The years around 1783 were tumultuous ones for the army and things were about to become even more difficult in the near future. The Army was coming to the end of its actions in the 13 colonies. Political and military defeat hung heavily over Britain at the time. The army had borne the brunt of the unsuccessful campaign and so were associated with the failure.

Life was to become even more dangerous and precarious for the British army as it become embroiled in the highly difficult task of containing the expansion of Revolutionary and then Napoleonic France. The army would therefore be forced to expand to an unusually large size and would be strained to its limits. The prominent role played by the British army in ultimately defeating Napoleon would restore its pride and prestige both at home and overseas.

In the period following victory in 1815, the British army was regarded as the fire brigade of the Empire - being sent to where ever there were disturbances or problems. It would become involved in countless small wars in far flung corners of the globe, most of which would be successful endeavours. However, the army would be sorely tested by the events of the Crimean war and the Indian Mutiny. The problems encountered in these actions provided the rationale for the Cardwell army reforms which were implemented progressively from the late 1860's to the early 1880's.

The numbering system used by the British army in order to determine precedence was first used in 1751. The year 1782 is interesting because it is the first time that many of these regiments were associated with a specific local area. Theoretically, this was to be where their depot was to be based and their recruiting to take place. However, constant strategical and manpower needs meant that these regiments could be posted anywhere and were keen to take recruits from wherever they could find them. In this period of history, the numbers were the more important of the designations and would be used on a day to day basis. However, the territorial titles would later form the basis of the next major overhaul of the regimental system almost exactly 100 years later: the Cardwell Army reforms.

Number Title
1st The First Regiment of Foot Guards
2nd The Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards
3rd Third Regiment of Foot Guards (Scots Guards)
Infantry of the Line
Number Title
1st The Royal Regiment
2nd The Queen's Royal Regiment
3rd The Buffs, East Kent Regiment
4th The King's Own Regiment
5th The Northumberland Regiment
6th The 1st Warwickshire Regiment
7th The Royal Fusiliers
8th The King's Regiment
9th The East Norfolk Regiment
10th The North Lincolnshire Regiment
11th The North Devonshire Regiment
12th The East Suffolk Regiment
13th The 1st Somersetshire Regiment
14th The Bedfordshire Regiment
15th The Yorkshire, East Riding Regiment
16th The Buckinghamshire Regiment
17th The Leicestershire Regiment
18th The Royal Irish Regiment
19th The 1st Yorkshire, North Riding Regiment
20th The East Devonshire Regiment
21st The Royal North British Fusiliers
22nd The Cheshire Regiment
23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers
24th The 2nd Warwickshire Regiment
25th The Sussex Regiment
26th The Cameronian Regiment
27th The Inniskilling Regiment
28th The North Gloucestershire Regiment
29th The Worcestershire Regiment
30th The Cambridgeshire Regiment
31st The Huntingdonshire Regiment
32nd The Cornwall Regiment
33rd 1st Yorkshire, West Riding Regiment
34th The Cumberland Regiment
35th The Dorsetshire Regiment
36th The Herefordshire Regiment
37th The North Hampshire Regiment
38th The 1st Staffordshire Regiment
39th The East Middlesex Regiment
40th The 2nd Somersetshire Regiment
41st The Invalids Garrison
42nd The Royal Highland Regiment
43rd The Monmouthshire Regiment
44th The East Essex Regiment
45th The 1st Nottinghamshire Regiment
46th The South Devonshire Regiment
47th The Lancashire Regiment
48th The Northamptonshire Regiment
49th The Hertfordshire Regiment
50th The West Kent Regiment
51st The 2nd Yorkshire, West Riding Regiment
52nd The Oxfordshire Regiment
53rd The Shropshire Regiment
54th The West Norfolk Regiment
55th The Westmoreland Regiment
56th The West Essex Regiment
57th The West Middlesex Regiment
58th The Rutlandshire Regiment
59th The 2nd Nottinghamshire Regiment
60th The Royal American Regiment
61st The South Gloucestershire Regiment
62nd The Wiltshire Regiment
63rd The West Suffolk Regiment
64th The 2nd Staffordshre Regiment
65th The 2nd Yorkshire, North Riding Regiment
66th The Berkshire Regiment
67th The South Hampshire Regiment
68th The Durham Regiment
69th The South Lincolnshire Regiment
70th The Surrey Regiment
71st The Highland Regiment
72nd Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders
Regiments Raised between
1783 and 1881
73rd Perthshire Regiment
74th Highlanders
75th Stirlingshire Regiment
76th Regiment of Foot
77th East Middlesex Regiment
78th The Ross-shire Buffs
79th Cameron Highlanders
80th Staffordshire Volunteers
81st Loyal Lincoln Volunteers
82nd Prince of Wales Volunteers
83rd County of Dublin Regiment
84th York and Lancaster Regiment
85th Bucks Volunteers Light Infantry
86th Leinster Regiment
87th Prince of Wales's Own Irish Fusiliers
88th Connaught Rangers
89th Princess Victoria's Regiment
90th Perthshire Volunteers Light Infantry
91st Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders
92nd Gordon Highlanders
93rd Sutherland Highlanders
94th Regiment of Foot
95th Derbyshire Regiment
96th Regiment of Foot
97th Earl of Ulster's Regiment
98th The Prince of Wales's Regiment
99th The Duke of Edinburgh's Regiment
100th The Prince of Wales's Royal Canadian Regiment
101st Royal Bengal Fusiliers
102nd Royal Madras Fusiliers
103rd Royal Bombay Fusiliers
104th Bengal Fusiliers
105th Madras Light Infantry
106th Bombay Light Infantry
107th Bengal Infantry Regiment
108th Madras Infantry Regiment
109th Bombay Infantry Regiment
Rifle Brigade
1st West India Brigade
2nd West India Brigade
3rd West India Brigade
4th West India Brigade

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by Stephen Luscombe