During the First Peninsular campaign under Sir Arthur Wellesley and later, under Sir John Moore, they took part in the battles of Rolica (1808), Vimiera (1808), Corunna (1809). The Regiment was part of the rearguard action during the retreat to Corunna.
On 22nd March 1809, the 71st were designated Light Infantry being styled the 71st (Highland Light Infantry) Regiment. This was a mark of esteem as the Light Infantry regiments were regarded as a crack corps, trained to fight in open order with great emphasis on the intelligence and spirit of the ordinary soldier.
No fewer than ten battle honors were awarded to the Regiment for its part in the fight against Napoleon's Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. In 1809 it took part in the winter retreat through the mountains to Corunna. The following year another battalion joined the Duke of Wellington's Army and was present at many of his famous victories including Toulouse in France, April 1814. By the end of that battle less than 60 men of the Battalion remained unwounded.
The Coldstream Guards is the oldest serving regular Regiment in the British Army. The regiment was founded in the town of Coldstream on the Scottish border in 1650 when Colonel George Monck founded the regiment, as part of Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army. Since then the regiment has seen continous active servce and has been involved in every military campaign includuing Seven years War ( French & Indian Wars), American Revolution, Napoleonic, Boer War, WWI, WWII and is currently serving in Iraq.