THE SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
13TH REGIMENT OF FOOT
Courtesy of Mr Rick Oxenham, Christchurch
This regiment has a long and illustrious history. Apart from a great deal of detail before and after the period when our Fencible ancestors belonged to the Regiment, relevant details of their service will follow.
In 1822 the Regiment sailed for India under the command of Sir Robert Sale, later to become a Major-General who earned an awesome reputation at battles such as Jellalabad, and Sir Henry Havelock, also later a Major-General, who earned his reputation during the Indian Mutiny. The regiment served in the First Burmese War (1824-1826), thus earning the Battle Honour 'Ava'.
From 1838, the regiment took part in the First Afghan War where it distinguished itself during the assault on Ghuznee and the epic defence of Jellalabad which occurred after the major withdrawal of British troops. This defence which saw the 13th Light Infantry as the only regiment to be covered in glory and honour, caused Queen Victoria to rename the regiment 'Prince Albert's Regiment of Light Infantry", changing its facings from yellow to blue. In addition, a mural crown superscribed Jellalabad was added to the badge and a special medal for Jellalabad was issued.
After this the regiment returned to England and Ireland, and it is then that a number of men who subsequently became Fencibles, retired from their Army careers. The regiment later went to Gibraltar in 1851 where it remained until 1855
The regiment continued to have a long and illustrious history, from 1685, including Culloden amongst many others, until 1959 when it became amalgamated with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, becoming the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, thus ending 274 years of almost unparalleled history and loyal service to the Crown.