Egmont-op-Zee - 1799

Egmont-op-Zee - 1799

Service At Home

Returning to England through North Shields, the Fifteenth rejoined the depot troops at Croydon in February 1796, and the following two summers were spent encamped near Weymouth, practising Lt.Gen.. Dundas' new Cavalry Manoeuvres.

In 1798 The regiment was camped at Ashford and later Swinley, near Windsor, where they were reviewed by the King.

They were again reviewed by His Majesty on 10th June 1799, near Reading, and on the 11th the King gave orders that officers and soldiers of the regiment should wear scarlet feathers in their helmets as a distinction.

Two Troops Only

Later that year the Fifteenth were again ordered for foreign service, and, arriving in Holland on 25th September under the command of Lt.Col. James Erskine, joined the Cavalry under Colonel Lord Paget.

On the 2nd October 1799 a general attack was made on enemy positions at Bergen and Egmont-op-Zee , and battle was joined with a strong French force whose Infantry were in the sand dunes, and Cavalry and Artillery on the beach. The enemy were forced back for several miles, eventually halting before Egmont, at which the British Artillery moved forward to check the French guns. Paget moved up two troops of the Fifteenth to support, keeping them concealed in the dunes. 500 French Cavalry moved up against what they thought were unprotected guns, pressing forward despite casualties from the fire of the Artillery, but were surprised and driven back on their reserves by the two troops of Fifteenth, who then returned to the liberated guns.

The French Cavalry rallied, and, seeing the small size of the force set against them, returned to attack again. As they reached a point within forty yards of the Fifteenth the third troop came up, and a determined charge by all three troops drove them back again, and pursued for more than half a mile. The remainder of the British cavalry soon came up, but were unable to make any further attack as it was too late in the evening. The Fifteenth had lost three men and four horses killed, Lt.Col. Erskine, nine rank and file and three horses wounded, and two horses missing.

The men and horses were kept fully equipped and ready for action during that night, and were unable to obtain fresh water, however the enemy left Egmont-op-Zee, and the Fifteenth were stationed there during the 4th and 5th October.

There was further fighting on the 6th, and a detachment under Lt. Grant fell in with a party of French more than twice their number, and drove them off "with slaughter"(5).

Three more troops of the Fifteenth arrived on 10th October under Lt.Col. Anson, and a further two troops were embarked at Ramsgate, but did not set off from there, as the Army was withdrawn from Holland, the Fifteenth landing at Ramsgate, Deal, and Yarmouth, and marching into Canterbury barracks by the end of November.

Notes

5.Historical Record of the 15th or King's Hussars

15th or Kings Light Dragoons (Hussars) 15th or Kings Light Dragoons (Hussars)
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