The 60th Rifles
The Royal American Regiment
The King's Royal Rifle Corps
(The Regimental Colours of the 60th Rifles)
(A 60th Platoon)
The 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot, better known under its later name, The King's Royal Rifle Corps, has long been associated with Canada After Braddock's defeat by the French and Indians in 1755, authority was granted to raise a regiment of four battalions to be recruited in Germany and from German colonists in North America. The regiment was named the 62nd, or Royal American, Regiment of Foot; but it was redesignated the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot in February 1757.
Recruiting for the Royal Americans in North America was disappointing, and more than half its strength was drafted from men rejected by British regiments in Ireland. From this unlikely collection of foreigners and cast-offs was fashioned one of the most renowned corps of the British Army. Its original recruits came mainly from Germany, and from the Swiss and German settlers of Pennsylvania and Maryland. Initially it was designated as the 62nd Foot, being renumbered and titled "Royal American" in 1757, after the disbandment of the 50th and 51st Foot. In its early years the 60th Foot had something of the flavor of a foreign legion, its ranks being filled with American colonists, Irishmen, Germans, Poles, Bohemians, French prisoners of war, and deserters from other British regiments. The regiment served in the American Revolution and later went on to great glory as the 60th Rifles (King's Royal Rifle Corps).
Among the officers recruited in Europe were two able Swiss soldiers, Henri Bouquet and Frederick Haldimand, who commanded respectively the 1st and 2nd battalions of the new regiment. Bouquet trained his battalion as light infantry, emphasizing the skills required for forest warfare. Haldimand also adapted his European experience to war in the American wilderness.
The 1st and 4th battalions of the 60th accompanied General Abercromby's advance up Lake Champlain in 1758, and participated in the disastrous assault on the Ticonderoga position the following July. In November, Bouquet's 1st Battalion played a major role in the successful advance to Fort Duquesne, which secured the western border of New England against the incursions of France's savage Indian allies.
In 1758, the 2nd and 3rd battalions were assigned to the forces of General Amherst for operations in eastern Canada. Both battalions were present at the capture of Louisbourg, and moved on to Quebec with Wolfe the following year. The performance of the 60th at Montmorency Falls on 31 July 1753 won the regimental motto Celer et Audax (Swift and Bold) from General Wolfe.
The 2nd and 3rd battalions fought at the battle of the Plains of Abraham on 13 September 1759. The following year elements of all four battalions participated in the final advance to Montreal.
In 1795, they transferred over to the island nation of Devia, with a force under the command of General Girdwood. Soon after they where placed under the direct command of the local Brigadier, Benjamin Casey.