Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Hompesch Mounted Rifles and the 90th Foot

The Hompesch Mounted Rifles are another of the émigré units serving with the British in Egypt, and the only such cavalry unit. Raised in 1798 by Baron Charles de Hompesch-Bolheim, a Prussian in British service, chiefly from German, Austrian and French nationals  the regiment served in Ireland, Ferrol and  Cadiz before sailing to Egypt. The unique shako gives them the honour of being the wearer of headwear type 16 in this army.






Also completed in time for last Sunday's game is the 90th (Perthshire Volunteers) Foot, a light regiment raised in Scotland in 1794. Its light infantry status is the reason for its use of the Tarleton helmet – that differs from the cavalry version of the helmet in that it is smaller thus justifies the claim to the millinery style type 17. Before its exploits in Egypt the regiment served in the Quiberon Expedition and later supported the French Royalist General de Charette with this battles against the Republicans (that followers of Hornblower will recognise this as the episode “Frogs and Lobsters” in the television series or the chapter by the same title in the book "Mr Midshipman Hornblower"), before participating in the capture of Minorca.  






Another interesting snippet related to this regiment that my friend Keith pointed out in a comment a few days back is that its founder, Thomas Graham, had a deeply personal reason to detest the Revolutionary forces of France. Although somewhat sympathetic to their ideals at first, when his wife died in France and was being repatriated to Britain, a group of Revolutionary soldiers opened the coffin and disturbed the body, changing his view of the Republican cause. His military career became his means for revenge against the actions of those men.


16 comments:

  1. Excellent looking units Mark!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. They were a fun couple of units to do.

      Delete
  2. Very Germanic looking cavalry unit,both them and the light infantry unit look splendid!
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the Germanic appearance of the mounted rifles. Many of the émigré units had Germanic connections.

      Delete
  3. I thought I already left a comment Mark but it aint here - these were a couple of very nice units that we got to see in the flesh on Sunday but both disintegrated and quit the field in that blood bath if memory serves....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are correct, neither unit withstood the maelstrom of that battle, although the Perthshires were involved in the repulse of the French dragoons.

      Delete
  4. Wonderful job, the mix of green and red on the mounted rifles is awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Phil. It is an attractive uniform.

      Delete
  5. Marvelous work and at a production rate few can match! That is an interesting tidbit about Graham’s motivation. Love the headgear on the mounted rifles. Great stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jonathan. I think I have exhausted the millinery choices for the British army for the time being. My unpainted stock is running low so production rates may slow for a few weeks.

      Delete
  6. Another fine addition. I have to say that I continue to be surprised at the level of variety amongst the units employed in this theatre. It certainly makes for an interesting project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right there is a lot a variety in this British army. Three more line battalions are under way now and this is pretty much the limit of what I am going to do for it. I could add a few more émigré types (and hats too I may add) such as Lowenstein's Jagers, Legion Britainique, etc, but no one makes specific figure types for them, although Austrian jagers will probably suit for Lowenstein's. Some sepoys could be interesting, but they were't really engaged in the fighting. There will be some Ottoman troops at some point and a few more French, maybe even some Légion Nautique.

      Delete
    2. I was wondering if you were still planning to include some Ottomans, so I'll lok forward to seeing them in due course.

      Delete
    3. The Ottomans are definitely on the project plan, but I am uncertain when, how many and what manufacturer. Most of the action against the Ott9mans came before the British involvement so it is likely to be a supporting force.

      Delete
  7. More hat-tastic toys Mark...
    Another two lovely units... I do think that this is most eclectic British Army of the Napoleonic Wars...
    I honestly can’t see myself avoiding some purchases before the end of the year...

    All the best. Aly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Aly. I think I have hit the limit of millinery variance now. I have three units of Brirish infantry, a few more French unirs and a couple of British guns and the collection is complete, although I do have to see if I can convince the Perrys to supply me with some sailor-drawn limbers for the guns.

      Delete