This Day In History

  • 1707 War of the Spanish Succession. After two months of siege, to avoid further pointless bloodshed,  the garrison of the fortress of Lerida (now Lleida) in Spain beats the chamade as the French are about to make their final assault. 600 emaciated survivors of the original garrison of 1800, who had been reduced to living on oatmeal, rice and water, march out under arms and with the full honours of war. They are followed by a similar number of sick and wounded in carts supplied by the victors. Amongst them are several much-reduced companies of Wills' Marines (later 30th Foot, and then 1st East Lancashires), led by the by-then Major General Wills. All are complimented by the enemy commander, the Duc d'Orleans, on their gallant defence
  • 1857 Indian Mutiny. Relief of Lucknow. 82nd Regiment (later 2nd South Lancashires) engage in desperate fighting in the advance to the Martiniere College. The silver-chased "Rajah's Bed Post" staff which is now one of the Museum's most treasured exhibits was captured on this day.
  • 1945 Battleship HMS Nelson reaches Portsmouth carrying 2nd Loyals colours, colour belts and some mess plate. They had been found 2 months earlier in bank vaults in Singapore, where they had remained undiscovered by the Japanese since the capitulation in 1942. They are carried to Preston, where one month later they are ceremonially paraded through the town
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Chapter 1 – THE EARLIEST DAYS 1689-1755

The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment traced its roots back to six Regiments of Foot, the 30th, 40th, 47th, 59th, 81st and 82nd, the first of which was formed over 300 years ago.

30th Foot. The earliest antecedent regiment, the 30th, was first raised on the 8th March 1689, as Castleton’s Regiment, to fight for William of Orange against the French. It won early distinction at the capture of the Fortress-city of Namur in 1695. Disbanded at the end of the war, in 1697, the Regiment was reformed in 1702 as Saunders’s Marines. The 30th served as marines until 1713, both as detachments on board Royal Navy ships and ashore. As such they were involved in numerous battles and sieges in Spain, the Mediterranean and North America. The most notable of these were the capture of Gibraltar, 1704 and its subsequent defence, for which the Regiment gained its first battle honour, the Naval battles off Malaga and Hieres, the capture of Barcelona, Alicante, Cartagena, Majorca, Minorca and Annapolis Royal, the defence of Leride and the battle of St Estevan.

The Regiment was again disbanded in 1713, but restored in 1715 as a Regiment of Foot. This was not, however, the end of the marine service for the 30th. In 1727 they were again defending Gibraltar. From 1745 to 1748 they were in the Channel Fleet, taking part in Admiral Anson’s victory over the French off Cape Finisterre in 1747.

40th Foot. The 40th Foot was formed on the 25th August 1717 by the amalgamation of eight Independent Companies of Foot stationed at Annapolis Royal and Placentia in Nova Scotia, and was then known as Phillips’ Regiment of Foot, from the name of its first Colonel, then Governor of Nova Scotia. In the first 44 years of its existence the Regiment garrisoned the Canadian frontier and took part in numerous actions against the French and their Indian Allies.

47th Foot. On the 3rd March 1741 Mordaunt’s Regiment, later the 47th Foot, was raised in Scotland. Its first active service was in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, when it fought at Prestonpans and subsequently defended Edinburgh Castle against the “young Pretender”. In 1750 it sailed for Canada, joining the 40th in successful operations there against the French.

59th Foot. In 1755 the threat of renewed war with France resulted in raising of new regiments of which one was the 59th Foot.

Back to Contents | Chapter 2