This Day in History: 1808-08-17

Battle of Rolica. In the first battle of the Peninsular War, 1/40th and 1/82nd Regiments (later 1st and 2nd South Lancashires respectively) form part of an Anglo/Portuguese force under Lt Gen Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) which defeats a small but strongly entrenched French force. For two hours the 82nd, in the centre of the line, struggle up a steep boulder-strewn gully to engage the enemy firing down on them from behind a stone wall, until a flanking force led by the 40th sweeps onto the ridge and drives the French off.