1/89th Lost at Sea

Event
Tuesday, 10 December, 1805

In 1805, Bonaparte has crossed the River Danube and defeated General Mack's Austrian Army before Ulm. The British Prime Minister Pitt responded by mounting the diversionary Weser Expedition under Lieutenant General Sir George Don whose task was to assist the Allies by occupying Hanover and then marching on Holland.

Lord BlaneyThe 1st Battalion of the 89th Regiment sailed, less their Commanding Officer Lord Blayney*, on 10 December 1805, setting off with a force of the Weser Expedition across the North Sea in stormy winter weather. The force encountered severe gales with the loss of eight transports sunk.

One of these was the Isabella, the transport ship carrying the 1/89 headquarters and grenadier company, which was wrecked on Texel (West Frisian) Island of the (then) Batavian Republic (today's North Holland province, Netherlands) with the loss of four officers and 71 men drowned. Also lost were the Colours, the band instruments, the mess plate, and regimental books and papers. The survivors, two officers and 131 men, were taken prisoner by the Dutch. The surviving ships turned back and sailed again on 22 December, landing at Cuxhaven in northern Germany on 5 January 1806. However, the 1/89 returned to England after only one month, landing at Ramsgate on 22 February where they were re-joined by the shipwrecked prisoners, since released by exchange.

*
Lord Blayney, Baron of Monaghan, (above) had been visiting London and missed the Isabella sailing. He would become a prisoner of war for four years when captured in 1810 by the quatrième Polonois in Spain.

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