Battle Honour 'HAVANNAH'

Tuesday, 8 June, 1762

The Battle Honour HAVANNAH is emblazoned on the Regimental Colours of The Royal Irish Regiment.

When Britain declared war on Spain in January 1762*, the Earl of Albermarle was appointed to command an expedition of 12,000 men against the Spanish city of Havana, Cuba. The whole force assembled at Martinique on 5 May 1762. The expedition arrived at Havana on 6 June 1762. While the fleet blockaded the Spanish men-of-war in the harbour, the army landed on the following day east of the city; the enemy garrison eas comprised of some 4,000 regular troops, 9,000 sailors and 14,000 militia.

The British troops advanced on 8 June and within three days had captured a port and the batteries on the high ground overlooking the harbour. The Inniskillings were in the Second Brigade commanded by Major General H Walsh and the Spanish eventually surrendered on 15 August. The total casualties for the 27th included one officer and 15 men killed. Such was the harshness of the climate and conditions, this figure was almost equal to death by disease - one officer and 13 men.

However, the Battle Honour HAVANNAH was not carried on the Inniskilling's Colours until it awarded to the fifteen British Regiments that had served with Albermarle's expedition by the Army Order of November 1909.

During the Seven Years’ War, Spain first invaded Portugal in May 1762. Britain assisted Portugal under the terms of an alliance treaty first signed as the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty on 13 June 1373. It has been confirmed and reinforced through the centuries since, for example the Treaty of Windsor 1387, and is still the longest running active alliance in history. It was last invoked during the Falklands War when facilities in the Azores were offered for use by the Royal Navy.