His Majesty's Tenth Regiment of Foot in America was founded in 1968 and thus is approaching its 50th year of preserving, remembering, and bringing our history alive. Below is our story and what we are today...
1968 - 1978: The Beginning...
In 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 His Majesty's Tenth Regiment of Foot, American Contingent on July 15, 1968. On January 6, 1970 Kehoe recieved his commission as "Colonel of the Tenth Foot" from the regimental association. The first organizational meeting of the American Contingent was held on April 17, 1971 and from that meeting was born the first company of the Tenth Foot, the Light Infantry Company.
The first uniform worn by Col Vincent J-R Kehoe on April 19, 1970 as a Light Infantry officer is shown on the right. Over the next few years every element of this uniform and its accoutrements have been changed or refined reflecting new information that became available from research conducted by Col Kehoe. By 19 April 1972, The American Contingent had grown to two companies, Light Infantry and Grenadiers as well as a Company of Music. By 1975, the Regiment added a Battalion (aka. Hat) company to its ranks, which had swelled to over 100.
On July 11, 1976, the Regiment, under the command of Col Kehoe, acted as Guard of Honour for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in Boston, Massachusetts during the Royal Visit.
In the autumn of 1976 the regiment traveled to England and put on ceremonial parades in Lincoln and London. The regiment paraded in Lincoln Castle on October 1, 1976. Sobraon 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.
1978 - Present Day
In 1978, Col Kehoe retired from the Regiment and the name was changed to His Majesty's Tenth Regiment of Foot in America. Currently, the 10th Regiment consists of 3 companies of uniformed soldiers: Grenadiers, Light Infantry, & Battalion; a company of Music; and a Corps of Civillian Volunteers. The Regiment still measures its growth, progress and appearance to the standards of April 19, 1775 as this is always the first day on the field at Lexington Green and Concord's North Bridge. In the more than 30 years since Col Kehoe's retirement, the Regiment has contiuned to update and refine our uniforms, accoutrements, and drill as new information becomes available in accordance with the high standards for accuracy set by Col Kehoe.
Col. Vincent Kehoe (far left) returns for Battle Road 2000.
In addition to portraying the events of April 19, 1775 (i.e. Patriot's Day) in Lexington and Concord, the 10th Regiment maintains a busy schedule of events throughout the re-enactment season, with at least one event per month from May through October. These include marching in parades with bayonets fixed and Colours flying to weekend long recreations of other Revolutionary battles. While these events mainly take place in Massachusetts and the northeastern states (Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine), the Regiment has travelled to Viginia, North & South Carolina, Canada, The Bahamas, and England.
"Battle of Lexington Green" rehearsal, 8 April 2017