53rd Shropshire Regiment -- Timeline


1755 - 55th raised in Bridgnorth by William Whitmore

1756 - England

1757 - The 53rd Regiment of Foot

1758 - Ticonderoga

1763-68 - Gibraltar

1768-75 - Ireland

1771 - Minorca

1776 - first overseas journey to Canada to relieve Quebec

The Americans (Montgomery) had taken Saint Johns (or Saint-Jean) and Montreal in an invasion of British-held Canada. On the Plains of Abraham Montgomery joined forces with Benedict Arnold who had led 600 men for 350 miles through forest from Maine. Together Montgomery and Arnold attacked Quebec, held by 1,800 British (Carleton). It was a rash assault. Montgomery was killed and Arnold wounded, 100 of their men were killed or wounded and 300 taken prisoner. British casualties, five killed, thirteen wounded. After a severe winter the Americans fell back to Lake Champlain in April 1776.

1775-76 - Boston, Chambly, Halifax, Sorrel, Three Rivers, Ireland

1777 - Crown Point, Fort Ticonderoga, Freeman's Farm, Lake Champlain

1782 - 53rd named 'The 53rd or The Shropshire Regiment' (a 2nd Bn existed 1803-1817)

Time in England and then to Flanders

1793 - first Battle Honour 'Nieuport', Flanders

to West Indies, assault on St. Lucia   Note by EAB:  Robert Roberts was in the St. Lucia campaign, and then was sent with to India in 1805 with the 53rd.

1805 - 1st Bn. to India

1809 - South Mahratta

1812 - Nepaul, Kalunga

1815 - St. Helena

1817-19 - Pindarree War, capture of Copal-Drog --Note by EAB:  Robert Roberts died in 1817 in Trichinopoly -- in Battle?

1823 - returned from first tour of duty in India, in England for 20 years

returned to India - Aliwal and Sobraon, Lahore

1829-40 - Malta, Gibraltar, Ionian Islands

1836 - Ireland -  The Crown Forces in Dungarvan

1844 - India, Buddiwal, Aliwal, Sobraon. Goojerat. 

1847 - Fort William, Bengal

1851-53 - Peshawur frontier

1857-1859 Calcutta, Indian Mutiny, Relief of Lucknow, Cawnpore, siege and capture of Lucknow, Oude, Trans-Gogra - Alambagh, Allahabad, Barrackpore, Calcutta, Charbagh Bridge, Chutra, Dilkoosha, Futtehpore, Goomtee, Kalee River, Kudjwa (Khudjwah), Martiniere, Meeangunge, 

As the rebel sepoy army approached, the garrison and remaining residents took refuge in the Residency, which had been prepared as a fort. Havelock and Outram left Cawnpore, September 19, to relieve the garrison and on September 23 defeated 12,000 rebels at the Alumbagh. They forced the Charbagh bridge on September 25, captured the Secunderbagh and fought street by street into the Residency. By now the garrison had lost 483 killed or wounded and the relief force 535. Sir Colin Campbell and his column, after more heavy fighting, relieved the place on November 19 and escorted the garrison in withdrawal. Conquest of Lucknow began on March 1, 1858, and after successive assaults, was completed on March 21.

1860 - Devonport

1860-62 Aldershot

1861 - Plymouth

1862-64 - Portsmouth

1864-65 - Ireland - Curragh Camp

1865 - Ireland - Kilkenny

1866 - Ireland - Enniskillen, Waterford

1866-68 - Canada - London

1866 - Canada then Bermuda

1868-69 - Canada - Quebec

1870 - Barbadoes

1870-75 - Bermuda

1868-80 - Aldershot

1875 - Ireland - Templemore

1876-77 Ireland - Belturbet

1877-78 - Jersey

1880 - England - Manchester, Shrewsbury

1880-81 - England - Chatham

1881 - renamed 1st Battalion The King's Light Infantry (Shropshire) Regiment, the Militia units of Shropshire and Herefordshire became part of K.S.L.I. and called 3rd and 4th (Militia) Battalions.Shrewsbury became Regimental Depot

Last Modified: 03 June 2004



The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) was formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment and the 85th King’s Light Infantry. The 53rd Regiment was raised in 1755 by Colonel William Whitmore of Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Initially the 55th Foot it was renumbered the 53rd in 1757 and first saw action in the American War of Independence (1775-83). In 1782 the name of the Regiment was changed to the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment; although it was probably not until 1789, on its return from North America, that it paid its first visit to Shropshire. During the war with the French Republic (1793-97) the Regiment won battle honours at ‘Nieuport’ - an honour unique to the Regiment — ‘Tournay’ and ‘Saint Lucia’.  A second battalion of the Regiment was formed during the Napoleonic Wars, serving with distinction in the Peninsula. 

The 53rd at the Battle of Talavera - 1809 

The battalion was later sent to Saint Helena to guard Napoleon. Captain Poppleton was Napoleon's Orderly Officer, and a lock of Napoleon's hair is among the regiment's trophies. Napoleon called the Regiment the 'Red Regiment', a reference to the colour of their facings, which also gave rise to the Regiment’s nickname, the ‘Brickdusts’. The 1st Battalion was later to serve in India during the Indian Mutiny, where it took part in the Relief of Lucknow - earning itself a total of 5 VCs.