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95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot - A Brief History continued...


The performance of the Regiment can be demonstrated by the story of Rifleman Thomas Plunkett of the 1st Battalion, 95th Rifles.  Armed with a Baker Rifle, he shot General Colbert at a range of between 400 and 600 yards; it is claimed!  He then shot a second Frenchman who rode to his general's aid, so proving that it was not just a lucky shot.


Recruits were generally chosen from the British armies line regiments, picked out for their qualities - only the finest joined up.  Officers would often dine with their men and in so doing would become familiar with each man in their respective companies, again a practice unheard of at the time.  Most could read and write and often kept diaries, which is why so much is known about the regiment today, and aids us in our appreciation of life at the time.


The Regiment was involved in all campaigns during the Napoleonic Period:
  - seeing sea service at the Battle of Copenhagen;
  - forming the rearguard for the British Army's famous retreat to Corunna;
  - was engaged in most major battles during the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal;
  - was sent as an expeditionary force to America in the War of 1812; and
  - held their positions against tremendous odds at the Battle of Waterloo.


The Regiment remained in service until 1816, at which point it was renamed The Rifle Brigade.  The Regiment revolutionised and paved the way for the modern day army. The Rifle Brigade, along with many of its traditions, still exists today as The Rifles (as from 1 February 2007).



"...... the bloody fighting Ninety-fifth!"

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