The French and Indian War & The Seven Years War


Britain, Prussia and Portugal were aligned against France, Austria, Russia, Sweden and Poland, during the Seven Years' War. The War was described by William Pitt as the first world war, because of its geographical spread and its aftermath helped to forge the British Empire.

The French and Indian War was the American phase of the Seven Years' War, which began two years later in Europe.

In June 1756, the 35th Foot arrived in the Hudson Valley to form part of the Garrison of Fort William Henry on Lake George. In July 1757, the fort was attacked by a large force of French and Iroquois indians under the Marquis of Montcalm. After expending all ammunition, the garrison was forced to surrender with the honours of war, but was treacherously ambushed with wives and families en route to the British post fifteen miles away. The story is told in Fennimore Cooper's The Last of The Mohicans. In October of the same year, the 35th helped capture Louisbourg, but their greatest victory was to be at Quebec.

After a series of defeats, the French concentrated in the area of Quebec.

The allied assault on their positions was led by the thirty-two-year-old General James Wolfe, who was the first Colonel of the 67th Foot, later The South Hampshire Regiment.

Thanks to the navigational skills of Captain James Cook, who later became the great explorer, the British effectively penetrated the St. Lawrence River and blockaded Quebec. On the night of the 12/13th September 1759, the assaulting force, which included the 35th, climbed the Heights of Abraham. The Regiment was in a crucial position at the right of the line at first light.At about 1000 hours Montcalm's French Army came out of the town to attack and had approached to within thirty-five yards before Wolfe gave the order to fire and then, to quote Fortescue, the British Army's historian, 'with one deafening crash the most perfect volley ever fired on a battlefield burst forth as if from a single monstrous weapon, from end to end of the British line'. The French unit in front of the 35th was the Royal Roussillon Regiment. Regimental tradition has it that as they retreated, the French threw down their hats, the feathers from which the advancing 35th put in their own head dress. The Roussillon Plume later became part of the badge of The Royal Sussex Regiment and the 13th September became their Regimental Day. Wolfe and Montcalm were both killed in the battle and General Amherst completed the conquest of Canada. The 35th completed their war alongside The Buffs in a campaign against the French possessions of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The years 1756 to 1758 marked the raising of four further forebear regiments. The 2nd Battalion of the 31st Foot, which became the 70th Foot and later combined with the 31st to form The East Surrey Regiment, was raised in Glasgow. Also raised were the 50th Foot, laterThe Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment (the Queen being Adelaide, wife of William IV), the 57th Foot, later the senior forebear of The Middlesex 67th Foot, Later to become with the Regiment, and the 37th Foot, The Hampshire Regiment.