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43rd (Monmouth Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot

The 1/43rd arrived in Portugal just in time to take part in the Battle of Vimeiro on 21 August 1808. In October of the same year the 2/43rd arrived in the Peninsula as part of the reinforcements under Sir David Baird and together, the two battalions took part in the retreat to Corunna that winter.
Upon its return to England the 1/43rd was detailed to take part in the Walcheren campaign, whilst the 2/43rd returned to the Peninsula.
Shortly after it arrived in Lisbon, the battalion took part in Craufurd’s march to Talavera, arriving too late to take part in the battle. This march has been described as one almost unparalleled in military annals. The Light Division was constituted in March 1810. They spent the summer on outpost duty on the River Coa until, on 24 July they were involved in the famous Combat of the Coa. At the Battle of Bussaco the 43rd and the 52nd played a great part in repulsing Loison’s Division. In 1811 the battalion was involved in the Action at Sabugal and the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro. In 1812 at the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo they only lost 57 men, however they lost 347 men at the Siege of Badajoz, mainly during the storming of the breaches. At the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July 1812 the 43rd were only lightly engaged and casualties slight. Casualties were equally light at the Battle of Vittoria on 21 June 1813. Whilst the battalion was engaged in the Battles of the Pyrenees, some men of the 43rd volunteered for the final assault in the Siege of San Sebastian which culminated on 31 August 1813. 77 men were lost during the fighting of the Battle of Nivelle on 10 November 1813

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and further 34 a month later during the Battle of Nive. At the final battle of the Peninsular War at Toulouse on 19 April 1814 the division was in reserve.

Peninsular War MGSM's
Vimiera Aug 1808
Corunna Jan 1809
Busaco Sept 1810
Fuentes D’OnorMay 1811
Ciudad Rodrigo Jan 1812
Badajoz Mar-Apr 1812
Salamanca July 1812
VittoriaJune 1813
Pyrenees July-Aug 1813
St SebastianJuly –Sept 1813
Nivelle Nov 1813
Nive Dec 1813
Toulouse Apr 1814

In the two battalions of the 43rd Regiment there were 491 who were awarded the MGSM.
       6 were awarded 12 clasps
       9 were awarded 11 clasps
      17 awarded 10 clasps
Note : If a soldier has the clasp indicating that he was present at an early battle but then there is a gap before he was then engaged later, it could well be that he was absent during the interim period due to sickness or wounds.
At the end of the war the battalion was despatched to America where it took part in the ill-fated attack on New Orleans. They arrived back in Europe a day too late to take part in the Battle of Waterloo.

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