The Royal Welch Fusiliers at War, 1793–1815
Donald E. Graves
“I never saw any regiment in such order,” said Wellington before the Battle of Waterloo, “it was the most complete and handsome military body I ever looked at.”
The object of the Duke’s admiration was the 23rd Regiment of Foot – the famous Royal Welch Fusiliers – and this is their story during the tumultuous and bloody period of the wars between Britain and France between 1793 and 1815. Based on rare personal memoirs and correspondence and new research, this compelling book offers fresh insight into the evolution of the British Army. Scorned by even its own countrymen in 1793, it was transformed within a generation into a professional force that triumphed over the greatest general and army of the time.
Told largely in the words of the men of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, the women who marched with them and those who fought alongside them, Dragon Rampant is a saga of campaigns, battles and actions on three continents, of short rations, shipwreck and disease. The reader will come to know such hard-bitten fighting men as the intrepid Drummer Richard Bentinck; the eccentric Major Jack Hill; the ferocious Major Thomas Pearson; and, above all, the Welch Fuslliers’ beloved commander, Colonel Henry Ellis, who led them in some of the most famous actions of the time, only to fall in the last battle. A book for all enthusiasts of the Napoleonic period.
Advance comments from readers:
“Whether you are a serious follower of regimental history, or a general reader of Napoleonic War history, or a scholarly researcher, or just a military buff there is something in this book for you.” Lieutenant General Jonathon Riley, Master of the Armouries and last Colonel of The Royal Welch Fusiliers.
“From the West Indies to Walcheren, Albuera, Badajoz and Waterloo, the Royal Welch Fusiliers were in the thick of the action, frequently suffering heavy losses while winning much glory. Donald E. Graves's fine new history is worthy of the regiment, skillfully employing a wide range of untouched sources to shed light on many famous campaigns and on the nature of the British army of the period.” Rory Muir, author of Salamanca 1812 and Tactics and Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon.
“Donald E. Graves has done it again. In Dragon Rampant, he combines impeccable research with a writing style that immerses the reader intp the midst of the action. This exciting regimental history sets the standard for modern historians!” Robert Burnham, Editor, “The Napoleon Series” website and co-author, Inside Wellington's Peninsular Army.
What reviewers say about Dragon Rampant:
“The well written text is supported by a good use of quotes from letters and books written by members of the regiment, along with some useful maps and illustrations and a decent section of higher quality plates. As a result the Fusiliers come alive in a way that is not always the case in regimental histories, making this a very readable account of their actions. The main focus is on the regiment's battles, but we also get a good view of the daily life of the soldiers and their wives and children. This is a high quality piece of work, and of great value as a regimental history, for students of the British army and for anyone interested in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.” History of War Book Page
Amazon.UK 5-star review … “Donald Graves' book is conversational in tone and very easy to read but backed by a great depth of research. Rightly he highlights the family nature of this famous regiment, one that in his own words, has a greater depth of literary resource than almost any other. Well worth purchasing.” Michael Burkham, Amazon Reviews
“The Royal Welch Fusiliers, the 23rd Regiment of Foot, have a long and splendid history dating back to 1689. Generations of the same family have worn the cap badge with pride. This book brings together 22 years of the regiment's history – the story of the titanic struggle with Napoleonic France, which ended with the battle of Waterloo in 1815. War is described largely in the words of the men fighting the battles. Donald Graves has an entertaining and engaging style of writing and has penned a diligently researched title that will be of interest to the military historian and those who served in the regiment.” Lt Col (Retd) Dawson Pratt, R Signals, Soldier Magazine, August 2010