Military history pages..

Lord Macleod's Highlanders

Formerly Seventy-Third Regiment,

Now Seventy-First Or Glasgow

Highland Light Infantry.


Chatham - Ireland - Sir Gordon Drummond becomes Colonel - Quebec - Montreal - Inspected by Lord Dalhousie - Kingston - Toronto - Major General Sir Colin Halkett becomes Colonel - Bermuda - Tartan Plaid Scarf restored - Edinburgh - Major - General Sir S. T. Whittingham becomes Colonel - Lt. General Sir Thomas Reynell becomes Colonel - Divided into two Battalions - Chichester - Canada - West Indies - Death of Sir Thomas Reynell - Lt. General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot becomes Colonel - His death - Lt. General Sir James Macdonell becomes Colonel - Dublin - The Queen's Visit (1849) -Canada - Ireland - Inspected by H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge - New Colours - Corfu - The Crimea - Malta

From 1818 to 1822 this regiment performed garrison duties at various places in England, a mere enumeration of which would not be interesting, and is needless here. While at Chatham in 1821, the strength of the regiment was reduced to 576 rank and file. In 1822 it sailed from Liverpool for Dublin, where it arrived on the 3rd of May, and remained there till the beginning of October, when it was marched to the south of Ireland. Here it remained until May 1824, having its headquarters at Fermoy, with detachments stationed at various villages in order that disturbances might be suppressed and order maintained. The nature of the duties which the regiment had to perform can be seen by reference to our account of the 42nd about this period. In January 1824 Lieutenant-General Sir Gordon Drummond was removed from the colonelcy of the 88th to that of the 71st, vacant by the death of General Francis Dundas.

In May the regiment proceeded to Cork to re-embark for North America; but before doing so, Colonel Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, commanding the regiment, received very gratifying addresses from the magistrates and inhabitants of Fermoy, praising highly the conduct of the regiment, which had now the esteem of all classes. The 71st rembarked at Cork for North America on the 14th, 16th, 17th, and, 18th of May 1824, and arrived at Quebec about a month, thereafter, at which place the headquarters of the regiment was stationed. The 71st remained in America performing garrison duty at various places till 1831. In May 1827 the headquarters was removed to Montreal; preparatory to the change, the service companies were inspected by Lieutenant-General the Earl of Dalhousie, who assured Lieutenant-Colonel Jones that he never bad seen any regiment in more perfect order. In May 1828 the regiment removed to Kingston, where, it remained for a year, and where it suffered much from fever and ague. From this place headquarters removed to Toronto in June 1829, and companies were sent out to occupy various posts; the 71st remained there for two years.

In June 1825 the strength of the regiment had been increased to 710 rank and file, who were formed into 6 service and 4 depôt companies, the latter stationed in England; the movements of the former we have been narrating. In August 1829 the, depôt companies removed from Gravesend to Berwick-on-Tweed, and in June 1830 from the latter place to Edinburgh Castle. In September 1829 Major-General Sir Colin Halkett succeeded General Drummond as colonel of the 71st.

In May 1831 the service companies returned to Quebec, where they stayed four months, sailing in October for Bermuda, where they were stationed till September 1834. While at Bermuda, in February 1834, the tartan plaid scarf was restored to the 71st by authority of the King, In September of that year the 6 service companies left Bermuda for Britain, arriving, at Leith in October 19th. The regiment was stationed at Edinburgh till May 1836, when it embarked for Ireland, and was stationed at Dublin till June 1837, when it proceeded to Kilkenny. The regiment remained in Ireland till April 1838, on the 16th of which month the 6 service companies again sailed from Cork to Canada. The four depôt companies remained in Ireland till June 1839, when they sailed from Cork to Scotland, and were stationed at Stirling. While in Ireland, March 1838, Major-General Sir Samuel Ford Whittingham succeeded Sir Colin Halkett to the colonelcy of the regiment, and he again was succeeded in March 1841 by Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Reynell, formerly so intimately associated with the regiment as its lieutenant-colonel. The strength of the regiment was in August 1838 increased to 800.

During 1840 the 6 service, companies were stationed at St John's, Lower Canada.

The service companies proceeded from St John's to Montreal, in two divisions, on the 27th and 28th of April 1842.

In consequence of the augmentation which took place in the army at this period, the, 71st regiment was ordered to be divided into two battalions, the 6 service companies being termed the first battalion, and the depôt; augmented by two new companies, being styled the reserve battalion. The depôt was accordingly moved from Stirling to Chichester in 1842, and after receiving 180 volunteers from other corps, was there organised into a battalion for foreign service.

The reserve battalion of the 71st, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel James England, embarked at Portsmouth in Her Majesty's troop-ship "Resistance," which sailed for Canada on the, 13th of August 1842, and landed at Montreal on the 23rd of September, where the first battalion was likewise stationed, under the command of Major William Denny, who, upon the arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel England, took charge of the reserve battalion.

The reserve battalion marched from Montreal to Chambly on the 5th of May 1813, and arrived there on the same day.

The first battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel England, embarked at Quebec for the West Indies in the "Java" transport, on the 20th of October 1813. The headquarters disembarked at Grenada on the 15th of December following.

The headquarters of the first battalion embarked on the 25th of December 1844, at Grenada, for Antigua, where it remained till April 1846. It proceeded to Barbados, leaving that in December for England, arriving at Spithead, January 25th. 1847. The first battalion, on, landing, proceeded to Winchester, where it remained till July, when it was removed to Glasgow, and in December left the latter place for Edinburgh. Here it remained till April 1848, when it was removed to Ireland.

In February 1848, on the death of Sir Thos. Reynell, Lieutenant-General Sir Thos. Arbuthnot succeeded to the colonelcy of the 71st, and on his death, in January 1849, it was conferred on Lieutenant-General Sir James Macdonell.

In compliance with instructions received upon the occasion of Her Majesty's visit to Dublin, the headquarters of the first battalion, with the effectives of three companies, proceeded from Naas to that garrison on the 28th of July, and were encamped in the Phoenix Park. The three detached companies also joined at the encampment on the same day. On the 13th of August the headquarters and three companies returned to Naas.

The headquarters and two companies of the reserve battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Hew Dalrymple, Bart., proceeded from. St John's to Montreal in aid of the civil power, on the 28th of April 1849. The headquarters and three companies quitted Montreal and encamped on the Island of St Helen's on the 30th of June, but returned to St John's on the 16th of July. On the 17th of August 1819, the headquarters and two companies proceeded from St John's to Montreal in aid of the civil power, and returned to St John's on the 6th, of September.

In April 1850 the first battalion proceeded from Naas to Dublin.

The headquarters and two companies of the reserve battalion quitted St John's and Chambly on the 21st of May 1850, and arrived at Toronto on the 23rd of that month, where the battalion was joined by the other companies, and it continued there during the remainder of the year.

In May 1852 the reserve battalion proceeded from Toronto to Kingston. On the 8th of June following, Lieutenant-Colonel Hew Dalrymple, Bart., retired from the service by the sale of his commission, and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel. Nathaniel Massey Stack.

On the 18th of February 1848, Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, K.C.B., from the 9th Foot, was appointed colonel of the regiment in room of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Reynell, Bart., who had died; and on the death of the new colonel, about a year after, Lieutenant-General Sir James Macdonell, K.C.B., from the 79th Foot, was appointed to the colonelcy of the regiment.

Instructions having been received for the battalion to embark at Glasgow for Ireland, three companies proceeded to Dublin on the 27th, and the headquarters, with the three, remaining companies, embarked on board the "Viceroy" steamer on the 1st of May, and arrived at Dublin on the 2nd. Companies were, detached to various places, and the headquarters proceeded from Dublin to Naas on the 20th of May.

On the 4th of July Lieutenant-Colonel William Denny, having arrived from Canada, assumed the command of the battalion, when Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Hew Dalrymple, Bart., proceeded to join the reserve battalion.

H.R.H. Major-General Prince George of Cambridge, commanding the Dublin district, made the autumn half-yearly inspection of the regiment on the 13th of October, on which occasion H.R.H. expressed personally to the regiment his satisfaction and approbation of their appearance and steadiness under arms, and the, marked improvement that had been effected.

In compliance with instructions received, on the occasion of the expected visit of Her Majesty to Dublin, the headquarters, with the effectives of three companies, moved from Naas to Dublin on the 28th of July, and encamped in the Phoenix Park. The three detached companies also joined the encampment on the same day.

The Queen having arrived on the 6th of August, the battalion had the honour of sharing in the grand review which took place in the park on the 9th, in presence of Her Majesty and Prince Albert, after which a highly complimentary general order was issued, expressing the high approval of Her Majesty and Prince Albert of the conduct of the troops present at the review.

On the 10th of August Her Majesty and Prince Albert and the Royal Family left Dublin, and the 71st furnished a guard of honour under Captain T. H. Colville, at the railway station; and on the 11th, the lieutenant-general commanding marked his very high appreciation of the services of the troops stationed in Dublin during the above auspicious occasion, by publishing another highly complimentary general order.

In addition to the remarks in the general order of Lieutenant-General Sir Edward Blackeney, which reflected so much credit on the 71st Highland Light Infantry, in common with the other regiments in garrison, Major General H.R.H. Prince George, of Cambridge was graciously pleased to express his approbation of the high state of efficiency and good conduct of the battalion; and as its stay in Dublin was intended to be during Her Majesty's visit, the headquarters and three companies returned to Naas on the 13th of August, detaching on the same day three companies to Maryborough, Carlow, and Newbridge.

During the months of March and April 1850, the various scattered companies of the 71st were removed to Dublin, where the whole battalion was stationed at the Richmond Barracks.

A draft of the reserve battalion, consisting of 2 subalterns, 2 sergeants, and 90 rank and file, embarked at Cork for Canada on the 4th of May of the same year.

The state of discipline in the regiment was reported to be good on its arrival in Dublin, and during its stay in that garrison it was most favourably reported upon. The accompanying extracts, which were conveyed to the commanding, officer, by order, are creditable to the character of the regiment:-


DUBLIN,21st July 1851.

"The Commander-in-Chief is glad to find that his Royal Highness considers the recruits lately joined to be of a superior description, and that he is enabled to speak with unqualified praise on the state of the discipline to which the regiment has arrived since it formed part of the garrison of Dublin.


"Asst. Adj.-Gen."

"Officer Commanding

"1st Bat. 71st Regt."

The following is an extract from a letter received from the Adjutant-General of the Forces, having reference to the confidential report of H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, of the, 1st battalion of the 71st Highland Light Infantry, for the second period of 1850:-


"DUBLIN 28th January 1851,

"The progress made by this battalion during the half year is extremely satisfactory to the Commander-in-Chief, and in the highest degree creditable to Lieutenant-Colonel Denny and his officers, who may congratulate themselves on having brought the battalion into a state of efficiency of which it certainly could not boast when the lieutenant-colonel assumed the command.

"W. F. FORSTER, A. A-G."

During 1851 and 1852 the regiment remained in Ireland, moving about in detachments from place to place, and performing efficiently a variety of duties, agreeable and disagreeable, in that disturbed country, and sending off now and then small parties to join the reserve battalion in Canada. In August the regiment removed to Kilkenny.

On the 1st of November 1852, a communication was received for the battalion to be held in readiness for embarkation for the Mediterranean, and in compliance therewith, the service and depot companies were formed on the 1st of January 1853; and on the 3rd the battalion received new colours. On the arrival of the battalion at Cork, the old colours were placed over a tablet erected at Kinsale, to the memory of the late Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, a native of that place, who commanded the, regiment for many years. During February and March the regiment sailed in detachments for Corfu.

By a War Office letter of 20th of February 1851, the regiment was to be augmented, from the 1st of April, by one pipe-major and five pipers.

The reserve battalion remained in Canada from 1849 to 1853, having been stationed successively at St John's, Toronto, Kingston, and Quebec, returning from Canada in 1854, and forming the depot of the regiment at Canterbury in October.

On the outbreak of the Crimean war all the effectives, with a proportion of officers, consisting of 1 major, 3 captains, 6 subalterns, 20 serjeants, 6 buglers, and 391 rank and file-total, 417-were ordered to proceed to the Crimea, and embarked at Portsmouth, on board the "Royal Albert,'' November 24, and landed at Balaclava on the 20th of December. The first battalion joined the reserve in February 1855.

Major-General A. F. Mackintosh, Commander of the Forces in the Ionian Islands, issued the following order prior to the embarkation of the first battalion from Corfu for the Crimea, in January 1855:-

"General Order.


"CORFU, 24th January 1855.

"The Major-General commanding addresses a few words to the 71st Light Infantry on their departure for the seat of war.

"The Major-General first saw the 71st a good many years ago, on a day when their commanding officer fell at their head; he has since often met the regiment in various parts of the world, and has always remarked among both the officers and men of the regiment that high military spirit and personal activity still conspicuous, which caused it to be selected and organised as a light corps.

" They are now about to appear on a scene where their predecessors in the regiment have so often distinguished themselves-the field of battle,-and the Major-General wishes them a prosperous passage, followed by a glorious career.


"Dep. Qr. - Mr. General.

During the time the 71st was in the Crimea, it had no chance of distinguishing itself in any great action, as had the 42d, and the other two Highland regiments with which it was brigaded.

Nevertheless, the 71st had many fatiguing and critical duties to perform, which it did with efficiency; as will be seen, it was mainly occupied in expeditions to various parts of the Crimea.

The regiment embarked on the 3rd of May onboard the "Furious" and the "Gladiator" steam frigates, forming part of the first expedition to Kertch, returning to Balaclava on the 8th. The regiment moved to the front on the 9th of May, and joined the third brigade of the fourth division in camp, before Sebastopol, performing satisfactorily the very trying duties in the trenches. Here, however, it did not long, remain, as on May 22nd it embarked at Balaclava, on board the steam frigates "Sidon" and "Valorous," and proceeded to Kertch with the expeditionary force of the allied army.

Landing at Kamiesch Bouroun, about five miles from Kertch, on the 24th of May, under cover of the gunboats, it bivouacked that night, and marched to Kertch the following morning, proceeding the same day to Yenikali, where it encamped.

The regiment re-embarked at Yenikali on the 10th of June on board the steam frigates "Sidon" and "Valorous," to return to the headquarters of the army, but was again disembarked -the headquarters and right wing at Yenikali on June the 12th, and the left wing at Cape St Paul on the 14th - to protect these points, in conjunction with a French and Turkish force. One company moved into Kertch from, Yenikali, August 4th, and the left wing from Cape St Paul to Kertch, September 22nd.

Three companies, under Major Hunter, embarked at Kertch, September 24th, and proceeded with the French on a joint expedition to Taman. Taman. and Phanagoria were bombarded by the French and English gunboats, and taken possession of by the allied expeditionary force on the same day. A large supply of hutting material and fuel was obtained for the use of the troops from these places, after which they were fired and abandoned. The expedition returned to Kertch on the 3rd of October.

A draft, consisting of 1 captain, 5 subalterns, 4 sergeants, and 121 rank and file from the reserve companies at Malta, landed at Balaclava in August, was moved to the front, and attached to the Highland division in camp before Sebastopol. It was present at the fall of Sebastopol, under the command of Major Campbell, and joined the headquarters of the regiment at Yenikali on. the 2nd of October.

Until the 22nd of June 1856, the various companies were kept moving between Yenikali and Kertch. On that date Kertch and Cape St Paul were handed over by the regiment to the Russians, the Turks and French having already evacuated the Crimea.

The headquarters and six companies embarked on board the steamship "Pacific," and two companies on board the "Gibraltar," on the 22nd of June, for passage to Malta.

During the stay of the 71st in Malta, from July 1856 to January 1858, there is nothing of importance to record except the death of Sir James MacDonell on the 15th of May 1857.