Like some other regiments, the 33rd was raised in 1702 to fight in the War of Spanish Succession and it subsequently fought in the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years War and the American Independence War.
In 1782 it was decided to link regiments to a county and it then became the 33rd or 1st Yorkshire West Riding. In 1793, Arthur Wesley, later the Duke of Wellington, took over command of the regiment. The 33rd also saw action in India, where they took part in the defeat of the “Tiger of Mysore”, Tippoo Sultan at Seringapatam in 1799. After spending 16 years abroad the 33rd returned to England in 1812 and were reunited with their old commander in 1815 in Belgium as part of Halkett’s 5th Brigade under Wellington’s overall command. In June Napoleon had marched into Belgium and caught the allies off guard. While he engaged the Prussians, Marshall Ney was sent to secure the vital cross roads at Quatre Bras. The 33rd marched 20 miles to support the troops already defending the position.
After surviving ferocious attacks from artillery and French heavy cavalry, the 33rd were forced to fall back to the cover of the trees in the nearby Bois de Bossu. Here they reformed and were held in reserve until nightfall brought the fighting to an end. Ney had been held, which gained valuable time for the Allies to withdraw to Waterloo.
310gm Limited edition of 50 c/w authentication certificate
Illustration by David Higham