The 32nd Regiment of Foot of the British Army was first raised in 1702 as a regiment of marines to fight in the War of Spanish Succession.
It won its first battle honour in 1705 for the siege and capture of Gibraltar.
The 32nd landed in Portugal in 1808, and under the soon to be Duke of Wellington, fought in the battles of Roliça and Vimiero. They fought under Moore in the retreat to Corunna, and on returning to England they were part of the Walcheren expedition in the Netherlands where many were struck down with malaria. After being reinforced they returned to Spain, leading the assault on Salamanca and taking part in all the major conflicts right into France. For the final chapter in Napoleon’s history, the 32nd fought at the battle of Quatre Bras, arriving about 2 pm just in time to help halt the French advance.
Two days later at Waterloo the 32nd were stationed opposite the French main attacks, stoically standing their ground before attacking Napoleon’s assaulting troops. There were 647 men of all ranks at the start of 16th June 1815, and at the end of the 2 days there were only 131 men left standing; they suffered the greatest loss of any regiment on that day.
They Stood, They Fought, They Died, They Won, They Are Remembered
The regiment famously defended Lucknow from July to November 1857, Victoria Crosses being awarded to William Dowling, Henry George Gore-Browne, Samuel Hill Lawrence, and William Oxenham.The regiment’s commanding officer, Col John E. W. Inglis, served as Brigadier in overall command of the Lucknow Residency during the Siege. He was promoted to General and knighted for his services. The regiment was re-titled and equipped as a Light Infantry regiment as a result of its contribution to the defence of the Residency, for which it also won a battle honour.
In 1881 the regiment was merged into the The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.