Formation and Timeline of the RMLI
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
On 30 January 1855, Her Majesty Queen Victoria approved an Admiralty Minute designating the infantry of the Royal Marines a 'Light Corps' with the title Corps of Royal Marines' Light Infantry.
1856 - October - Canton
1857 - June - Fatshan Creek
1857 - 1st and 2nd Battalions left England for China
1858 - January - Canton
1858 - May - Pei-Ho River, Taku Forts, Pekin
The Taku (Degu) forts were on the Hai River, 37 miles east of Tientsin (Tianjin), China. They were stoutly built and were improved in the 1850's by Seng-ko-Lin-Ch'in.
Second Opium War (20 May 1858). An Anglo-French force under British Admiral Sir Michael Seymour captured Canton (Guangzhou) on 28-29 December 1857. It then moved north and captured the Taku forts but held them only briefly.
1859 - June -August - Taku Forts
Second Opium War (25 June 1859) When the Chinese refused to admit foreign diplomats to Peking (Beijing), British Admiral Sir James Hope attempted to force passage of the Peiho (Han) River with eleven gun boats and a landing force of 1,100 men, but met severe resistance. He was himself twice wounded, and two ships were sunk beneath him. Of the eleven gunboats, six were sunk or disabled. The landing force became bogged down in mud and had to retreat. The British lost 89 killed and 345 wounded.
1859 - October - Pekin
1863 - Japan - Yokahama
1864 - September - Japan - Shimonoseki
1882 - August - Ismalia, Tel-el-Maskhuta, Tel-el-Kebir, Cairo
1884 - Suakin, Red Sea - El Teb, Tamaii,
1884 - December - Korti, Metemmeh, Abu Klea
1899 - November - Graspan kopje
1900 - China - Boxer Rising/Rebellion
1913 - three divisions of RMLI - Chatham, Portsmouth, Plymouth. All RMLI recruits were sent to Depot at Walmer, Kent for training before being posted to their Divisions.
1914 - Royal Marine Brigade formed in August - to Ostend. Later joined Royal Naval Division.
1915 - Dardanelles, Gallipoli as part of 3rd Brigade of Royal Naval Division.
1916 - January 9 - left Gallipoli
1916 - May 21 - arrived in France - RMLI were in 188th Brigade with the Anson and Home Battalions.
1916 - October/November - Ancre, Beaumont Hamel.
1917 - February - Miraumont
1917 - April - Gavrelle and Arleux
1917 - October/November - Passchendaele
1917 - December - Cambrai
1918 - March/April - Aveluy Wood, Hidenberg Line, Canal du Nord, Canal de L'Escaut
1918 - Zeebrugge
1919 - July - 6th Bn, RMLI Murmansk, Russia - disbanded October 1919
1921 - 11th Bn, RMLI at Gallipoli Chanak crisis
1923 - amalgamation of the Royal Marine Artillery and the Royal Marine Light Infantry to form the Royal Marines
Read more RMLI stories here;
Captain Halliday RMLI VC - Boxer Rebellion
Major Francis Harvey RMLI - Battle Of Jutland
Lance Corporal Parker RMLI VC - Gallipoli
Col. Harold Ozanne DSO RMLI The Raid on Zeebrugge - 23 April 1918 - 'For England and St George!'
Amalgamation of the RMLI and RMA 1923