After a period of garrison service in England, Ireland and the Channel Islands the 61st Foot was stationed on the island of Minorca in 1771. The island had become a British possession under the Treaty of Paris of 1763.
By 1779 Britain was involved in a war with America, France and Spain. In the following years and after an outbreak of tertian fever had hit the garrison, in August 1781 the Duc de Crillon landed with 8000 Spanish troops and 100 guns, the garrison had only 1500 men. The 61st found themselves besieged in Fort St Philip. Soon after another 8000 French troops joined the Spanish. The Duc demanded the surrender of Fort St Philip. The garrison held out until February 1782 when it was forced to surrender, the enemy commanders were so impressed with the conduct of the defenders that they paraded their troops as the garrison marched out.
Fort St. Phillip
The remains of the regiment were repatriated in May 1782 where they began recruiting. In August 1782 all regiments of foot without a royal title were given a county designation, and the regiment became the 61st (South Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot in 1782. In 1783 the regiment moved to Ireland where it remained until 1792. In the latter year they moved to Gibraltar.
Link to Soldiers of Gloucestershire Website