Notes on Wellington’s Peninsular Regiments: 43rd Regiment of Foot (The Monmouth Light)
By Ray Foster
19th August 1808 (landed at the mouth of the Maceira from
10th November 1813 (after the battle of the Nivelle) PAB 847.
By now the principal enemy is the weather, the onset of heavy rains
fills the streams and ruins the roads so that movement stops and the
army has to take shelter. However, less than a fortnight later on
23rd November in front of Arcangues on the Bassussary plateau a company
of 1/43rd under Captain Samuel Hobkirk is involved in another of those
escapades which suggest that the officers of Light Division can no
longer be compared with those under Black Bob Craufurd. They have
pushed forward amongst the enemy piquets to such a degree that they
enter their prepared defence works well in advance of their objective
in a now very unequal struggle the whole company is overcome.
Lieutenant Baillie is killed, Lieutenant Steele wounded and as many as
16 men are captured, wounded or not, amongst them Hobkirk himself, a
dandy of such proportions that he is regarded by his captors to be at
least a senior General Officer by his resplendent appearance.
While Oman allows that about 80 men of Kempt's Brigade were casualties
of this indiscretion we see that William Napier, present with the rest
of 1/43rd admits that all of these were his own men, so: