British 40th Regiment of Foot

  • The Napoleonic War
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

Raised by Royal Authority in 1717, The 40th Regiment of Foot (Infantry) was a Colonial Canadian (Nova Scotia) Regiment. They were Garrisoned mostly in North America and in British West Indies interests. Originally just (1) Battalion, they would be raised to (2) by 1814. Skirmishing with French Colonial Forces on the frontier, The 40th would be a major British Force during King George's War (The War of Austrian Succession in Europe) from 1744 to 1748.A raid on Louisburg would yield 900 prisoners and an impromptu fresh water flotilla. The Regiment would go one to amass a well earned record as frontier fighters against French assets.


Seeing brief service during The French and Indian Wars, The Regiment was eventually stationed in Barbados and later in Ireland. This was the first time since it's formation 50 years prior that The 40th set foot on British soil. Short lived, The Regiment was deployed back to America in 1775, in time for The American Revolutionary War. They saw combat in (5) major battles of that War. They would remain in America until 1782. During The Napoleonic Wars, The 40th was again briefly sent back to The Caribbean to harass French assets, but would be recalled back to Central Europe, where it fought in many of the epic Coalition battles of that War. Due to their experience in North America, they were needed during the outbreak of The War of 1812 (deployed to New Orleans, Louisiana, 1814). They would not see combat though – for by the time they landed, word finally reached them that the ''American War'' was over. Back to Europe they went.


They joined The Duke of Wellington's Army at Waterloo in 1815, holding the left line against heavy massed French assaults. They did not yield their position and suffered 20% casualties as a result. The survivors were part of The British Army of Occupation in Belgium until 1817, when they came home to England. Stationed in India for a time, they would also be sent Afghanistan in the 1840s, where The 40th would suffer some of the worst disease related casualties ever suffered by a British Army up to that time. Illness would claim 65% of it's ranks. It would be recalled to England in 1845. The 1850's found The 40th ''afar'' yet again – this time in Australian to suppress The Eureka Rebellion. Stationed in that Country until the 1860s, The Regiment would be deployed to fight The Maori in New Zealand. Home in 1872, The 40th would eventually fall to The Army Reforms of the 1870s. Disbanded and spread out among other smaller Units, they would become The Prince of Wales Volunteers, ''The Lancasters'' until 1958, when they were formally disbanded.