99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other units with the same regimental number, see 99th Regiment of Foot (disambiguation).
99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot
Active 20 September 1824 – 1 July 1881
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Role Line Infantry
Size Battalion
Nickname "Queen's Pets", "The Nines"
March "Blue Bonnets Over The Border" (traditional)(quick)
"Auld Robin Grey" (slow)

The 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1824 and amalgamated into The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment) in 1881.

The regiment was raised in 1824 as the 99th Regiment of Foot, taking a county title in 1836 as the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot. In 1874 it was renamed to the 99th Duke of Edinburgh's (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot, taking its title from Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.

History of the 99th[edit]

The 99th Regiment of Foot was raised in 1824 in Edinburgh by Major-General Gage John Hall. It was a distinct unit, unrelated to earlier units designated as the 99th Regiment of the British Army, including the 99th Regiment of Foot (Jamaica Regiment), 99th Foot which was re-designated as the 100th Regiment of Foot. In 1832, the new 99th Regiment received its county title, becoming the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot.[1]

A memorial erected by the 99th Regiment of Foot at Anglesea Barracks, Hobart to commemorate the soldiers of the regiment killed during the New Zealand Wars. This is the only monument built by British soldiers in Australia to commemorate their casualties.

During its early years, the 99th spent much of its time in the Pacific. The first detachments of the 99th Regiment arrived in Australia with transported convicts aboard the transport ship North Briton, destined for Tasmania, in 1842.[2] The rest of the 99th arrived on with successive shipments of convicts. The 99th rotated through various colonial posts during much of 1842 until being ordered to Sydney, Australia. However, the 99th soon earned an unsavory reputation, alienating the locals to such an extent that an additional regiment had to be assigned to Sydney. The 11th Regiment of Foots's principal job was keeping the men of the 99th under control.[2]

The 99th remained in Tasmania for three years before being dispatched to New Zealand to take part in the New Zealand land wars. Detachments of the 99th took part in the Hutt Valley Campaign, seeing action at the Battle of Battle Hill.[3] Three government soldiers and at least nine Ngāti Toa were killed.[4] Following the capture of Te Rauparaha in 1846, the Regiment would depart New Zealand and return to Australia, although detachments would be sent as needed to reinforce the British forces in New Zealand for the next few years to keep the peace.[5] For its service in the First Maori War, the regiment earned its first battle honour: New Zealand.

In 1856, the regiment rotated back to the British Isles. The 99th spent its next two years at various garrisons in Ireland, until in 1858, it was ordered to join the Aldershot garrison.[6] While at Aldershot, the regiment earned its reputation as an extraordinarily well drilled and well turned out regiment.[7]

Following its tour of duty at Aldershot, the regiment rotated to India in 1859.[6] After serving at various Indian stations, the 99th was called to active service to form part of General Sir Hope Grant's force during the Second Opium War. Assigned to the 2nd Division, commanded by Major-General Sir Robert Napier, the 99th took part in the Third Battle of Taku Forts and the Battle of Palikao.[8] The regiment also participated in the sack of Peking, where among the loot carried off, the regiment took a Pekinese dog which belonged to the Chinese Empress. The dog, named Lootie, was taken back to England where it was presented to the Queen Victoria.[1] For its service in China, the regiment earned the battle honour: Pekin 1860. Rather than return the 99th to India, the regiment was ordered to join the Hong Kong garrison, securing the new Kowloon territory acquired by the Convention of Peking. The regiment would remain in Hong Kong until 1865.[9]

British square under attack at the Battle of Gingindlovu. The 99th Regiment formed the western side of the square.

From 1865 until 1868, the 99th served in South Africa.[9] While in South Africa, Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, inspected the regiment as part of a tour of the colony. The regiment impressed him so much that he took a continued interest in the regiment for the rest of his life. This culminated in permission being granted to re-title the regiment. In 1874, the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot became the 99th (Duke of Edinburgh’s) Regiment.[1] After returning to England in 1868, the regiment returned to South Africa in 1878 in time to take part in the Anglo-Zulu War.[9][10]

Assigned to Lord Chelmsford's column, they marched to the relief of British forces under Colonel Charles Pearson besieged by the Zulu impis. At the Battle of Gingindlovu, the 99th helped defeat a Zulu impis which tried to overrun the British while laagered.[11] Although it would not participate in the final battle at Ulundi, the 99th was honoured for its service in Anglo-Zulu War, being awarded the battle honour South Africa 1879.

It would be the last battle honour earned by the 99th as an independent regiment. In 1881, following up on the earlier Cardwell Reforms of 1872, the 99th was merged with 62nd Regiment of Foot as part of the Childers reforms to the British Army. The new regiment would be known as The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment).[12]

Battle honours[edit]

New Zealand, Pekin 1860, South Africa 1879

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c the History of Wiltshire Regiment to 1881
  2. ^ a b the Brits in Oz
  3. ^ Cowan, James (1955). "Chapter 13: Paua-Taha-Nui and Horokiri". The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume I: 1845–1864. Wellington: R. E. Owen. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  4. ^ "New trail depicts Battle Hill history". Northern Courier. Retrieved 2009-01-22. [dead link]
  5. ^ the 99th Regiment's Timeline
  6. ^ a b the 99th Regimental Timeline 1850 to 1860
  7. ^ H.L. Wicks, Regiments of Foot: A Historical Record of All The Foot Regiments of British Army (Southampton: The Camelot Press, 1974) p. 140.
  8. ^ the Taku Forts 1860
  9. ^ a b c the 99th Regiment's Timeline to 1870
  10. ^ the 99th Regiment's Timeline to 1880
  11. ^ the Battle of Gingindlovu
  12. ^ The Wiltshire Regiment