9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot

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9th Regiment Of Foot
IX Officer.jpg
Officer with regimental colour, 9th Regiment of Foot, 1814
Active 1751–1881
Country Great Britain, United Kingdom
Type Infantry
Role Line Infantry
Nickname(s) The Holy Boys, The Fighting Ninth
Anniversaries April 25, Battle of Almansa

The 9th Regiment of Foot was an infantry line regiment of the British Army from 1751 to 1881. It became the Norfolk Regiment following the Army reforms of 1881.

Early history[edit]

The title of 9th Regiment of Foot was awarded in 1751, but the origins of the regiment are with Henry Cornewall's Regiment of Foot raised by James II in 1685 in response to the Monmouth Rebellion. Cornewall resigned his post following the Glorious Revolution due to his personal Jacobite sympathies and command went to John Cunningham who led a failed attempt to relieve the besieged city of Derry in 1689. Cunningham was in turn replaced by William Stewart, under whom the regiment took part in a more successful relief of Derry under General Percy Kirke.

The regiment fought in the Williamite War in Ireland, seeing action at the Battle of the Boyne and Battle of Aughrim, as well as the siege of Limerick (1690), and siege of Limerick (1691) and siege of Athlone. In the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment fought in several engagements, including the Battle of Almansa.

Early campaigns[edit]

During the Seven Years' War the Regiment won its first formal Battle honour as part of the expedition that captured Belle Île from the French in 1761.

In 1762 they sailed with George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle in the British expedition against Cuba and took part in the siege and subsequent capture of Havana. Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and the end of the war they moved to a posting at St. Augustine, Florida, where John Hedges (arrived to Saint Augustine with four companies of the British 1st Regiment from Havana) and Francis Ogilvie (British Army officer) were his first British Governors, of acting way. At this stage their strength was reported as less than 300 out of the approximately 1,000 that had left Great Britain. Out of these only 20 had been killed in action – the remainder of casualties being caused by malaria and yellow fever which were so common in the West Indies at the time. A company was detached, and sent to Bermuda, reinforced with a detachment from the Bahamas Independent Company, but this force was withdrawn in 1768

The Regiment remained at St. Augustine for the next 6 years, and were described by a reviewing officer as being in a very poor condition.

Following a brief spell in Ireland and the outbreak of War in the American Colonies the Regiment was sent to Canada to become a part of an Expedition under Major General John Burgoyne designed to divide the New England colonies from their neighbors to the south. The Saratoga Campaign that followed ended with the surrender of the entire army, and the regiment then spent 3 years as prisoners of war as part of the Convention Army.

On its return from America the regiment was posted to Norwich in order to recover and recruit up to strength, they spent the next seven years based in the city and on the 31 August 1782 the regiment became the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot.

In 1799 the King approved the Regiment's use of Britannia as its symbol, and the Regiment was expanded to three battalions.

The next period of active service was the unsuccessful Campaign in Flanders under the Duke Of York.

After the Peace of Amiens in 1802 the Regiment was reduced to a single battalion. Soon after the 1st battalion were sent to Ireland for three years of garrison duty, with the 2nd battalion being raised in 1804 in Dorset. In November 1805, shortly after the great Battle of Trafalgar the Regiment suffered a significant tragedy. As the 1st battalion returned from Ireland a storm wrecked the troop transport Ariadne on the northern French coast and almost 300 men were taken prisoner.

The 1st battalion then took part in an expedition to free Hanover from the French. The country had been recently stripped of its forces to take part in the campaign that would climax in the Battle of Austerlitz, in the peace settlement that followed Hanover was ceded to Prussia and the British troops were ordered to return home.

Napoleonic Wars[edit]

The 9th arrived in the Spanish Peninsula in 1808 and fought at Roliça and Vimiero. Following the retreat from Corunna the 9th buried Sir John Moore and were the last British regiment to leave Spanish soil.

Following the disastrous Walcheren expedition to the Low Countries the Regiment returned to the Peninsula and fought at Busaco, Salamanca, Vittoria, at the Siege of San Sebastián, and the Battle of the Nive. The Regiment fought alongside Portuguese troops as part of Sir Manley Power's brigade which was in Picton's Fighting Third at the Battle of Vittoria, where the 3rd Battalion took a key bridge under heavy fire.

The Regiment was sent to Canada with most of Wellington's veteran units to prevent the threatened invasion by the United States, and so arrived in Europe too late for Waterloo. The 1st Battalion participated in the Army of Occupation in France, whilst the 2nd Battalion was disbanded at the end of 1815.

Nineteenth century[edit]

The regiment saw action at Kabul in the First Anglo-Afghan War, and in the First Anglo-Sikh War they fought with exceptional valour at the Battle of Mudki, Battle of Ferozeshah and the Battle of Sobraon.

The Norfolk Artillery Militia was formed in 1853.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

In the Crimean War, the regiment fought at the Siege of Sevastopol.

The 2nd Battalion was raised once more in 1857, and in the 1860s was landed at Yokohama as part of the British garrison stationed in protection of British commercial and diplomatic interests in the recently opened treaty port. The battalion saw action on the North-West Frontier in 1877, and then in the Second Anglo-Afghan War fought at Kabul in 1879.

Successor units[edit]

In 1881, following reorganization of the British Army as part of the Childers Reforms, the 9th Foot became the Norfolk Regiment with two regular battalions and two militia battalions. Later titled the Royal Norfolk Regiment, it was amalgamated with the neighbouring Suffolk Regiment to form the 1st East Anglian Regiment. In 1964, the regiment became part of the Royal Anglian Regiment. Currently the successor to the 9th Foot is "A" Company of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Anglians.

Re-enactment Group[edit]

The 9th East Norfolk Regiment is a Napoleonic era re-enactment group who, in addition to taking part in living history events relating to the Peninsula Campaign, are booked to take part in the bicentenary re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo.[8]

Battle honours[edit]

Colonels of the Regiment[edit]

Colonels of the regiment were:[9]

9th Regiment of Foot[edit]

9th (East Norfolk) Regiment[edit]

For Colonels after 1881 see Royal Norfolk Regiment


  1. ^ The History of the 4th Battalion Norfolk Regiment 1899 -p122 "The Norfolk Artillery Militia marched into the barracks at Southtown on Friday last, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Astley." Such are almost the words of the announcement under our Yarmouth heading this week. One has heard of these ...
  2. ^ The history of Norfolk: from original records and other ... vol.2 p468 Robert Hindry Mason – 1884
  3. ^ History of freemasonry in Norfolk, 1724 to 1895 Hamon Le Strange – 1896 --p296 "... this company was the first nucleus of the battalion, now the 3rd Volunteer Norfolk Regiment, of which he became Lieut.-Colonel. On taking command of the Norfolk Artillery, he resigned the Volunteers, and was appointed Honorary Colonel."
  4. ^ Charles Harbord Suffield (5th Baron), Alys Lowth – 1913 My memories, 1830–1913 p103 THE NORFOLK ARTILLERY of transfers from the East and West Norfolk Militia and a few volunteers. Lord Hastings was their first commandant; their second was Lieut-Col. Astley. The regiment did good work, both at home and abroad, and ..."
  5. ^ Sancroft Holmes, Diary of the Norfolk Artillery 1853–1908
  6. ^ A Norfolk diary: passages from the diary of the Rev. Benjamin John Armstrong – 1949 p284 "Two evenings were devoted to the entertainment, and the Corn Hall was crowded. The profits, they say, amount to £40. May Staying at Yarmouth. Inspection of the Norfolk Artillery Militia (commanded by Lord Suffield) by Sir Evelyn Wood."
  7. ^ History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk, and the City and ... -p335 William White – 1864 "The Militia Babracks, a handsome range of red brick buildings adjoining the Naval Hospital, were erected in 1856 for the accommodation of the staffs of the East Norfolk Militia and the Norfolk Artillery Militia."
  8. ^ Waterloo 200 B Division
  9. ^ "9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot". Regiments.org. Retrieved 8 July 2016.