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.
The title of 9th 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.
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.
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. 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detached, and sent to Bermuda, reinforced with a detachment from the Bahamas Independent Company, but this force was withdrawn in 1768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.
==The Napoleonic Wars==
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 at Nive. The Regiment fought alongside Portuguese troops as part of 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.
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.
In the Crimean War, the regiment fought at the Siege of Sevastopol.
The 2nd battalion was raised once more in 1857, and was landed at Yokohama as part of the British intervention there in the 1860s. The battalion saw action on the North-West Frontier in 1877, and then in the Second Anglo-Afghan War fought at Kabul in 1879.
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.