Second China War
Following the first China war of 1840-42, hostility and resentment continued between both the British and chinese. On 8th October 1856, the Chinese in Canton boarded a lorcha bearing British colours (the Arrow) took off her crew and removed her flag. Admiral Sir Michael Seymore demanded redress which did not come and as a result siezed the Barrier Forts on 23rd October and entered the City.Additional forces were provided in March 1857 and Canton was captured on 5th January 1858. Lord Elgin insisted a peace treaty be signed in Pekin, however as the envoys met some hostility off the mouth of the Peiho River, Admiral Seymore bombarded the Taku Forts that guarded the mouth of the River following which a landing party went ashore and the forts eventually surrendered on 20th May and the treaty was signed at Tientsin.
As it was obvious that the Chinese were not going to abide by the treaty and viewed it as an opportunity to rearm their forts, Britain and France decided to send a combined expeditionary force to China amounting to 13,000 British and Indian troops + a 6,700 strong French contingent. Operations commenced in August 1860 recapturing the Taku Forts following some fierce hand to hand fighting on 21st August. Tientsin then fell without a fight and the force then proceeded on to Pekin. The capital surrendered in October follwoing a number of fierce actions and a new treaty was signed on 24th October in which the Chinese gave the British Kowloon in exchange for the island of Chusan. The allies left Pekin on 5th November.
Taku Forts 1860 – 21st August 1860
Pekin 1860 – 531 bars attributable to 99th Regt