The naming of Armstrong Wolfe
Maurice Evlyn-Bufton, CEO, Armstrong Wolfe
I had the honour of serving as an officer with The Gloucestershire Regiment 28/LXi, as other members of my family had done so before me.
The regiment was the amalgamation of the 28th and 61st Foot and prided itself on its glorious past. In fact, it had more battle honours than any other non-amalgamated regiment in the British Army.
When considering a name for my company I instinctively wanted to steer away from using my own, feeling to do so would be narcissistic, but still sought a name that meant something to me personally.
As a boy I had read avidly about the Napoleonic Wars and the great rivalry between Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley. Upon joining my regiment, this history became more relevant as I learnt about the heroics of the 28th and 61st Foot under Wellington’s command.
British Army’s success at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812 was notable for firming up the reputation of Wellington as the first leader to take on and defeat Napoleon’s forces on the battlefield. The battle saw an Anglo-Portuguese army under the Duke of Wellington defeat Marshal Auguste Marmont’s French forces on the hills around Arapiles, south of Salamanca, Spain on 22 July 1812. This is considered by some the greatest action of the Peninsular War.
During the battle, the 61st Foot fought with distinction, but suffered terrible losses. Only 3 of the 27 officers that went into battle survived, and of the 420 other ranks some 324 perished.
Lieutenants Armstrong and Wolfe were 2 of the surviving officers. Amidst the bloody battle, 100s of comrades had fallen around them, but inspired they picked up and carried the regimental colours, it’s standard to reach and take the final hill. At sunset they were rewarded by seeing the French army dispersing and to witness one of Wellington’s greatest victories. Both young men were mentioned in dispatches for their bravery and heroics.”
It is in their honour that I named my company.