponza taken by Thames and consorts.
1813. Thursday 4th of March. An order in Council established the rates of
officer’s pensions on the same footing with the Army. At the reduction
of the Corps in 1814, the non-commissioned officers and privates loudly
expressed their disappointment in not being allowed a pension for
length of service, on the same footing with their brother soldiers in
the line, and incompliance with the Admiralty order of Wednesday 6th of
July 1814 the men were desired by their commanding officer on no
consideration to trouble the Lords of the Admiralty respecting
pensions, unless absolutely worn out in the service, so as to be
rendered incapable of labour. This unjust determination of the board
gave rise to a letter entitled, The Royal Marine to the Friends
of his Country and its brave Defenders, which, on being
circulated in the barracks at Chatham, tended to increase the
discontent that prevailed, but shortly afterwards the claims of those
gallant and loyal veterans obtained due consideration, and pensions
were awarded them.
1813. Thursday 18th March. Battery at Carri destroyed by boats of Undaunted.
1813. Sunday 21st March. Capture of 2 Danish gunboats by Brevdrageren and Blazer.
1813. Monday 22nd March. Two French vessels taken at Vasto by boats of Havannah.
1813. Friday 26th March. Boats of Havannah captured 10 vessels at Fortore.
1813. Wednesday 31st March. Batteries at Morgion destroyed and 11 vessels captured.
1813. Friday 2nd April. Boats of San Domingo and consorts captured 4 schooners.
1813. Sunday 11th April. Devil's Island taken by Apollo and Cerberus.
1813. Wednesday 14th April. Malero Island captured by Apollo and Cerberus.
1813. Saturday 17th April. Alutine captured Invincible.
1813. Thursday 22nd April. Weasel destroyed 14 French vessels off Boscalina.
1813. Saturday 24th April. Boats of Apollo captured a felucca.
1813. Monday 26th April. Six vessels captured at Goro by Elizabeth and Eagle.
1813. Wednesday 28th April. French Town in Chesapeake taken.
Captains Wyburn and Carter with 150 Royal Marines.
1813. Thursday 29th April - 5th May. Boats of Marlborough and consorts in Chesapeake Bay.
1813. April. Boats of Orpheus captured a Danish letter-of-marque.
1813. Sunday 2nd May. Batteries destroyed at Morgion by boats of Repulse and consort.
1813. Tuesday 11th May. Bacchante at Karlebago.
1813. Sunday 16th May. Boats of Berwick and Euryalus at Cavalarie.
1813. Monday 17th May. Boats of Apollo and Cerberus took a vessel near Brindisi.
1813. Thursday 27th May. Boats of Apollo and Cerberus took 3 gunboats at Faro.
1813. May - June. Lyra, Royalist and Sparrow at Castro de Urdeales.
1813. Tuesday 1st June. Shannon captured U.S. frigate Chesapeake.
1813. Sunday 2nd May. Morgion. Captain Ennis and a party of Royal Marines
from HMS Undaunted and HMS Volontaire blow up battery and capture
six laden vessels.
1813. Tuesday 1st June. HMS Shannon captured U.S. frigiue Chesapeake.
1813. Thursday 3rd June – 8th June. Fort San Felippe De Balaguer. A small but
important fort garrisoned by 100 men situated upon an isolated rock in
the very gorge of a pass and blocking the only carriage way between
Tortoza and Tarragona. Five men of war and two battalions were detailed
for the attack. Guns and Mortars were landed from the ships and great
difficulty placed in position on the mountain side. Earth for the
batteries had to be brought up from below and water was only obtainable
from the ships, the landing place being a mile and a half away from the
scene of the operation. The surrender of the fortress was due to the
fire of a couple of 8 inch mortars worked by Lieutenant H. James RMA.
which exploded a magazine. He and his party belonged to the Stromboli bomb vessel. After capture a garrison of Royal Marines under Captain E.
Baillie was placed in San Felippe.
1813. Thursday 3rd - 19th June to 28th September. Operations on Lake Ontario.
1813. Tuesday 8th June. Boats of Elizabeth and Eagle defeated troops at Omago.
1813. Saturday 12th June. Boats of Bacchante captured 24 vessels at Abruzza.
1813. Saturday 12th June. Boats of Narcissus took the American schooner Surveyor.
1813. Thursday 17th June. Garrison defeated at Zapano by party from Saracen.
1813. Sunday 20th June. Capture of Dignano by boats of Elizabeth.
1813. Sunday 20th June. Junon engaged 15 gunboats in Hampton Roads.
1813. Tuesday 22nd June. Unsuccessful attack by boats of squadron on Craney Isla.
1813. Wednesday 23rd June. Boats of Castor cut out Fortune off Catalonia.
1813. Friday 25th June. Capture of Hampton by boats of Marlborough and squadron.
1813. Friday 25th June. The battle of Hampton.
1813. Saturday 3rd July. Fiume. The detachment of Royal Marines of HMS
Milford took and spiked the guns of a battery, took possession of a
fort and hoisted the British colours. On advancing through the town
they were much annoyed by the fire of a field piece and by musketry
from the windows, but headed by 2nd Lieutenants S. Lloyd and E. Nepean
they pushed the French troops, almost 300 strong before them till they
came to the square. Here the enemy made a stand but were dispersed by
the fire of the cannonades in the ships boats. Nine guns were captured,
90 vessels taken or destroyed, 50 guns disabled and two magazines burnt.
1813. Wednesday 7th July. Destruction of Farasina by Eagle and landing party.
1813. Saturday 10th July - 8th Sept. Reduction of St. Sebastian by Graham.
1813. Sunday 11th July. Conflict and consorts took Ocracoke and Portsmouth.
1813. Sunday 11th July. Contest and Mohawk captured U.S. schooner Asp.
1813. Monday 19th July. Bordighero.
1813. July 29. Martin aground, attacked by American gunboats.
1813. Monday 2nd August. The Royal Marines from HMS Eagle and HMS Bacchante under Lieutenants C. Holmes, W. Haig and S. Lloyd
took part in the capture of 14 merchantmen and 10 gunboats lying in the
Rovigno harbour, protected by 100 troops and 2 field guns. The Royal Marines
charged the guns with the bayonet and captured and destroyed them.
1813. Wednesday 4th August. Battery at Ragosniza destroyed by Milford and Weasel.
1813. Thursday 5th August. Dominica taken by the privateer Decalur.
1813. Friday 13th August. Pelican captured U.S. brig Argus.
1813. Wednesday 18th August. Capture of Cassis by Undaunted, squadron, and boats.
1813. Sunday 5th September. Boxer captured by U.S. brig Enterprise.
1813. Sunday 5th September. Destruction of batteries and capture of ships at d'Anzo.
1813. Thursday 9th September. Alphea engaged Renard but blew up with all hands.
1813. Friday 10th September. Detroit and 5 consorts captured by Perry on Lake Erie.
1813. Thursday 16th September. Boats of Swallow took Guerriere.
1813. Tuesday 5th October. A convoy was destroyed and Royal
Marines stormed the battery at Port D’ango.
1813. Tuesday 5th – 29th October. A detachment of Royal Marines
along with 2 guns blockaded and capture of Trieste.
1813. Saturday 9th October. Thunder captured the French lugger Neptune.
1813. Tuesday 12th October. St. George and Cattard taken by Bacchante and Saracen.
1813. Wednesday 13th October. Telegraph destroyed Flibustier.
1813. Thursday 14th October. Boats
from HMS Furieuse cut out a convoy while the Royal Marines stormed
the battery at Marinello (near Citcita Veechia). Capturing the battery and 16 vessels
1813. Saturday 16th, 17th and 18th October. A
detachment of the Royal Marine Artillery was involved in the battle of Leipzig.
1813. Wednesday 20th October. Achates engaged Trave.
1813. Saturday 23rd October. Andromache captured Trave.
1813. Monday 1st November. Snap captured the French lugger Lion.
1813. Friday 5th November. Scipion and consorts engaged the French off Cape Sepet.
1813. Monday 8th November. Boats of Revenge took a French privateer at Palamos.
1813. Tuesday 9th November. The storming of the batteries at Port Nouvelle by Undaunted and Guadeloupe.
1813. Friday 26th November. Boats of Swiftsure took Charlemagne.
1813. Monday 29th November. The Hague.
1813. Tuesday 30th November. Desiree and gun-vessels attacked batteries at Cuxhaven.
1813. Saturday 11th – 15th December. Leghorn.
1813. December. Enryalus took a French 22-gun store ship.
1813. December. Alemene captured a French schooner laden with troops.
1814. Tuesday 4th January. Operations in South Beveland
1814. Wednesday 5th January. Fortress of Gluckstadt captured by a British squadron.
1814. Wednesday 5th January. Fortress of Cattaro taken by Bacchante and Saracen.
1814. Thursday 6th January. Tagus and Niger took the French frigate Ceres.
1814. Saturday 15th January. Boat of Castor took Heureux.
1814. Sunday 16th - 20th January. Venerable and Cyane took Iphigenie and Alemene.
1814. Tuesday 18th January. Severn engaged Etoile and Sultane.
1814. Sunday 23rd January. Astrea and Creole engaged Etoile and Sultane.
1814. Friday 28th January. Surrender of Ragusa to Bacchante, Saracen and troops.
1814. January. The 3rd Royal Marine Battalion was formed at Portsmouth from detachments based in portsmouth, and by Marines detachments withdrawn from serving in the Netherlands. It consisted of 1 Major, 4 Captains, 21 Lieutenants, 1 Adjutant, 1 Quartermaster, and 10 Companies of 100 men each. Also attached was one company of Royal Marine Artillery.
1814. Wednesday 2nd February. Majestic took Terpsichore.
1814. Sunday 13th February. Boyne and Caledonia engaged Romulus and Adrienne.
1814. Sunday 13th February. Island of Paxo surrendered to Apollo and troops.
1814. Monday 14th February. Picton captured by U.S. frigate Constitution.
1814. Wednesday 23rd February. Epervier took U.S. privateer brig Alfred.
1814. Friday 25th February. Eurotas captured Clorinde.
1814. Monday 7th March. U.S. privateer Mars destroyed at Sandy Hook.
1814. Friday 12th March. Primrose engaged by mistake a British brig Packet.
1814. Sunday 13th March. Cole Mill in Canada.
1814. Friday 25th March. Royal Marines of HMS
Edinburgh and HMS Swallow land and capture the castle of Lerici (near Spain).
1814. Saturday 26th March. Hebrus and Sparrow engaged Etoile and Sultane.
1814. Saturday 26th March. Hannibal captured Sultane.
1814. Sunday 27th March. Hebrus captured Etoile.
1814. Monday 28th March. Phoebe and Cherub took Essex and Essex Junior.
1814. Saturday 2nd April. Boats of Porcupine captured 12 and destroyed 4 vessels.
1814. Thursday 7th April. Raid on the Connecticut River at the Town of Essex.
A British raiding force of 136 Marines and sailors rowed six heavily
armed boats from four British warships anchored in Long Island Sound
(HMS Hogue, HMS Endymion, HMS Maidstone and HMS Borer), six miles up the
Connecticut River. They had come under the command of Captain Richard
Coote (Coot) to burn the privateers anchored in port towns along the
river. On the way up the river, the Marines landed to secure the old
fort at Saybrook to prevent being trapped on their return trip, they
found it to be unmanned. The boats were armed with swivel guns loaded
with grapeshot, the officers armed with swords and pistols, the Marines
with Brown Bess muskets, and the sailors with torches and axes.
1814. Friday 8th April. The British raiding force arrived in Essex then known
as Pettipaug at 3:30am. At the landing site a handful of local militia
fired out into the darkness with muskets and one four pound cannon. The
British replied with a massive volley from the Marine’s muskets and the
guns mounted in the ship’s boats. Realising further resistance was
futile, the small, disorganised militia fell back into the darkness.
The Marines secured the village while the seamen set about burning all
of the ships at the wharves and on the stocks being built, as well as
those moored the harbour.
The British informed the villagers that
they had come to destroy shipping, not their homes. Reportedly the
civilians were told that as long as they did not molest the British,
the town would not be put to the torch. There was no formal
capitulation but it was the best deal that the people of Pettipaug were
going to get that night.
However, there was resistance and riders were sent to New London to
seek assistance from the troops at Fort Trumbull as well Commodore
Stephan Decatur whose squadron was blockaded in the Thames River.
Meanwhile several men and boys attempted to extinguish burning ships
and even hide some of them up the coves, although their attempts were
The British searched houses for arms and destroyed or commandeered ship
rigging materials from waterfront warehouses and destroyed a large
quantity of West Indies Rum.
By 10am the British force had torched 27 vessels. They began an orderly
departure with their ship’s boats and two large American privateers,
the brig Anaconda and the schooner Eagle. About a mile south of the
village the brig went aground in the river where the British were
subject to sporadic gunfire from shore.
They transferred everything from the grounded vessel and burned it.
Coote decided to anchor the schooner and wait until nightfall to head
further down the river where militia from Killingworth and Lyme were
gathering at the narrows in the river.
At this point the Americans sent a boat out under a white flag to serve
the British with a surrender ultimatum. Captain Coote dismissed it
stating, “We hold your power to detain us at defiance.”
By late afternoon soldiers, sailors, Marines and additional militia and
volunteers were arriving from New London. There were now several
hundred armed Americans and a number of artillery pieces on each side
of the river. These forces included two American Generals and two US
The trap was set, but when the Americans realised the British were not
going to come down the river until it was dark, they understood there
was a real chance of missing them in the blackness of the overcast
night. They raced to get at cannon into position on Ayres Point to hit
them where they were anchored in the river.
At dusk, as the British set fire to the remaining privateer and were
transferring their men back into the boats, they were hit by an
American six pound cannon under command of Lieutenant Bull, which had
arrived just as the sun began to set. The American crew fired off six
rounds as fast they could reload. Two Royal Marines were killed and a
sailor was wounded, but the cloak of darkness now masked their
Aided by the strong flow of the river they headed down river in their
boats, running a gauntlet of small arms and cannon fire from both
banks. Despite the effort of upwards of 600 Americans to stop them, the
British reached their ships at 10pm reportedly letting out three cheers
after they passed the fort in Saybrook from which ineffectual parting
shots were fired.
Compounding the loss of the 27 ships and the failure to capture the
British on the way out was the fact that an American had helped guide
the British during the raid. The traitor, nicknamed Torpedo Jack by the
British, was paid $2,000 for his efforts, a staggering sum at that time.
By the time the raid was over they had burned 27 ships, including six
newly built privateers. It was the largest single maritime loss of the
1814. Wednesday 20th Apil. Orpheus and Shelburne captured U.S. sloop Frolic.
1814. Friday 29th April. Epervier taken by U.S. sloop Peacock.
1814. April. Batteries destroyed on the Gironde by Belle Poule.
1814. Wednesday 13th – 17th April. Co-operating with the Anglo Italian Army
in its attack on Genoa. The Royal Marines of the British squadron were
embarked in to boats and ready to land when and if required. Later
while the troops were engaged with the enemy, and the guns in the shore
batteries. This enabled the Royal Marines and seamen to storm them with
little loss, and to turn their guns against the town.
1814. Tuesday 3rd May. Oswego.
1814. Friday 6th May. Capture of batteries and consorts at Oswego by the British squadron.
1814. Wednesday 25th May. Boats of Elizabeth took Aigle off Corfu.
1814. Monday 30th May. Party from Montreal and Niagara defeated at Sandy Creek.
1814. Wednesday 1st June - 4th July. Operations in the River Patuxent.
1814. Tuesday 14th June. Superb and Nimrod destroyed American vessels at Wareham.
1814. Tuesday 28th June. Reindeer taken by U.S. sloop Wasp.
1814. Tuesday 12th July. Landrail taken by U.S. privateer Syren.
1814. July. Ballahou taken by U. S. privateer Perry.
1814. Saturday 16th July. The British fleet arrived in Chesapeake Bay.
1814. Tuesday 19th July. The British occupied Leonardtown.
1814. Tuesday 19th July - 25th August. Operations in the Potomac River and capture of Washington.
1814. Wednesday 20th July. The British fought on the Nominy River.
1814. Saturday 23rd July. The British fought on the St Clements River.
1814. Tuesday 26th July. The British fought at Machodic Creek.
1814. Saturday 30th July. The British fought at Chaptico.
1814. Wednesday 3rd August. The British fought on the Yocomico River at
1814. Sunday 7th August. The British fought on the Cann River.
1814. Friday 12th August. Boats of Cherwell and Netley took Somers and Ohio.
1814. Monday 15th August the half pay was increased, which
equalised it with officers of the same rank in the line.
1814. Wednesday 17th August - 9th September. Capture of Fort Washington and Alexandria.
1814. Wednesday 24th August. The battle of Bladensburg.
1814. Wednesday 24th August. The sacking and burning of Washington.
1814. Tuesday 30th August. Party from Menelaus engaged ashore in Chesapeake Bay.
1814. August. Nancy destroyed by Tigress and Scorpion on Lake Huron.
1814. Thursday 1st September. Castine captured by a British squadron.
1814. Thursday 1st September. Avon sunk by U.S. sloop Wasp.
1814. Saturday 3rd September. American frigate Adams and 10 vessels destroyed.
1814. Sunday 3rd September. The Royal Marines stormed Hampten, USS Adams burnt and vessels destroyed at Bangor.
1814. Sunday 3rd September. Boats of Nancy captured U.S. schooner Tigress.
1814. Wednesday 6th September. Party from Nancy captured Scorpion.
1814. Sunday 10th - 14th Sept. Attack on Baltimore by a British squadron.
1814. monday 11th September. Confiance and 3 consorts taken by Macdonough.
1814. Monday 12th September. The fight before Baltimore.
1814. Monday 12th-15th September. The Battle of Baltimore. The Royal Marine
Artillerymen served aboard HMS Erebus.
1814. Thursday 15th September. Hermes lost at unsuccessful attack on Fort Bowyer.
1814. Monday 26th September. Boats of Plantagenet and Rota repulsed by General Armstrong.
1814. Monday 3rd - 4th October. Boats and landing parties in the Coan River.
1814. Sunday 9th October. Boats of Endymion unsuccessfully attacked Neufchatel.
1814. Tuesday 13th - 14th December. The capture of an American flotilla on Lake Borgne, five U.S. gun-boats and a sloop.
1814. Raids on the American Coast.
1814. Three additional Marine Battalions (numbered 1-3) were raised from
among the Royal Marines specifically for action in Portugal, Northern
Spain, the Invasion of France, the Netherlands, North America and the
Caribbean. However they were later disbanded in 1815.
1815. Thursday 2th January. The capture of Point a Pitre.
1815. Sunday 8th January. The British attacked New Orleans.
1815. Friday 13th - 14th January. Capture of St. Mary's, Georgia, by the British.
1815. Sunday 15th January. Endymion captured U.S. frigate President.
1815. January - March. The British mount many raids on Florida Coast.
1815. Friday 20th February. Cyane and Levant captured by U.S. frigate Constitution.
1815. Sunday 22nd February. Engagement between British boats and U.S. troops in St. Mary's River.
1815. Thursday 26th February. St. Lawrence taken by U.S. privateer Chasseur.
1815. Thursday 23rd March. Penguin taken by U.S. ship Hornet.
1815. Sunday 30th April. Rivoli captured Melpomene off Ischia.
1815. Sunday 21st May. Naples. The Royal Marines landed 500 strong to occupy
Forts St. Elmo and D’Uovo upon its surrender by the French.
1815. Saturday 17th June. Pilot engaged Legere off Cape Corse.
1815. Sunday 18th July. French convoy captured by Ferret, Fly and consort.
1815. Wednesday 5th July. The pay of Adjutants was increased.
1815. Friday 14th July. 500 Marines landed under Brevet Major H.
Cox, co-operated with the Army under Sir Hudson Lowe in the occupation
1815. Sunday 18th July. French convoy captured by Ferret, Fly and consorts.
1815. Tuesday 18th – 19th July. The French convoy cut out at Corigeou. On the
5th July the frigates HMS Rhin, HMS Menelaus and HMS Havannah, with the Fly and Ferret brigs, and the schooner Sealark chased a French
convoy into the Bay of Corigeou, about eighteen miles from Brest. The
boats left the squadron at 10pm on the 18th, and came to a grapnel
under a range of rocks about a quarter of a mile from shore. Here they
lay till the moon went down, finally effecting a landing, undiscovered,
at 2-45am on the 19th. The Marines of HMS Menelaus, 45 rank and file,
formed the advance guard under Lieutenant A, Burton RH, the main body
consisting of 120 Marines under Lieutenants Bunce and Hurdle, and 80
seamen, was commanded by Captain Malcolm RN of HMS Rhin. Having
stormed the two batteries which protected the anchorage, the brigs were
able to enter and bring out the convoy. This little affair is of some
interest as being the last of the numerous cutting out expeditions in
which the Marines played such an important part during the long war
1815. Saturday 24th July. Reduction of Gaeta by Malta and Berwick.
1815. Napoleon was exiled to St Helena Island of Ascension.
When St. Helena became the prison of Napoleon, the occupation of
Ascension necessarily followed; and Sir George Cockburn, the
commander-in-chief on the station, immediately sent an officer with a
number of men under his command to hold the island. But the Lords
Commissioners of the Admiralty were not long in forwarding a different
establishment, and a detachment of Marines was sent from England, under
Major Campbell, to form the garrison. It was in October 1823 that Major
Nicolls succeeded to the command of the Island of Ascension, which was
then a mere rock overrun by immense rats, and incapable of producing
any vegetation; having scarcely sufficient water for its small
garrison, and the road from the barracks to the spring which furnished
the supply almost impassable for their water cart. But by the
unremitted exertions of the Marines on the island, convenient roads
were made, and water-tanks built, affording not only an ample supply
for the garrison, but for the ships of the African squadron, and
numerous merchant vessels that came to the island in distress.
Vegetables were cultivated with so much success, that a plentiful
supply was obtained by our cruisers, and previous to the recall of
Major Nicolls from his command in 1828, (on his promotion to the rank
of Major in the Corps,) he had so improved the cultivation of the
island, that there were 800 head of cattle of his own rearing,
consisting of cows, oxen, sheep, goats, and swine, besides about 500
that had been slaughtered.
The ingenuity and perseverance of the Marines who served on the Island
of Ascension, and particularly those who were its earliest inhabitants,
convey to the admiring and astonished visitor of the colony a
flattering impression of the discipline and internal economy of the
Captain William Bate succeeded Major Nicolls, and this officer, after
years of exertion, vexation, and difficulty, died on the island.
Captain Tinklar was the next commandant, and this zealous officer soon
became a victim to his anxious desire to promote the welfare of the
service. Captain Bennett was the next appointed, but the period of that
officer's command was even briefer than his predecessor, and he died in
a still more sudden manner.
The death of three commandants within so short a period leads us to
infer, that their removal was not entirely attributable to the
malignity of the climate, for we do not find its fatal influence
extending to the subordinate ranks, but we believe that the duties of
the commanding officers were of a most tantalising character, involving
contradictions, vexations, and anomalies that but few constitutions
could long resist in such a climate as that of Ascension.
The last officer of Marines in command at this seemingly fatal colony
was Captain R. P. Dwyer, and he all but shared the fate of his
predecessors, for in little more than two years from his appointment,
he was, through the excitement and vexations inseparable from his
duties, seized with such severe illness, that, as the only chance of
saving his life, he was sent to England by the first ship that touched
at the island. But some time previous to his illness Captain Dwyer had
solicited permission to resign his command, under the persuasion that
no exertions, no line of conduct however upright and honourable, could
guarantee him from annoyances which could not be overcome.
Thus ended the command which had been so long held by officers of the
Royal Marines on the Island of Ascension. That gloomy cinder in the
distant ocean, which has been forced into its actual state of
usefulness and importance by the perseverance, the skill, and the zeal
of the Marines. This fact so forcibly struck the Prince de Joinville
when he visited the island in the early part of 1843, that his Royal
Highness observed to Captain Dwyer, "The Marines deserve great credit.
They have performed wonders here, for out of nothing, less than
nothing, you have created a great deal, a very useful little colony.”
1816. Saturday 6th July. The pay of Adjutants was increased.
1816. Sunday 27th August The bombardment of Algiersby Lord Exmouth. The following is taken
from the MS. Journal of General F.W. Whinyates R.E. published in the
R.E. Journal of 1th February 1881; ”On the 9th August, arrived at
Gibraltar after 13 days passage. Whilst at Gibraltar the Marines of the
fleet, about 100, were formed into two Battalion, to be commanded by
Majors Vallack and Collins of the Royal Marines. It was intended that
the company of Royal Sappers and Marines should land with them at
Algiers, and each Sapper and Miner was to carry two hand Grenades
and a piece of slow match in his haver sack, besides his musket and
1816. In consequence of the peace, the establishment was reduced to eighty
companies, consisting of battalion companies, 6,760, four artillery
companies 368, staff 94, making a total of 6,222 men.
1817. Wednesday 26th November. By order in Council of the Corps was fixed at
6,236 men, in eighty companies, of which eight were artillery.
1817. Captain Nicholls, later known as ‘fighting Nicholls’ and to become a General of Royal Marines, raised a Regiment of North American Indians to fight in the War of Independence. These Indians comprised mainly of Seminoles, Redstick Creeks and Choctaw warriors.
1817. Bombardment of Mocha by Eden.
1818. The Marines were landed without any encumbrances, with 60 rounds
of ammunition, and proportion of small rockets was to be distributed
among them for throwing into casemates, and four steady men from each
Division were to be selected to carry rockets and storming poles. It
was intended to have stormed the Mole opposite HMS Queen Charlotte but
it was the difficulty of communicating with her and getting the Sappers
and Marines off again, that prevented Lord Exmouth’s ordering it.
1818. By order in Council of the Corps was fixed at 6000 men.
1819. By order in Council of the Corps was fixed at 6000 men
1820. Saturday 6th May. An order in Council regulated the pay of
1820. July. The first reference
to a Band at Woolwich Barracks.
1820. Monday 6th - 12th July. The British were involved in a Battle at
Algeciras with French / Spanish vessels.
1820. Wednesday 23rd July. The first band of the Royal Marine Artillery was
formed. During this time the Artillery Company's were based at Chatham.
1820. Friday 4th - 30th December. Royal Marines and
Seamen from HMS Topaze storm Mocha.
1820. The Corps was increased to 8,000 men.
1822. Monday 30th December. Eliza engaged two pirates off Guajaba and took one.
1823. Friday 31st January. Cameleon and Naiad captured Algerine corsair Tripoli.
1823. Friday 28th March. Boats of Naiad distroyed a pirate brig at Bona.
1823. Friday 28th March. Boats of Tyne and Thracian captured Zarajonaza.
1823. The Corps strength was 8,700 men, distributed in eighty five divisional
and eight artillery companies.
to 1829. A small detachment of Royal Marines served at Melville
Island in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia.
1824. The establishment was 9,000 men, at which it continued until 1832, when
it was increased to 10,500.
1824. March – April. The destruction and capture of a gang
of Pirates who made the Isle of Pines Island their headquarters and had murdered a
Lieutenant and some men belonging to a British man of war. Lieutenant
Beaden of the Royal Marines was on this Island for about two months,
performing most arduous duty, marching from 5 to10 miles daily through
the jungle in search of pirates. Eventually with 15 Royal Marines he
ran them to earth, dispersed and captured the survivors who were
executed at Jamaica. On the first 2 days only about 70 seamen with
their officers assisted in the search.
1824. Sunday 28th March. Boats of Tyne and Thracian captured Zarajonaza.
1824. Tuesday 11th May. Rangoon captured.
1824. May - June The first Ashanti war, and the Marines defended Cape Castle.
Seamen and Marines from the Squadron assisted in the defence of Cape
Castle. Lieutenant W.O. Aitcheson of the Royal Marine Artillery
was killed here after greatly distinguishing himself and doing great
service with a 6 pounder gun.
1st June. The Royal Marine Artillery Company's first occupied Fort
1824. Monday 2nd August. Tavoy captured.
1824. Thursday 2nd September. Stockades carried at Dalla Creek.
1824. Sunday 5th September. Enemy repulsed at Thontai.
1824. Tuesday 21st - 27 September. Burmese defeated at Penang.
1824. Wednesday 6th October. Mergui captured.
1824. Thursday 7th October. Than-ta-Bain captured.
1824. Wednesday 27th - 30th October. Martaban captured and war boats destroyed.
1824. Tuesday 30th November - 15th December. Burmese defeated at Kemmendine.
1824. Friday 10th December. Lieutenant Williamson R.M. and a detachment were
placed in charge of Fort Dundas, on the Melville Islands, that are in
the eastern Timor Sea, off the coast of the Northern Territory of
Australia. The Fort had been built since the first settlement in
Australia in August 1814.The settlement did not prove a success, and
was abandoned on 31st March 1829.
– 1826. The first Burma War. Royal Marines and Seamen from the East India
Squadron were landed in Rangoon, and helped open up the river route to
1825. Saturday 5th February. Than-ta-Bain captured.
1825. Saturday 19th February. Paulang captured.
1825. Wednesday 23rd March. George IV passes an act for the regulating of His Majestry's Royal Marine Forces on shore.
1825. March and April. Donoobew captured.
1825. Monday 25th April. Prome occupied.
1825. Sunday 25th December. Burmese defeated at Prome.
photos to enlarge
Origin unknown, part of Cleve Whitworths personal Royal Marine library.
1825. Appointment of a Colonel Commandant and deputy Adjutant General of
Marines, resident in London.
The Marines Band uniforms of the day. (taken
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
photo to enlarge
The Marines Drummer uniforms of the day. (taken from 'Britain's Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril
photo to enlarge
1826. Thursday 19th January. Melloone captured.
1826. Thursday 9th February. Pagahm-mew captured.
In these operations Alligator, Arachne, Boadicea, Champion, Larne, Liffey, Sophie, Slaney, Tamar, and Tees, or parties from them, were engaged.
1826. Thursdaay 6th - 7th April. Boats of Alacrity took four Greek pirate vessels
1826. Saturday 17th June. In search of Pirate ships off the Island of Candia
in the Bay of Porta Bono. Captain G.R.
Pechell of the 36 gun Frigate HMS Sybille, arrived off the island of Candia in search of some piratical
vessels that had plundered a Sardinian merchant-ship, and ill-treated
the crew. Being close in with HMS Gozo, on the morning of the 18th four
large Misticos were discovered and chased under a small island, forming
the bay or harbour of Porto Bono, or Calos-limuonop. The frigate
anchored at about half past noon with a spring on the cable and opened
her broadside on the Misticos lying moored to the rocks, whilst the
five boats under the orders of Lieutenant Gordon, assisted among other
officers by Lieutenant of Marines J.T. Brown, pulled in to the attack.
They were instantly assailed by a destructive fire of musketry from
above 200 men, protected by a stone breast work or concealed behind the
rocks. Their pieces, loaded with three balls each, connected by a piece
of wire, were so well directed, that although Lieutenant Gordon
succeeded in boarding one of the vessels, the crew of the barge
suffered so severely that he was compelled to abandon her, having 7
seamen and 1 Marine killed, himself, Mr. Edmonsons, Midshipman, and
every other seaman and Marine wounded. Lieutenant E. Tupper, Commanding
the launch, was mortally wounded. In the first cutter, Commanded by
Lieutenant P.T. Brown of the Marines, Mr. Lees, Midshipman, was
severely wounded, 2 Seamen killed and 2 wounded, the other boats
suffered proportionally, and the total loss amounted to Mr. Knox,
Midshipman, 10 Seamen, and 3 Marines killed, 2 Lieutenants, 2
Midshipmen, 20 Seamen, and 6 Marines wounded.
1826. Tuesday 12th September. An increase of the pay of Adjutants was ordered.
1826. The Appointment of a Colonel Commandant and deputy Adjutant General of
Marines was resident in London.
1826. Chatham Division band accompanied the british Ambassador to Russia for
the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas 1st, the first time that a British Band
left Britain to attend a foreign ceremony. An Imperial Russian sword,
suitably engraved, was presented to the Bandmaster. This sword is now
in the Royal Marines Museum collection.
1827. Wednesday 26th of September. New Colours were presented to the Division
of Royal Marines at Chatham, on the part of His Majesty King George IV,
by His Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, then Lord High Admiral of
Great Britain, and General of Marines, afterwards King William IV.
After alluding to the services of Marine Regiments from the period of
their formation to the present time, His Royal Highness caused the New
Colours to be unfurled, and concluded his address in the following
terms: "His Majesty has selected for the Royal Marines a Device to
which their achievements have entitled them, and which, by his
permission, this day present to you, a Badge which you have so hardly
and honourably earned. From the difficulty of selecting any particular
places to inscribe on these Standards, your Sovereign has been pleased
to adopt. The Great Globe itself as the most proper and distinctive
badge. He has also directed, that his own name (George IV.) shall be
added to that peculiar badge, the Anchor, which is your distinctive
bearing, in order that it may be known hereafter, that George the
Fourth had conferred on you the honourable and well earned badge this
day presented to you. The motto, peculiarly your own, ‘Per Mare; Per
Terram’ has been allowed to remain and surmounting the entire is the
word Gibraltar, in commemoration of the important national services you
performed there. In presenting these Colours, the gift of your
Sovereign, into your hands, I trust I am confident you will defend them
with the same intrepidity, loyalty, and regard for the interests of the
country, that have marked your preservation of your old ones, and if
you do, you’re Sovereign, and your Country will have equal reason to be
the 18th and 19th century the Corps played a major roll in fighting to
win Britain the largest empire ever created. The Marines had a dual
function, they ensured the security of the ship's officers and
supported their maintenance of discipline in the ship's crew. During
battles they engaged the enemy's crews, firing from positions on their
own ship, or fighting during boarding's. The Corps strength at that
time was 9,000.
1827. Saturday 20th October. The Battle of Navarino was fought in the bay of
Navarino (on the south-western shore of the Peloponnesus) between
Turkish Egyptian naval forces and the joint Russian, British, and
French navies during the Greek National Liberation Revolution (Greek
War of Independence) of 1821 - 29. The allied squadrons were sent to
exert pressure on Turkey, which had refused to carry out the demands of
the London Convention of 1827 on granting autonomy to Greece. The three
squadron commanders, the British Vice Admiral E. Codrington, the
Russian Rear Admiral L.M. Geiden, and the French Rear Admiral H. G. de
Rigny, decided to enter the bay of Navarino, where the Turkish Egyptian
fleet under the command of Ibrahim Pasha was located. (Ibrahim Pasha’s
fleet consisted of three ships of the line, 23 frigates, and about 40
corvettes and brigs, with almost 2,220 artillery guns.) The entrance to
the bay was defended by coast batteries (165 guns and six fire ships).
A British squadron (three ships of the line, four frigates, one
corvette, and three brigs), a French squadron (three ships of the line,
two frigates, and two corvettes), and a Russian squadron (four ships of
the line and four frigates), totalling 1,676 artillery guns and under
the overall command of Codrington, who was senior in rank, entered the
bay. After a British truce envoy was killed by the Turks and the ships
were fired on by coast batteries, the allies opened fire. In four hours
the Turkish Egyptian fleet was completely destroyed and almost 7,000
Turks died. The Russian flagship Azov, under the command of Captain
First Class M.P. Lazarev, especially distinguished itself in the
battle. The allies lost more than 800 men in dead and wounded. The
defeat of the Turkish fleet aided in Greece’s national liberation
struggle and contributed to Russia’s victory in the Russo Turkish War
of 1828 - 1829.
- 1829. The Taking of the Castle of Morea (or Rhion) and the Siege of Patras. A
few Royal Marines, Artillery and Infantry, and some bomb vessels
co-operated with the French Army in these operations. Lieutenant Logan
RMA mainly caused the surrender of the Castle by blowing up the
principal magazine for which he received the Legion of Honour.
1830. Monday 26th April. Black Joke took the Spanish slaver Marimerito.
1830. Primrose captured the Spanish slaver Veloz Passagera.
1831. April. The Maintenance of Order in Newcastle. “On Wednesday week a
detachment of 80 Marines and 6 Subalterns under the command of Major
Mitchell, sailed from Portsmouth for this (Newcastle), on account of
disturbances among the colliers. The vessel, towed by a steamer, sailed
in less than an hour after the orders were received.” (Contemporary
Newspapers of 28th April 1831).
1831. Loyalty and Determination of Private George Higham. “Whilst the Medina steam vessel was stationed on the coast of Africa in the year
1831 a boat containing a midshipman, 9 seamen and a Marine was
dispatched on service, and on ascending a river, the crew became
mutinous, that the officer was under the necessity of using violent
measures, and ran one off them through the body. This so exasperated
the others, that they determined the throw the midshipman overboard,
and were attempting to put their threat into execution when the Marine,
named George Hyam or Higham, with great firmness stood between them,
and declared he would shoot the first man who dared to lay his hand
upon an officer, and bayonet the next who might venture to approach
him. This determined act of courage so overawed the sailors that they
desisted in their murderous intention, and the midshipman, thus nobly
supported, was enabled to maintain his authority and re-join his ship
in safety.” (Nicholas History. Record R.M. Force)
1831. First cholera outbreak in England that affected all the British
1832. The establishment of the Marines increased to 10,000 men.
1832. The companies of Marine Artillery have been gradually increased until
they have reached to about the same numerical strength as their
establishment during1823, (but still short of field officers,) when
they were formed into eight companies. The minutes of the Board of
Admiralty show that relative to the Marine Artillery, they were
intended for the training of the other Marines, so as to embark
efficient artillery-men in others of his Majesty's ships as well as in
1832. Monday 6th of February. The Band of the Royal Marines Artillery, was
disbanded as part of the 1832 reductions.
1832. Monday 6th of February. An order in Council abolished the Corps of
Royal Marine Artillery. This battalion, originally selected from a
Corps of 30,000 men, and which had progressively risen to eminence and
distinction, was immediately broken up, retaining two companies as a
nucleus to form a greater body, which might hereafter be deemed
1832. Thursday 12th April. An order in Council ordered the promotion of four
Lieutenant Colonels to be second Commandants, thus creating vacancies
in the subordinate ranks.
- 1834. A Battalion of Marines were keeping the peace in Ireland.
1833. A report of the Committee of the House of Commons on Army and Navy
appointments, recommended the abolition of the sinecures of Generals
and Colonels of Marines, enjoyed by Naval officers.
The Marines uniforms of the day. (taken from
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.
photos to enlarge
1833. Finally an Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British
Colonies is passed by British Parliament and Policed by law.
1834. Wednesday 30th April. Additional retirements on full and half-pay.
1834. Sunday 7th - 9th September. Imogene and Andromache engaged in the Canton River.
1834. Royal Marines supported the Queen of Spain's forces during the Carlist
1835. A Royal Marine Battalion and Royal Marine Axillary
Battery were in Spain during the Carlist War that came to a
1835. A Battalion of Royal Marines were in Portugal. “On Thursday morning at
6 o’clock, 2 officers and 200 Rank and File of the Royal Marines and 5
officers and 90 Gunners RMA embarked on board HMS Talavera and HMS Britannia, left Portsmouth for Plymouth where they were Joined by 7
officers and 200 Rank and File from that division and HMS Romney troop ship. They took with them 4 guns and a Brigade of
Rockets. Never did a finer body of men quit the shores of England. They
have orders to join Admiral Parker, and it said Don Miguel will very
soon be made acquainted with the object of their mission. The
Portsmouth contingent was to be transferred to HMS Romney at Plymouth
and the Plymouth one to embark for passage in HMS Caledonia (Contemporary new paper 30th May).
1836. Wednesday 11th May. An order in Council abolished the office of
Inspector General of Marines. The creation of this office, in March
1831, produced a feeling of dissatisfaction in the Corps, that called
for loud and general remonstrance, for it will scarcely be credited
that the appointment was conferred upon a civilian (he having sold out
of the service many years previously) totally unconnected with the
Marines, and who, to have authority and control over the Colonels of
Divisions, was created a Major General. This act of injustice produced
a feeling of respectful remonstrance, until the discontent became too
apparent to be disregarded; and another Board of Admiralty, with a due
consideration for the welfare of the Corps, removed the
Inspector General, and restored the Command of the Marines to the
hands of one of its distinguished veterans.
1836. May to October. Operations against pirates in Straits of Malacca.
1836. Monday 6th June. The Battle of Ametza.
1836. The Brunswick rifle, a muzzle-loading weapon, is introduced to replace the
Baker and remains in production until 1885.
1836-7 Carlist War. Pique, Castor and Salamander concerned.
1837. Thursday 16th March. The Battle of Hernani.
1837. Wednesday 21st June. An order in Council gave six additional
retirements of full-pay for Colonels Commandant, which placed the
establishment as follows, Eight for Colonels Commandant, two for
Colonels, Second Commandant, four for Lieutenant Colonels, twenty five
for Captains, ten for First Lieutenants.
It must be a very rare
and extraordinary circumstance that would induce a Second Commandant to
take the retirement, for being so near a preferment of much greater
consideration, it is not to be expected that a man would forego the
advantage almost within his reach. By adding those two offices, (which
are never filled), to those of Colonels Commandant, a boon would be
conferred on the Corps, but to accelerate promotion and improve the
health and vigour of the service, the Commandants of Divisions ought to
be placed on the same footing as the appointments in the Royal Navy, in
which service they are limited to a certain period, and when vacancies
occurred on the retired list, and a Commandant of division had held
that office four years, he should be compelled to withdraw from active
service on the honourable and liberal retirement afforded him.
1837. Wednesday 21st June. An order in Council abolished the rank of Major,
making the establishment, four Colonels, four Colonels-en-second,
twelve Lieutenant Colonels, four divisional pay masters, four
barrack masters, four surgeons, four assistant surgeons. Another
Lieutenant Colonel was subsequently added, exclusive of the officers of
artillery. It can be seen, by the following statement, that in
abolishing the rank of Major, the Corps was deprived of four
1837. Friday 14th July. The Admiralty ordered a regulation be introduced for
pensions to the non-commissioned officers and privates.
"Twenty-one years' service at sea or on foreign service, shall entitle
him to his discharge and pension, two years' service on shore in
England shall be allowed to reckon as one year served afloat for this
purpose, but no Marine shall be entitled to such pension, who shall not
have served ten years actually at sea or on foreign service."
It would be difficult to comprehend the object intended by this unjust,
degrading, and injurious restriction. We can understand that the
disinclination of a soldier to embark when required should be punished,
but because a Marine obediently and loyally does his duty in the
various garrisons, in conjunction with the troops of the line, that he
shall be deprived of the reward held out to those of every other Corps
in her Majesty's service, is a stipulation as inequitable as it is
destructive of the best interests of the service. Its effect has long
been felt in procuring recruits for the Marines, and as the pernicious
system has been deprecated by those, who with the desire to promote the
welfare of the Corps are now in a position to support the claims of
those enduring servants of the crown, we have reason to expect that the
order of 1837 will be rescinded.
1837. Wednesday 27th October. Captain John McArthur with a subaltern and
forty men of the Royal Marines was placed in charge of a settlement of
Port Essington in the Northern Territories of Australia. (1854). This settlement lasted longer than the one at Melville
1838. Monday 12th - 13th March. Prescot in Canada. Lieutenant C.A. Parker,
Royal Marines, and 30 Privates formed part of the force of 300 Infantry
and 40 Militia Cavalry which, under the command of Colonel Young K.H.
engaged and defeated a body of 800 Americans and Canadian insurgents,
who with 2 guns had entrenched themselves near the village of Prescot
on Lake Ontario. The village was defended by a few men of the 83rd
Regiment, 30 of the Royal Marines, and such of the Glengarry Militia as
had had time to collect. The American force after landing had taken up
a position in which they were protected by the walls of an orchard,
from behind which they kept up a galling fire upon the advancing
Marines, while later pushed on, firing as objects offered. In this
position of affairs, Lance Corporal James Hunn, Royal Marines, who was
on the right of the British line, ran forward and jumped over the wall
which covered the American sharpshooters, and found himself on the
extreme left, and almost in contact with six or seven of them, who were
separated from their main body by another wall running perpendicular to
that which covered their front. These men were either loading or in the
act of firing at the advancing Marines when Hunn leaped the wall, and
were so intent on their occupation that they did not notice Hunn until
he was on them, so that he was able to close with them, and was seen by
his commanding officers to bayonet three one after the other before
they had time to load their pieces and fire. A fourth man, whose piece
was loaded, turned and fired, and his ball struck the swell of Hunn’s
Musket, where it was grasped by the left hand, which it passed through.
Destroying the second finger, while at the same time the Musket was
driven violently against his stomach as for a moment to suspend his
breath. Recovering himself, however, he fired effectively at the enemy,
now in full retreat, but his disabled hand prevented his again loading,
and he was most unwilling oblige to give up any further shares in the
glory of the day, after having thus accounted for four of the enemy.
Captain Sandon, in his official despatch says “It may appear invidious
to particularise any one man of a small band of Marines engaged, where
all have shone so conspicuous, but I trust I may stand excused for
naming James Hunn, acting Corporal, a young man twenty years of age,
who, in the melee with the rebels, was seen by his officers and
companions of beat back seven of the pirates, three of whom fell
dead before him, and although at this time having his left hand
shattered by a rifle ball, he still continued the unequal contest. I
feelingly hope such a noble example of bravery and devotion will plead
my excuse for urging you to move the Lords Commissioners of the
Admiralty to bestow promotion and a medal upon this valiant young
soldier. He is in every way fit to become an Officer.
Hunn was in consequence prompted to the Rank of Sergeant without
passing through the intermediate grade of Corporal. The poor fellow
died a year or two after, a victim to yellow fever, while serving aboard HMS Arab on the coast of Africa.”(Deeds of Naval Daring, Giffard
1838. Tuesday 15th May. A supernumerary Captain of Artillery appointed.
1838. Tuesday 26th June. A commission of inquiry into the system of naval and
military promotion and retirement, had its first sitting. This
proceeding originated in the spontaneous efforts of a certain Member of
Parliament, who, seeing how much the officers of Marines were
aggrieved, independently espoused their cause, and brought the matter
before the House of Commons.
Sir Richard Williams of the Marines, and a member of the Commission,
explained to the Board the object of this inquiry: "In January 1837,
there were upon the list of officers actually serving, one Colonel
Commandant resident in London, and four Colonels, each in the command
of a division, who had not been less than fifty-eight years in the
service; 21 field-officers forty-five years; the senior Captains more
than thirty-five years, and more than 50 Subalterns who had been
upwards of twenty-five years in that rank. The retired list at that
time was limited to two Colonels Commandant, three Lieutenant Colonels,
three Majors, twenty Captains, twelve first and ten Second Lieutenants;
and although two of the Colonels in command of divisions had applied
for permission to retire, they could not obtain it. Under these
circumstances there was much discontent, and the subject was at length
brought forward in the House of Commons by Lord George Lennox, who
advocated the pretensions of the officers to promotion; and his
lordship was only induced to withdraw his motion, upon assurance on the
part of the secretary of the Admiralty that the Board had it in
contemplation to do what he thought would be beneficial to the service,
and acceptable to the Royal Marines, whose merits had been
acknowledged. The dissolution of Parliament stopped all further
proceedings for the moment; but before a new Parliament had assembled,
a measure was carried into effect which was satisfactory to the Corps,
but injurious to the service, and tending to cripple it in one material
branch; and although the House of Commons, with great liberality,
agreed to afford relief by a vote for any reasonable sum of money for
that purpose, it was a manifest disappointment to the officers to know,
that in the navy estimates for 1838 the sum voted was less by £1,500
for the Marines, than in the preceding estimate for 1837.
1839. The first China War, also known as the First Opium War and also the
Anglo-Chinese War. It was fought between Britain and China over their
conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade, and the
administration of justice for foreign nationals. The Royal Marines
served in many landings against the Chinese. The troubles went on to
finally come to an end in 1842.
1839. Saturday 19th January. Lieutenant Ayles and Royal
Marines of HMS Volage and HMS Cruiser served with combined force that
effected capture Aden.
1839. Saturday 2nd - 3rd February. Capture of Kurrachee by Wellesley, Algerine and troops.
1840. Sunday 5th July. The capture of
1839. Friday 23rd August. Capture of Hong-Kong.
1839. Wednesday 4th September. Action with junks at Kowlung.
1839. Tuesday 1st October. Blockade of Canton.
1839. Sunday 3rd November. Volage and Hyacinth engaged war junks in Canton River.
1840. Sunday 28th June. Blockade of Canton.
1840. Wednesday 1st July. Batteries at Amoy silenced by Blonde.
1840. Saturday 4th - 5th July. Bombardment of Tinghai and surrender of Chusan.
1840. Friday 10th - 16th September. Bombardment of Beyrout by a British squadron.
1840. Saturday 11th September. Attack on castle of Gebail by Carysfort and consorts.
1840. Saturday 12th September. The attack on the Castle of Gebail Syria,
1840. Tuesday 15th September. Batroun captured by Hastings and consorts.
1840. Thursday 17th September. The capture of Caiffaby by Castor and Pique.
1840. Sunday 20th September. The attack on Torosa.
1840. Thursday 24th September. Tyre captured by Castor and Pique.
1840. Saturday 26th September. The storming of Sidon.
1840. Saturday 26th September. Attack on Tortosa by Benbow and consorts.
1840. Sunday 27th September. Sidon captured by Thunderer and squadron.
1840. Friday 2nd - 5th October. Removal of gunpowder from Beyrout by parties from Hastings and Edinburgh.
1840. Saturday 10th October. Fall of Beyrout.
1840. Tuesday 3rd November. The bombardment of St, Jean D’Arce.
1841. Thursday 7th January. The taking of Chuenpee.
1841. Tuesday 26th January. The occupation of Honk Kong.
1841. Friday 26th February. The storming of the batteries at Anunhoy.
1841. Saturday 13th March. The storming of Macao Passage Fort.
1841. Thursday 18th March. Forts carried and junks destroyed in Canton River.
1841. Saturday 8th May. An order in Council fixed the establishment of
Marines at ninety divisional companies, consisting of 107 men each,
including officers, and four companies of artillery of 135 men each,
making a total of 10,500 men.
1841. Friday 21st - 25th May. Operations at Canton by landing parties supported by the squadron.
1841. Monday 24th May. The action near Canton.
1841. Thursday 26th August, Amoy and Kalongsew bombarded and captured.
1841. August - October. Niger Expedition (Albert, Wilberforce and Soudan).
1841. Friday.1st October. The assault and capture of Ting-Hai
1841. Sunday 10th October. The assault and capture of Ching-Hae
Wednesday 13th October. The occupation of Ning-Po
1841. Tuesday 28th December. Destruction of works at Tzekee Tuyao by Nemesis and consort
1842. Thursday 10th March. Destruction of fire-rafts at Chin-hae.
1842. Thursday 10th March. Destruction of burning fire-rafts at Ning-Po.
1842. Tuesday 15th March. The taking of Tse-Kee.
1842. Thursday 14th April. Destruction of burning fire-rafts at Chusan.
1842. Wednesday 18th May. The taking of Cha-Poo
1842. Monday 13th June. British fleet entered the Yang-tse-Kiang.
1842. Thursday 16th June. The capture of Woo-Sung.
1842. Saturday 18th June. Shanghai surrendered.
1842. Thursday 21st July. The capture of Chin-Keang-Foo.
1842. Thursday 21st July. Assault on and capture of Ching-Kiang.
1842. Tuesday 9th - 17th August. Nankin blockaded by the British fleet.
1843. Thursday 8th June. Keppel at Paddi, Sarawak.
1843. June 8. Pakoo and Rembas destroyed by boats of Dido.
1844. Wednesday 7th August. Boats of Dido destroyed Patusen and Karangan.
1844. The Marine Artillery was increased to six companies, and the corps
distributed as follows:
Ninety- four divisional companies, each consisting of one Captain, two
Subalterns, five Sergeants, five Corporals, three Drummers, and eighty
seven Privates. A total of 103. With five Artillery companies, each
consisting of one Captain, four Subalterns, seven Sergeants, seven
Corporals, three Bombardiers, three Drummers, and one hundred and
twenty Privates. A total of 146. Making the whole establishment of
Marines a total of 10,469.
1844. The Heroism of Private Drake RM, during a Mutiny. The Brazilian slave
ship Romeo Primero was captured off Cape Lopez by HMS Waterwitch and HMS Racer somewhere about the middle of 1844. Commander Mansfield
R.N. 3 seamen, a Private Marine named Drake, and 1 Krooman were put on
board her as a prize crew in order to navigate her to St. Helena. On
the night of the second or third day after parting company with the men
of war, the Brazilian crew, four of whom were left on board, attempted
to retake the vessel. Some accident having happened to the top gallant
halliards, the only two seamen who were on deck were ordered by
Commander Mansfield to go aloft and repair the damage, he himself
taking the wheel. Drake, the remaining seaman, and the Krooman had the
watch below, and were fast asleep in their hammocks. The four
Brazilians, on the alert to seize the first favourable opportunity,
took instant advantage of the temporary isolation of Commander
Mansfield, and opened the attack by possessing themselves of Drakes
musket, which one of them fired at the British officer, who fell,
stunned by a severe wound in the head., which tore off a piece of his
skull. In the meantime another on them stole below, and having mortally
wounded a seaman who lay asleep in his hammock, was proceeding to
despatch Drake. But the Marine, feeling a peculiar sensation about his
throat, awoke and raising his arm, diverted the murderer’s knife, but
not without receiving a deep and server would above the collar bone.
Without for a moment losing his presents of mind, he flung himself out
of his hammock, and wrenching the knife from murders hands, plunged it
into the ruffian’s stomach with such furious energy and hearty good
will that he felt the point of it grate against the spine. He then
seized the man’s cutlass and seeing that his officer was down,
gallantly rushed to his rescue, regardless of the blood that poured
profusely from the wound in his neck. Standing over the Commander’s
body he fought so well in resisting the attack of the three remaining
Brazilians, that by the time the two seamen had got down from aloft to
his assistance he had killed one and wounded the two others who fled
precipitately below, fairly terrified at the indomitable valour and the
fierce over powering energy of their gallant opponent. Drake fainted
from loss of blood as soon as they disappeared, and did not recover
consciousness for a whole week. After several months in hospital Drake
made a good recovery from his wounds, went afloat again and three years
later was back in England and laid up with sickness in Haslar Hospital.
Then, at length his heroism was recognised and the Admiralty on
Wednesday 7th June 1848, directed that he should be, “Immediately and
specially promoted to the rank of Corporal, and that this order be read
at the head of each Division of Royal Marines.” Moreover, on the Friday
14th of the following month, he was ordered to be further promoted to
Sergeant, and to Colour Sergeant nine months later. In1850 he was
appointed to HMS Birkenhead, and was one of the survivors when she
was wrecked on Monday 26th January 1852. Drake saw service in the
Baltic, Crimea, and China, leaving the service in 1864. He died in 1905
after 28 years’ service as an attendant at Westminster Abbey. An
excellent account of this gallant Marine illustrated by two portraits
is to be found in “A Deathless Story, or the ‘Birkenhead’ and its
heroes.” Published by Messrs. Hutchinson and co in 1906.
The detachment of Royal Marines at Port Essington in the Northern
Territory of Australia. Consisted of Lieutenants George Lambrick,
William Garner Wright and Timpson, with one Assistant Surgeon, three
Sergeants, three Corporals, one drummer and forty five Privates.
introduction of steam has so materially changed the system of warfare,
that it is now imperative on the British government to adopt the best
method for the improvement of our naval gunnery, and as that never can
be effectually maintained when the men are discharged after so limited
a period of service as three years, it behoves the executive to
consider the advantage that is likely to arise from an increase of the
Corps of Marines of sufficient extent to make an addition to the
detachments on board Her Majesty's ships, and discontinue that class
which is now termed "Landsmen." This measure would not only provide an
improving body of artillery men, but at the same time every squadron
would convey battalions of effective soldiers, ready to take the field
on any emergency. In offering these remarks, we are supported by the
opinions of many of our most distinguished naval officers. The immortal
Nelson has been frequently heard to say, "When I become first lord of
the Admiralty, every fleet shall have perfect battalions of Marines,
with their artillery, and commanded by experienced field officers, they
will be prepared to make a serious impression on the enemy's coast."
And we find it stated by Mr. Tucker, that lord St. Vincent was so
persuaded of the importance of keeping up an extensive establishment of
Marines, that his lordship remarked, "The French from the era of Louis
XIV. have always equipped their fleet sooner than we have, and their 1
bureau de classe' continues in full vigour. Without a large body of
Marines, we shall be long, very long, before an efficient fleet can be
sent to sea." This system is persevered in, and it will be observed
that, in the last vote of the French Chambers, where the number of
seamen amounted to 26,000 men, the Marine Artillery numbered 19,000.
1845. March. During the First Maori War in New Zealand, Marines helped defend
1845. Thursday 8th May. The Storming of Heke’s Pah at Okaihu. Royal Marines
from HMS Hazard and HMS North Start were present.
1845. 23rd June - 7th July. The Battle of Ohaeawai was fought between British
Forces and local Māori during the Flagstaff War at Ohaeawai in the
North Island of New Zealand (11th March 1845 - 11 January 1846). Te
Ruki Kawiti, a prominent Rangatira (chief) was the leader of the Māori
forces. The Battle was notable in that it established that the
fortified pā (village) could withstand a bombardment from cannon fire
and that frontal assaults by soldiers would result in serious troop
Lieutenant Colonel Despard led a combined force of troops from the 58th
and 99th Regiments, Royal Marines and Māori allies in an attack on Pene
Taui's Pā at Ohaeawai, which had been fortified by Kawiti.
British troops arrived at the Ohaeawai Pā on 23rd June and established
a camp about 500 metres away. On the summit of a nearby hill (Puketapu)
where they built a four-gun battery. They opened fired the next day and
continued until dark, but did very little damage to the palisade. The
next day the guns were brought to within 200 metres of the pā. The
bombardment continued for another two days but still did very little
damage. This was due to the elasticity of the flax covering the
palisade. Since the introduction of muskets the Māori had learnt to
cover the outside of the palisades with layers of flax (Phormium tenax)
leaves, making them effectively bullet proof as the velocity of musket
balls was dissipated by the flax leaves. However the main fault was a
failure to concentrate the cannon fire on one area of the defences, so
as to create a breach in the palisade.
After two days of
bombardment without effecting a breach, Despard ordered a frontal
assault. He was, with difficulty, persuaded to postpone this pending
the arrival of a 32 pound naval gun which came the next day on the 1st
July. However an unexpected sortie from the pā resulted in the
temporary occupation of the knoll on which Tāmati Wāka Nene had his
camp and the capture of Nene's colours - the Union Jack. The Union Jack
was carried into the pā. There it was hoisted, upside down, and at half
mast high, below the Māori flag, which was a Kākahu (Māori cloak). This
insulting display of the Union Jack was the cause of the disaster which
ensued. Infuriated by the insult to the Union Jack, Colonel Despard
ordered an assault upon the pā the same day. The attack was directed to
the section of the pā where the angle of the palisade allowed a double
flank from which the defenders of the pā could fire at the attackers,
the attack was a reckless endeavour. The British persisted in their
attempts to storm the unbreached palisades and five to seven minutes
later 33 were dead and 66 injured. The casualties included Captain
Grant of the 58th Regiment and Lieutenant Phillpotts of HMS Hazard.
Shaken by the loss of a third of his troops, Despard decided to abandon
the siege. However, his Māori allies contested this decision. Tāmati
Wāka Nene persuaded Despard to wait for a few more days. More
ammunition and supplies were brought in and the shelling continued. On
the morning of the 8th July the pā was found to have been abandoned,
the occupants having disappeared in the night. When they had a chance
to examine it the British officers found it to be even stronger than
they had feared.
The defenders of the pā had four iron cannons on ship-carriages
including a carronade that was loaded with a bullock-chain, and fired
at close quarters at the attaching soldiers. The colonial forces
capture these cannons, one of which had been destroyed by a shot from a
1845. Wednesday 18th June. Bombardment of Tamatave.
1845. Tuesday 19th August. Operations against the Pirates by the Royal Navy
had been in progress for two or three years. However, on the 19th
August the pirate strong hold of Malludu defended by 100 men and two
forts armed with 12 heavy guns were attacked and destroyed by boats of
the Agincourt and 7 other vessels. Captain Hawkins Royal Marines, 4
Lieutenants, 8 Sergeants, 8 Corporal, 3 Fifers and 178 Privates were
1845. August. Relief of Monte Video.
1845. Thursday 20th November. Defeat of the enemy at Obligado on the Parana.
1845. Captain Talbot RN lead a force of 350 seaman and Royal Marines in 27
boats up the Sungei Besar river, in the Labuan area of Borneo, to
successful attack a pirate stronghold, For the loss of only 21 killed
1845. Thursday 20th November. South America, Puente Obligado. Brevet Major R.
Leonard with The Marines of the squadron was landed for the protection
of British interests during the siege of Monte Video by the
Argentine’s, and remained there from 1843 to 1847. At the destruction
of the batteries erected by General Rosas at Puente Obligado by
combining British and French squadrons on the 2th November, Captain F.
Hurdle landed with 145 Royal Marines and drove back the enemy from
their position covering the Batteries at the point of the bayonet. 180
seamen who had been specially trained as Light Infantry by Lieutenant
J.E.W. Lawrence of the Royal Marine Artillery drove them out of the
woods they held at the same time. To facilitate the passage of a convoy
past the Batteries of San Lorenzo, Lieutenant C.L. Barnard of the
RMA With 12 gunners, Lieutenant Mackinnon RN the boatswain and
pilot of the Alecto and 11 seamen with 4 rocket tubes lay concealed
for three days on a small Island close under the guns. When the moment
came for the convoy and their escorting gun vessels to pass the
batteries, the RMA and seamen manned their rocket tubes. Lieutenant
Barnard planted the British Flag under the noses of the enemy, and by
the well aimed and heavy discharge of rockets the passage of the convoy
was made possible. In the evening the Marines of the squadron under
Captain Hurdle RM and 4 Subalterns were landed and supported by the
Bluejackets small arm men, stormed the batteries and spiked the guns.
1845. Thursday 31st December – 11th January 1846. A Royal Marines ships detachment stormed
Ruapekapekeon a New Zealand Station.
1846. Monday 6th April. Alecto engaged at San Lorenzo and Toneloro.
1846. Tuesday 21st April. Lizard engaged near San Lorenzo.
1846. Monday 11th May. Harpy engaged at San Lorenzo.
1846. Thursday 4th June. Gorgon and consorts at San Lorenzo.
1846. Tuesday 7th - 8th July. Sir T. Cochrane at Pulo Bungore and Brune.
1846. July. Colonia captured.
1847. Saturday 3rd April. Vulcan and consorts attacked Bogue Forts.
1847. Monday 5th April. Bogue Forts captured.
1848. Portsmouth Division moved into Forton Barracks, Gosport.
1848. Saturday 12th February. The storming of fort Serapaqui on a Nicaragua
river, Lieutenant R. Boyle RM and 30 Royal Marines from HMS Alarm and HMS Vixen were present.
1848. Wednesday 29th March. The Royal Marines occupied Forton Barracks
Gosport, moving from Clarence Barracks Portsmouth.
1848. Royal Marine battalion in South Ireland.
1849. Riff Coast Expedition.
1850. The Rum Ration was reduced to half gill.
1850. During the period from 1850 -1914 and the start of the First world war,
the Navy did not fight any ship to ship actions.
1851. Thursday 6th November. British, with Naval Brigade, defeated at Water Kloeff.
1851. Friday 26th - 27th December. The taking of Lagos by
boats of HMS Bloodhound and HMS Tartar, Lieutenant J.W.C. Williams RM and E, McArthur
RMA were present with 27 RMA and 47 Royal Marines.
1852. Monday 5th April. Storming of Martaban.
1852. Sunday 11th April. Dallah Stockades.
1852. Wednesday 14th April. Rangoon stormed.
1852. Monday 19th May. Bassein stormed.
1852. Friday 4th June. Pegu captured.
1852. Friday 9th July. Prome captured.
1852. Thursday 30th September. Operations at Metha.
1852. Saturday 9th October. Attack on Prome.
1852. November. Operations in Irrawaddy.
1852. Sunday 21st November - 10th December. Pegu re-captured.
In these and the other operations of the second Burmese war Bittern, Cleopatra, Contest, Fox, Hastings, Hermes, Rattler, Salamander, Spartan, Sphinx, Styx, Serpent and Winchester, took part or were represented.
1852. Monday 20th December. Caffres defeated. (Naval Brigade ashore.)
1852. The Second Burmese War. Royal Marines of the squadron which co-operated
with the Army participated in the operation.
1853. Friday 21st January - 3rd February. Operations in the River Bassein.
1853. Thursday 27th January. Engagement at Beling.
1853. Friday 4th February. British defeated near Donoobew.
1853. October - February 1956. The start of the Crimea War. The three-year conflict gets its name as it was mainly fought
on the Crimean Peninsula, an area in the south of modern day Ukraine
that sits within the Black Sea. The war saw Britain, France, Sardinia
and the Ottoman Empire become allies against, Russia and eventually its
defeat. The war is remembered for the poor leadership, communication
and organisation of the allied forces, which resulted in a bloody and
prolonged conflict. However, it's mainly remembered because of the
Charge of the Light Brigade. The use of the new 'torpedoes' (mines) by
the Russians in the Baltic made the campaign there particularly suited
to Royal Marine raids and reconnaissance parties. Royal Marines served
on all the Royal Navy's ships, and landed at Sevastopol.
the Royal Navy suffered a shortage of manpower in the Marines during
these long wars and regular Infantry units from the Army occasionally
had to be used as shipboard replacements.
1854. April. Retribution and Niger blockaded Odessa.
1854. April. Furious with a flag of truce was fired upon at Odessa.
1854. Monday 3rd - 5th April. Attack on Shanghai by Encounter and Grecian.
1854. Saturday 22nd April. Odessa bombarded by Samson, Niger, Terrible and consort.
1854. Friday 12th May. Tiger ran aground and was destroyed near Odessa.
1854. Friday 19th May. Agamemnon attacked Redoubt Kaleh.
1854. Saturday 20th May. Bombardment of Eckness by Arrogant and Hecla.
1854. Monday 22nd May. Attack on Forts at Hango Head by Dragon and others.
1854. Friday 26th May. Fury in disguise made a reconnaissance at Sevastopol.
1854. May. Amphion captured Russian merchant vessels.
1854. May. Gulf of Riga blockaded by Amphion and Conflict.
1854. May. Thirty-four vessels destroyed in the Gulf of Bothnia.
1854. Thursday 1st June. The Danube blockaded.
1854. Friday 2nd June. Troops harrassed by Niger at Adjalick Lake.
1854. Monday 5th June. Gunner Thomas. Wilkinson RMA (1831-1887) was awarded
his Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery during the Battle of
1854. Wednesday 7th June. Unsuccessful attack on Gamla Carleby, Gulf of Finland.
1854. Wednesday 7th June. Ineffectual attack on Bomasund by Hecla, Odin and Valorous.
1854. Monday 26th June. Recapture of Cuthbert Young by the Prometheus.
1854. Tuesday 27th - 29th June. Attack on Sulina batteries by Firebrand and Vesuvius.
1854. Saturday 8th July. Sulina batteries destroyed.
1854. Thursday 13th July. The action on Viborg. Lieutenant Dowell RMA won a
Victoria Cross medal, and was presented the medal while serving in the
1854. Tuesday 18th July. Destruction of batteries at Solovetskoi Island.
1854. Monday 24th July. Bomarsund blockaded.
1854. Sunday 13th - 16th August. Bomarsund bombarded and taken by squadron.
1854. Tuesday 8th - Wednesday 16th August. The attack on Bomarsund.
1854. Thursday 31st August 4th September. Unsuccessful attack on Petropaulooski by President and consort.
1854. August. Miranda defeated Russian garrison at Kola.
1854. Wednesday 13th September. Eupatoria surrendered to the allies.
1854. Monday 18th September. Royal Marines disembarked at Eupatoria.
1854. September - December. Defence of Eupatoria. (Naval force ashore.)
1854. Sunday 1st - 3rd October. Seamen and Marines landed at Balaclava.
1854. Wednesday 4th October. Attack on Fort Nicolaief by Sidon and Inflexible.
1854. Tuesday 17th October - 7th September 1855. Bombardment of Sevastopol, especially on 17th - 24th October 1854. The 9th - 28th April. The 6th - 10th June. The 16th - 17th June. The 16th - 19th July. The 6th - 9th August. The 5th - 7th September 1855.
1854. Wednesday 25th October. The battle of Balaklava.
1854. October. Operations on the West Coast or Africa.
1854. November. Operations in Macao River by O'Callaghan.
1854. Thursday 2nd November. Destruction of junks in Tym-Moon Bay.
1854. Friday 3rd November. Destruction of junks at Tyloo.
5th November. Corporal John Prettyjohns RM (1823 -1887) was the
first Royal Marine to be awarded the Victoria Cross Medal (VC), during
the battle of Inkerman in the Crimea War. A small party of Marines
under the leadership of Sergeant Richards and Corporal Prettjohns were
ordered to clear some cave's that were being held by the enemy.
However, before they could complete their task they were seized by a
Russian patrol, at a time when the Marines had almost run out of
ammunition. Corporal Prettyjohns took control of the situation and
seized the leader of the Russian patrol by capturing him with a West
Country wrestling throw. He then ordered his men to throw stones at the
Russians, which they did with great success. Later when the Victoria
Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria, the Marines chose Prettyjohns
to be the recipient.
photo to enlarge
1854. Thursday 12th November. Destruction effort at Dshmetic by Tribune and consort.
1854. Friday 13th November. Battery carried and junks destroyed in Coulan Bay.
The Marines uniforms of the day. (taken from
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.
photo to enlarge
1854. Mounted Royal Marines fought in the Crimean war.
1855. The separate title of Royal Marine Light Artillery was conferred upon
the RMA. As RMA uniforms were the blue of the Royal Regiment of
Artillery they were nicknamed the 'Blue Marines'. While the Infantry
element who wore the scarlet uniforms of the British Infantry, became
known as the 'Red Marines', often given the derogatory nickname by
sailors as Lobsters.
1855. Early in the year once again the Royal Marines underwent another name
change becoming known as the 'Royal Marines Light Infantry'. Under this
title they served in the Crimean war carrying out several amphibious
raids on the Russian forces. However, the Royal Navy suffered a
shortage of manpower in the Marines during these long wars and regular
Infantry units from the Army occasionally had to be used as shipboard
replacements. The Royal Marines continued in their on board function
after the war, taking a prominent part in the Navy's antipiracy and
anti-slavery actions. At that time their strength was 16.500.
1855. Thursday 1st February. Black Sea ports blockaded.
1855. Saturday 17th February. Support of Turkish troops in defence of Eupatoria.
1855. Thursday 22nd - 24th February. Troops defeated at Anapa by Leopard and boats.
1855. February. Straits of Kertch blockaded.
1855. Thursday 8th March. Viper destroyed fort and stores at Djimiteia.
1855. Tuesday 13th March. Attack on Soujak Kaleh by Leopard and consorts.
1855. April. Coast of Courland blockaded.
1855. Thursday 24th May. Straits of Kertch forced. Snake specially distinguished.
1855. Friday 25th May. Squadron forced Straits of Yenikale.
1855. Saturday 26th May. Destruction of vessels and grain at Berdiansk.
1855. Saturday 26th May. Capture of vessels off Hango Head by Cossack and Esk.
1855. Sunday 27th May. Magicienne destroyed two galliots in Biskopa Bay.
1855. Monday 28th May. Attack on Arabat by the British squadron.
1855. Tuesday 29th May. Destruction of vessels and stores at Genitchi.
1855. Sunday 3rd June. Destruction of stores at Taganrog.
1855. Tuesday 5th June. Capture of Marianpol by boats of squadron.
1855. Tuesday 5th June. Boat's crew of Cossack massacred by Russians at Hango Head
1855. Tuesday 5th June. 24 year old Bombardier Thomas Wilkinson RMA
(1831-1887) was especially recommended for gallant conduct with the
advanced batteries during the Battle of Sebastopol in the Crimea war.
He was later awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery after
he carried out sandbag repairs to the defences of an advanced gun
position whilst under intense enemy gunfire. His Victoria Cross is
displayed at the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea, England.
photo to enlarge
1855. Wednesday 6th June. Surrender of Gheisk, Sea of Azoff.
1855. Wednesday 6th - 7th June. Dispersion of troops at Kansiala Bay by Magicienne.
1855. Saturday 9th June. Defeat of Cossacks by Ardent at Kiten
1855. Thursday 14th June. Basilisk destroyed ten grain-boats.
1855. Friday 15th June. Coast of Finland blockaded.
1855. Sunday 17th June. Engagement with batteries in Narva Bay.
1855. Monday 18th June. Bombardment of Narva by Blenheim, Snap and Pincher.
1855. Wednesday 20th June. Attempt by Snapper to capture boats at Nargen.
1855. Wednesday 20th June. Destruction of Fort of Roshensalm by Arrogant and consorts.
1855. Wednesday 20th June. Destruction of five sloops at Pernau by British boats.
1855. Friday 22nd June. Batteries at Sandham, Storholm, and Ertholm engaged.
1855. Friday 22nd June. Repulse of Cossacks at Kamishwa by Vesuvius.
1855. Saturday 23rd - 24th June. Capture of 47 vessels at Nystadt by boats of Harrier.
1855. Sunday 24th June. Petrouski forts silenced by Vesuvius.
1855. Wednesday 27th June. Destruction of stores at Genitchi.
1855. Wednesday 27th June. Destruction of batteries at Christenestad.
1855. Saturday 30th June. Ruby and consort destroyed 29 vessels at Werolax Bay.
1855. July. Jasper on shore at Krivaia, and abandoned.
1855. July. Ardent destroyed stores near Genitchi.
1855. Monday 2nd July. Boats of Driver and Harrier at Raumo.
1855. Tuesday 3rd July. Bridge at Genitchi destroyed by Beagle and Vesuvious.
1855. Tuesday 3rd July. Stores near Genitchi destroyed.
1855. Thursday 5th July. Defeat of Cossacks and destruction of Fort Svartholm.
1855. Monday 9th - 13th July. Destruction of salt boats at Bogs Karin Beacon.
1855. Thursday 12th July. Gulf of Bothnia blockaded.
1855. Friday 13th July. Salt boats in Siele Sound destroyed by Basilisk.
1855. July 13. Attack on Viborg by Ruby and boats of other ships.
1855. Friday 13th July. 24 year old Lieutenant G.D. Dowell RMA (1831 - 1910)
was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) while serving in the Fort of
Viborg in the Gulf of Finland, after he rescued the crew of a
rocket boat under. While serving in the Crimean War at the Fort of
Viborg in the Gulf of Finland, an explosion occurred in one
of the cutters of HMS Arrogant, Lieutenant Dowell, who was on
board HMS Ruby, took three volunteers and went, under intense
grape and musketry fire to the assistance of the cutter. He took up
three of the crew, and having rescued the rest and also the Captain of
the Mast (George Ingouville), he then towed the stricken boat out of
enemy gun range.
photo to enlarge
1855. Sunday 15th - 19th July. Destruction of stores, by Vesuvius and gunboats.
1855. Tuesday 17th July. Basilisk and Ruby engaged batteries at Riga.
1855. Saturday 21st July. Attack on batteries at Fredericksham.
1855. Sunday 22nd July. Granaries at Berdiansk destroyed by Vesuvius and consorts.
1855. Monday 23rd July. Arensburg taken by boats of Archer and Desperate.
1855. Tuesday 24th July. Shipping and Town of Raumo destroyed.
1855. Thursday 26th July. Kotka Island taken by Arrogant and consorts.
1855. Sunday 30th July. Troops dispersed at Windan by Archer and Conflict.
1855. Wednesday 1st - 8th August. Magazines and shipping at Brandon destroyed.
1855. Sunday 5th August. Capture of guns at Taganrog by parties from Vesuvius and consorts.
1855. Monday 6th - 7th August. Barracks and stores destroyed at Petrushena.
1855. Monday 6th August. Repulse of cavalry near Domeness.
1855. Tuesday 7th August. Telegraph stations at Tolbourkin destroyed.
1855. Thursday 9th August. The bombardment of Sveaborg.
1855. Friday 9th - 11th August. Bombardment of Sveaborg by the fleet.
1855. Friday 10th Aug. Hawke and Desperate engaged at mouth of Dwina.
1855. Tuesday 14th August. Troops repulsed and vessels destroyed near Domeness.
1855. Wednesday 15th August. Jackdaw and Ruby and boats of Pylades took four vessels.
1855. Thursday 16th August. Imperieuse and consorts at Tolboukin.
1855. Thursday 23rd August. Camp and trenches shelled at Genitchi.
1855. Thursday 23rd - 24th August. Stores destroyed at Kiril and Gorelia.
1855. Monday 27th August. Enemy repulsed near Genitchi.
1855. Monday 27th August. Enemy dispersed and stores destroyed at Kiril.
1855. Thursday 30th - 31st August. Bridge and stores in Bay of Arabat destroyed.
1855. Friday 31st August. Stores near Marianpol destroyed by Wrangler and consorts.
1855. Friday 31st August. Reconnaissance of Taganrog by Grinder while under fire.
1855. Sunday 2nd September. Engagement with batteries at Gamla Carleby.
1855. Thursday 6th September. Boat of Bulldog took two schooners.
1855. Saturday 8th September. Sevastopol taken.
1855. Wednesday 12th September. Transports destroyed in Bay of Virta Nemi.
1855. Wednesday 12th September. Pernau surrendered to Hawke and consorts.
1855. Thursday 13th September. Forage and consorts at Perebond destroyed by Cracker's boats.
1855. Tuesday 18th September. Destruction of vessels at Hummeliski by boats of Nile.
1855. Wednesday 19th September. Naval Brigade re-embarked at Sevastopol.
1855. Thursday 20th September. Battery at Dwinaminde engaged by Gorgon.
1855. Monday 24th September. Road and bridge at Temriouk destroyed by squadron.
1855. Monday 24th September - 3rd October. Capture of Tamari and Fanagoria.
1855. Wednesday 26th September - 5th October. Blenheim and consorts at Hango and Eckness.
1855. Thursday 27th September. Archer and consorts at Forts Comet and Dwinaminde.
1855. Sunday 30th September. Cossacks dispersed near Libau by Conflict.
1855. Wednesday 3rd October. Archer and Desperate destroyed vessels in River Rua.
1855. Wednesday 10th October. Corn in River Salgir destroyed by party from Weser.
1855. Sunday 14th October. Entrance into Dnieper Bay forced.
1855. Monday 15th October. Recruit destroyed boats at Crooked Spit.
1855. Wednesday 17th October. The bombardment of Kinburn.
1855. Thursday 18th October. Boats destroyed by Recruit at White House Spit.
1855. Saturday 20th October. Ardent dispersed cavalry at Crooked Spit.
1855. Wednesday 24th October. Vesuvius dispersed enemy at Bielosarai Spit.
1855. Wednesday 24th October. Recruit destroyed fishing and boats at Marianpol.
1855. Monday 29th October. The storming of Canton.
1855. Saturday 3rd - 6th November. Defeat of Russian troops at Vodina and consorts.
1855. Sunday 4th November. Corn destroyed under fire at Gheisk.
1856. Tuesday 29th
January. The Victoria Cross medal was introduced on by Queen Victoria
to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. The traditional
explanation of the source of the gunmetal from which the medals are
struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the siege of
Sevastopol. Recent research has thrown doubt on this story, suggesting
a variety of origins. Due to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and
the medal can reach over £400,000 at auction. There are a number of
public and private collections devoted to it most notably that of Lord
Ashcroft, which contains over one tenth of the total VC's awarded. It
was made retrospective from Tuesday 1st August 1854.
Click on photo to enlarge
Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest military decoration awarded for
valour 'in the face of the enemy' to members of the armed forces of
some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire Territories. It
takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals. It may
be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and civilians under
military command, and is presented to the recipient by the British
monarch during an investiture held at Buckingham Palace. It is the
joint highest award for bravery in the United Kingdom with the George
Cross, which is the equivalent honour for valour not in the face of the
enemy. However, the VC is higher in order of precedence and would be
worn first by an individual who had been awarded both decorations
(which has not so far occurred).
1856. February. The end of the Crimea War.
1856. Wednesday 8th October. The Second China War, or the Arrow War was a war
pitting the British Empire and the Second French Empire against the
Qing Dynasty of China, It was fought over similar issues as the First
Opium War. With the British's strategic objectives of legalising the
opium trade, expanding coolie trade, opening all of China to British
merchants, and exempting foreign imports from internal transit duties.
The Arrow War refers to the name of a vessel which became the starting
point of the conflict. Although the importance of the opium factor in
the war is in debate among historians. The Marines took part in many
landings. These were all successful except one, the landing at the
Mouth of the Peiho in 1859. Admiral Sir James Hope ordered a landing
across extensive mud flats even though his Brigadier, Colonel Thomas
Lemon RMLI, had advised against it. The campaine went on to 1860.
1856. Thursday 23rd - 26th October. Capture of Canton Forts by British squadron.
1856. Friday 24th October. The destruction of barrier forts in Canton.
1856. Monday 27th October. Canton breached and entered.
1856. Wednesday 29th October. The storming of Canton.
1856. Sunday 12th - 13th November. The capture of the Bogue Forts.
1856. Thursday 6th November. French Folly fort bombarded and junks destroyed.
1856. Tuesday 11th - 13 November. Bogue and Anunghoy forts captured.
1856. Friday 5th December. Sampson destroyed five piratical boats.
1856. Saturday 6th December. French Folly fort captured.
1856. December - April. 1857. Persian War in which a few Naval officers were employed.
The Marines Drill Order and Service Kit. (taken
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
photo to enlarge
1857. January. Unsuccessful attack by Chinese on Macao Fort.
1857. January. Squadron repulsed junks in Macao Channel.
1857. Sunday 10th May – Sunday 20th June 1858.The Indian Mutiny.
1857. Monday 25th May. The battle of Escape Creek.
1856. Wednesday 27th May. Boats of squadron in Sawshee Channel.
1857. Monday 1st June. The battle of Fatshan Creek.
1856. Monday 18th June. Surrender of Chuenpee Fort.
1856. August. Marines from Sans Pareil landed at Fort William.
1856. Thursday 13th August. Marines and seamen from Shannon sent up Ganges.
1856. Saturday 12th September. Brigade from Pearl sent up the Ganges.
1856. Monday 16th - 17th November. Relief of Lucknow. Brigade from Shannon.
1857. Tuesday 17th November. The relief of Lucknow.
1857. Monday 28th December. The bombardment of Canton and capture of fort Lin.
1857. Tuesday 29th December. The assault and capture of Canton.
1857 - 1861. Operations against slave dhows in Persian Gulf.
1858. January - February. Operations on West Coast of Africa.
1858. Tuesday 5th January. Canton entered and Commissioner Yeh taken.
1858. Wednesday 17th February. The assault of fort at Handipore.
1858. Friday 26th February. The battle of Phoolpore.
1858. Tuesday2nd March. Fort Betwa. Lieutenant Pym and detachment of HMS Pearl.
1858. Thursday 20th May. Taku Forts destroyed by Sir M. Seymour.
1858. Friday 21st May. The capture of the Petho Forts.
1858. Wednesday 2nd June - Thursday 3rd June. The battle at White Cloud
Mountain near Canton.
1858. Tuesday 15th June. Massacre at Jeddah.
1858. Friday 18th June. Action at Hurryah in India.
1858. Sunday 25th - 26th July. Bombardment of Jeddah by Commodore Pullen.
1858. Wednesday 4th August. Staunch attacked pirate junks at Taon Pung.
1858. Wednesday 11th August. The taking of Nan-Tow.
1858. Monday 23rd August. Cresswell destroyed or took junks at Sing Ting.
1858. Thursday 26th August - 3rd September. Operations by Magicienne, Inflexible, Plover and Algerine against pirates near Coulan.
1858. Tuesday 14th September. The relief of Bhansl.
1858. November. Nankin bombarded and batteries destroyed.
1858. November. Chinese rebels defeated at Nyan King.
1859. Saturday 25th June. The attack on the Peiho forts.
1859. Saturday 8th January. The capture of Shek-Tseng
1859. Saturday 25th - 26th June. Attempt to force passage of Peiho. Cormorant, Plover and Lee lost.
1859. Saturday 22nd October. The formation of a separate Royal Marine
– 1872. The Island of San Juan. In 1855 as it seemed impossible
for Canada and the United States to settle definitely to which this
island belonged, a provisional agreement was made under which it was
jointly occupied by a small garrison from each nation. In 1859 however,
General Harney the C.O. in Washington Territory largely reinforced the
Americans contingent and made an unqualified declaration that the
Island belonged to the United States. This brought a British squadron
on the scene which, after some negotiation between the British and the
United States Government, was withdrawn on the understanding that the
joint occupation by small bodies of troops should be continued for the
present. General Harning was removed from his commanded in 1860, and
for the next twelve years the British government was represented by a
detachment of Royal Marines, its first commanding officer being Captain
George Bazalgette. The British and the American detachments continued
on terms of good fellowship until their two governments decided to have
the question of ownership of the Island arbitrated upon by the German
Emperor, who on Monday 21st October 1872 decided in favour of the
United States. The Royal Marines detachment then commanded by Captain
W.A. Delacombe, evacuated the Island on the 22nd of the following
month. The old block house erected by the Royal Marines to protect
their camp on the shore was still standing in 1905 and was still a
source of much interest to tourists. The sites of both the British and
the American camps are now marked by marble and granite columns with
The Marines uniform of the day. (taken from
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
photo to enlarge
1860. Wednesday 28th March. Brigade from Niger took a Pah at Omata.
1860. Wednesday 27th June. The Fight at Pukitakaneri in New Zealand.
1860. Friday 13th July. The last man to be hanged from the yardarm in the Royal Navy was Marine John Dallinger, aboard HMS Leven in the River Yangtze, China. Dallinger had been found guilty of two attempted murders.
1860. Tuesday 21st August. The storming of the Peiho forts.
1860. Thursday 23rd August. Surrender of Tienstsin to Coromandel and consorts.
1860. August. Battery at Tangkoo stormed and junks destoyed.
1860. Tuesday 18th September. The fight at Chang-Kia-Wan.
1860. Friday 21st September. The fight at Tung Chow by the Britsh squadron..
1860. Saturday 13th October. The taking of Pekin.
1860. A battery of mounted Royal Marines fought in Mexico during the Civil War.
1861. The Royal Marines moved into the existing barracks at Deal in Kent.
Sometimes referred to as the Walmer Barracks. They consisted of
adjacent Cavalry and Infantry barracks, and separate hospitals for the
Army and Navy, later to be known as the South Barracks. The hospitals
were also turned into Barracks and were known as North and East
- 1865. The Maori Wars in New Zealand.
1861. Wednesday 2nd January. The Band of the Royal Marine Artillery,
Bandmaster Thomas Smyth, was formed at Fort Cumberland Portsmouth.
1861. Thursday 21st February. Saba in Gambia.
1861. Monday 25th February. Porto Novo in Lagos. Royal Marines and seamen
from HMS Brune, HMS Bloodhound and HMS Alecto.
1861. Thursday 25th April. Battle of Saba. Brune, Bloodhound, and Alecto engaged.
1861. Friday 26th April. Enemy defeated at Porto Novo. Brune, Bloodhound, and Alecto engaged.
1861. Tuesday 10th December. Attack on Massougha. Brune, Bloodhound, and Alecto engaged.
1861. Thursday 19th December. Attack on Madonika. Brune, Bloodhound, and Alecto engaged.
- 1862. A Royal Marine Battalion served in Mexico. England, France and Spain
sent combined expeditions to demand guarantee for the safety of their
subjects living in Mexico, and to urge their claims to the repayment of
money borrowed by the Mexican Government, which had recently suspended
payment. The British Contingent consisted of 4 officers and 63 RMA
gunners and 28 Officers, N.C.O.s and Privates of the RMLI
Lieutenant Colonel S.N. Lower RMLI was in Command. On Wednesday 8th
January 1982 the combined expedition consisting of 600 Spanish and
2,600 French troops besides the British Marines landed and occupied
Vera Cruz. The French had already 5,600 men in Mexico, and their claims
on the Mexican Government became so extortionate that the British and
Spanish Governments withdrew their troops on receiving a promise of
repayment of the sums their countries had advanced, and the Royal
Marine Battalion returned home disappointed in its expectation of
seeing active service.
1862. Friday 11th April. An act to enable Her Majesty to issue Commissions to
officer of Her Majesty's Land Forces and Royal Marines, and to
Adjutants and Quartermasters of Her Militia and Volunteer Forces,
without affixing Her Royal Sign Manual thereto.
photo to enlarge
Origin unknown, part of Cleve Whitworths personal Royal Marine library.
1862. Thursday 1st May. Ningpo stormed and carried by Naval brigade ashore.
1862. Monday 12th May. Tsingpoo stormed.
1862. Saturday 17th May. Najaor captured.
1862. Friday 24th October. Kahding stormed and captured.
1862. The RMA & RMLI became a separate Corps.
- 1870. The last small force of Marines served at Cape York in
Northern Queensland Australian.
1862. The Marines name was once again slightly altered to
that of the Royal Marine Light Infantry.
- 1865. Operations
in Japan involved a Royal Marine Battalion and Fleet Marines who
occupied the batteries at Simonoski and were involved in other landings.
1863. Saturday 1st August. Reconnaissance of Paparoa. (Brigade from Harrier.)
1863. Saturday 15th August. The bombardment of Kagoshima in Japan.
1863. Monday 16th - 25th November. Miranda and Esk in Thames, New Zealand.
1863. Friday 20th November. The capture of Rangariri Pah in New Zealand.
1864. Eastney Barracks was first occupied.
1864. Monday 22nd February. The Maories were defeated at Ta Awamuta and Rangiawhia.
1864. Thursday 28th April. Maketu shelled by Falcon and evacuated.
1864. Friday 29th April. The attack on the Gate Pah near
1864. Friday 29th April. Assault on Te Papa, Brigade repulsed.
1864. August - July. A Royal Marine detachment commanded by Lieutenant Robert
J. Pascoe RMLI (a Chatham Officer) and twenty men from Portsmouth,
having been seconded and arrived at the Somerset settlement on Cape
York in Northern Queensland Australia. (a distance of 7600 miles). They
were to spend the next three years in isolation. The Officer and four
men eventually returned to Sheerness in the UK on Wednesday 18th
December 1867. While seven Marines chose to stay in Australia and did
not leave until Monday 27th January 1868 when they were picked up by HMS Virgo.
The Somerset Settlement Royal Marine detachment.
|Lieutenant Robert J. Poscoe
|Sergeant Morris Guiver
||Acting Store keeper
|Corporal Daniel Dent
||Supervisor Lance Corporal
||Replaced John Smith when he was wounded. Smith returned on recovery.
1864. Sunday 21st August. On the official Foundation of the settlement of
Somerset on Cape York in Northern Queensland Australia, a guard of
honour was formed by the Royal Marines, in full uniform with Commander
the Honourable J. Carnegie representing the Imperial Government. Mr
John Jardine, the Police magistrate represented the Queensland
government. The 17 year old Royal Marine bugler C. Clayton, sounded the
appropriate bugle calls, and the settlement was founded. Somerset was
unique at the time being the only port on the Queensland coast created
for reasons other than as an export location of primary produce.
early days of Somerset were far from peaceful. It is recorded that five
Marines were speared at different times. One of these was Marine John
Saich who, whilst on sentry duty, was speared and killed. Saich was the
youngest of the Marines at only 22. He was to be the only Marine who
was to lose his life at Somerset. The first few months proved to be the
most vulnerable for the Marines. Having travelled from England to a new
and very different environment a time of adjustment was required. It
has been said that the Marines, having been trained to fight from the
deck of a warship, they were no match for the Aborigines in their
native bush. With no further deaths or wounding’s of Marines after the
first few months, it would be difficult to sustain this argument.
Acclimatisation was necessary and the Marines were no exception.
Subjected to a minimum of supervision and parade ground routine, the
undress uniform would have been the 'rig of the day' for much of the
Royal Marines who remained at th Somerset settlement for passage to Sydney and eventually discharge.
|James Bosworth. RMLI
Cost of discharge £20
Died NSW 1916
Wife Elizabeth Belligen
|Charles Jarvis. RMLI
Cost of discharge £15
|Johnathon Lawton RMLI
Cost of discharge £20
Died NSW 1874
Wife Mary Darcy
|Thomas Rice. RMLI
Cost of discharge £20
Wife Tereasa Sullivan
|John Smith. RMLI
Cost of discharge £20
|Richard Whele. RMLI
Cost of discharge £20
|William Young. RMLI
Cost of discharge £20
1864. The Rifle used by the Royal Marines at this time was the .577 Enfield percussion musket.
5th - Tuesday 6th September. Action with the Japanese at Simonoseki.
Lieutenant Cononel Suther and 2 battalions of Royal Marines.
1864. Wednesday 7th September. HMS Salamanda left the Somerset settlement
(Cape York in Northern Queensland Australia) to return south, leaving
the settlers and Royal Marines on their own with no support. The first
serious problem arose with the Aboriginals the day after HMS Salamander departed. Corporal Daniel Dent and Marine John Smith were attacked by a
group of Aboriginals. Dent was found by John Jardine, after his son had
raised the alarm, running back to the settlement with a spear
protruding from his shoulder. On arrival back at the camp it was
discovered that Smith was quite seriously wounded, with two spear
wounds, one spear had entered the right breast, passed through the ribs
and had punctured a lung. Doctor Richard Cannon treated both men, and
decided that Smith should be returned south to Sydney military hospital
at the first opportunity. Jardine had seen the perpetrators of the
attack and had recognised six of them. The next day Jardine with a
party of Marines set out in the 30 foot whale boat to look for the
Aboriginals who had attacked the two Marines. A canoe was seen and the
occupants identified as the six they were seeking. They were shot and
killed by the Marines and the canoe confiscated. Upon their return,
Jardine gave the canoe to the Gudang tribe who were surprised as they
had no missing canoes.
only had the Marine Detachment at Somerset been isolated, but the
Salamander's crew had also felt insolated from the Royal Navy.
Desertions and Absence Without Leave had been very high on the
Salamander. During her three years stay these offences had been
committed 104 times.
HMS Salamander Royal Marines detachment
|C/Sergeant John Bartley RMLI
|Corporal James Caines RMLI
|Bugler Charles Clayton RMLI
|John Evans RMLI
|John Brennan RMLI
||AWOL June 13th 1864
|Joseph Easling RMLI
|Thomas Morris RMLI
||AWOL 4th November 1864
|Edward Wigfall RMLI
||Died 24th April 1865 Brisbane hospital
|Thomas Jarrett RMLI
||Invalided to England 14th December 1865
|Henry Brown RMLI
|George Winter RMLI
||Died Typhus 6th November 1867
|William Seaman RMLI
||AWOL 13th October 1864
|Daniel Armstrong RMLI
|John Davis RMLI
||AWOL 18th October 1864
|Peter McCarthy RMLI
|Robert Leitch RMLI
||AWOL 7th March 1865
|John West RMLI RMLI
||AWOL 7th March 1865
|Mathew Waterfield RMLI
||Pensioned 29th June 1866
|Daniel Hambleton RMLI
||On return to England in Hasler Hospital
|William Biggs RMLI
|William Young RMLI
||Transferred to Somerset detachment
1684. Friday 21st October. The official founding of the new colony at Somerset in North Queensland Australia, policed by a detachment of Royal Marines.
1865. Friday 12th May. Boats of Wasp captured a slave dhow.
1865. November. The Admiralty advised that the whole Detachment of Marines under Lieutenant Pascoe, stationed at Somerset, Cape York, to be borne for the future on the books of the HMS Curacoa which will bring them under the jurisdiction of the Commodore of the Station.'
1866. Registered Numbers. The prefix ‘Depot’, followed by a number of up to three digits (Depot/1-Depot/688), indicates a rank entered on the establishment of the Depot, Royal Marines Deal, between 1866 and 1931. Ranks would have originally had a Divisional number, i.e. with Prefix CH, PO or PLY, but on being accepted for the staff of the Depot, they were allocated a new register number; ‘D’ or ‘Depot’ followed by three digits. The last number so allocated was in fact Depot 1688, after which in 1925, in common with all other RN and RM numbers an ‘X’ was added. In 1931 this practice was discontinued and the final number of these was Depot/X 45. Records were then transferred to Chatham, Portsmouth or Plymouth Divisions as appropriate and the next available register numbers were allocated.
1866. Attack on Katif Forts, Persian Gulf.
1867. Tuesday 4th June 1867. HMS Salamander sailed from Sydney for England, via Brisbane, Somerset and Batavia.
Due to the high cost of maintaining the Royal Marines at Somerset, they were returned to Britain on board HMS Salamander and were replaced by Queensland Police Officers accompanied by three Native Police Troopers.
1867. Thursday 8th August. The following Royal Marines finally left the Somerset settlement in North Queensland Australia.
|Lieutenant Robert J. Pascoe RMLI age 25
|Sargent Daniel Dent RMLI age 34
|Private Thomas Colwell RMLI age 31
|Private William O’ReganAge 35 (time expired)
|Private Joseph Blake age 40 (time expired)
The National Archives records that many of the Royal Marine detachment took their discharge around 1867 - 1868. They may have found life better in Australia and made their homes there, or perhaps tried their luck in the goldfields or perhaps had just seen enough of military life. Five had bought them selves out, Four were Invalided and Two had died out of a group of Seventeen Privates.
1867. Wednesday 18th December. Lieutenant Robert J. Pascoe RMLI and four Marines who had been seconded
to a settlement in Somerset on Cape York Northern Queensland Australia
returned to Sheerness in England. However, seven Marines of the
original detachment had chose to stay in Australia.
1867. December - May. The British Experdition to Abyssinia was a punitive rescue expedition
and carried out by the armed forces of the British Empire against the
Ethiopian Empire. Emperor Tewodros II imprisoned several missionaries
and two representatives of the British government in an attempt to
blackmail the British government into giving him military assistance to
protect his country. In response the British sent a large military
expedition that struggled badly with the terrain and long distance it
had to travel. However, the formidable obstacles were overcome by the
Commander of the expedition, General Robert Napier, who was victorious
in every contact against the Emperors troops, and eventually captured
the Ethiopian capital and rescued all the hostages.
1868. Monday 27th January. The seven Marines who chose to stay in 1867, at the
Somerset settlement on Cape York in Northern Queensland Australia, were
picked up by HMS Virgo and returned to Sherness in England.
1868. Friday 3rd January. Royal Marine Battalion in Ireland. Lieutenant
Colonel John H. Steward in command.
1868. Friday 10th April. Enemy defeated at Arogie, Naval brigade ashore.
1868. Monday 13th April. The capture of Magdala. Detachments from HMS Dryad and HMS Satelite.
1868. November. Occupation of Yangchow.
1869. The earliest patent was granted for a process of rendering salt water
fresh by distillation.
1869. Wednesday 17th March. The Woolwich Division is disbanded.
1870. A Royal Marine Battalion in Japan.
1871. Actions with Malay pirates.
1872. Destruction of Carang Carang.
1873. Friday 13th June. The defence of Elmina on the Gold
Coast. Lieutenant Colonel Festing RMA, and 110 RMA and RMLL.
1873. August. Boat expedition up river Prah.
1873. Tuesday 14th October. Enemy routed at Essaman.
1873. Tuseday 14th October. Akimfoo and Ampenee destroyed.
1873. Monday 27th October - 3rd November. Ashantees defeated at Dunquah.
1873. Monday 27th - 28th October. March to Assayboo, Naval brigade ashore.
1873. Tuesday 28th October. Bootry shelled and fired by Argus and Decoy.
1873. Actions with Chusan pirates.
1873. Wednesday 5th November. The battle of Abrakampra repulsed.
- 74. The Third Anglo Ashanti War, sometimes referred to as the First Ashanti
Expedition. Kofi Karikari the King of Ashanti attempted to
preserve his empire's last trade outlet to the sea at the old coastal
fort of Elmina, which had come into British possession sometime between
1869 and 1872. In early 1873, the Ashanti army, a force of somewhere
between 20,000 and 40,000 warriors, crossed the Prah River. After
attacking the Fante, a tribe under British protection, they headed for
the coast. The Royal Navy was called in and sent some Marines and
sailors to man the old slave forts. Elmina was held against a furious
Ashanti assault. A river reconnaissance up the Prah was ambushed at
Chamah and forced to retreat. A number of landings and naval
bombardments were able to slow the Ashanti but not stop them. London
realised that an army would have to be sent out to deal with the
situation. In 1874, a small mixed contingent of Royal Marines Artillery
with two mountain guns and two hundred war rockets, plus 110 Marines of
the RMLI were sent to restore order in West Africa and in doing so
defeated two thousand Ashanti warriors.
1874. Thursday 29th January. The capture of Borubassie by Lieutenant Orosie
RMLI, and 70 Royal Marines.
1874. Saturday 31st January. The battle of Amoaful.
1874. Sunday 1st February. Lieutenant Orosie RMLI
and 70 Royal Marines were present at the fight of Bequah. In moving that the thanks for the
House of Lords should be given to various officers employed in the
Ashantee campaign, the Duke of Richmond said, “of Colonel Festing I
would speak with the highest praise. His dispatches describing the
operation which he himself conducted speak
with natural modesty
of his own achievements, but no one can read those despatches without
realising the fact that the greatest possible thanks and praise are due
to him and those who served under him (cheers). The Marines maintained
their ancient prestige (cheers) and from the moment they landed showed
that it was not without reason they bore the motto ‘Per Mare Per
1874. Wednesday 4th February. Ordashu carried and Coomassie taken.
The Marines uniform of the day. (taken from
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.
photo to enlarge
1875. August - September. Expedition against Congo pirates.
1875. Tuesday 2nd - 15th November. Enemy defeated at passir Sala, Perak.
1875. November - December. Brigade from Thistle in Sunghie and Lakut rivers.
1875. Sunday 13th December. Brigade from Modeste, in Laroot river.
1875. Monday 17th - 17th December. Capture of Kinta, brigade from Modeste and Ringdove.
1875. Operations at and capture of Mombasa.
1876. Tuesday 4th January. Malays defeated at Kotolama, Philomel's brigade.
1876. Tuesday 4th - 6th January. Naval brigade at Blanga.
1876. Thursday 21st January. The operations at Rathalma, Perak.
1876. Wednesday 5th July. The "Headdress Badge of the Portsmouth Division
Royal Marine Light Infantry Band, bandmaster Mr J. F. C. Kreyer, to be
adorned with the Price of Wales Plumes". This honour was granted by
Queen Victoria for their musical support during the Royal Tour to India
by HRH the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) on board HMS
Serpis. This was the first recorded instance of a Royal Marines Band
going to sea for an extended period of time.
1876. Operations against Niger pirates, etc.
1877. Tuesday 29th May. Shah and Amethyst engaged Huascar off Ilo.
1877. Operations against Dahomey.
1878. Thursday 7th February. Battle of Guintana, Active's brigade.
1878. Tuesday 19th November. Naval Brigade landed at Durban.
1878. Wednesday 11th December. Britain declared war against the Zulus in
South Africa and launched what became known as the 'Anglo-Zulu War'
after an ultimatum was rejected.
1878. Sunday 22nd December. The Zulus wiped out the British forces during the
Battle of Isandlwana.
1878. Monday 23rd December. The British prevailed against a Zulu attack in
the battle of Rorkes Drift.
1879. The War in Zululand. The Royal Marines detachments of HMS Shah, HMS Boadicea and HMS Tenedos were present at the British of Gingelovo
and the relief of Ekowe, with Captains Philips and Dowding RMLI. A
battalion of Royal Marines was sent out from England to South Africa
and landed under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel Bland Hunt RMLI.
However, upon arrival on the 7th July, it was too late to take part in the war and
they returned home on Tuesday 24th July.
1879. Wednesday 22nd January. Zulus defeated at Ineyzane.
1879. Friday 24th January - 24th April. Brigade from Active confined in Ekowe.
1879. Friday 7th March. More British troops that included Marines, arrived in Durban from all over
12th March. A force of 2,000 Zulus attacked a British camp at the
Ntombi River in South Africa. Of the 60 men in the camp, only 15
1879. Saturday 29th March. In the Northern Zululand in South Africa some
2,000 British troops and natives fought against over 20,000 Zulus. The
Zulu warriors were formed in regiments by age, their standard equipment
the shield and the stabbing spear. The formation for the attack,
described as the “horns of the beast”, was said to have been devised by
Shaka, the Zulu King who established Zulu hegemony in Southern Africa.
The main body of the army delivered a frontal assault, called the
“chest”, while the “horns” spread out behind each of the enemy’s flanks
and delivered the secondary and often fatal attack in the enemy’s rear.
Cetshwayo, the Zulu King, fearing British aggression took pains to
purchase firearms wherever they could be bought. By the outbreak of war
the Zulus had tens of thousands of muskets and rifles, but of a poor
standard, and the Zulus were ill-trained in their use.
1879. Wednesday 3rd April. Relief of Ekowe, brigade from Boadicea and consort.
1879. Friday 4th July. The Zulus were eventually defeated at Ulundi and the
war came to an end.
1879. Thursday 28th August. Zulu King Cetshwayo was eventually captured.
1879. 19th November. Operations against South Sea Islanders.
- 1882. Royal Marine Battalion sent to Ireland. Lieutenant Colonel
Maskery RMLI, and later Colonel H. S. Jones RMLI in command.
The Marines uniform of the day. (taken from
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.
photo to enlarge
1880. The last execution by hanging was carried out on board ship. Up to then
execution by hanging at the yardarm was the normal punishment for
mutiny in the fleet. As a capital punishment it was by no means
instantaneous as is said to be with the case with a more modern
practice. The prisoner's hands and feet were tied, and with the noose
about his neck a dozen or so men, usually boats' bowmen (the worst
scoundrels in the ship) manned the whip and hoisted him to the block of
an upper yard, to die there by slow strangulation.
1881. Friday 28th Januarty. British repulsed at Laing's Nek, Flora's brigade.
1881. Sunday 27th February. British defeated at Majuba Hill, Naval brigade ashore.
1881. Monday 5th December. Attack on slave dhow by boats of London at Pemba.
1881. Flogging was abolished as a punishment in the British forces in
response to strong public opinion of the day. Another form of
punishment was flogging around the fleet. The offender was secured to
an upright timber in a ship's boat, and when it pulled alongside each
gangway a boatswain's mate entered the boat and inflicted a certain
number of lashes. For added effect the boat was accompanied on its
rounds of the fleet by other boats, each with a drummer in the bows
beating a roll on his drum.
1882. 'A Live On The Ocean Waves' written by Henry Russell and arranged by
Jacob Kappey (Chatham Divisions Band RM) was officially recognised by
the War Office (only) as the March Past of the Royal Marines.
1882. Tuesday 11th July. The bombardment of Alexandria.
1882. Friday 13th - 17th July. Ras-el-Teen occupied, Naval brigade ashore.
1882. Wednesday 2nd August. Occupation of Suez by a Naval brigade.
1882. Saturday 5th August. Engagement at Malaha Junction.
1882. Sunday 6th August. The action at Mallaha Junction. Lieutenant Colonel
Tuson and the 1st battalion Royal Marines and the RMA.
1882. Saturday 12th - 13th August. Occupation of Mex Lines by a Naval brigade.
1882. Sunday 20th August. Suez Canal occupied by a Naval brigade.
1882. Sunday 20th August. Occupation of Port Said by a Naval brigade.
1882. Sunday 20th August. Occupation of Kantara by a Naval brigade.
1882. Sunday 20th August. Occupation of Chalouf by a Naval brigade.
1882. Monday 21st August. Occupation of Ismailia and Nefiche.
1882. Thursday 24th August. Action at Tel-el-Mahuta, party from Orion and consorts.
1882. Friday 25th August. The action at Tel-Elmahuta. Lieutenant Colonel H.B.
Tuson and a battalion RMA and Lieutenant Colonel H. S. Jones and a
1882. Monday 28th August. The first battle of Kassassin. Lieutenant Colonel
H.B. Tuson and a battalion of RMA, and Lieutenant Colonel H. S.
Jones and a battalion of RMLI.
9th September. The second battle of Kassassin. Lieutenant Colonel H. B.
Tuson and battalion RMA and Lieutenant Colonel H.S. Jones and battalion
1882. 13th September. The battle of Tel-el-Kebir. Lieutenant Colonel H. B.
Tuson and a battalion of RMA and Lieutenant Colonel H.S. Jones and
a battalion of RMLI were present during the battle.
1882. Monday 21st September. Mouths of the Nile blockaded.
Major Noble RMA Captain
H.H. Morgan and C.P. Boyd Hamilton RMLI, and 200 selected Royal
Marines dressed in plain clothes, made up a detachment on special services in Dublin.
1882. Wednesday 13th September. Prime Minister, Gladstone, sent an
expeditionary force to Egypt to restore order and install a new
administration in the country. Between Thursday 13th July and Wednesday
6th September 1882, the two armies, one (24,000 strong) from Britain
and the other (7,000 strong) from India, converged on Egypt under the
command of Lieutenant General Sir Garnet Wolseley. Over 40 Royal Navy
warships were involved in securing the Suez Canal from both the Red Sea
in the south and the Mediterranean in the north.
At about 05.00am
on Wednesday 13th September, the Highland Brigade approached the
Egyptian positions in north western Egypt and there was a blaze of
gunfire. The bagpipe players struck up and the Scots regiments charged
the Egyptian defence. The British army had approached the lines at
Tel-el-Kebir in a staggered formation and so attacked in waves from
left to right.
The fighting was intense, but after just over an hour, the Egyptians
fled. Once Tel-el-Kebir was in British hands, a number of infantry and
cavalry divisions moved off to secure other positions. These included a
triumphant march on Cairo on Thursday 1882 14th September. The Royal
Marine Light Infantry lost two Officers and three NCO / Men. While one
Officer and 52 NCO / Men were wounded.
1883. Mounted Royal Marines served as the Mounted Police (Mountie’s) in Canada on the North West Frontier.
1884. February - March. Alexandria and Ramleh garrisoned by Navy.
1884. February - March. Troops, seamen, and Marines at Suakin and Trinkitat.
1884. Wednesday 28th February. Battle of El-Teb, Naval brigade present.
1884. Tuesday 11th March. Advance to Tamanieb.
1884. February. The battle of El-Teb.
1884. Thursday 13th March. The Battle of Tamail. Lieutenant Colonel Ozzard and
Royal Marine Battalion on Police duty in Skye, Lieutenant
Colonel Munro RMLI in command.
- 1885. The Sudan Campaign. After a lot of public pressure the British
government finally authorised a relief force to rescue General Charles
Gordon, who was besieged in Khartoum Soudan. The expedition was to be
commanded by Britain's only General at that time, Sir Garnet Wolseley.
A plan was devised that included a long trip up the River Nile in
whaler boats and to raise a Camel Corps that would take them across the
The expeditions arrived in Egypt, and were joined by a
company of Royal Marines totalling 101 men, under the command of Major
W.H. Poe, along with Captain A.C. Pearson, Lieutenants C.V. Townshend
and H.N. White. This detachment was included as the 4th Company Guards
Camel Regiment. All of the Corps with the exception of the Royal Sussex
Regiment was mounted on camels, with the camels only being used for
transport. All fighting carried out by the infantry was on foot.
The Royal Marines wore a grey / khaki tunic with brass buttons and blue
shoulders straps together with silver badges, trousers without puttees,
and a light brown helmet with pagri, a buff waist cartridge belt, white
haversack, black boots and a black bayonet scabbard. However, Major Poe
continued to wear his red Marine Officers tunic.
Finally on the Wednesday 28th January 1885 they reached Khartoum, after
having run a gauntlet of attacks and ambushes, only to find the enemy's
flag flying over the town. Khartoum had fallen two days earlier on
Monday 26th and Gordon was dead.
Of the Royal Marines six men had been killed and Captain Poe together
with thirteen men had been wounded. Colour Sergeant Drew was awarded
the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions during the campaign.
For their services with the Camel Corps the Marines also received the
Egypt Medal with the clasps Abu Klea and the Nile 1884-8, and the
Khedives Bronze Star dated 1884-85.
For the first part of the 20th Century, the Royal Marines' role was the
traditional one of providing shipboard Infantry for security, boarding
parties and small-scale landings.
1884. The mounted Marines fought in the Sudan.
1885. Tuesday 17th January. Engagement at Abu Klea Wells.
1885. Thursday 19th January. Battle of Abu Klea.
1885. Saturday 21st January. Reconnaissance of Matemnch.
1885. Sunday 22nd January. Bombardment of Shendy.
1885. Tuesday 3rd - 4th February. Lord Charles Beresford at Wad Habeshi.
1885. Tuesday 10th February. Action at Kirbekan.
1885. Friday 20th March. The battle of Hasheen.
1885. Sunday 22nd March. The battle of Tofrek and McNeills Zareeba.
1885. Thursday 2nd - 3rd April. Advance to Tamai, Naval Brigade present.
1885. Wednesday 1st July. Registered Numbers. The practice of allocating a number on the Divisional register to RM ranks came into use. The Admiralty ordered that every person belonging to the Royal Marines, except Commissioned Officers, shall be described by a Register Number in conjunction with letters indicating the Division to which he belongs, instead of his Company and Division. Until the registering System was introduced a man was known by the number of his company and his name. The new numbering system was introduced retrospectively and allocated based on the date of his enlistment.
The letters indicating the Division to which a rank belonged are ‘CH’ indicating Chatham Division Royal Marine Light Infantry, ‘PO’ Indicating Portsmouth Division Royal Marine Light Infantry, ‘PLY’ indicating Plymouth Division Royal Marine Light infantry, and ‘RMA’ indicating Royal Marine Artillery.
1885. Saturday 14th November. Boats of Turquoise captured a Burmese warship.
1885. Monday 23rd November. Naval Brigade captured Mayaugyan.
1886. Saturday 8th May - 7th June. Blockade of Greek Ports.
1886. A Battalion on Police duty in Tiree commanded by Colonel Heriot RMLI.
1887. Monday 30th May. Pinnace of the Turquoise captured slave-dhow.
1888. The magazine rifle Mark 1 was the first British rifle to incorporate a
bolt action and a box magazine.
1889. The Regulations for enlistment of Buglers was laid down,
1890. Friday 21st March. A Small Band under a Sergeant was formed at the Royal
Marine Depot. This band was only utilised for recruit training purposes.
1889. Blockade of the Zanzibar coast.
1892. Divisional Band strength set at one Bandmaster, two Sergeants, two
Corporals, twenty five musicians and ten Supernumeraries (six Buglers
and four Gunners or Privates). Supernumaries to be trained to fit
vacancies due to retirement. or other causes. The depot Band strength
was to be one Sergeant for duty as Bandmaster, one Sergeant, one
Corporal, seventeen Musicians and five Supernumaries (three Buglers and
two Gunners or Privates).
enlistment of twenty six boys, in excess of the regular establishment
of Buglers, to be enlisted with a view to training then as Buglers.
1894. "In matters referring to the Portsmouth Division RMLI, the division to
be refered to by that name and not as is frequently the case at this
time as the 'Gosport Division' ".
1894. February - March. Operations on the Gambia. Early in the year an
expedition organised by Captain Gamble RN of HMS Raleigh against a
chieftain named Fodi Sillah who had made himself troublesome to the
British settlements on the Gambia River, was ambushed and cut up.
Lieutenant Hervey of RMLI, 2 Naval Officers and 10 men were killed
and 40 wounded. On the 22nd February a punitive force of 50 Royal
Marines, 50 men of the West India Regiment and 1 gun under the command
of Lieutenant Colonel Corbert RMLI attacked and destroyed a
stockade at Suktta, after which a position was taken and entrench
at Subaji to protect the frontier of British Kombo. Here on the 26th
Coronal Corbert was attacked by 1,522 Mandigoes, who he defeated and
drove back across the border. On the 1st march having been reinforced
by 50 more Royal marines and 10 West Indians he took up another
entrenched passion at Isswang and on the 5th having been further
reinforced by seamen and others to a total strength of 500 men, marched
to relieve Major Madden R.A. who with 200 men of the West India
Regiment was entrenched at Busumbula. The following day Colonel Corbert
returned to Sabaji with the greater portion of his command. Having
re-embarked with the Royal Marines he went round with the squadron
consisting of HMS Alecto, HMS Satelite, HMS Magpie and HMS Widgeon to
the town of Gunjur, and after it had been subjected to a two days
bombardment, landed with his men and with 270 seamen and a portion
of the 1st West Indian Regiment destroyed the place. This operation
brought the fighting to a close.
1895. August. Major Denny and a
detachment of the West African Regiment landed on Sacrifice island on the Bass River.
1895. "Bandmasters will, invariably, be in uniform when leading their Bands".
The Bandmasts of the time usually wore civilian cloths whilst
conducting the bands.
1896. January - June. The Island of Crete being in a very unsettled state on
account of the insurrection against the Turkish Government, an
International Gendarmerie was formed and Major Bor RMA was appointed
to organise and command it in January 1897. He resigned his position in
March, and took command of the European troops holding the fort of
Izzedin during the insurrection. During the insurrection Major C.C.
Britain RMLI with Lieutenants P. Molloy and F.A. Nelson landed
with 1,400 N.C.O’s and men from HMS Rodney, HMS Revenge and HMS Balfleur to assist in the occupation of Canea by the European Powers and
remained there for five weeks.
1897. Wednesday 10th February – Saturday 20th February. The Benin Expedition.
1898. Captain Oldfield and N.C.Os of the Royal Marine
Artillery, under took an Operation on the Nile.
1898. Tuesday 6th September. The Attack on British Forces at Candia.
1898. Wednesday 23rd November. Major Plumbe and 213
Royal Marines were in Belmont South Africa.
1898. Friday 25th November. During the Battle of Graspan Major Plumbe is killed.
While Captain Marchant RMLI brings the Naval Brigade out of action.
- 1901. The Boxer Rebellion was a violent anti foreign and anti Christian
movement which took place in China towards the end of the Qing dynasty
between 1898 and 1900. It was initiated by the Militia United in
Righteousness (Yihetuan), known in English as the 'Boxers', and was
motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and opposition to foreign
imperialism and Christianity trying to take over their country. The
Eight Great Powers that were trying to dominate the eastern part of the
world at that time consisted of Austria-Hungary, France, Germany,
Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and all
had a military presence to protect their share of the country.
1899. Wednesday 11th October. The start of the Second Boer War, by the United
Kingdom against the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the
Orange Free State. The British war effort was supported by troops from
all over the British Empire. The war ended in victory for Britain and
the annexation of both republics. Both would eventually be incorporated
into the Union of South Africa in 1910. The Royal Marines were with the
Naval Brigade with a Corps strength of 19,000.
1899. Four RMLI Buglers were amongst the force that fought its way onto the
Graspan heights during the South African War.