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Worcester Regiment 29th of Foot and 36th of Foot shown in regimental military art prints showing the Worcestershire Regiment during the Glorious 1st of June and the Battle of Gheluvelt.

The Worcestershire Regiment - Regimental District No.29 -consists of the 29th and 36th Regiments of Foot.

           The 29th regiment dates from 1702, when colonel Thomas Farrington was commissioned to raise a regiment.  In 1704 Farrinfton’s Foot were ordered to Germany, and fought at Neer Hespen, taking part, in 1706, in the famous battle of Rammillies.  According to one account they were at Almanza, though this does not appear by any means certain.  The early history of the regiment is, however, wrapped in considerable obscurity.  A few years later they were at Gibraltar, and during the seven years war were amongst the troops retained in England.  In 1776 they went to Canada, and fought under Burgoyne, finding their next warlike employment as Marines on the channel Fleet.  In this capacity they were present at numerous actions, and on the “glorious first of June” suffered heavy loss.  They then proceeded to the West Indies, and fought at Grenada, three years later joining the army in Holland.  A few years more brings us to a period in which the doings of the 29th are recorded with no uncertain touch, being blazoned alike on their colours and in the histories of that war whose close was to see England supreme by land and sea, the saviour of Europe and the director of its destinies.  At Roleia, under Colonel Lake, the 29th, with who were the 9th (The Brigade of General Nightingale), were ordered to force a pass through the dense groves behind which were thronged the French sharpshooters.  When the 29th were within a few yards of a thicket a terrific fire was opened on them, “which only the most resolute bravery could have withstood.”  That resolute bravery was theirs.  Waving his hat and sword, Colonel Lake called on his men to follow him.  He fell beneath the shower of bullets, but his commands and example were followed, and by a magnificent charge the 29th gained the position.  Scarcely had they done so, and before they could form line, when a French battalion advanced against them.  Once more the bayonet did its deadly work; many fell, but the French were forced to retreat, and the 29th-by this time joined by their comrades-remained the victors.  The incident is well described in a recent work.  “The conduct of Colonel Lake, at the head of the brave 29th, was admired by friends and foes, and his premature loss was deeply regretted in our camp on leading his men up to the French 82nd, he said to them, ‘Soldiers, I shall remain in front of you! Remember that the bayonet is the only weapon for a British soldier!’  That French regiment did not wait to try his effects.  When Lake had cleared a ravine, and gained the top of a hill he stood, as he was getting his fearfully thinned regiment into order, like a target to be shot at.  It is said that one French officer declared afterwards that he had himself fired and seven shots at him.  Once he seemed to stagger as if he were hit, but it was only at the seventh shot that he fell.  Upon his body were found two wounds, the mortal one being a ball, which went through him from side to side.  Sergeant-Major Richards stood over his fallen beloved officer until he was himself riddled with musket balls, and bayonets.  As this poor fellow was dying, he said, ‘I should not so much care if our Colonel had been spared.’  Never had a regiment have a better right to ornament its flag than had the always gallant and well doing 29th to inscribe on its banner the name of Roleia.”  At Vimiera they were again engaged, and-to quote Archer’s enthusiastic reference-“the burnt of the fighting was borne by the 29th, which was, and ever has been, one of the finest corps in the army.”  In the combats preceding Talavera the 29th again distinguished themselves, utterly routing a French regiment, which advanced against them, and, Stewart, holding their own in that terrible forty minutes in which no fewer than fifteen hundred British soldiers perished.  They fought right well in the furious combat of Talavera; at Albuera, Napier records how the 29th, “terribly resolute, smote friends and foes in their onward progress”-though the “friends” were those from whom they might well pray to be preserved, the Spaniards whose blundering occasioned so much loss.  Under Colonel Inglis the Worcestershire performed literal “prodigies of heroism,” and the historic charge of the Fusilier Brigade completed a victory, which every regiment had combined to gain.  Amongst the studiously reserved reports made by the great English General, there is perhaps none more unstilted in its eulogy than that in which he refers to the deeds of the 29th on this day.  From the Peninsula they repaired to Canada, and so missed Waterloo.  After spending some years at home they were ordered to the Mauritius, where they remained about twelve years, and in 1842 went to India, where they were to reap fresh honours in the Sutlej campaign.  On the day following the battle of Moodkee the 29th arrived there in charge of some guns, and two days later fought valiantly at Ferozeshah.

           “Her Majesty’s 29th and 1st European Light Infantry, with undaunted bravery, rushed forward, crossed a dry nullah, and found themselves exposed to one of the hottest fires of musketry that can possibly be imagined; and what rendered it still more galling was, that the Sikhs were themselves concealed behind high walls, over which the European soldiers could not climb.  To retain under such a fire without the power of returning it with any effect would have been madness, the men would have been annihilated.  Thrice did Her Majesty’s 29th Regiment charge the works, and thrice were they obliged to retire, each time followed by the Sikhs, who spared none, and cut to pieces the wounded.”  “Her Majesty’s 29th regiment alone exhibited a loss in killed and wounded of 13 officers, 8 sergeants, and 157 rank and file.”

           They fought at Sobraon, where fell their brave leader, Colonel Taylor; at the desperate battle of Chillianwallah they were in Gilbert’s Division, which formed the eighth column of advance.  Terrible though the odds, the gallant Worcestershire more than held their own, forcing their way to the rear of the Sikh position and spiking several guns beneath a heavy fire.  The latest of their well-fought fields is Goojerat, where the complete victory they materially assisted n gaining brilliantly closed a brilliant record of brilliant deeds.  The subsequent years have been passed by the 29th chiefly in India and the West Indies.  

           The 36th-the second battalion of the Worcestershire regiment-were raised in Ireland in 1701, and served the first few years on board ship.  In 1705 they were amongst the stormers whom Lord Peterborough led into the strong castle of Monjuich, near Barcelona; and on the surrender of the city their Colonel, Lord Charlemont, was presented by the general to the King of Spain as one who had done his Majesty good service.  After a Soujoiurn of several months in Spain, during which some of the soldiers were converted in dragoons, the 36th, as Allnut’s Foot, fought at Almanza, where they were almost destroyed, five officers being killed and thirteen made prisoners, amongst who was Colonel Allnut.  Eight years later, having during the interval been to America and back, they were engaged in repressing the Jacobite rising in Scotland, fighting with credit to themselves at Dunblain and Sheriffmuir.  After a period of comparative inaction, they were ordered in 1741 to the West Indies, and took part in the operations at Carthagena, returning home in time to again fight for the established government against the adherents of the Stuarts.  They fought a Falkirk and Culloden, and were doubtless rejoiced when the opportunity offered, in 1747, of engaging once more in foreign warfare.  At Val they suffered very severely-so much so, indeed, as to have to return home to recruit, and we next find them taking part in the Duke of Marlborough’s descents upon the French coast.  In 1761 they took part in the operations against Bellisle, and three years later went to Jamaica, where they remained for about nine years.  In 1783 they went to India, and in the fighting against Tipoo Sahib gained lasting renown.  They fought at Managlore, and at Cananore under Major Knox.  In the defence of Sattimungulum in 1790 they bore the brunt of the fighting, on one occasion having no food and only a little tobacco from the evening of the 13th till late on the night of the 15th.  When Tipoo upbraided his officers for the want of success, they declared that the “battalion wearing the colours of the prophet could not be vanquished by any troops in the world.”  At Bangalore, under Captain Andrew White, they carried the Delhi Gate; they stormed Meadows, and again were led by Captain Andrew White.  Had there been need of incentive to such troops as the Herefordshire to fight to the uttermost, it was supplied by the tidings that Dr. Home the regimental surgeon, would had been taken prisoner some months before, had been murdered by Tipoo’s order that Nundy Droog.  The splendid advance they made has been referred to in the account of the 76th and the Worcestershire Regiment may well recall with pride achievements of that day.  Midnight was close at hand; the moon full and cloudless in all her Indian splendour, shone down on the broad and rapid Cavey, on the high white walls of Sri Runga, on the palaces and island gardens of Tipoo-shone to on the weird but splendid spectacle of three columns of warriors moving resistless forward to change the ownership of all these fair things, and to exact a terrible recompense for comrades and countrymen ruthlessly murdered and tortured by the tyrant who rejoiced in his name of ‘the Tiger Lord.’”  It has been suggested that the regimental motto, “Firm,” takes its origin from the use of that word in Lord Cornwallis report of the regiment, but the correspondence preserved in the official record conclusively proves that it was in use for many years before the Indian triumphs of the regiment.  Before leaving India they fought at Pondicherry, and returned home in 1799 after an absence of sixteen years.

           The following year they were amongst the troops dispatched, under General Maitland, to the assistance of the French Royalists at Quiberon, and for the next seven years had a comparatively tranquil time, as, though they were ordered to Germany in 1806, they did not come in for any actual fighting.  In June 1807, the Herefordshire arrived at Monte Video under General Crauford, and took part in the disastrous operations at Buenos Ayres, and the following year saw them in the Peninsula with Wellesley conquering army.  In Seymour’s Brigade they fought at Roleia and Vimiera, gaining from Lord Wellesley the high praise, that “the 36th is an example to any regiment;” at Corunna they were on the left of the British line; they took part in the bombardment Flushing; they fought at Almeida; were present, though not engaged, at Fuentes d’Onor; took part in the sharp affairs of Especha and Ronda; and greatly, we may be sure, to their disappointment-just missed the magnificent struggles at Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz.  At Salamanca they were first at reserve, but had their full share of hard fighting before “the effulgent crest of the won ridge became black and silent, and the whole French army vanished as it were in the darkness.”  They were at Bugos and Vittoria; fought in the wild, fierce struggles on the Pyrenees; charged with the resistless columns at Nivelle; forced the passage of the Nive; and, with their comrades, hurled the columns of D’Amargnac from their ground at Orthes.  At Toulouse it was the 36th that began the attack of the sixth Division; and in this, their last battle for many years, they suffered somewhat severely.  Practically the 36th have not been engaged in warfare since.  They were neither at Waterloo nor at the Crimea, and have been chiefly stationed in the West Indies and Canada, some slight skirmishing at Corfu in 1848 being the only interruption to their enjoyment of the “piping time of peace.”    Excerpt from Her Majesty’s Army By Walter Richards   

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Hearts of Oak by Mark Churms.


Hearts of Oak by Mark Churms.

In January 1793 the 1st Battalion of the 29th Foot leaves Windsor for Hilsea to board Royal Navy fighting ships as there is a shortage of marines. Their new roll is to counter enemy musket fire from the upper decks, to lead boarding parties and to maintain discipline of the crew. They are specially equipped with a new working rig but still retain their full dress red coats and powdered hair (curled locks above the ear are removed) for combat. The regiment joins The British Channel Fleet under Admiral Earl Howe, and detachments are allocated to the following ships of the line; H.M.S. Glory, Thunderer, Alfred, Pegasus and Ramilles. 78 soldiers under the command of Cpt. Alexander Saunders are also placed aboard Captain Harveys 74 gun H.M.S. Brunswick. Howes ships are sent to intercept a fleet, of similar size that has put out from Brest to escort a large convoy of food from America, destined for Revolutionary France. The two fleets make contact but fog prevents an engagement until 1 Oar.........


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Battle of Gheluvelt, 31st October 1914 by J P Beadle.


Battle of Gheluvelt, 31st October 1914 by J P Beadle.

The 2nd Battalion Worcester Regiment and South Wales Borderers arriving in the grounds of the Chateau at Gheluvelt after their historic counter attack on 31st October 1914.


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Item Code : DHM0443Battle of Gheluvelt, 31st October 1914 by J P Beadle. - Editions Available
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The Worcestershire Regiment by Harry Payne.


The Worcestershire Regiment by Harry Payne.



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Item Code : UN0021The Worcestershire Regiment by Harry Payne. - Editions Available
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Worcestershire Regiment (29th and 36th Foot) by Richard Simkin


Worcestershire Regiment (29th and 36th Foot) by Richard Simkin



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Grenadiers and Light Infantry of the 29th or Worcestershire Regiment of Infantry on Duty at Home


Grenadiers and Light Infantry of the 29th or Worcestershire Regiment of Infantry on Duty at Home



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Item Code : UN0357Grenadiers and Light Infantry of the 29th or Worcestershire Regiment of Infantry on Duty at Home - Editions Available
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Coloured lithograph vignettes by J C Stadler after Charles Hamilton Smith from Charles Hamilton Smiths Costumes of the Army of the British Empire, according to the last regulations 1812, published by Colnaghi & Co. 1812-1815.
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