The York Chasseurs: A condemned regiment of George III by Pete Lines will be published by Francis Boutle Publishers in November 2009
Formed, 13 November 1813, from the 'Better Class of Deserter and Culprit' and confined aboard Isle of Wight military prison-ships, this expendable corps of 'Serial Deserters' had been deliberately dispatched to survive or die in the pestilential islands of Barbados, St Vincent, Jamaica, Grenada, Tobago and Guadeloupe. A station where, subsequently, 26 percent of York Chasseurs successfully deserted and 30 percent perished.
With desertion and military transgression rife, punishment was, by necessity, severe, with 150–300 lashes of the cat-o'-nine the norm, and 700 –1000 lashes not - uncommon.
Nearly two months after Bonaparte's triumphant re-entry into Paris, and with the inhabitants of Guadeloupe declaring their support for L’Empereur, August 1815, the regiment assisted in regaining the island for the Bourbon's, whilst rescuing the 63rd's Light Company from annihilation in the process.
As a consequence of an inevitable peacetime reduction, the remaining 570 York Chasseurs had then been disbanded at Quebec, 24 August 1819, and where, on discharge, had the option of 'Free Waste Land' in Lanark County, Ontario, or the £10 discharge bounty.
Not only does this publication bring to the fore, even introducing, a hitherto previously ignored episode of British military history, with the incorporation of 'individual profiles' of every single soldier, it undoubtedly also provides a valuable reference point for both military enthusiast and dedicated genealogist.