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P.D. GRIFFIN
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MODERN BRITISH ARMY REGIMENTS

At the Staffords' Tercentenary Weekend in 2005

At the Staffords' Tercentenary Weekend in 2005. A grenadier from the America-based 'Black Knots' re-enactment society (left) admiring the regimental mascot Watchman, with his handler and an expert of the 80th Regiment in the uniform of 1879 (centre). The 'Black Knots' represent the 64th Regiment in the American War of Independence

The Worcestershire Regiment's elongated star with the Sherwood Foresters' badge superimposed - a Maltese Cross (from the former 95th Rifles) with a stag in the centre - forms the badge of the WFR. The elongated star is a copy of that worn by officers of the Coldstream Guards, a tradition of the 29th Regiment, whose founder, Thomas Farrington, was once a Coldstreamer. The 29th won special permission to wear their star (like the Coldstream) on the pouch and valise, by which custom they became known as 'The Guards of the Line'. The motto, Firm, which has been a feature of the Worcesters' star since 1881, was sanctioned to the 36th Regiment some sixty years before, probably in recognition of its steadfast rearguard action at the Battle of Lauffeldt in 1747. TA units based at Nottingham are responsible for the old volunteer regiments of the county and are guardians of their traditions, which include the Robin Hood Battalion's 1939-45 Belgian Croix de Guerre ribbon.

Staffords' Corps of Drums in the 1980s

Staffords' Corps of Drums in the 1980s

The South Staffords' brass glider badge, awarded for their airborne landings on Sicily in 1943, is worn by all ranks at the top of the right sleeve.

Regimental colouring dominates the uniforms. The buff facings of the 22nd Regiment, restored to the Cheshires in 1904, now appear on drummers' scarlet jackets. No. 1 dress 'blues' imitate this with buff piping around the shoulder straps. After the 1960s, Cheshire Regiment drummers broke with accepted custom and adopted dress cords coloured cerise and buff. Sergeants and above wear a cerise lanyard in No. 2 dress and cerise pullovers in barrack dress. Cerise- and buff-striped stable belts are fitted with a clasp fashioned with the numeral 22, a promotion of the pre-1881 title that is rarely seen in other regiments today.

WFR drummers wear scarlet tunics with facings of Lincoln green, a shade adopted by the Sherwood Foresters in 1913 and the Worcesters in 1920. Green facings had been a distinction of the 36th and 45th Regiments, and the Derbyshire Militia. The green theme is continued in WFR stable belts, lanyards and No. 1 dress piping.

Staffords' drummers have scarlet tunics embellished with the yellow facings returned to the South Staffords in 1936. No. 1 dress, likewise, has yellow piping, but their scarlet mess jackets bear the black facings of the 64th Regiment, ordered to the North Staffords in 1937. This is the preferred look in the Staffordshire Regiment, which now turns out in black belts, black jerseys for barrack dress and black shoes in service dress.

MUSIC

The Staffordshire Regiment is an arrangement of the former regimental marches Come Lasses and Lads (South Staffords, ex- Staffordshire Militia) and The Days We Went a Gypsying (North Staffords). The 80th, the Staffords' inspection march, the fifes and drums' We'll Gang Nae Mair to Glasgow Toun, and The Gemel Jager Marsch, adopted on the liberation of Norway in 1945; all come from the South Staffords.

God Bless the Prince of Wales was adopted by the North Staffords in support of their 1876 title. Zakhmi Dil or The Afghan March is from the same regiment.

Royal Windsor, now played with the Foresters' Young May Moon, was presented to the 29th Regiment by Princess Augusta at Windsor in 1791.

The Duchess of Kent, now the WFR slow march, is another legacy of the Worcestershire Regiment, whose custom it was to play The Lincolnshire Poacher before other marches to honour their affiliation to the Lincolnshire Regiment, and Rule Britannia at the conclusion in memory of their part in the great naval victory of 1 June 1794. Their assembly march, Hearts Of Oak, also dates from this episode in the regiments history.

Crich Memorial, named after the Sherwood Foresters' war memorial, which stands on a high hill overlooking Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, was adopted by the regiment as its slow march in 1957. The Foresters' call (played on a cornet) was based on a carillon of bells which used to be tolled at a nunnery in Spain during the Peninsular War. Legend tells the story of the mother superior presenting the score to the 45th Regiment in gratitude for sparing her charges 'the rights of the victor'.

Wha Wadna Fecht for Charlie, the unlikely quick march of the Cheshire Regiment, was an old Jacobite tune accepted by the 22nd Regiment in 1851 for its reference to the name Charles. The march is played in homage to Gen Sir Charles Napier, who led the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment to victory against the emirs of Scinde in 1843. The Cheshires' slow march is The 22nd Regiment 1772, their assembly a combination of A Hundred Pipers and the traditional county song The Miller of the Dee.

Badajoz Day, 1964. Sherwood Foresters with ram mascot and red jacket ceremony

Badajoz Day, 1964. Sherwood Foresters with ram mascot and red jacket ceremony

TRADITIONS

The 1843 Scinde campaign is a proud chapter in the history of the Cheshire Regiment, not least because the 22nd (Cheshire) was the only British regiment under Napier's command when he defeated a Baluchi army 30,000 strong at Meeanee. The three battle honours 'Meeanee', 'Hyderabad' and 'Scinde' are unique to the Cheshires in the British Army and Meeanee Day (17 February) is celebrated annually.

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