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60th Regiment of Foot

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60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot

A Brief History of the Unit at archive.org. A regimental chronicle and list of officers of the 60th, or the King's Royal Rifle Corps, formerly the 62nd, or the Royal American Regiment of Foot

The unit was originally raised in the American colonies in 1756 as the 62nd (Royal American) Regiment to defend the thirteen colonies against attack by the French and their Native American allies. After Braddock's defeat in 1755, royal approval for a new regiment, as well as funds, were granted by parliament just before Christmas 1755 – hence the regiment's traditional birthday of Christmas Day. However parliamentary delays meant it was 4 March 1756 before a special act of parliament created four battalions of 1,000 men each to include foreigners for service in the Americas.

Although raised as an "American" Regiment the officers were recruited from Europe – not from the American colonies – and consisted of English, Scots, Irish, Dutch, Swiss and Germans. It was the first time foreign officers were commissioned as British Army officers. The total regiment consisted of 101 officers, 240 non-commissioned officers and 4,160 enlisted men. The battalions were raised on Governors Island, New York. The regiment was renumbered the 60th (Royal American) Regiment in February 1757 when the 50th (Shirley's) and 51st (Pepperel's) foot regiments were removed from the British Army roll after their surrender at Fort Oswego.

Napoleonic Wars

During the Napoleonic Wars the regiment saw action in the Peninsular War. The first four battalions had been raised as regular line battalions, but in 1797 a 5th battalion had been raised at Cowes on the Isle of Wight and equipped entirely with the Baker rifle, and wore green jackets with red facings.[5] The mixing of rifle troops and muskets proved so effective that eventually line battalion light companies were replaced with rifle companies. The line battalions found themselves in several different theatres, including the West Indies. The rifle battalion was soon joined by a second, and these found themselves in the Peninsula with Wellington's army, serving along with the 95th Rifles, and the King's German Legion rifle units. A 7th battalion was eventually raised as a rifle battalion specifically for service in the American War of 1812.

1st Battalion 1810-1819

The 1st Battalion was transferred from Jamaica in April 1810 to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where it was refilled with a conscription of foreign troops. Thereafter the 1st Battalion was transferred to the Cape Colony in September 1811 where they fought in the the 4th Xhosa War until 1812. Thereafter they protected the boundaries of the Cape Colony until they were disbanded in 1819.


After the Napoleonic Wars the regiment received a new title: first, in 1815, its name was changed to Duke of York's Own Rifle Corps and then, in 1830, to the King's Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC). This renaming probably went unnoticed on the other side of the world where the 1st Battalion still used 60th Regiment of Foot until they were disbanded in 1819.


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Categories: 60th Regiment of Foot