The Chasseurs Britanniques
The Chasseurs Britanniques was a Light Infantry Battalion in British Pay. It originated from the Army of the Prince of Condé which had been raised by Royalist sympathisers during the French Revolutionary Wars. Its ranks were filled with deserters from the French army.
The Chasseurs Britanniques served in Egypt, Sicily and the Peninsula. It was disbanded on 5 October 1814.
The Chasseurs Britanniques
1801 Chasseurs Britanniques
3 Aug 1801 The Chasseurs Britanniques arrived at Aboukir with De Watteville's Regiment.
1 Nov Arrived from Egypt.
Strength: 664 officers and men, 514 rank and file fit for duty with 72 sick in hospital.
1802 Chasseurs Britanniques
Jan 1802 The Chasseurs Britanniques left Malta.
1 Mar Strength (detachment): 2 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 2 NCOs, 16 rank and file fit for duty, 2 rank and file sick, 22 total officers and men.
1 May Strength (detachment): 3 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 3 NCOs, 15 rank and file fit for duty, 2 rank and file sick, 23 total officers and men.
1803 Chasseurs Britanniques
23 Sep 1803 Downing Street to Villettes:
To enable you to augment the force which it may be necessary to hold at the disposal of Lord Nelson for Sicily, the regiment of Chasseurs Britanniques consisting of about 440 men will be sent to Malta and the Officers and NCO of the regiment of Edward Dillon which has been disbanded at Gibraltar are also to come to Malta in order to receive a part of the recruits that may be expected to arrive from Italy.1
1804 Chasseurs Britanniques
23 Feb 1804 Villettes reported to Lord Hobart that the Chasseurs Britanniques arrived to replace a detachment of 1,000 troops proposed by Nelson to reinforce Sicily. One transport with two Field Officers and part of the Staff Corps, and two companies failed to arrive and was feared to have been captured by the French.
1 Sep Strength: 35 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 54 NCOs, 416 rank and file fit for duty, 41 rank and file sick, 547 total officers and men, 755 establishment.
1805 Chasseurs Britanniques
1 July 1805 Strength: 32 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 54 NCOs, 528 rank and file fit for duty, 57 rank and file sick, 669 total officers and men, 755 establishment.
1 Aug Strength: 35 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 54 NCOs, 528 rank and file fit for duty, 53 rank and file sick, 666 total officers and men, 755 establishment.
On 13 August Sir James Craig said of the regiment:
The Chasseurs Britanniques are not so good a body of men as the Regiment de Watteville, and are composed of a greater mixture of different nations. They have lately got a good many Spaniards from the Regiment de Greneda, that are prisoners here. These are a very quiet orderly and well behaved set of men, but they do not generally speaking add much to the appearance of the corps. This regiment is in good order in every respect.2
1 Nov Total Officers and men: 669. sick: 57, rank and file fit for duty: 669.
1805 The Chasseurs Britanniques left Malta for Sicily.
- 1TNA:CO 158/15, War and Colonial Department and Colonial Office Malta, Secretary of State Despatches Military 1803–08.
- 2TNA:WO 1/293. Craig to W Gordon dated Malta 13 August 1805.