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8th Regiment of Foot

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Surnames/tags: War_of_1812 British Army
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Created From
Original Creation
8th (King's) Regiment of Foot
1685 - 1881
The Kings Regiment (Liverpool)

8th (King's) Regiment of Foot

The 8th (King's) Regiment of Foot, also referred to as the 8th Foot and the King's, was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1685 and retitled the King's (Liverpool Regiment) on 1 July 1881.

As infantry of the line, the 8th (King's) peacetime responsibilities included service overseas in garrisons ranging from British North America, the Ionian Islands, India, and the British West Indies. The duration of these deployments varied considerably, sometimes exceeding a decade; its first tour of North America began in 1768 and ended in 1785.

The regiment served in numerous conflicts during its existence, notably in the wars with France that dominated the 18th and 19th centuries, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Indian rebellion of 1857 (historically referred to as the "Indian Mutiny" by Britain). As a consequence of Childers reforms, the 8th became the King's (Liverpool Regiment). A pre-existing affiliation with the city had derived from its depot being situated in Liverpool from 1873 because of the earlier Cardwell reforms.

Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812

The regiment was stationed, initially in Gibraltar, in 1803 and then was relocated to Britain. It saw brief service on the Europe before being part of the force, under Sir Arthur Wellesley, at the siege of Copenhagen in 1807.

The 1st Battalion moved to Canada in 1808 as the Napoleonic Wars extended to the Americas. Within a year, in January 1809, the battalion had embarked at Barbados with an expeditionary force of 10,000 assembled to invade Martinique. Although a number of engagements with the French garrison preceded the island's seizure, disease represented the principal threat to Britain's five-year occupation. By October 1809, some 1,700 of more than 2,000 casualties had succumbed to disease.[45] The 8th Foot returned to Nova Scotia in April, having had its commanding officer, Major Bryce Maxwell, and four others killed in a skirmish with French soldiers on the Surirey Heights during the advance on Fort Desaix in February.

When sustained tension between the United States and Britain culminated in the War of 1812, the 1st and 2nd battalions were based in Quebec and Nova Scotia respectively. Sporadic raids into Canada on the eastern frontier provided impetus for a former regimental officer, Lieutenant-Colonel "Red" George MacDonnell, to encroach into New York State and attack Ogdensburg in February 1813. To reach their destination, the 8th Foot and Canadian militia had to traverse across the frozen St. Lawrence River and through dense snow. After gaining control of the fort following close-quarters battle, the British destroyed the main barracks and three anchored vessels, and departed with provisions and prisoners. Ogdensburg would not be reestablished as a frontier garrison, ensuring relative peace in the region.


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Categories: 8th Regiment of Foot