Battle Honour ST LUCIA 1778,1796

Sunday, 13 December, 1778

BH ST LUCIAThe Battle Honour ST LUCIA 1778,1796 is emblazoned on the Regimental Colours of The Royal Irish Regiment. This event concerns the Battle Honour granted for 1778.

Following the Treaty of Alliance between France and the United States, during the War of American Independence, Britain declared war on France on 17 March 1778. In order to divert the attention of the French from America, and to protect British islands in the Caribbean, Britain sent an expeditionary force with transports carrying an army of some 5,000 (including the 27th) commanded by Major General James Grant. The expedition sailed from Sandy Hook, New York, arriving in Barbados on 10 December 1778. Setting sail on the 12 December the transports landed Grant's force at Grand Cul de Sac, St Lucia on the evening and morning of 13/14 December.

As Grant forced the surrender of Mont Fortune, a brigade with the 27th moved to Viges. When the French fleet arrived there and disembarked troops to attack on 19 December, the French force was repulsed and defeated. Following a series of failed naval engagements between the two fleets, and the failed land battles, French losses totalled some 400 killed and 1,100 wounded. The French Commander, Admiral compte d'Estaing, collected the battered remnants of his force and sailed away on 28 December. Thus the British gained a valuable island and captured large quantities of military stores, magazines and guns.

To read the events of the Battle Honour for 1796, click on ST LUCIA, 1796.