Belleisle is the French island Belle-Île-en-Mer. The siege of Belleisle took place during the Seven Years War between the French and the British. The actual siege lasted from April to June of 1761. Once the British secured the Island they had a port for their fleet to use during their blockade of the French coast.
900 Marines, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John McKenzie, served with great distinction at the siege of Belleisle, an island off the north-west coast of France near St Nazaire in Quiberon Bay. With the 19th Regiment, they effected their first successful seabourne landing in the face of stiff opposition. They took part in all subsequent fighting on the island. The Marine battalions gained great fame at the final storming of the redoubts in June. Of their conduct on this occasion the Annual Register for 1761 said: ”No action of greater spirit and gallantry has been performed during the whole war”. The laurel wreath borne on the Colours and appointments of the RM is believed to have been adopted in honour of the distinguished service of the Corps during this operation. The tune, honoring these men, appears in several 18th century books. It was often used for reviews. It is available upon request @ email@example.com.
Burke, John. …..History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland. London: R. Bentley, 1836. 740 pp.
Duncan, Francis. History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1872.
Rivington, James. Songs, Naval and Military. J. Rivington, New York: 1779. 128 pp.