Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grenadier, 5th Regiment of Foot, 1776.

This is the Airfix 1970s vintage grenadier built with some minor modifications. Straps were made out of wine bottle lead, and so was a new flag. The flag was mounted on brass rod, while the tassels from the the kit flag were attached to the new flag. The flag is indeed made with artistic license, since the regulated flags were both square and significantly bigger. Perhaps this grenadier picked up a flag from a Loyalist or a government building? Anyway, the kit came together quite nicely, and it was a fun build, wetting my appetite for more miniatures.

The 5th Regiment of Foot was originally raised in 1674, and this unit took part in most British campaigns up to the Korean War. It was amalgamated with other fusiliers into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1968.

As for the AWI, the 5th left Monkstown, Ireland on May 7, 1774, for Boston. Arriving in July, 1774 the 5th camped on Boston Common. On April 19,1775, the Light Infantry and Grenadier Companies participated in the march to Concord, and the resulting fighting at Lexington, Concord, and the march back to Boston. Casualties were five men killed, three officers and 15 men wounded, and finally one man captured. On June 17, 1775, after being under siege by American forces for two months, the regiment participated in the attack on the fortifications at Breed's Hill (the Battle of Bunker Hill). The American forces were finally driven off after intense fighting. The regiment was heavily engaged and suffered 24 dead as well as 137 wounded.

After spending two months on board ship in Halifax, the 5th sailed to New York to participate in the effort to capture the city from the Americans. They took part in the Battle of Long Island and the Battle of White Plains, the capture of Fort Washington, New York, the capture of Fort Lee, New Jersey. They then spent the winter of 1776-1777 quartered near New York City and were involved in skirmishes with the American forces. They were then part of Howe's campaign to capture Philadelphia, being engaged in the Battle of Brandywine Creek. During the battle they broke the Continental Army's center at Chadd's Ford, capturing 5 cannon. On the retreat through New Jersey, on June 28, 1778, the regiment was involved in the fighting at Monmouth Court House. While in New York, the 5th participated in several raids and skirmishes, including a raid on Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The Americans had been using the harbour for privateering, and this raid succeeded in destroying many buildings and boats. The 5th embarked from New York on 3 November 1778 for the French West Indies.

The unit was eventually named the 5th (Northumberland) Regiment of Foot, primarily due to their commander in the 1780s, Hugh Percy, who happened to be the first Duke of Northumberland.

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