Sunday, 20 December 2009
British Auxiliary Legion Artillery (1)
I've mentioned before how the British Auxiliary Legion in the First Carlist War was essentially a volunteer force, with active officers in the British regular army being discouraged from joining the Legion. The only "regular" troops who served in the war were men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers. This reflected , in part, the specialisms of these units and the fact that the Legion would not be able to rely on the support of trained artillerists, for example, unless such people were drawn from the ranks of the regular armed forces. Consequently, an exception was made by Lord Hill, the C-in-C of the British Army, to his general veto on serving men joining the Legion as regards the artillery - Captain J.N. Colquhoun and a certain numnber of NCOs and privates were allowed to serve with the Legion with guaranteed reinstatement at the end of the war.
The British government also allowed the Royal Navy to take action to prevent ports on the Atlantic coast falling into Carlist hands or, when they had already done so, to assist in their recovery. This policy enabled men from the Royal Marines and Navy to participate in various actions in the war. For example, in Spring 1836, ships of the Royal Navy transported the Legion from Santander to San Sebastian to assist in the Isabelino attack on the Carlist positions there. Lord John Hay, the commander of the British naval squadron, landed a force of marines and Royal Artillery to assist the Legion's assault on the Carlist fortifications at San Sebastian. Don Carlos seems to have noted the distinction between the voluteers of the Legion and the regular British forces - he decreed that the latter would be respected as prisoners of war, whereas the former were liable to summary execution if captured.
The uniform worn by the Royal Marines artillery and the Royal artillery seems to have been largely the same, so this 6-pounder can do for either. The gun was painted with the Foundry "British Gun Grey 108" palette, which I think is a pretty good attempt at the blue-grey colour of guns during the 19th century. The barrel was painted using the Foundry "Bronze Barrel 103" palette, which is slightly darker than my normal method but quite effective too, I think.
4 figures. Painted November 2009.