The Great Siege of Gibraltar

Sortie 1781

Sortie 1781

27th November 1781

Sortie Day is still celebrated in the history of 21Bty,

The Battery was sent to Gibraltar in 1772 under the command of Capt P Martin and there it played a pivotal part in the 1779-83 siege by the French and the Spanish. Specifically, on the night of the 27th Nov 1781 the Battery took part in the now famous Sortie against the French and Spaniard lines to relieve the pressure on the Garrison from the landward side of the fortress. The operation was an outstanding success which inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and destroyed all of their artillery. Such was the element of surprise the Battery lost only four men, with 1 officer and 25 men wounded. This action played an important part in removing the threat from siege. For this the Battery was awarded its honour title and the 27th November is still celebrated annually as Sortie Day in commemoration of this action.

Journal of the Siege of Gibraltar Cpt Spilsbury

The Siege of Gibraltar by John Drinkwater