British Regiment


The 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army raised in 1701. After serving under a number of different titles, it became the 1st Battalion of The Royal Sussex Regiment in 1881. Its lineage is continued today by the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.


On 28 June 1701, Arthur Chichester, 3rd Earl of Donegall was appointed colonel of the regiment of foot he had raised at his own expense in the northern counties of Ireland. The new unit was accordingly titled the Earl of Donegall’s Regiment of Foot, although it was sometimes informally known as “The Belfast Regiment”, this being the place where it was first embodied. This was the second Earl of Donegall’s Regiment: the previous regiment was raised in 1693 and disbanded on 8 February 1697: despite the names there was no lineal connection between them.

The regiment was raised to meet the threat of war with France, but was also a strongly Protestant unit tasked with resisting the spread of Roman Catholicism in Britain. The king, William of Orange, gave special permission for the regiment to bear orange facings to show their religious allegiance and as a mark of royal favour.

==Early service==

William died in March 1702 and his successor, Queen Anne, declared war on France on 4 May of that year, part of a conflict that would become known as the War of the Spanish Succession . Anne issued a Royal Warrant on 1 June of 1702 under which Donegall’s Regiment was one of six regiments designated for “sea service” and put under the command of the Royal Nay. The troops embarked on several ships in June, and took part in the Battle of Cádiz in 1702, the defence of Gibraltar in 1704 to 1705, and the Siege of Barcelona, where the Earl of Donegall was killed on 16 April 1706. On his death Brigadier Richard Gorges was appointed colonel, with the unit becoming Gorges’s Regiment of Foot.

At the disastrous Battle of Almansa in 1707 the regiment was practically wiped out and the regimental colours were lost (they were recovered three years later in a church in Madrid). The survivors returned to Ireland where the regiment was reconstituted. After the war the Gorge’s Regiment remained mostly in Ireland.

In 1717 Gorges resigned as colonel and was replaced by General Charles Otway. They were known as Otway’s Regiment of Foot until 1751 when a royal warrant redesignated all regiments of foot by their numerical precedence: Otway’s became the 35th Regiment of Foot.

In 1756 the regiment was sent to America to fight in the French and Indian War which had broken out in 1754.

===Fort William Henry===

main article Battle of Fort William Henry

The regiment is most known{by whom|date=July 2013} for the “massacre” inflicted on it after the Fall of Fort William Henry during the French and Indian War, as depicted by James Fenimore Cooper in his book Last of the Mohicans and in the movie of the same name.

The 35th Foot was part of the garrison, under Lieutenant-Colonel George Monro in August 1757 when it was forced to surrender to the superior forces of General Montcalm. The force was allowed to leave the fort with their weapons. The Native American allies of the French set upon the retreating force killing 185 and turning the retreat into disorder, with many members of the garrison being lost in the wilderness for a number of days before reaching safety.

In 1759 the regiment had its revenge on Montcalm when, at the Battle of Quebec (1759), the 35th Foot were in General Wolfe’s army on the right of the British line. The steady fire of the 35th broke the French Regiment Royal Roussillon, which had been at Fort William Henry, who turned and fled. Regimental tradition states that members of the regiment picked up the Frenchmen’s plumes and placed them in their own headress’. The Roussillon Plume would be incorporated into the badge of the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1881.

The Regiment was also involved in the Expulsion of the Acadians, participating in the Cape Sable Campaign and the Petitcodiac Campaign.

===American Revolution===

The regiment returned to fight in the American War of Independence arriving at Boston in April 1775. The flank companies, which arrived first, were the regiment’s Light Infantry Company and Grenadier Company, were amalgamated during this time. They were formed with other flank companies in the 1st Battalion Light Infantry and 1st Battalion Grenadiers, respectively. These companies took part in the Battles of Bunker Hill and suffered tremendous casualties. Of the Light Infantry, only three privates escaped without wounds, whereas all others were killed or injured to some extent. The Grenadier Company fared no better. The rest of the regiment, made up of regular battalion companies, arrived shortly thereafter along with its field commander, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Carr. Having endured the siege of Boston, Lord Howe evacuated the army and Bostonian loyalists to Halifax, Canada in March 1776. From there, the army descended upon New York. The battalion companies of the 35th Regiment were part of the II Brigade and, after invading Long Island from Staten Island, participated in the Brooklyn. Still pursuing Washington, the British force, including the 35th, moved north and engaged the enemy at the Battle of Pelham Manor and the Battle of White Plains where Lt. Col. Robert Carr was killed in action. The army moved against Manhattan again and the regiment participated in the Battle of Harlem Heights with all companies hotly engaged. Afterwards, the battalion companies of the regiment remained on garrison duty. In 1777, the Light Infantry and Grenadiers participated in the Philadelphia Campaign and the culmination of the retreat across New Jersey with the Battle of Monmouth, 1778. The battalion companies, in the meantime, had garrisoned such places as Amboy and New Brunswick, and were moved back to New York. Shortly thereafter, General James Grant took 5,000 men, including the 35th, to the West Indies. The regiment took part in the capture of St. Lucia in the West Indies in 1778 and remained in the Caribbean area until 1785 when it returned to England. The regiment, therefore, never met defeat on the field of battle during the American Revolution.

===Change of titles===

In 1782 George III added county titles to infantry regiments in order to help recruiting and the regiment became the 35th (Dorsetshire) Regiment although the reason for the connection with Dorset is not known. The first real connection with Sussex came in 1787 when Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, joined the Regiment – Lennox not only recruited Sussex men for the Regiment from his family estates in the County but, in 1804, obtained Royal permission for the title “Sussex” to be transferred from the 25th Regiment of Foot (later to become the King’s Own Scottish Borderers) to the 35th.


=== Napoleonic War ===

During the Napoleonic wars both battalions of the regiment served in the Mediterranean during the Sicilian campaign in 1806, and then in Alexandria during the 1807. The 35th later served in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 (18 June)

===Royal Regiment===

On 15 June 1832 the following notice was published in the London Gazette: His Majesty has been graciously pleased to direct that the 35th Regiment of Foot shall be permitted to bear the appellation of Royal, and be in future styled the 35th or Royal Sussex Regiment; and that the facings be accordingly changed from orange to blue.


In 1881, a number of army reforms, notably the Childers Reforms radically changed army structure. The 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot was amalgamated with the 107th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Light Infantry), formerly 3rd Bengal (European) Infantry. The result was a two-battalion Royal Sussex Regiment where the 35th Foot became the 1st Battalion and the 107th became the 2nd Battalion. It was not common for both battalions of a regiment to be stationed in the same place at the same time, (one exception being the ill-fated 24th Regiment of Foot during the Zulu War).