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New Brunswick Military Units, 76th Regiment of Foot (British Army), Garrisoned at Fredericton, 1853-1857

New Brunswick Military Units, 76th Regiment of Foot (British Army)

Garrisoned at Fredericton, 1853-1857

Data current to 11 Feb 2019.

 (Holdfast Photo)

The 76th Regiment of Foot was a British Army regiment, raised for service in India in October 1787.  The regiment embarked for India in 1788 where over the next few years it took part in a number of battles and engagements under fire.  For their distinguished service in these actions, King George III gave his authorisation permitting the regiment to have the word "Hindoostan" emblazoned upon the regimental colours along with an elephant badge with a howday on top of the elephant, also inscribed with the word "Hindoostan".  The regiment returned to England and became the 76th (Hindoostan) Regiment of Foot in October 1806.

In 1807, the regiment was deployed to Jersey in the Channel Islands for garrison duty, remaining there until 1808, when it was deployed to Spain to take part in the Peninsular War.  The regiment took part in the Battle of Corunna in January 1809 and was evacuated from the Peninsula later that month.  The regiment took part in the Walcheren Campaign in the autumn of 1809 and, having reverted to the title of 76th Regiment of Foot in 1812, returned to the Peninsula in 1813 seeing action at the Battle of Nivelle in November 1813, and the Battle of Nive in December 1813.  It then embarked for North America for service in the War of 1812 and saw action at the Battle of Plattsburgh in September 1814.

The regiment did not return from North America until 1827.  It was garrisoned in Ireland until 1834 when it departed for the West Indies.  It went on to Canada in 1841 before returning home in 1842.  The regiment was deployed to South Wales later in the year to help suppress the Rebecca Riots.  After that the regiment went to Corfu in 1848 and on to Malta in 1850 before sailing for Saint John, New Brunswick in March 1853.

The headquarter division of the 76th arrived in Saint John on 26 April, disembarked on the 27th, and re-embarked on the same day for Fredericton.  Here it was joined by the other division, when 3 companies were detached to Saint John and one to Prince Edward Island.  In September 1854, the Regiment proceeded to Halifax, leaving one company at Fredericton. New Brunswick

 It was garrisoned at Fredericton where it remained until embarking for home again in September 1857.  It embarked for India in September 1863 and was stationed in Fort St. George, Madras before moving on to Burma in January 1868, returning to India again in 1870 and sailing for England in 1876.

As part of the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s, where single-battalion regiments were linked together to share a single depot and recruiting district in the United Kingdom, the 76th was linked with the 33rd (Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment and assigned to district No. 9 at Wellesley Barracks in Halifax.  On 1 July 1881 the Childers Reforms came into effect and the regiment amalgamated with the 33rd (Duke of Wellington's) Regiment to form the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.

Fredericton

During its service while garrisoned in Fredericton, (from 1853 to 1857) the 76th was commanded by General William Jervais, KH, (Commander from 1853 to 1862), his deputy in Fredericton was Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Clarke, who later became Lieutenant General Clarke, commanding the 76th from 1862 to 1871.

During its service in Fredericton, the 76th was apparently well-liked:

1854

In the month of September, the Regiment proceeded to Halifax, leaving one company at Fredericton. New Brunswick; and the following address, signed by the magistrates, clergy, and inhabitants, was presented to the Regiment. 

To Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet-Colonel Joseph Clarke and to those officers, non-commissioned officers and privates of the 76th. Regiment, about to leave this province,

We, the magistrates, clergy, and others, inhabitants of the of Fredericton, cannot suffer you to depart from our city without expressing our sincere regret. Since your Regiment has been stationed among us, it has been peculiarly distinguished by the gentlemanly deportment of its officers, by the sober habits and orderly conduct of the men, the result of that perfect state of discipline and subordination which is the soldier's best praise, not only in time of peace, but when called into action. This we more fully appreciate in this year of pestilence, as the sober habits of the men in abstaining from intemperate indulgence in ardent spirits have probably tended, to preserve the community from an increased liability to the contagion of cholera. We are deeply impressed with the importance of your exertions in the cases of fire which have occurred since you have been stationed in this garrison; always first on the ground, even in those intensely cold nights of the late rigorous winter, your well directed efforts have been continued with unflinching and untiring labour. On the late disastrous conflagration, we attribute to these efforts the check of the further spread of those fatal ravages which laid waste so large a portion of our city. In thus taking leave, we wish you the fullest (measure) of honour that can attend the military career of a British Regiment.

(signed) B. Wolhaupter, Sheriff, etc.

REPLY

To the Magistrates, Clergy, &c., Of the city of Fredericton,

Gentlemen,

On receiving your address, I sincerely thank you for the expression of good feeling towards myself, the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the 76th Regiment. It is a source of much gratification on leaving the city of Fredericton to bear with us the esteem and goodwill of its inhabitants, which we fully reciprocate. It is with much regret we leave your province, and we beg to offer our sincere thanks for the kindly feeling evinced during our residence with you, and the manner which you acknowledge the assistance we were enabled to afford on the late occasions of conflagration, etc., which visited your city. Accept our most cordial wishes for the prosperity of your city, and welfare of its community, in which we, will ever feel the deepest interest.

(signed) Joseph Clarke, Col. and Lieut.-Col.,

Fredericton,

76th Regiment,

21st September, 1854.

1854

The company stationed at Prince Edward's Isle embarked at Charlottetown on the 21st, and arrived at Halifax on September 23rd, making a total of headquarters and ten companies at Halifax, one company at Fredericton, and one at St. John.

1855

In January, the Regiment was organised into ten service and two depot companies, this arrangement being altered in April to 8 service and 4 depot companies, the depot at this time being in Jersey.

1856

In April, the coatee was abolished in favour of the tunic, and in the same year it was supplied with the new Enfield Rifle Musket. In July, the regiment arrived at St. John, New Brunswick, where it remained until September, 1857, where it embarked in the steamship Jura for Cork, proceeding thence by rail to Dublin. It reached Dublin on October 13th and occupied quarters in Beggar's Bush and Ship Street Barracks.

1857

On the Regiment leaving Fredericton in September, it was again presented with an address, as follows:

To Lieutenant-Colonel Lloyd, and to those officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the 76th Regiment about to leave this province.

The Mayor and Councillors of the city of Fredericton in common council for this purpose specially convened, on behalf of themselves and the citizens universally, cannot allow you and the Regiment you command to leave our shores without expressing our regret at the sudden departure, from among us, of those who by their urbanity and uniform soldier-like conduct have endeared the name of a British soldier, and especially the soldiers of Her Majesty's 76th Regiment, to us all. Stationed in this garrison for some time prior to the Crimean war, the address of the citizens of Fredericton on the departure of the Regiment then testified their respect for the many virtues of your Regiment, and I feel happy in saying that their reappearance and stay among us have tended to strengthen the good opinion then so justly expressed. You are now called away, not as then to guard a post far from the seat of war, but to enter the very field of strife in a land where in other days that emblem, the "Elephant", worn by your Regiment, was won by the gallantry and heroism of the 76th, and we feel that that emblem will need no other watch-word to inspire them with like heroism to bear away from England's enemies even prouder trophies. We cannot omit in this address the name of the gallant Colonel Clarke, the late commander of the 76th, during his command ever ready and ever willing, as well to do his duty as extend acts of kindness; and through you, sir, we beg to assure Colonel Clarke that his truly honourable and noble conduct will always be remembered by the citizens of Fredericton, and, go where he may, he will be followed by the good wishes and earnest desire of us all for his health and prosperity, feeling well assured if anything can add to his regret on leaving New Brunswick, it is that he cannot accompany his gallant Regiment to the enemy's front, and lead them to battle and to victory. SEVENTY-SIXTH, 'Go where glory waits thee,' and remember, as we know you will when in the field of battle, that to you is entrusted the honour of old and beloved England, and England's beloved Queen; and forget. not that you carry with You, officers and men, the warm feelings and sincere wishes of Her Majesty's loyal subject, for your happiness, prosperity, and every honour that can fill a soldier's heart with joy. SEVENTY-SIXTH, FAREWELL.

On behalf of the Corporation and citizens of Fredericton.

Fredericton, (signed) W. H. Needham, Mayor, 23rd Sept. 1857. G. N. Tegee, City Clerk."

The Regiment was expecting to be sent to India, a hope of it was disappointed.

REPLY

Mr. Mayor and Gentlemen,

Permit me, in the name of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the 76th. Regiment which I have the honour to command, to assure you that those kind sentiments and feelings which you have conveyed us in such handsome terms are fully appreciated on our own part by all ranks. The address which you were pleased to make to the Regiment on its departure from this province, at the commencement of the struggle in the Crimea, is still fresh in the minds of us all ; and its renewal on the present occasion, couched in still more affectionate language, is a convincing proof we have not fallen in your good opinion during our late sojourn among you and further that courtesy and soldier-like conduct on the part of the British soldier is ever sure to meet with its full estimation from those with whom he may be associated. In leaving these peaceful and tranquil scenes where we have passed so many happy days, it is more than probable we shall quickly be removed to the stern realities of strife, bloodshed, an revenge, in a far distant land; a land, where more than fifty years ago, the 76th Regiment acquired no common reputation for gallantry and daring. Should the orders of our Sovereign and Country summon us again to the same battlefields, I trust we shall strengthen, if possible, our present good name, and preserve untarnished the proud badge of the "Elephant" accorded for bravery and gallant conduct at those very spots, where now the blood runs cold in reading, unheard of atrocities and cruelties, unsurpassed in tile annals of savage life. In conclusion, gentlemen, allow me to say that in whatever part of the world we may be placed, or whatever see lies we shall have to pass through, the pleasing recollections and associations of our long stay in this province, and the many friendships we have formed in Fredericton, will ever be uppermost in our minds ; their remembrance will tend to cheer and enliven us ill those dreary hours of peril and hardship inseparable from a soldier's life. Again, I offer you in the name of the 76th. Regiment, Mr. Mayor and, Gentlemen, Our most cordial thanks and god wishes for Your future welfare and happiness.

(signed) R. C. Lloyd, Lieut.-Col.

Fredericton, N.B.,

25th Sept. 1857.

Commanding 76th Regiment.

On October 26th the appellations of "grenadier" and "light" companies were abolished in compliance with instructions.

76th Regiment of Foot, 1814-1827.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2833381)