The 3rd West India Regiment fire on French troops at a bridge head, on the Ile de Cabret or Terre d'en Haut, April 1809
Watercolour by John Eckstein, 1810.
The 3rd West India Regiment was raised in 1798 from freed slaves in North America and slaves purchased in the British West Indies. After the slave trade ended in 1807, the British also recruited in West Africa and from among Africans freed when the Royal Navy intercepted foreign slave ships en route to the Americas.
The semi-enforced recruitment of so-called 'liberated Africans' contributed to three mutinies in the West India Regiments between 1802 and 1837. On some occasions the West India Regiments fought French slave troops (France finally abolishing slavery in 1848).
During the Napoleonic Wars the 3rd West India Regiment served at St. Lucia (1803), the Danish Virgin Islands (1807) - now the US Virgin islands, Martinique (1809), The Saintes (1809) and Guadeloupe (1810).
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Focus Gallery: West Indian Soldier
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