Monday, September 5, 2016
25th. Regiment of foot
The regiment was raised on 18 March 1689 by David Melville, 3rd Earl of Leven to defend Edinburgh against the Jacobite forces of James II.
For a period it was known as Semphill's Regiment of Foot, the name under which it fought at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and the Battle of Culloden in 1746. With the introduction of regimental numbering in 1751, the regiment became the 25th Foot and it was as such that it took perhaps its most famous battle honour at Minden on 1st August 1759.
Following prolonged garrison duties on Minorca from 1768 to 1780, the regiment was sent to relieve Gibraltar, and in the same year, for a number of reasons, was retitled ‘the 25th (Sussex) Regiment of Foot’.
There is a remarkable collection of paintings and engravings of the time when the regiment was located in Menorca.
In August 1799 the regiment sailed from the Isle of Wight to Kent, where, at Canterbury General Abercromby was assembling a force for the invasion of the Netherlands. In October 1799 the 25th won a third battle honour at the Battle of Egmont-op-Zee, fighting in the vanguard of Sir John Moore’s brigade on the sand dunes.
In 1801 the Regiment was sent to Egypt with Sir Ralph Abercromby’s force and took part in the capture of Alexandria, thus earning, the right to bear the emblem of the Sphinx on its Colours.
The 1st battalion spent the most part of the Napoleonic Wars in the West Indies. Martinique was taken in 1809, and Guadeloupe in 1811. During this campaign the Battalion lost more men through disease than as a result of enemy action. Also during this period, in 1805, at the order of King George III, the regiment was retitled the ‘King’s Own Borderers’ and its facings changed to royal blue.