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The 47th Regiment re-enactment group in the uniform worn at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775

The 47th Regiment re-enactment group in the uniform worn at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775

Somme Day (1 July) is remembered in Liverpool and by the East Lancashire Regiment Association in a church service for the huge losses sustained on the first day of the great battle in 1916.

The QLR laurel leaf worn on Waterloo Day

The QLR laurel leaf worn on Waterloo Day. (Grenadier Publishing)

Maida Day (4 July) is the annual celebration of the 81st (and the 2nd Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) of the victory over Napoleon's army in southern Italy in 1806. After the battle Lt-Col Kempt dined on tortoise, the shell of which was later mounted in silver as a snuffbox and presented to the officers' mess.

Blenheim Day (13 August) is marked by the King's as the first on its list of battle honours. It commemorates the part played by the Queen's (later King's) Regiment in Marlborough's epic victory of 1704.

Quebec Day (13 September) is the QLR trooping the colour parade, during which the band plays The 47th Regiment Slow March and Quebec in quick time in honour of the regiment called 'Wolfe's Own'. Membership of the Wolfe Society comes by right of the 40th Regiment (at Louisburg in 1758), the 47th Regiment (at Quebec in 1759) and the 4th or King's Own, in which James Wolfe served his captaincy in 1744.

Delhi Day (14 September) commemorates the struggle to storm Delhi and its defences in the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The King's lost fifty men before reaching the first breach.

Arroyo Day (28 October), celebrated by the KORBR in the manner made famous by the Border Regiment, features a parade on which drummers troop captured French drums to La Marseillaise in the yellow jackets of the 34th Regiment drummers circa 1811. In this battle of the Peninsular War the 34th overran its opposite number in the French Army and marked the coup by wearing the French soldiers' red and white pom-poms in their own shakos. In 1845, however, Queen Victoria ordered the regiment to conform to dress regulations and substituted the loss of distinction with the battle honour 'Arrovo dos Molinos'.

Inkerman Day (5 November) is observed in the tradition of the Manchester Regiment. The colours are marched to the guardroom for the day and returned without officers in memory of the officers of the 63rd who were killed in battle on this day in 1854.

Maharajpore Day (29 December), the battle anniversary of the 40th Regiment, marked its engagement with the Marathas in the Gwalior campaign of 1843.

On Tarifa Day (31 December) the 1st Loyals used to hold a sergeants' mess ball in celebration of the 47th Regiment's repulse of a strong French assault on the small British garrison of this walled Spanish town in 1811. Drums taken from the enemy in battle are regarded as legitimate trophies. Like the Arroyo drums of the KORBR, the 30th used to parade its Waterloo Drum and the 40th its Maharajpore Drum. The Magdala Drum of the King's Own, taken in the Abyssinian campaign of 1868 and split into three parts for the three regiments present, is now in the care of the 1st Battalion officers' mess.

Mess customs proliferate in the Lancashire and Border group. The loyal toast, traditionally taken seated in naval manner by the KORBR, is proposed with the sovereign's local title 'The Duke of Lancaster' added. This custom was initiated by King Edward VII after inspecting the 4th and 5th Battalions of the East Lancashire Regiment in 1909. It was restricted to toasts made within the county until Queen Elizabeth directed that it should be included on all occasions wherever Lancastrians are gathered.

Mess silver is placed according to custom: an equestrian statuette of Queen Elizabeth II, purchased by officers of the Loyal Regiment in 1958, is traditionally set before the commanding officer, who uses a silver goblet acquired by the 1st Loyals during their time in China in 1924-5. The President of the Mess Committee has a goblet decorated with hunting scenes and a silver fox (Loyal Regiment, 1928) placed before the junior subaltern. The Subaltern's Cup (47th Regiment), which stands before the senior subaltern, is a vehicle for a drinking ritual when promotion to captain takes effect. In the 1st Battalion officers' mess, Lt Maguire's beaker is placed in front of the commanding officer as a reminder of the brave actions of an officer of the 4th or King's Own in the Peninsular War.

The regiment's Black Pudding Club meets informally for lunch at Preston once a month to appreciate the North Country delicacy.


The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (RRF) was formed in 1968 by the amalgamation of the four English infantry regiments that achieved a fusilier tide at various times in the three centuries of their existence. The first was created as a regiment of 'fuzileers' in 1685, each man armed with a fuzil instead of a musket to guard the artillery ordnance stored in the Tower of London. Muskets of the time had a burning match and therefore could not be carried in the vicinity of gunpowder stores. The regiment was officially connected to the City of London in 1881 and gained the Freedom of the City in 1924.

1st Volunteer Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers at Conway, 1990

1st Volunteer Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers at Conway, 1990. (LF Regiment Museum)

The regiments that shared a common history in the force sent to fight for Holland in 1674, and subsequently returned to England with William of Orange in 1688, were assigned to more northerly areas in 1782: the 5th (Northumberland) was given the fusilier title in 1835 and the Royal Warwickshire (RWF) as late as 1963.

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