he 75th Regiment was raised in 1787 for service in India,
and embodied at Stirling in 1788.
William Dunsmore served with the 75th as Lieutenant (5 March
1788): Captain (24 May 1794); and Major (8th November 1802).
In 1804, he joined the 10th Guards Battalion; in 1805 he
fought in the Maratha campaign. He resigned his commission
in 1826, as Lt. Colonel.
Dunsmore is portrayed wearing the Seringapatam
medal, commemorating what was undoubtedly one of his
most glorious campaigns. In 1799, as a Captain with the
75th, and with two Sepoy Regiments and the 74th , under
Colonel Hart, Dunsmore captured an important redoubt, from
which the 18 pounder battery was able to enfilade much of
Tipu's defences The attack was made at 4 o'clock on 17th
April 1799, and with great gallantry. 'The enemy were soon
compelled to retire, and the height (near the ruined village
of Agrarum) being taken possession of perfectly secured
our troops against the fire of the fort.' The post was within
1000 yards of the North West angle
of the fort, the point at which the final attack took place
on 4th May 1799. Here, Dunsmore was one of the 'Forlorn
Hope', a small (and often desperate) group of men, nominated
or volunteered to be the Advance Party in an attack. The
Forlorn Hope were so called because few could hope to survive
their brave, almost foolhardy task. At the final attack
on Seringapatam, Sergeant Graham
of the party only just managed to plant the Union flag on
the ramparts before being shot down. Dunsmore survived.
His name does not appear in Beatson's description of the
attack, nor in that of Hook, but in Lt Rowley's Journal.
In 1809, the designation of the 75th changed from the 75th
Highland Regiment to the 75th Regiment of Foot, no longer
clad in tartan. In 1862, they were designated the 75th Stirlingshire
Regiment, and in 1881, linked with the Gordon Highlanders
as 1st Bn Gordon Highlanders. Their uniform was then altered
to full Highland garb, as worn by the 92nd or 2nd Bn Gordon
Highlanders. Described by Winston Churchill (1900) as …'the
finest Regiment in the world,' the first battle honour in
the Gordons proud line is 'Mysore.' Colonel Dunsmore's comrades
in the Mysore Wars were fine men from
Aberdeenshire and the North East of Scotland. Their
story is told at The
Gordon Highlanders Museum, in Aberdeen,
where the Dunsmore portrait hangs today.