72nd Regiment, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders
The 72nd Highlanders was a British Army Highland Infantry Regiment of the Line, raised in 1778. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 78th Regiment to form the 1st Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders in 1881; the regiment was raised in the Western Highlands by Kenneth Mackenzie as the Seaforth Regiment in January 1778 in an act of gratitude for the restoration of the family Earldom, forfeited during Jacobite rising of 1715. A corps of 1,130 men was raised of whom 900 were Highlanders and the remainder came from the Lowlands: it was established at Elgin, its first base, in May 1778. In August 1778 the Regiment marched to Leith for embarkation to the India – but a dispute regarding their terms of service led the men to march back to Edinburgh and they took up a position of protest in the vicinity of Arthur's Seat, remaining for several days. During this protest, the men were amply supplied with food and ammunition by the people of the capital, who had taken side with them in their grievances.
After three days of negotiations, compromises were reached and the men again marched from the capital to their quarters at Leith, this time led by the Earl of Seaforth, but the idea of sending them to India now having been abandoned. At this time, the regiment was designated Seaforth Regiment; the regiment embarked for Jersey in September 1778 and helped repulse a French invasion of Jersey in May 1779 before returning to England in April 1781. The regiment embarked from Portsmouth, with a unit strength of 973 rank and file, in June 1781; because of change of diet, rough seas and scurvy 274 had died on the voyage and on arrival at Madras on 2 April 1782, only 369 were fit to carry arms. They joined the army of Sir Eyre Coote at Chingleput at the beginning of May 1782 but because of their general health, they were considered unfit for service; those able to wield arms were drafted into the 73rd Regiment. By October 1782 they had recovered their strength and "the colours were once again unfurled" to allow the Regiment to take part in the wars against Tipu Sultan.
Following the death of the Earl of Seaforth during the passage, Lieutenant Colonel Humberston Mackenzie was appointed colonel of the regiment. Humberston Mackenzie was in turn killed in April 1783 on board the sloop HMS Ranger in action against a Mahratta fleet on his return journey from Bombay to Madras during the Second Anglo-Mysore War. Major-General James Murray succeeded to the colonelcy in November 1783; the men had enlisted for a three-year period of service and in 1784 most returned to England, save for 425 who elected to remain in India. They were joined by men from other regiments who had elected to remain on the sub–continent instead of taking their discharge home; this bolstered the regiment's number to 700 men. At the end of the war with the French, the number of Crown regiments had been reduced and the regiment was re-ranked as the 72nd Regiment of Foot on 12 September 1786. In December 1789 the Third Anglo-Mysore War started and the regiment saw action at the Siege of Bangalore in February 1791 and the Siege of Savendroog in December 1791 as well as the Siege of Seringapatam in February 1792 which marked the end of the War.
Remaining in India, the regiment next saw action at the Siege of Pondicherry in August 1793 during the French Revolutionary Wars. It transferred to Ceylon in spring 1794 before returning home in February 1798; the regiment embarked at Madras for the journey back to England in February 1798 and was awarded the title "Hindoostan" on its colours. It moved to Ireland in 1801. A second battalion was raised in 1804 but it remained in the United Kingdom throughout the War. In August 1805 the 1st battalion put to sea and landed in Madeira before moving on to the Cape of Good Hope at the end of the year and taking part in the Battle of Blaauwberg in January 1806; the regiment was renamed the 72nd Regiment of Foot and lost its highland uniform in April 1809. From South Africa, the 1st battalion sailed again and took part in the Invasion of Isle de France in December 1810, it returned to Cape Town in June 1814 and sailed for India in June 1815. The two battalions amalgamated in India in 1816 but the regiment did not return home until March 1822.
The regiment was renamed the 72nd Regiment of Foot after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany in December 1823. The regiment embarked for South Africa again in June 1828 and saw action again the Sixth Xhosa War in 1834 before returning home in May 1840. In August 1842 it helped suppress the Preston Strike and was sent to Gibraltar in November 1844 before setting sail for Barbados in February 1848; the regiment went on to Halifax, Nova Scotia in July 1851 and returned home in October 1854. The regiment embarked for Malta for service in the Crimean War in May 1855 and saw action at the Siege of Sevastopol that year, it went on to India to help suppress the Indian Rebellion and, after taking part in the Ambela Campaign in 1863, returned home in 1866. It embarked for India again in 1871 and on to Afghanistan where it saw action at the Battle of Peiwar Kotal in November 1878, the Battle of Charasiab in October 1879 and the Siege of the Sherpur Cantonment in December 1879 as well as the Battle of Kandahar in September 1880 during the Second Anglo-Afghan War.
As part of the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s, where single-battalion regiments were linked together to share a single depot and recruiting district in the United Kingdom, the 72nd was linked with the 91st Regiment of Foot, assigned to district no. 58 at Stirling Castle. On 1 July 1881 the Childers Reforms came into effect and the regiment amalgamated with the 78th Regiment to form
Battle of Maida
The Battle of Maida on 4 July 1806 was a battle between the British expeditionary force and a First French Empire division outside the town of Maida in Calabria, Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. John Stuart led 5,200 British troops to victory over about 5,400 French soldiers under Jean Reynier, inflicting significant losses while incurring few casualties. Maida is located in the toe of Italy, about 30 kilometres west of Catanzaro. In early 1806, the French invaded and overran the Kingdom of Naples, forcing King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his government to flee to Sicily; the Calabrians revolted against their new conquerors and Stuart's expeditionary force tried to exploit the unrest by raiding the coast. While ashore, the British encountered the two sides engaged in battle; the 19th-century historians presented the action as a typical fight between French columns and British lines. This view of the battle has been called into doubt by at least one modern historian who argued that the French deployed into lines.
Nobody questions the result, a one-sided British tactical victory. After the battle, Stuart captured some isolated garrisons in Calabria and was transported back to Sicily by the Royal Navy. Two weeks after the battle, the city of Gaeta fell to the French after a long siege. While Stuart succeeded in preventing a French invasion of Sicily and sustained the revolt in Calabria, he missed an opportunity to assist the defenders of Gaeta. Following the decision by King Ferdinand to side with the Third Coalition against Napoleon I of France, French forces had invaded the Kingdom of Naples in the spring of 1806, after the British and Russian forces defending the kingdom evacuated Italy altogether: the British to Sicily and the Russians to Corfu; the Neapolitan-Sicilian army was crushed at the Battle of Campo Tenese, forcing Ferdinand to flee to Sicily and concede the Neapolitan crown to the French. Napoleon installed his brother Joseph Bonaparte on the Neapolitan throne. By July 1806, the French had crushed all Neapolitan resistance except for the uprising in Calabria and a garrison at Gaeta.
There, André Masséna's force become embroiled in a lengthy siege. The British, rather than supporting the defenders or relieving the siege, decided to organise an expedition into Calabria to further the insurrection against the French, prevent any potential invasion of Sicily. A British force of over 5,000 men commanded by Major-General John Stuart sailed from Messina on 27 June, landing in the Gulf of Sant'Eufemia three days later. At the same time a French force under the command of General Jean Reynier, the only French force in Calabria, moved to confront them; the exact size of the French force is unknown. Contemporary French sources range between 5050 and 5450; some historians have suggested a force as large as 6400 but the most recent estimates are closer to 5400. On the morning of 4 July, Reynier broke camp and advanced toward level terrain along the shallow Lomato River. Believing his army superior in numbers, Stuart marched toward the same location nearly parallel to the French column.
As both forces deployed from march column, they ended up in echelon formation. On the French side, the left flank was leading, while on the British side the right flank was leading. On the French left, General of Brigade Louis Fursy Henri Compère was echeloned forward, with the 1st Light Infantry Regiment on the left and the 42nd Line Infantry Regiment to its right; the center, commanded by General of Brigade Luigi Gaspare Peyri, included two battalions of Poles and the 4th battalion of the 1st Swiss Regiment. On the right flank, General of Brigade Antoine Digonet trailed the other two formations. Digonet's command comprised the 23rd Light Infantry and 9th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiments and the field guns. Opposing the French was Colonel James Kempt's Advanced Guard on the British right flank, echeloned forward. To Kempt's left rear was Colonel Wroth Palmer Acland's 2nd Brigade. Well to Acland's left rear marched Colonel John Oswald's 3rd Brigade. Colonel Lowry Cole's 1st Brigade deployed on the left flank with the artillery.
Cole was closer to the French than Oswald. Off conducting diversionary actions was the 20th Foot, which would be late. Only when the armies were nearly in contact did Stuart realize that he was outnumbered, but he allowed the battle to commence without changing any orders. Kempt detached the Royal Corsican Sicilians as skirmishers; these fell back. Kempt sent the light company of the 20th Foot to help. Once the British troops halted the French skirmishers, they rejoined Kempt. At this time, Compère launched the 1st Light at Kempt. Since it had a head start, 1st Light's attack columns met Kempt's troops first. At 150 yards, the Advanced Guard fired. Kempt's second volley was fired at a range of 80 yards, wounding Compère, who urged his men on. Though disordered by their losses, the French closed to 20 yards, where they absorbed a third volley; this fire broke up the 1st Light and its soldiers turned and fled. Compère, who rode into the British line, others were captured in the brief melée that followed.
As the 1st Light's attack collapsed, Kempt's men charged their shaken enemies. As the French formation disintegrated, the Advanced Guard went out of control, chasing the fleeing French as far as Maida. Meanwhile, the 42nd advanced on Acland in two battalion columns; the British blazed away until the French attack ground to a halt. Aware that their neighboring regiment was fleeing from the battlefield, the
Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River 75 kilometres west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port; the city is regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, is nicknamed the "City of Joy". According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi. In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690, the area was developed by the Company into an fortified trading post. Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, the East India Company retook it the following year.
In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish Nizamat, assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule, under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement. Following Indian independence in 1947, once the centre of modern Indian education, science and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation; as a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, film and literature. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, other areas. Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods and freestyle intellectual exchanges.
West Bengal's share of the Bengali film industry is based in the city, which hosts venerable cultural institutions of national importance, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National Library of India. Among professional scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football and other sports; the word Kolkata derives from the Bengali term Kôlikata, the name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, in the area where the city was to be established. There are several explanations about the etymology of this name: The term Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetrô, meaning "Field of Kali".
It can be a variation of'Kalikshetra'. Another theory is. Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila, or "flat area"; the name may have its origin in the words khal meaning "canal", followed by kaṭa, which may mean "dug". According to another theory, the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun and coir or kata. Although the city's name has always been pronounced Kolkata or Kôlikata in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation; the discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh, 35 kilometres north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia. Kolkata's recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator who worked for the company, was credited as the founder of the city.
The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages: Kalikata and Sutanuti. Kalikata was a fishing village, they were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor. These rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698. In 1712, the British completed the cons
Rosetta is a port city of the Nile Delta, located 65 km east of Alexandria, in Egypt's Beheira governorate. Founded around in the 9th century, Rosetta boomed with the decline of Alexandria following the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517, only to wane in importance after Alexandria's revival. During the 19th century, it was a popular British tourist destination, known for its charming Ottoman mansions, citrus groves and comparative cleanliness. Both the Arabic name Rašīd and the western name Rosetta or Rosette are corruptions of a Coptic toponym, Trashit. Rosetta or Rosette was the name used by the French at the time of Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in Egypt and thus became eponymous of the Rosetta Stone, found by French soldiers at the nearby Fort Julien in 1799; the site of Rosetta was inhabited throughout the history of Ancient Egypt known as Khito, a hieratic word meaning "the populace", under Menes reign. In the Ptolemaic era, the town was renamed to Bolbitine. In Christian Egypt, the town was again known by the vernacular name, now in the form Rashit/Rakhit/Rexi In the 850s, the Abbassid caliph ordered a fort to be built on the site of the Ptolemaic city, the medieval city grew around this fort.
During the Seventh Crusade, Louis IX of France occupied the town in 1249. Under the Mamelukes, the city became an important commercial center, remained so throughout Ottoman rule, until the eventual resurgence of the importance of Alexandria following the construction of the Mahmoudiyah canal in 1820. Rosetta witnessed the defeat of the British Fraser campaign, on 19 September 1807. Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert, but blowing winds from the Mediterranean Sea moderate the temperatures, typical to the Egypt's north coast, making its summers moderately hot and humid while its winters mild and moderately wet when sleet and hail are common. Rafah, Abu Qir, Baltim, Kafr el-Dawwar and Mersa Matruh are the wettest places in Egypt; the population of Rashid has increased since the 1980s, as follows: 1983: 36,711. Thomas Brinkhoff: City Population, http://www.citypopulation.de Egypt statistics This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C..
"article name needed". New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, Mead. Detailed map of Egypt: UniMaps-Egypt
The Seaforth Highlanders was a historic line infantry regiment of the British Army associated with large areas of the northern Highlands of Scotland. The regiment existed from 1881 to 1961, saw service in World War I and World War II, along with many numerous smaller conflicts. In 1961 the regiment was amalgamated with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders to form the Queen's Own Highlanders, which merged, in 1994, with the Gordon Highlanders to form the Highlanders. This, however joined the Royal Scots Borderers, the Black Watch, the Royal Highland Fusiliers and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to create the present Royal Regiment of Scotland; the regiment was created through the amalgamation of the 72nd Regiment of Foot and the 78th Regiment of Foot, as part of the Childers Reforms of the British Army in 1881. It was named after Kenneth Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth, who had raised the 72nd Regiment. Named "Seaforth Highlanders", Queen Victoria approved on 22 November 1881 to style the regiment forthwith as "Seaforth Highlanders".
The 1st battalion saw action at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir in September 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War. After returning home, the 1st battalion again went abroad in 1896, taking part in the International Occupation of Crete in 1897 and the reconquest of the Sudan, being present at the Battle of Atbara in April and the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898, they moved to Cairo, from late 1902 was posted in India, where they were stationed at Nasirabad, Ajmer. Meanwhile the 2nd battalion were stationed in India, they saw service on the North West Frontier, taking part in the Hazara Expeditions in the summer 1888 and the spring of 1891, the Chitral Expedition in spring 1895. Returning home in 1897, the outbreak of the Second Boer War saw the 2nd Battalion travel to South Africa in November 1899, they suffering heavy losses at the Battle of Magersfontein in December 1899 and at the Battle of Paardeberg in February 1900. A 3rd, Militia battalion, was embodied in late 1899, embarked in February 1900 for service in Egypt alongside the 1st battalion.
In 1908, the Volunteers and Militia were reorganised nationally, with the former becoming the Territorial Force and the latter the Special Reserve. The 1st Battalion, serving in India, landed at Marseilles as part of the Dehra Dun Brigade in the Meerut Division in October 1914 for service on the Western Front, it saw action at the Battle of Aubers Ridge in May 1915. The battalion moved to Mesopotamia in December 1915, where it took part in the Siege of Kut that month and the Fall of Baghdad in March 1917, before moving to Palestine in January 1918; the 2nd Battalion, stationed at Shorncliffe Camp, landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the 10th Brigade in the 4th Division in August 1914. It took part in the retreat from Le Cateau that month, the Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the Battle of the Aisne in September 1914 and the Battle of Messines in October 1914, it went on to fight in the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, the Battle of the Somme in Autumn 1916 and the Battle of Arras in April 1917.
The battalion saw action at the Battle of Passchendaele in Autumn 1917, the Battle of the Lys in April 1918, the battles of the Hindenburg Line and the final advance in Picardy. The 1/4th Battalion landed at Le Havre as part of the 152nd Brigade in the 51st Division in November 1914 for service on the Western Front; the 1/5th Battalion and the 1/6th Battalion both landed in France as part of the 152nd Brigade in the 51st Division in May 1915 for service on the Western Front. The 7th Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-mer as part of the 26th Brigade in the 9th Division in May 1915 for service on the Western Front; the 8th Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-mer as part of the 44th Brigade in the 15th Division in July 1915 for service on the Western Front. The 9th Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-mer as part of the pioneer battalion for the 9th Division in May 1915 for service on the Western Front; the 1st Garrison Battalion landed in Salonika as part of the 228th Brigade in the 28th Division in August 1916 for service on the Salonika Front.
In 1921, the 1st Battalion was deployed to Cowdenbeath and to Bridge of Allan to maintain order during strike action by the miners. It moved to Palestine in 1933 and to Hong Kong in 1937. Meanwhile, the 2nd Battalion went to India in 1918 and saw action on the North-West Frontier in 1930 before moving moved to Palestine in 1932; the 1st Battalion, in China when war broke out, was deployed to Malaya in November 1940, for service in the Burma Campaign. It joined the 1st Indian Brigade in the 23rd Indian Division in May 1942; the 2nd Battalion went to France as part of the 152nd Brigade in the 51st Highland Division with the British Expeditionary Force in October 1939 but was captured at Saint-Valery-en-Caux during the Battle of France in June 1940. The 2nd Battalion was reconstituted, as part of a reconstituted 152nd Brigade in a reconstituted 51st Division, served in the Middle East, fighting in the Second Battle of El Alamein, the subsequent Tunisia Campaign, in the Allied invasion of Sicily.
In late 1943 the 51st Division returned to the United Kingdom and took part in Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain and several other monarchies, they are divided in the War of the Second Coalition. Confined to Europe, the fighting assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe; as early as 1791, the other monarchies of Europe looked with outrage at the revolution and its upheavals. Anticipating an attack, France declared war on Prussia and Austria in the spring of 1792 and they responded with a coordinated invasion, turned back at the Battle of Valmy in September; this victory emboldened the National Convention to abolish the monarchy.
A series of victories by the new French armies abruptly ended with defeat at Neerwinden in the spring of 1793. The French suffered additional defeats in the remainder of the year and these difficult times allowed the Jacobins to rise to power and impose the Reign of Terror to unify the nation. In 1794, the situation improved for the French as huge victories at Fleurus against the Austrians and at the Black Mountain against the Spanish signaled the start of a new stage in the wars. By 1795, the French had captured the Austrian Netherlands and knocked Spain and Prussia out of the war with the Peace of Basel. A hitherto unknown general named Napoleon Bonaparte began his first campaign in Italy in April 1796. In less than a year, French armies under Napoleon decimated the Habsburg forces and evicted them from the Italian peninsula, winning every battle and capturing 150,000 prisoners. With French forces marching towards Vienna, the Austrians sued for peace and agreed to the Treaty of Campo Formio, ending the First Coalition against the Republic.
The War of the Second Coalition began in 1798 with the French invasion of Egypt, headed by Napoleon. The Allies took the opportunity presented by the French effort in the Middle East to regain territories lost from the First Coalition; the war began well for the Allies in Europe, where they pushed the French out of Italy and invaded Switzerland – racking up victories at Magnano and Novi along the way. However, their efforts unraveled with the French victory at Zurich in September 1799, which caused Russia to drop out of the war. Meanwhile, Napoleon's forces annihilated a series of Egyptian and Ottoman armies at the battles of the Pyramids, Mount Tabor and Abukir; these victories and the conquest of Egypt further enhanced Napoleon's popularity back in France and he returned in triumph in the fall of 1799. However, the Royal Navy had won the Battle of the Nile in 1798, further strengthening British control of the Mediterranean. Napoleon's arrival from Egypt led to the fall of the Directory in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, with Napoleon installing himself as Consul.
Napoleon reorganized the French army and launched a new assault against the Austrians in Italy during the spring of 1800. This brought a decisive French victory at the Battle of Marengo in June 1800, after which the Austrians withdrew from the peninsula once again. Another crushing French triumph at Hohenlinden in Bavaria forced the Austrians to seek peace for a second time, leading to the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801. With Austria and Russia out of the war, the United Kingdom found itself isolated and agreed to the Treaty of Amiens with Napoleon's government in 1802, concluding the Revolutionary Wars. However, the lingering tensions proved too difficult to contain and the Napoleonic Wars began a few years with the formation of the Third Coalition, continuing the series of Coalition Wars; the key figure in initial foreign reaction to the revolution was Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, brother of Louis XVI's Queen Marie Antoinette. Leopold had looked on the Revolution with equanimity, but became more and more disturbed as the Revolution became more radical, although he still hoped to avoid war.
On 27 August and King Frederick William II of Prussia, in consultation with emigrant French nobles, issued the Declaration of Pillnitz, which declared the interest of the monarchs of Europe in the well-being of Louis and his family, threatened vague but severe consequences if anything should befall them. Although Leopold saw the Pillnitz Declaration as a non-committal gesture to placate the sentiments of French monarchists and nobles, it was seen in France as a serious threat and was denounced by the revolutionary leaders. France issued an ultimatum demanding that the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria under Leopold II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire renounce any hostile alliances and withdraw its troops from the French border; the reply was evasive and the Assembly voted for war on 20 April 1792 against Francis II, after a long list of grievances presented by foreign minister Charles François Dumouriez. Dumouriez prepared an immediate invasion of the Austrian Netherlands, where he expected the local population to rise against Austrian rule as they had earlier in 1790.
However, the revolution had disorganized the army, the forces raised were insufficient for the invasion. Following the declaration of war, French soldiers deserted en masse and in one case murdered their general, Théob
The Anglo–Persian War lasted between November 1, 1856 and April 4, 1857, was fought between Great Britain and Iran, at the time ruled by the Qajar dynasty. In the war, the British opposed an attempt by Iran to press its claim on the city of Herat. Though Herat had been part of Iran under the Qajar dynasty at the time the war broke out, it had declared itself independent under its own rebellious emir and placed itself under the protection of the British in India and in alliance with the Emirate of Kabul; the British campaign was conducted under the leadership of Major General Sir James Outram in two theatres—on the southern coast of Iran near Bushehr and in southern Mesopotamia. The war resulted in Persians withdrawing from Herat and signing a new treaty in which it surrendered its claims on the city, the British withdrawing from southern Iran. In the context of the Great Game—the Anglo–Russian contest for influence in Central Asia—the British wished for Afghanistan to remain an independent country friendly to Britain as a buffer against Russian expansion towards India.
They opposed an extension of Persian influence in Afghanistan because of the perception that Persia was unduly influenced by the Russians. The Persian influence on Central Asia had caused the creation of Greater Iran. Persia had over 12 foreign provinces under its imperial control, they made a fresh attempt in 1856, succeeded in taking Herat on 25 October, in violation of the existing Anglo-Persian treaty. In response, the British Governor-General in India, acting on orders from London, declared war on 1 November. Separate from and preceding the dispute over Herat was an incident concerning one Meerza Hashem Khan, whom the British ambassador hoped to appoint as a secretary in the mission in Tehran; the Persians objected, creating a dispute that escalated when rumours appeared that the British ambassador had improper relations with the man's wife, the sister of the Shah's principal wife. The dispute escalated still. Indeed, the initial mobilisation of British forces began in response to this incident, although it is unlikely that the British would have gone beyond the occupation of one or two islands in the Persian Gulf had the issue of Herat not arisen.
Two courses of action were available to the British, to mount an overland expedition through Afghanistan or attack the Persian empire from the south through the Persian Gulf. The British Government decided to attack in the general area of Bushire/Bushehr, the primary port of entry into Persia at the time, it ordered the Government in India to launch a maritime expeditionary force. In the aftermath of the disastrous First Afghan War, the British were reluctant to send a force through Afghanistan to relieve Herat directly. Instead, they elected to attack the Persians on the Persian Gulf coast. A division, under Major General Foster Stalker, was organised comprising 2300 British soldiers and 3400 Indian sepoys of the Bombay Presidency army which landed in Persia in early December 1856; this included two companies of the Bombay Sappers & Miners. These were: The 2nd Company, under Captain C. T. Haig, The 4th Company, under Captain J. Le Mesurier, The two companies were accompanied by the headquarters of the Corps of Bombay Sappers and Miners, under Captain W. R. Dickinson.
Major J. Hill, the erstwhile Commandant of the Bombay Sappers and Miners, who had handed the Corps over to Dickinson, was appointed as the Commanding Engineer for this expedition. After the expedition he resumed the post of Commandant of the Bombay Sappers once again. Artillery commanded by Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Sinclair Trevelyan, Bombay Artillery The 3rd troop Horse Brigade, commanded by Major Edward Blake, Bombay Artillery The 1st company 1st battalion European Foot Artillery, commanded by Captain William Hatch, Bombay Artillery The 4th company 1st battalion European Foot Artillery, commanded by Captain Henry Gibbard, Bombay Artillery Reserve Artillery, European Foot Artillery, Bombay Artillery commanded by Major of Brigade, Captain John PottingerSoon after the induction of the force, it was considered to be inadequate for the task and a second division under Brigadier General Henry Havelock was formed and the entire expedition placed under command of Major General Sir James Outram.
This force inducted in January 1857. During the hostilities,'B' Company of the Madras Sappers & Miners under Brevet-Major A. M. Boileau, Madras Engineers, embarked at Coconada on 19 January and reached the force just in time to participate in operations in Southern Mesopotamia; the first division under Stalker set sail from Bombay in November after the declaration of war, on a squadron or flotilla of seven steamships under Commodore Young, towing thirty sailing vessels. The British landed a force and captured the island of Kharag on 4 December and landed on 9 December on the coast a few miles south of Persia's primary port of Bushire; the first division of the expedition disembarked in the neighbourhood of the major port city of Bushire/Bushehr on 5 December 1856. They stormed the old fort at Reshire and after a short naval bombardment went on to capture the city on 10 December, ably assisted by the two companies of Bombay Sappers & Miners. There was a delay as the British waited for reinforcements.