Louis De Watteville's Regiment
De Watteville's Regiment was raised by Abraham Louis Charles de Watteville in 1797. It consisted of Swiss troops enlisted from the disbanded men of the old Swiss Regiments in the French service. De Watteville's Regiment signed on British pay for service with the Austrian Army. It was placed on the regular establishment of the British Army in 1801.
On 4 July 1806, De Watteville's Regiment fought at the Battle of Maida in Calabria for which it was granted the Battle Honour Maida. A detachment was at Elba, while the remainder of the regiment was sent to Egypt. Both parts were reunited in Malta in 1803. In the summer of 1810 it was at Messina when it helped to repel Murat's ill conceived invasion of Sicily. In 1811, it left Sicily for Cadiz. Its regimental headquarters remained at Cadiz, while five of its companies garrisoned Cartagena. It bore on its Colours the Battle Honour Peninsula for its services under the Duke of Wellington.
On 6 April 1813 the regiment of De Watteville embarked at Lisbon for Canada. It arrived at Quebec in June 1813.
The regimental surgeon was Christophe Millett appointed (1 May 1801); the assistant surgeon was Jean Baptiste Boidin (appointed 1 May 1801).
Louis De Watteville's Regiment
1801 De Watteville's
1 Nov 1801 Total officers and men: 875, sick: 64, rank and file fit for duty: 717 men.
1802 De Watteville's
1 Mar 1802 Strength (detachment): 9 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 16 NCOs, 220 rank and file fit for duty, 5 rank and file sick, 250 total officers and men.
1 May Strength (detachment): 9 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 16 NCOs, 217 rank and file fit for duty, 7 rank and file sick, 249 total officers and men.
1803 De Watteville's
Mar 1803 The British garrison was withdrawn from Egypt in March 1803. 23 men of De Watteville's Regiment remained in quarantine in Egypt due to an outbreak of plague on the eve of their departure.
3 May Major General William Ann Villettes, commanding the Malta garrison, reported that
three companies of the Regiment of Watteville in which plague continues to rage with great violence still remain in Egypt and are not to be embarked until it can be done with the most perfect safety.1
24 May 605 men arrived from Egypt. It formed part of the Malta Garrison, whose strength stood at 4,542 troops.
1804 De Watteville's
1 Sep 1804 Strength: 38 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 620 rank and file fit for duty, 55 rank and file sick, 769 total officers and men, 844 establishment.
1805 De Watteville's
1 July 1805 Strength: 38 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 613 rank and file fit for duty, 59 rank and file sick, 766 total officers and men, 844 establishment.
1 Aug Strength: 38 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 640 rank and file fit for duty, 32 rank and file sick, 766 total officers and men, 844 establishment.
On 13 August Sir James Craig said of the regiment:
Of the Foreign Corps, The Regiment de Watteville is incontestably the first. It is indeed on a par footing of equality with the other regiments of the old garrison, except that though they are a tall stout body, yet they have a greater proportion of old men among them. I saw, however, but few that could be said to be unserviceable. It is a pity it is not more complete and that there is so little prospect at present of their becoming so.2
3 Nov 1805 The regiment of De Watteville embarked on Sir James Craig's Expedition to Naples.
- 1TNA:CO 159/1, War and Colonial Department and Colonial Office Malta, summary of correspondence Malta 15 December 1799 to 4 August 1804.
- 2TNA:WO 1/293. Craig to W Gordon dated Malta 13 August 1805.
- Forrer L., 1947. A few notes on Swiss officers and mercenary regiments in the pay of England. The British Numismatic Journal Vol XXV, 1947.