Somerset Light Infantry
Somerset Archives and Local Studies holds the regimental archive of the Somerset Light Infantry. It is a rich and rewarding collection detailing the 300-year history of the regiment.
The regiment was first raised in 1685 by James II to suppress the Protestant rebellions led by the Duke of Monmouth and the Earl of Aryll. Since then it has gone through several reincarnations: from the 13th Regiment of Foot to the 13th Somersetshire Light Infantry, then in 1842, the 13th or Prince Albert's Light Infantry. In 1959 it merged with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, before all of the Light Infantry regiments were amalgamated in 1968.
Over the course of its history the regiment gained 112 battle honours. Its first was awarded in 1704 after the siege of Gibraltar. The 19th century proved particularly rewarding for the regiment, with honours being awarded for action in Burma in 1824 and 1885, and for participation in Afghanistan and the Boer War. In the 20th century, the regiment fought in China, Cyprus and Germany, played a leading role in the Malayan Emergency of the early 1950s and was the last British regiment to march out of India after independence was granted.
The guides below offer an introduction to the archive held at the Somerset Heritage Centre, and the history of the county's regiment.