The first five years of the regiment's service were spent on garrison duties at Gibraltar, Corsica and Elba, and they fought in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
In the summer of 1799, the regiment returned from Ireland to prepare for the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland, which aimed to overthrow the Batavian Republic, a client republic of the French
Directory in the War of the Second Coalition. At around that time, the regiment was renumbered from the 100th to the 92nd Regiment of Foot. Landing on the Dutch coast on 27 August, and on
the same day were present at, but did not participate in the Battle of Callantsoog. However, they distinguished themselves on 2 October at the Battle of Alkmaar, known to the British as
"Egmont op Zee". In May 1800, they sailed to Minorca, and then on to Egypt where they landed at Abukir. Here they again fought with distinction at the Battle of Mandora on 13 March 1801.
It was a preliminary action before the Battle of Alexandria eight days later on 21 March. That morning, the 92nd had been ordered to return to Abukir, having now only 150 effective men,
because of illness and casualties sustained on the 13th. However, on hearing the sound of firing, the Highlanders saw the commander-in-chief, Sir Ralph Abercrombie, passing on his horse
and called out to be allowed to return to the line of battle, to which he gave his assent.
After returning home, a second battalion was raised, which served as a reinforcement pool for the first. The regiment took part in the Battle of Køge at Copenhagen in 1807, went to Portugal
and fought at the Battle of Corunna and then joined the disastrous Walcheren Campaign, after which only 300 of 1,000 men were fit for service. In September 1810, the regiment returned to
Portugal where they joined the Duke of Wellington's army for the remainder of the Peninsular War. The 92nd had reached Toulon when peace was declared in 1814 and they sailed for Ireland.
On 1 May 1815, the regiment again embarked for the continent, to take part in the Hundred Days campaign. The 92nd had a leading role in the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16 June, where it was
one of the regiments defending the disputed crossroads and later halted a French attack with a bayonet charge. Two days later. the regiment were in action again at the Battle of Waterloo,
although by now reduced to only about 250 men. At an early stage, Napoleon's troops attacked the left of the Allied line, and the 92nd were ordered to charge the leading French column. Upon
the approach of the Highlanders, the head of the French column broke in disorder and could only be caught by the horses of the Scots Greys, who passed through the 92nd to get at them.
According to some accounts, some of the Highlanders clung to the stirrups of the passing Greys so that they could reach the French, although this is often dismissed as mere legend.
However, the testimony of Corporal Dickson of "F" Troop of the Scots Greys, says; "They were all Gordons, and as we passed through them they shouted 'Go at them the Greys! Scotland for ever!'
My blood thrilled at this and I clutched my sabre tighter. Many of them grasped our stirrups and in the fiercest excitement, dashed with us into the fight." The 92nd's casualties at Waterloo were
20 killed and 99 wounded of all ranks. After the battle, the regiment marched to Paris, finally arriving in Edinburgh on 7 September 1816, where they were cheered by a large crowd.
The Gordon Highlanders was renowned as a courageous fighting regiment, but also enjoyed a reputation for good conduct and all round ability. This was based in a particular approach to soldiering,
a professional attitude individually and collectively where steadiness and teamwork were as important as extraordinary courage, sustained by a healthy pride in the Regiment and its achievements.
• Egmont-Op-Zee •
• Mandora •
• Spain •
• Corunna •
• Fuentes D'Onor •
• Almaraz •
• Vittoria •
• Pyrenees •
• Nive •
• Orthes •
• Peninsula •
• Waterloo •