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95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot

The 95th Rifles served throughout the entire Peninsular Campaign, fighting in almost every major battle from Roliça to Toulouse and was present at Waterloo. For the sake of simplicity we will look at the 95th as a whole, rather than break the regiment down into its individual battalions. The 95th arrived in Portugal piecemeal;four companies of the 2/95th fought at Roliça and with two companies of 1/95th at Vimeiro.
During the Corunna Campaign they formed part of the rear-guard during the retreat, with the 1st Battalion serving in Paget’s Division whilst the 2nd Battalion marched to Vigo with Craufurd’s Light Brigade. When Wellesley returned to Lisbon in April 1809 a single company that had not accompanied Moore to Corunna but remained at Lisbon, served with him and took part in the Crossing of the Douro. The 1st Battalion did not return to Portugal until June that year and took part in Craufurd’s famous march to Talavera. As part of the newly-enhanced Light Division they saw a good deal of fighting in the summer of 1810 including the actions at Barba del Puerco and the River Coa, followed by Battle of Bussaco on 27 September. Whilst behind the Lines of Torres Vedras they were joined by the newly-formed 3rd Battalion of the regiment. When Massena withdrew they were in constant combat, with actions at Pombal, Redinha, Condeixa and Foz d’Arouce, culminating at Sabugal. Six companies of the 2nd and 3rd battalions were present with Graham at Barrosa on 5 March 1811.The 95th suffered relatively light casualties at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro on 3-5 May 1811. 

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When Wellington stormed Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz in January and April 1812 the Light Division was at the forefront on each occasion and the 95th suffered accordingly. They saw little fighting at the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July 1812. lost a number of men during the subsequent retreat. The 95th next saw action at the Battle of Vittoria on 21 June 1813 and was afterwards engaged in the Battles of the Pyrenees and some men volunteered for the final assault at the Siege of San Sebastian. They made considerable contributions to the fighting on the Bidassoa, Nivelle and Nive Rivers. The regiment saw only limited service at Orthes on 27 February 1814 but was fully engaged at Tarbes on 20 March. Whilst the Light Division was mainly in reserve at the final battle of the war at Toulouse on 10 April 1814, however the 3/95th took some heavy casualties. In the three battalions of the 95th Regiment there were 695 who were awarded the MGSM.
     2 were awarded 14 clasps
     3 were awarded 13 clasps
    13 were awarded 12 clasps
    24 were awarded 11 clasps
    29 awarded 10 clasps.
 The some of the 95th served under Graham in Holland 1813-14 and in the ill-fated attack on New Orleans in January 1815. Only the 1st Battalion saw serious fighting at Quatre Bras, losing 64 men. All three battalions served with great distinction at Waterloo, losing a combined total of nearly 400 men.  By the time the last battalion left France in November 1818 the regiment was then called ‘The Rifle Brigade’.

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