Corporal; his shoulder knot is of white worsted.
Marines underwent further name changes, as the Colonels
handed over command; Churchill’s Marines
in 1706, Goring’s Marines in 1711 and in
1714 it converted from marine service to become a Regiment of
the Line, which was officially recognised as the 31st Foot in 1751.
Grenadier dressed for parade.
Britain’s next major conflict was The War of the Austrian
Succession (1740-1748). It arose from a dispute between three
candidates for the Austrian throne and Britain’s principal
enemies were again France and Spain. King George II, who was also
the elector of Hanover, was in support of the Empress Maria Theresa
and had collected an army of English, Hanoverian, Dutch, Austrian
and other Germanic elements on the lower Rhine under the command
of Field Marshal the Earl of Stair. The 40,000 strong force advanced
up the Rhine, but was intercepted by the 70,000 strong French
Army under the command of Marshal Noallies.
Stair marched along one bank of the Main valley with Noallies
moving parallel to him on the opposite bank, however, the Austrians
were not keen to engage the enemy and Stair decided to withdraw
towards Dettingen. Unfortunately, the French had detached a force
to block any escape. King George now assumed command of the Army;
this was to be the last occasion on which an English king commanded
his army in battle.
The battle was fought on 27th June 1743. The French cavalry launched
a massive assault, abandoning an advantageous position, protected
by a swamp. At this stage the 31st were placed in the second line
of the battle order. The allied left flank was in danger of being
overwhelmed, but was stemmed by the volleys of the English infantry.
At one stage the King’s horse bolted and he was carried
to the second line, where he dismounted and took local command
of the infantry. He saw men going forward with great spirit, who
had buff facings to their uniforms and is said to have cried out
“Bravo, Buffs!”. A voice replied
“Sir, we are the Thirty-First, not the Old Buffs”,
to which he rejoined “Then Bravo,Young Buffs”.
A nickname had been created for the Regiment! The battle progressed
and the French Army was driven from the field with heavy casualties.