Regiments and Corps

35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot

The 35th Regiment took part in the capture of Quebec in 1759

Origins

In 1701, Arthur Chichester, 3rd Earl of Donegal, raised a regiment in Belfast to serve in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14).

It took part in operations along the Spanish coast, fighting at the Battle of Cadiz (1702), the Siege of Gibraltar (1704-05), the Siege of Barcelona (1706) and the Battle of Almanza (1707), where the regiment lost its Colours and was nearly wiped out. After this, it returned to Ireland to recover.

Eleven years later, it was sent to garrison Minorca. Then, from 1725, it spent the next three decades back in Ireland. This period saw the regiment assigned the numeral 35 in the infantry order of precedence.

Glengarry badge, 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot, c1874

Glengarry badge, 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot, c1874

35th Regiment of Foot, c1742

35th Regiment of Foot, c1742

Quiz

Which of the following was a nickname of the 35th Regiment?

The Royal Lilies
The Tiger Lilies
The Orange Lilies
Did you know?

When the regiment was formed in 1701, King William III (also the Dutch Prince of Orange) granted it orange facings (lapels, cuffs and tails) in recognition of its Protestant allegiance and as a mark of royal favour.

Seven Years War

In 1756, the regiment sailed to North America to fight in the Seven Years War (1756-63). The following year, it was forced to surrender at Fort William Henry and marched out with full honours of war, only to be attacked by France’s Native American allies. Over 180 men were killed.

The regiment had recovered by 1759. At the Battle of Quebec it defeated the grenadiers of the French Royal Rousillon Regiment, going on to adopt its white plume badge. It then took part in the invasion of Martinique (1762) and the capture of Havana (1762), before sailing back to Britain in 1765.

American war

It was soon back in North America, fighting at Bunker Hill (1775), Long Island (1776), White Plains (1776) and Harlem Heights (1776) during the American War of Independence (1775-83).

In 1778, it joined the invasion force against the Caribbean island of St Lucia. Four years later, it was given the county designation of Dorset.

The British capture of Havana, 1762

The Battle of Long Island, 1776

Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

In 1794, the regiment helped capture Martinique and St Lucia. Then, in 1799, it raised a 2nd Battalion, which joined 1st Battalion on the Helder Expedition in the Low Countries, fighting at Bergen and Alkmaar.

The following year, both battalions took part in the capture of Malta. This led to the adoption of the Maltese Cross on the regimental insignia.

2nd Battalion was disbanded in 1803, only to re-form two years later. Alongside 1st Battalion, it went on to serve in Sicily (1805), Egypt (1807) and Italy (1806), where it fought at the Battle of Maida.

In 1804, the regiment’s colonel undertook recruitment in Sussex. He successfully petitioned the Army to let him take on that county's title, which had previously belonged to the 25th Foot. The 35th's original affiliation with Dorset passed on to the 39th Foot in 1807.

In 1809, 1st Battalion was posted to the Ionian Islands, while 2nd Battalion was sent on the disastrous Walcheren Expedition. The latter returned to the Low Countries in 1813 and then fought at Waterloo (1815), before disbanding in 1817.

The British landing in Holland, 1799

The Battle of Maida, 1806

Victorian era

Over the next few decades, the regiment undertook garrison duties in Malta, the West Indies, Ireland and Mauritius. In 1832, the ‘Royal’ prefix was added to its title.

It was in Burma in 1856 and then saw service during the Indian Mutiny (1857-59), fighting at Arrah (1858) and in several other smaller engagements. Garrison duties in Barbados, Malta and Cyprus followed.

Legacy

In 1881, it was merged with the 107th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Light Infantry) to form The Royal Sussex Regiment.

The Royal Sussex Regiment Museum

The National Army Museum works together with Regimental and Corps Museums across the country to help provide a network of military museums for everyone to visit and enjoy.

Explore the history and collections of the 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment by visiting the regimental museum at Eastbourne Redoubt.

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