2/89th at Fuengirola, Spain.

Event
Sunday, 14 October, 1810

Lord BlayneyThe 2/89th Regiment was under the command of Major General Lord Blayney who had been directed to launch a diversionary attack against the French in order to ease the pressure on besieged Cadiz. The area chosen was in the vicinity of the southern Spanish port of Malaga and Blayney sailed with an allied expeditionary force of some 1,700 from Gibraltar.

On the morning of 14 October, his force disembarked near Fuengirola on the Mediterranean coast. There he attempted to march on and capture Sohail castle, a fort which was stoutly defended by Polish troops. Following an unsuccessful frontal assault, during which Major Grant, commanding the 2/89th, was mortally wounded, Blayney withdrew.

That night, he landed artillery and moved it forward under Spanish troops' protection. The following morning it engaged the castle but the defending Polish force responded by attacking and driving off the Spanish force protecting the British guns. They then turned the guns on the British who fell back to the beach but the survivors of the 89th, less than 300 strong, then charged the guns whereupon the enemy wheeled and fled towards the castle. However, Blayney and the 2/89th were taken prisoner by a Polish and French column sent as reinforcements from nearby enemy garrisons. In his own words:

I soon, however, observed a column close in from the left, on whose caps I perceived the number 4 with an eagle, and which proved to be the quatrième Polonois. The troops with me, after firing a few rounds, charged this column, and a very severe conflict ensued, which unfortunately ended in my being made prisoner, having but nine men remaining of those that advanced with me.

Once again the guns were lost so the remnants of the force retreated; it was a decisive defeat for the Allies.

Blayney remained a prisoner of war for four years and the 2/89th remained unfit for operational service for some time after the survivors retired to Gibraltar. The Battalion eventually returned to England in May 1812. Their next action would be in the War of 1812 in North America, when they landed at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 13 October 1812.