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BATTLES, CAMPAIGNS and EVENTS
This section shows in brief chronological order the main battles, campaigns and events which have occurred during the Regiment’s history. It is by no means complete as it refers mainly to the regular battalions of the Regiment. You will notice as you read through this impressive list that the Regiment was involved in almost every action in the Nation’s military history.
THE RAISING OF THE REGIMENTS
1678 21st Raised (Mar’s Regiment).
1777 73rd Raised (Lord MacLeod’s). Later to become the 71st in 1786.
1787 74th Highlanders Raised.
1881 The Highland Light Infantry formed by linking the 71st and 74th.
1959 The Royal Highland Fusiliers formed by amalgamation of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and the Highland Light Infantry.
WATCH ON THE BRAES
21st employed in keeping the peace in Scotland and suppressing lawlessness by Highlanders and Covenanters.
LANDING OF WILLIAM OF ORANGE
21st crossed the border into England on the orders of James II, who was concentrating his army near London to resist William. However James fled to France and the army declared for William.
CAMPAIGN IN THE NETHERLANDS
21st formed part of the allied force opposing Louis XIV in defence of the Low Countries. Fought at Walcourt 1689, Steenkirk 1692, Landen 1693. In these battles the reputation of the British Infantry was first established.
THE FUSILIER TITLE
The 21st was designated a Fusilier regiment, the name coming from the Fusil or lightweight flintlock musket recently issued to certain regiments. First written record is a muster-roll of the army in Flanders, dated July 1691 in which the 21st is named as ‘O’Farrell’s Fusiliers’, Francis Fergus O’Farrell then being Colonel. A Royal Warrant of 30th December 1695 names the regiment as ‘Scots Fusiliers’.
21st QUARTERED IN SCOTLAND
WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION
21st served under Marlborough in the Low Countries.Granted the prefix ‘Royal’, the White Horse of Hanover and became known as ‘Marlborough’s Own’. Took part in the battles of Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706), Oudenarde (1708), Malplaquet (1709), Bouchain (1711) and many others, being in the field throughout the whole campaign.Returned to Scotland in 1715.
21st at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. Afterwards quartered in Scotland,Ireland and England until 1741.
WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION
21st returned to the Netherlands and took a distinguished part in the battles of Dettingen (1743) and Fontenoy (1745).
Recalled from the Netherlands the 21st fought at Drumossie Moor (Culloden).
RETURN TO THE NETHERLANDS
21st in action at Lauffeld (1747). This was followed by the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.
21st QUARTERED IN ENGLAND - 1748-50 and 1760
GARRISON DUTIES GIBRALTAR - 1750-59
Regimental numbering introduced by Royal Warrant.
THE SEVEN YEARS WAR
21st at assault landing and capture of Belleisle, Bay of Biscay.
The 21st served in Scotland (1762-64), Florida (1765-69), Canada (1770-71) and England (1772-75).
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
21st embarked for relief of Quebec (1776). Took part in battles of Stillwater (1777) and Saratoga (1777). After Saratoga, was reformed and stationed in Scotland and Ireland 1780-88.
CAPE ST VINCENT, GIBRALTAR
2/73rd raised in 1778, sailed from England in 1779, took part as marines in the battle of Cape St. Vincent (1780) and landed in Gibraltar where they remained throughout the Siege of Gibraltar 1780-83 repelling many French and Spanish attacks. Granted the insignia of the Castle and Key on the Colours. Returned to Scotland and disbanded 1783.
THE CARNATIC (FIRST MYSORE CAMPAIGN)
1/73rd landed at Madras in January 1780 and took part in battles of Conjeveram, Porto Novo, Sholinghur, Cuddalore and many more.
The Regiment remained in Southern India on garrison duty until 1790 when the second Mysore campaign began. It became the 71st in 1786.
NORTH AMERICA - WEST INDIES - GREAT BRITAIN
21st on garrison duties in Nova Scotia, North America and the West Indies.
21st in action at captures of Martinique, Gaudaloupe and Fort Matilda.
21st on garrison duties in West Indies. Greatly reduced by yellow fever 1795. Returned to Scotland 1797 and stationed in Scotland, Ireland and England (1797-1805). 2/21st raised 1804.
SECOND MYSORE CAMPAIGN
In 1790 the war in India was resumed. 71st and 74th were in the same Brigade. Both took part in the capture of Bangalore (1791) and the first battles for the capture of Seringapatam (1791-92).
Both Regiments remained based in India until 1798 when the 71st returned home, leaving the 74th. During this tour, the 71st took part in the invasion of Ceylon (1795-96).
71st in action of Trincomalee, Ceylon. Afterwards returned to India until 1798 when it returned to UK and was quartered in England and Ireland.
THE THIRD MYSORE CAMPAIGN
74th in the advance, seige, assault and capture of Seringapatam (1799).
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