The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) Association

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100th Regiment of Foot 109 Bombay Inf 1863-1881 1881 Army Reforms

Leinster Regiment Cap Badge

109 Bombay Inf

History of the Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment 2nd Battalion

Having achieved glory as the 3rd Bombay European Regiment, upon returning to Mhow the Regiment were informed that the Crown has once more assumed responsibility for India and that the regiments of the former East India Company would no longer be 'independent from' but would form part of the Crown's army. The NCOs and men of the 3rd Europeans were asked to transfer to the 'Queen's Service' or they could be returned to England. There was clear evidence that many men were discontented with this proposal and various, and sometimes unsavoury, 'tactics' were employed to persuade these men to re-enlist. In the event, over 600 men of the 3rd Europeans declined the various inducements and were sent back to England in a sailing ship that took 5 months to make the journey. Reduced to a skeleton force the Regiment looked for reinforcements.

It seems strange that the rescue came in the form of ex-soldiers of the Crimea War. Shortage of manpower during the Crimea war gave rise to the introduction of a British Foreign Legion, subsequently renamed British German Legion by Queen Victoria. After the war, this German Legion was surplus to requirement and instead of being repatriated to their homeland, were offered the opportunity to settle in Southern Africa. Accordingly some 2,351 German Legionnaires, 375 women and 178 children took up the offer. Subsequently at the outbreak of the Mutiny in India, some 1,000 ex Legionnaires volunteered for duty and a battalion of 560 eventually landed in Calcutta, but too late to be deployed in active service. The battalion, known as the Jäger Corps, travelled from Poona to Karachi, arriving on the 25th January 1860. Here they were joined by the skeleton 3rd Europeans. On the 7th May 1861 it was announced that the Regiment was to be renamed the 109th Bombay Infantry. This formerly took place on the 30th July 1862 with a strength of 770 persons commanded by Lt. Col. C.S. Whitehall, formerly 3rd Europeans. On 3rd September 1863 the 109th Bombay Infantry was awarded the battle honour "Central India" on the Regimental Colour in recognition of the service it had performed as the 3rd Bombay European Regiment.

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