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British German Legion

This page summarises records created by this Organisation

The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.

Alternative name(s):
  • German Legion, British, 1855-1857 (Also known as)
Date: 1855-1857
History: The Enlistment of Foreigners Act 1854 allowed the government to recruit foreign mercenary troops to make up the low number of British men being recruited during the Crimean War. These mercenaries formed the British German, British Swiss and British Italian Legions, often collectively called the British Foreign Legion. Recruitment began at the beginning of 1855, and eventually 14,000 men joined the Legions. None of these men saw active service, although a number of regiments had arrived in Turkey when peace was signed. At the end of the War the Legions were disbanded. Men were encouraged to emigrate to the colonies and many from the British German Legion went to Cape Colony. When disbanded, the British German Legion comprised two regiments of light dragoons, three of jagers and six of foot.
Functions, occupations and activities: Government (central)
References: L&I vol 53; Frederick; PROCAT; NCA Rules
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
1854-1856: War Office: Foreign Legions Muster Books, Pay Lists and Courts Martial Register
The National Archives, Kew
2
1855-1857: British German Legion
The National Archives, Kew
3
[c1855-c1857]: [British German Legion]
The National Archives, Kew
4
Despatch Book, British German Legion.
The National Archives, Kew

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