viernes, 25 de diciembre de 2009

Red jackets to remember Badajoz Day

Scarlet military jackets are run up flagpoles in Nottinghamshire every year to commemorate an 1812 battle.

Badajoz Day marks the successful storming of the Spanish city and castle of Badajoz on 6 April 1812.
Lieutenant James MacPerson of 45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment ran his scarlet jacket up the flagpole when the castle was captured, in the absence of a Union flag.
A jacket is flown outside the 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment's (Worcesters and Foresters) Nottinghamshire headquarters at Foresters House in Chilwell on 6 April every year to commemorate the battle.

One man's bravery

During the battle Lieutenant James MacPherson was one of the first men to break through onto the castle ramparts.
Whilst climbing a ladder up the castle wall he found himself face-to-face with a French soldier. Before MacPherson could offer any resistance he was shot but the musket ball struck a silver button on his waistcoat and glanced off.

MacPherson and his colleagues pressed on and he made his way to the Keep. Once there he tore down the French flag and raised his jacket to let his superiors know that the walls had been scaled.

'Vital' capture

In 1812, England was at war with France and Badajoz was a fortress town in western Spain, three miles from the Portuguese border.
The capture of this town was said to be vital to both the British and the French as it guarded the vital route to Madrid, central to French control of the Iberian Peninsula.
The 45th Regiment was one of only three regiments to serve for the duration of the campaign between 1808 and 1814.
The British victory at Badajoz and the part played by Lt MacPherson and the 45th Regiment was crucial to the ultimate victory in the Peninsula War.

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