The Royal Marines were, with the Royal Artillery and Royal Marines Artillery, the only British regulars who were involved in the First Carlist War. Royal Navy transport ships were used to ferry around troops of the volunteer BAL and the British government gave permission to the British naval commander in the area, Lord John Hay, to take measures to protect ports under Isabelino control and then provide assistance to recover those ports which the Carlists had seized. The Royal Navy's support of the BAM and the Isabelino cause involved the provision of off-shore artillery and the participation of Royal Marine detachments in some of the land fighting.
The Marines appear to have first fought in small detachments but eventually a full battalion was landed which took part in the battle of Oriamendi in March 1837. At that battle, the BAL was pushed back by a large Carlist army and suffered heavy loss. The British press, ever keen to emphasise the role of the British regular troops, praised the Royal Marines for covering the retreat of the BAL. However, Sergeant Alexander Somerville of the 8th Regiment, recalled that the Marines fought a steady, but cautious, fight until they were withdrawn by Lord Hay on the basis that the Marines were exceeding their remit by becoming too involved in a pitched battle. There appear to be conflicting account of how the Marines performed; whether they were, in fact the rearguard saviours of the BAL or withdrew from the action prematurely.
Apparently at full strength the Royal Marines battalion deployed in the FCW was around 800 men, which means an 18-figure unit for my scale of 1:30 (or thereabouts). I particularly like the dynamic poses of the command figures in these Perry Miniatures packs.
18 figures. Painted October - December 2011.