William Grattan was a young Irish Lieutenant who served in the famous Connaught Rangers [the 88th regiment] in some of the hottest engagements of the Peninsular War. His first battle was the bloody encounter at Busaco, when the Duke of Wellington himself commended the Connaughts’ clearing of the heights as the most gallant charge he had ever witnessed. Grattan’s second battle was the engagement at Fuentes d’Onoro. In the fierce fighting of the years covered by his memoirs, his unit, the 1st battalion of the Rangers, lost almost 50 percent of its officers [49 out of 103] killed or wounded, and gained no fewer than eleven battle honours, earning them the soubriquet ‘The Devil’s Own’. It was a well-deserved nickname. Vividly written and accompanied by maps, this is deservedly one of the most famous fighting memoirs of the Peninsula War and should not be missed.
ADVENTURES WITH THE CONNAUGHT RANGERS 1809-1814
I never witnessed a more gallant charge than that made just now by your regiment.’ This commendation from the Duke of Wellington after the 88th regiment cleared the heights at Busaco marked William Grattan’s first engagement in the Peninsular War.The second found him commanding the leading company in the attack on Fuentes d’Onoro.In the years 1809 to 1814, the first battalion of the Connaught Rangers were to lose 49 out of 103 officers killed or wounded and gain eleven battle honours whilst earning their nickname, ‘The Devil’s Own’.