In 1688 the inhabitants of Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh, Ireland took up arms in defense of their town against the threat of occupation by the forces of James II. The troops so raised, The Inniskillingers, Foot and Dragoons, made repeated expeditions into the surrounding district to seek out and destroy the enemy. So successful was this force it was incorporated into the army of William III, in which the Foot became "The Inniskilling Regiment".
In 1751 the system of numbering Regiments was introduced. The Inniskillings became the "Twenty-seventh Regiment", but were, however referred to as the "Twenty-seventh Inniskillings". The first time the Inniskilling Regiment fought in Saint Lucia was in 1778. The regiment won battle honours in that engagement. The island was later returned to France.
In 1796 a large expedition sailed from England to recapture the island. The army was led by General Abercrombie. Successful landings were made on the island and the main French fortress on Morne Fortuné was besieged. The 27th Foot and light artillery (Inniskilling Regiment) had fought their way across the Morne ridge to attack from the rear. They captured the Redoubt first then stormed the main fort, a very different approach under the leadership of Brigadier General John Moore.
The French performed well against the onslaught of the British with the help of two thousand veteran French soldiers consisting of freed slave soldiers, local republicans and republicans from Guadeloupe. They staved off the British for one month before they were forced to surrender the Morne Fortune Citadel.
On May 26th 1796 2,000 black French soldiers and about 100 white defenders were given the honours of war. They were allowed to march out of the fort with their drums beating and flags flying, before laying down their arms. The defenders had requested that they lay down their arms to the 27th Inniskilling Regiment, who had been their main adversaries. They were marched to Vigie, placed on transport vessels and sent to England as prisoners of war.
General Abercrombie attributed the successful outcome of that siege in no small part to the bravery of the 27th Inniskillings. He therefore gave the regiment two significant honours. The defeated soldiers laid down their arms before the ranks of the 27th Inniskilling Regiment and, in addition, Abercrombie granted the regiment the unique honour of having its Colours flown from the flagstaff of the fortress for an hour before the Union flag was raised, a distinction accorded to no other Regiment before or since. This was the second time the Regiment received Battle honours in Saint Lucia.
The Inniskilling monument was erected at the eastern end of Fort Charlotte and unveiled on August 31st 1932 by Capt. C.H. Knox-Little, R.N. of the H.M.S. "DANAE" in memory of the 27th Foot Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers for their gallant capture of Morne Fortune on May 24th 1796. The monument was erected on the site known as White's Redoubt, on which Shipley's battery was also built.
It was constructed in 1782 after Lieutenant Charles Shipley, a military engineer and surveyor submitted his report on Morne Fortune. Shipley was promoted to lieutenant and sub-engineer and served in the Leeward Islands from 1780 to 1783 working on government fortifications. The stonework of the battery.
[Caption] The Capture of Morne Fortune 1796 [Not credited but by contemporary South African artist Jason Askew, The Inniskillings Museum.]