71st Highland Light Infantry - Battle Honour Scrolls, 1817-37
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Overall: 22cm (8.5in) x 64.5cm (25.5in)
71st Highland Light Infantry Regimental Colour, 1817-1837
Laid up over the monument to Sir Denis Pack, St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.
Silver bullion wire on silk. A remnant of the Regimental Colour of the 71st H.L.I. being an embroidered battle honour scroll, ‘Peninsula’ in period card mount framed back to back with another, ‘Almarez’, mounted on to a fragment of an early 19th century Tipperary land map. Sold with a manuscript note previously concealed behind the backing board previous covering the ‘Almarez’ battle honour scroll until replaced with glass. The note is inscribed in a period hand ‘This is [sic] portion of the Colours / of the 71st Regiment (Highland / Light Infantry) and was borne / through the Peninsular War’.
The note accompanying the scrolls while inaccurate provides a useful clue to their origins. The Colours borne by the 71st at time of the Peninsula War (1808-1814) were in fact left at home whilst the regiment was on overseas, in accordance with a directive from the office of the Commander-in-Chief concerning the use of Colours by light infantry regiments in the field. Clearly the present honour scrolls could not have appeared on the Colours issued to the 71st in 1808 by Lt-Gen Floyd. Furthermore the 1808 Colours, as is well known, disappeared in 1814, after they had been used to decorate a banqueting hall at Carlton House. Consequently no Colours were carried by the 71st at Waterloo in June 1815 and it was not until January 1817 that new Colours were presented by Major-General Sir Denis Pack and the Battle Honours ‘Peninsula’ and ‘Almarez’ (granted 6 April 1815 and 24 November 1815 respectively) were borne aloft. These remained in use until 1837 when were laid up in Kilkenny Cathedral over the monument erected to the Waterloo hero Sir Denis Pack K.C.B.
Source: Ross, A. (1885 ) ‘ Old Scottish Regimental Colours’, Edinburgh