THE AMERICAN CONTINGENT

 
 
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HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN CONTINGENT

STRUCTURE OF THE REGIMENT

The 10th Foot marches across the Old North Bridge, Concord, Massachusetts

British RegularIn the late 1960s, men and women flocked to the colors in order to celebrate the upcoming bicentennial of the American War for Independence. Town after town in eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire re-established long dormant town militia and minute companies. They began to stage mock battles with "British regulars." In March of 1967 at the old North Bridge in Concord a local historian/photographer watched in amazement as bathrobe cloaked "regulars" in paper mache grenadier caps tried to emulate the crown forces troops. That man was Vincent J-R Kehoe and he was determined " ...to produce a British unit that would appear in the field as (he) opined a British soldier of the year 1775 looked. It was to eliminate the red paper cardboard caps, the musical comedy uniform coats, and the un-uniform appearance of those who had played the role of the British in that pageant-playlet that stirred (his) thoughts to hopefully better things."

He knew that many regiments of regulars were garrisoned in the Boston area in 1775, among these were the 4th Foot, 5th Foot, 10th Foot, 23rd Foot and the 64th Foot. Having served in the 10th Mountain Division during WWII, Kehoe picked the 10th Regiment of Foot as the regiment he was interested in establishing.

With the help of two retired British officers, Major Nick Dawnay and Major-General Sir Christopher Welby-Everard KBE CB DL, Kehoe began several years of researching the history and uniforms of the 10th Foot. Sir Christopher was the president of the 10th Foot Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Association and formally authorized Kehoe to establish an American Contingent of the 10th Regiment of Foot on 15 July 1968. And on 6 January 1970 Kehoe receieved his commission as "Colonel of the Tenth Foot" from the regimental association. The first organizational meeting of the American Contingent was held on 17 April 1971 and from that meeting was born the first company of the 10th Foot, the Light Infantry Company.

Our Founder - Col Vincent J-R KehoeThe first uniform worn by Col Vincent J-R Kehoe on 19 April 1970 as a Light Infantry officer is shown on the left. Over the next few years every element of this uniform and its accoutrements was changed or refined reflecting new information that became available from research conducted by Col Kehoe. Each year, from their formation until the present time, the American Contingent measured its growth, progress and appearance standards as of 19 April as this was always the first day on the field at Lexington Green and Concord's North Bridge.

 

 

American Contingent - 1972

By 19 April 1972, The American Contingent has grown to two companies, Light Infantry and Grenadiers. Here we see the regiment in June of 1973.

The General Takes the Salute

On parade with the colours, The Major General takes the salute at the Colour Ceremony on 20 April 1975. Major General Sir Christopher Welby-Everard KBE CB DL presented the King's Colour of the American Contingent at this parade in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Over 100 officers and men in four companies marched passed at this parade. For more information on regimental colours click here.

 

HM Queen Elizabeth II with Col KehoeColonel Vincent J-R Kehoe commanding the Guard of Honour for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on 11 July 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts during the Royal Visit.

 

 

 

 

Field Marshall Revues The Tenth FootIn the autumn of 1976 the regiment traveled to England and put on ceremonial parades in Lincoln and London. Here we see an inspection of the regiment by Field Marshall Sir Gerald Templar KG GCB GCMG KBE DSO DCL at the National Army Museum on 5 October 1976.

 

 

 

The regiment paraded in Lincoln Castle on 1 October 1976 . SoThe Colours at Lincoln Castlebraon Barracks in Lincoln housed the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, which was made up, in part, of the old Lincolnshire Regiment which evolved from the 10th Regiment of Foot. Here we see the colours passing in review followed by the Regimental Serjeant-Major. Numerous active and retired officers of the old Royal Lincolnshire Regiment were in attendance. The Princess Alice, the Duchess of Gloucester reviewed the regiment at another parade.

 

 

 

The Tenth Foot preparing to "sweep the Green."

The opening of the campaign season as the regiment forms up on the Green in Lexington, Massachusetts on a typical "Patriots' Day" event on 19 April.

The music in the background is the magnificent "Rule Britannia" a most splendid song, especially on the quick march. This song was said to be a favorite of Admiral Lord Nelson. Click on the link to see the words to Rule Britannia.

 

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Certain photographs courtesy of Col Vincent J-R Kehoe from "A Military Guide - The 10th Regimentof Foot of 1775."

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