The 23rd Regiment of Foot was raised by
Lord Herbert of Chirbury on March 16th 1689.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Welch Fusiliers first saw
action in 1801 when they led a party landing at Aboukir Bay in
Egypt. Fixing bayonets the troops charged the French, which a
contemporary writer describes: “ decided the victory and established
a footing on the shores of Egypt…circumstances of glory never
surpassed in the military annals of the world”.
In 1809 the second battalion battled over the snow covered mountains
to Corunna in Northern Spain. Here it formed the rearguard as the
British army evacuated the town- the last to leave the town was
Captain Thomas Lloyd Fletcher from the Royal Welch Fusiliers and his
corporal who locked the postern gate to delay the advance of the
French. The keys were taken back to Wales and are now at the
Regimental museum in Caernarfon.
In 1810, the first battalion arrived in the peninsula from Nova
Scotia, and were brigaded with the Royal Fusiliers, as part of
Cole’s Division .On 16th May 1811 the Battle of Albuera took place.
The French took the important high ground and fought off two
counter-attacks by the British. Cole’s Division was brought up for
one final attack and were met with a fearsome volley- Napier
describes it “the fuzileer battalions, struck by the iron tempest,
reeled and staggered like sinking ships-but suddenly and sternly
recovering they closed on their terrible enemies, and then was seen
with what strength and majesty the British soldier fights…Nothing
could stop that astonishing infantry…their dreadful volleys swept
away the head of every formation”.
The 23rd was also at Waterloo (1815) where the Regiment lost its’
Commanding Officer Colonel Sir Henry Walton-Ellis during the final
rout of the Imperial Guard.
The 23rd Foot Royal Welch Fusiliers Napoleonic Re-Enactment Society
was formed in 1997 and now has over 20 members, although we are
always looking to add to our numbers. We pride ourselves in being as
authentic as possible in both uniforms and campsite. Men and women
are welcome as redcoats and all the family are welcome to portray
families in our authentic camp area. During the winter we will hold
drill meetings in South Wales.