Colonel Josiah Churchill


The next commanding officer was Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Churchill of the 3rd Foot (The Buffs). He came from a well known family in Dorset, but was not, so far as is known, related to the Duke of Marlborough. During 1706, the Marine Corps took part in the capture of a number of towns on the east coast of Spain, including Alicante, and of the islands of Ibiza and Majorca. The Regiment continued to serve ‘By Sea and By Land’, and Churchill’s Marines took part in the ill-fated attack on Toulon in the summer of 1707. In October the fleet sailed home, but some of the ships were wrecked off the Scilly Isles, and a large number of men, including some of Churchill’s Marines, were lost.

Operations in the Western Mediterranean continued in 1708, and Churchill’s Marines were in the force which captured Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, in August of that year. In 1710, a composite battalion of Marines was formed for an expedition against Port Royal in Nova Scotia. Six Regiments of Marines, including Churchill’s, each supplied one company, and the force was commanded by Major Reading of Churchill’s. The following year, Colonel Churchill, after five years in command on active service, received Her Majesty’s permission to sell his commission, and left the service in February 1711.


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