A substantial regimental history of a distinguished unit down to the South African War a century ago, and of its two disbanded predecessors. The first ‘85th’, the ‘Royal Volunteers’ was raised in 1759 and took part in the capture of the French island of Belleisle in the Bay of Biscay and also served in Spain and Portugal during the Seven Years’ War before being disbanded in 1763. The second unit to bear the numerals ‘85’, the Westminster Volunteers, had a truly tragic fate. IThis 85th was raised in 1779 and served in Jamaica where the ravages of Yellow Fever took such a toll that the remnants of the regiment not stricken by the disease were embarked for New York in a convoy which was wrecked by an Atlantic storm. There were very few survivors and remnants of the regiment was disbanded on arriving home at Dover. The third and final incarnation of the 85th begun life as the Bucks Volunteers in 1793, served in the French Revolutionary wars in the Netherlands, Madeira and Jamaica. Transformed into a Light Infantry unit, it again served in the Low Countiries – around Flushing and Walcheren – in the Napoleonic Wars in 1808. With an establishment raised to ten companies, the 85th fought in the Peninsula War, being present at the Battle of Fuentes d’Onoro. It returned to Spain for the final 1813-14 campaign of the war, serving at the Siege of San Sebastian, and fighting against Marshal Soult at the battle of the Nivelle. The unit ended the war at Bayonne. In the 1814 War with the United States, the 85th was present when Washington was captured and the White House burned. In the same war it also took part in the disastrous Battle of New Orleans. In the mid-century, the 85th was on garrison duty in Malta, Gibraltar, Ireland, Canada, India and the West Indies. It took part in the 1879-80 campaigns in Afghanistan. The final battle honours recounted in this volume were during the South African War when the 85th was present at the battle of Paardeburg and faced the legendary Boer commando leaders Generals De Wet and Botha. This exceptional book has many fine illustrations, including 11 colour plates illustrating the evolution of regimental uniforms; five appendices listing officers of the regiment; and many maps, drawings and sketches.