The Memorials at Bayonne and Biaritz

In the Anglican church of St Andrew at Biaritz engagements of the Peninsular War are commemorated. The dedication is to The Officers and Men of the British Army who fell in The South West of France from October 7th 1813 to April 14th 1814, erected in 1882 “by their fellow soldiers and compatriots”.

On the porch is a list of 63 British Regiments which took part in the various engagements, and their respective casualties, there is also a plaque commemorating the Royal Navy.

The Memorial Porch was re-dedicated on 12th April 1964, the 150th Anniversary. The then Colonel of the Regiment, Major General FJCP Piggot attended.

The Memorial Porch, while it records the presence in the area of both the 2nd and 31st Foot, and displays “PRISTINAE VIRTUTIS MEMOR” prominently, does not produce evidence to show that our Regiments leading part in the fighting. Two (un-named) rank and file of the 2nd Foot and one of the 31st Foot fell at the Battles of the Nivelle on 10th November, 1813; Ensign Hardy (31st) died of wounds received on the Nive, plus seven (again un-named) rank and file; and Bt. Major Fearon (31st) and one soldier died of wounds received at Garris nearby. It would seem that the major parts of both Regiments marched on to Toulouse (nearly 200 miles away) prior to the severe fighting which occurred at the “sortie de Bayonne.”

Memorials at Bayonne and Biaritz


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