Comann Eachdraichd Uig

1778 - Na Seann Shaighdearan (1778-1793) – The Old Soldiers (1778-1793)

In 1778, the 4th Earl of Seaforth raised Saighdearan Choinnich Òig – the original 78th Foot Regiment to fight with the East India Company who controlled much of India. 

That experience led to the rebellion of 1793 when Francis Humberton MacKenzie, 1st Baron of Seaforth, travelled to Uig to enlist for the 78th Fencible Regiment (Saighdearan Mhic Choinnich Bodhair).

A boat with six women at the oars met the proprietor at Callanish and transported him to Cnoc a’ ChaimpCnoc a’ Chaimp in Ardroil where 300 men swore neither to enlist nor disperse. Failure to enlist would have meant eviction of the reluctant soldier and his family. Rev Hugh Munro, parish minister, eventually persuaded them to enlist.

Two battalions were raised and later amalgamated to become the 1st Battalion, 78th Seaforth Highlanders, deployed in capturing the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch and serving under Wellington at the Battle of Assaye (1803-05).