Last updated: 20 November 2013
William Caulfeild, 2nd Viscount Charlemont, raised this unit in Ireland in 1701 and it repeatedly returned throughout its life to re-recruit. Initially serving as marines, it was used in two abortive amphibious landings against Cadiz in 1702 and Quebec in 1711. It was all but wiped out at Almanza in Spain in 1707 but had recovered by 1715, when it was charged by Jacobite Highlanders while serving as part of the left wing at Sheriffmuir.
It was back on amphibious operations in the early 1740s, this time in the West Indies and at Cartagena on the north coast of South America, before returning to Europe in 1744 to garrison Ghent in the Netherlands. They sailed from there to Britain in 1745 and formed part of the Second Line at Culloden in 1746. A further Flanders campaign followed from 1747 to 1749 and the regiment gained the numeral 36 in 1751 in the middle of a period in Gibraltar.
Later in the 1750s the regiment was stationed on the Isle of Wight for use in raids on the French coast. Except for a second nine-year stay in the West Indies from 1764 to 1773, it remained on home service until August 1782, when it gained its association with Herefordshire.
The previous month it had landed in Madras to begin ten years’ campaigning in India. The 36th led the force that stormed Bangalore on 21 March 1791 during the Third Anglo-Mysore War. In 1793 they captured the French possession of Pondicherry and sailed for home in 1798.
1800 saw them raiding the coast of France again, followed by time in Ireland protecting against invasion and keeping order. Brief spells in Germany, South Africa and South America were followed by a deployment to the Peninsula. The regiment joined the first British actions there, at Rolica and Vimeiro in 1808, before joining the evacuation from Corunna to England in 1809. Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) noted their behaviour at Vimeiro and called them ‘an example to the Army’. They returned to the Peninsula to join him in 1811 and remained there until June 1814, winning ten battle honours.
Occupation duties in France and garrison duties on Malta and Corfu followed. It then returned to the British Isles for five years in 1825, after which it was sent to garrison the West Indies and Canada. It then spent further periods in Ireland and England from 1842 to 1847 and 1857 to 1863, interspersed with garrison duties in the Ionian Islands off the west coast of Greece, the West Indies and India.
Its final period of home service as an independent unit came in England in 1875, followed by Ireland in 1880. There it was amalgamated with the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot to form The Worcestershire Regiment the following year, as part of the 1881 British Army reforms.