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2nd April 1801

Unit awarded Battle Honour Subsequent designation
49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment 1st Berkshire Regiment
  1st Royal Berkshire Regiment
  1st Bn D.E.R.R.
  Now, 1st Bn R.G.B.W.

The 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment fought as Marines at the Battle of Copenhagen under BROCK, afterwards the famous Major-General Sir Issac BROCK, who was at that time, Second in Command of the force which landed there from Nelsons Fleet. These troops were distributed over twelve of the twenty –seven ships employed, the majority of which were placed well in the van of the fight.

Incidents which took place on board some of the vessels illustrate the exposure to which they were subjected, the arduous work they were called upon to perform and also serve to show the spirit in which they played their part. The losses on the ‘Monarch’ exceeded those of any single ship during the whole of the struggle as she was exposed to the ‘Trekoner Crown Battery’ which supported the united fire of the Danish ‘Holstein’ and ‘Zealand’, the men of ‘Ardent’ rendered very able assistance in rescuing many of the drowning from the ill fated Danish Warship ‘Danburg’

The Commanding Officer of the troops employed on ships not close enough to the enemy for effective musketry fire insisted as a point of honour, that his men should not be sent below, they were thereupon drawn up on the gangway, and subjected to a heavy fire from the batteries without the possibility of any retaliation.

The Marines poured a heavy fire of small arms upon a floating battery of 24 guns and 120 men under the Danish hero  Viliemoes thereby frustrating his attempt to put some of our ships out of action by establishing a position under their hulls.

The 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment  share the honour of serving at Copenhagen with only one other British Regiment----The Rifle Brigade.

Records compiled some very considerable time after the event; chronicle the names of 10 Officers, 14 Non Commissioned Officers and men as recipients of the Naval General Service Medal with the Clasp for Copenhagen, 1801.

The strength of the 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment on board the fleet was 35 Officers and 738 other ranks.

List of Ships which the 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment served: -   

Ships in the Van

Ships in Reserve


Ganges (Brock)




Defiance (Flying the flag of Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Graves)



Belloua (Grounded)




London (Flag)


The Battle of Copenhagen 

To commemorate the event the band of the Regiment is permitted to play RULE BRITANNIA after the Regimental March and before the National Anthem, at all Band performances.

It is perhaps significant that the Royal Marines rank in precedence in the British Army just after the 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment having the territorial number 49th and a half, and it is also a curious coincidence that the regiment so closely connected with the Royal Navy in its early days should receive its first Royal Colour from the hands of a British Admiral---H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh K.G. on the Florina Parade Ground, Malta 1st April 1889.

All the Above traditions were carried through to the 1st Battalion Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment

In the action the 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment casualties were slight

Officers, 2 Wounded

Men 13 Killed, 40 Wounded. 

Naval Crown applied for many years after the Battle and awarded in time to be emblazoned on the Colours presented to the 1st Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment  in 1956. The honour was carried on by the D.E.R.R. but discontinued by the R.G.B.W.


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                            Revised: 19 July 2006.