Bragg’s Regiment and the 28th Foot

In 1734 Philip Bragg became Colonel of the Regiment which had been first raised in 1694 by John Gibson. Bragg was to command the Regiment for twenty-five years, until his death in 1759. In 1742 the British Army adopted a new, and initially very unpopular, numbering system for its regiments, which were no longer to be officially known by the names of their colonels. Bragg’s  Regiment became the 28th Foot, its red coats keeping the yellow facings of old.  Many regiments, particularly the “Royal” regiments with blue facings to their coats, acquired fancier titles as well as numbers, which didn’t always go down too well with colonels of less privileged, but just as proud, regiments.  This in turn led to the regimental tradition of a drill command reputedly issued by one of Bragg’s successors in the next century:

Neither King’s nor Queen’s, nor Royal Marines,
But 28th, Old Braggs: Brass before and Brass behind,
Never feared a foe of any kind;
Shoulder Arms!

Picture: Soldier of the 28th Foot, c. 1742.

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