Battle Honour 'TOULOUSE'

Sun, 04/10/1814

The Battle Honour TOULOUSE is emblazoned on the Regimental Colours of The Royal Irish Regiment.

After the Battle of Orthez on 27 February 1814, Marshal Soult, the French commander, withdrew northwards. The Duke of Wellington and the Allied Army followed in hot pursuit as the French Army of Spain withdrew through the Languedoc to the fortified city of Toulouse. Most of the city was situated on the east bank of the River Garonne, although Soult maintained a bridgehead to the fortified suburb of St Cyprien on the west bank.

Medal OrthesWellington estimated the south of the city to have the weakest defences and on 10 April his army conducted a series of feints and advances that would distract the French from his intentions. By the end of the day the Allies held the high ground to the east of the city, but Marshal Soult still held Toulouse while Wellington’s losses were twice those of Soult’s. Not a shot was fired the following day and Soult evacuated the city that night. Although the French with 38,000 men inflicted over 4,000 casualties on Wellington's 50,000 strong Allied Army, they had lost the battle. On 12 April, Wellington received the news that Napoleon had already abdicated his throne on 6 April following the fall of Paris to the Coalition.

(Left, Major Desbarres' Army Gold Medal with bars for 'Toulouse' and 'Orthes'. He served with the 2/87th.)

The 3/27 Inniskillings, the 2/83rd and the 2/87th all took part in the battle and were granted the Battle Honour. Their losses reflected the intensity of their Brigade’s engagements; they were 105, 1 (one) and 100 respectively.

(Below, The 27th Inniskilling Regiment at Toulouse, 10 April 1814, by Richard Simkin, circa 1900)

BHToulouse Simkin 27th