Battle Honours 2nd Battalion 44th East Essex



Battalion Raised

2nd Battalion 44th raised on 9th July 1803 in Waterford, Ireland


April to September

Siege of Cadiz

April 1810, landed Cadiz and supplied a reinforcement for the fortress of Matagorda in front of the French lines until the forts situation became untenable.


Torres Vedras

Brigaded with the 4th and 30th Foot under Major-General Dunlop in the 5th Division




As Marshal Massena retreated from Torres Vedras, the light company of the 44th commanded by Lieutenant Pearce crossed the bridge at Sabugal and assisted in the victory over the French rear guard.

5th May

Fuentes d’Noro

During the battle for Fuentes d’Nor, the centre companies of the 2/44th were on the left of the line and not engaged.  However, the light company were involved and 1 officer and 4 rankers were wounded.

11th May

Barba del Puerco

The French garrison escaping from Almeida were pursued by the light companies of the 30th and 44th under the command of Captain Jessop of the 44th.  They caught the rear of the French column at the bridge at Barba del Puerco and induced their surrender.


5th May


The 5th Division including the 2/44th were tasked with storming the bastion of San Vincent during the assault on Badajoz..  After much loss of life, the bastion was taken and the first colours planted were those of the 2/44th.  Wellington despairing of success that night was about to cease operations for the evening when he heard the bugle of the 2/44th light company sounding the advance and knew the defences had been breached. The 2/44th lost 2 officers, 2 sergeants and 35 rankers killed as well as 6 officers, 7 sergeants and 80 rankers wounded during the siege.

22nd July


The 5th Division during the battle of Salamanca advanced and at approx 16:15, in conjunction with the British heavy cavalry squadrons, attacked the French 5th Division commanded by General Maucune.  The French were routed and in the following clear up, Lieutenant Pearce of the 2/44th Light Company saw a French officer of the 62nd Regiment attempting to hide an eagle. It was seized and carried off in triumph.

26th October

Villa Muriel

During the retreat from Burgos the 2/44th were engaged from daybreak to midnight at the river crossing at Villa Muriel, helping to ensure the army effect its retreat.  The strength of the battalion had by this stage reached only 42 men of all ranks fit for duty.




The 2/44th landed in Zeeland in December 1813 and was brigaded with the 37th and 69th Regiments in the 1st Brigade.  The Brigade were involved in action around the village of Merxem during January and February, but suffered no casualties.

8th March


An attempt was made to carry the fortress of Bergen-op-Zoom by a coup-de-main and the 2/44th formed part of the 4th column along with the flank companies of the 21st and 37th. The attack was a failure but the 2/44th succeeded in fighting its way into the town and occupying 9 bastions of the fortress.  Its Colours were the first displayed on the ramparts.  In the subsequent surrender to the French, the colours of the 2/44th were permitted to escape in consideration of their gallantry that night.  The 2/44th lost 2 officers including the commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable George Carleton and had 11 officers wounded.  In total, 11 sergeants, 3 drummers and 205 rankers were taken prisoner


16th June

Quatre Bras

The 2/44th during the 100 days formed part of 5th Division under Lieutenant General Picton were brigaded with the 1st, 42nd and 92nd Regiments in Major General Packs 9th Brigade. At Quatre Bras, the Division fought the Left Wing of Napoleon’s army under Marshal Ney suffering heavy losses when caught in line by French Lancers and had to about face the rear rank.  The outstanding bravery of Ensign Christie saved the Kings Colour.

18th June


The 9th Brigade were stationed to the left of the British line and involved in the early defence against, and subsequent destruction of, d’Erlons Corps in which General Picton was killed. Over the 3 days the 2/44th lost 2 officers and 14 NCO’s / men killed whilst 19 officers and 151 NCO’s / men wounded.

 44th East Essex Regiment of Foot

One of Wellington’s Finest!

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