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The Mercian Regiment has a proud history which dates back hundreds of years. While the Regiment today was formed on 1st September 2007 we honour the expansive history that has lead us to the Regiment we have today.
The Regiment was raised in 1689 on the Roodee in Chester, the site of the current Chester racecourse.
Since 1689, the Regiment has served in British army campaigns throughout the world and its motto "Ever Glorious" reflects its success. It celebrates annually two of its battle honours: "Meeanee", gained in 1843 in Scinde in India in which it was the only British regiment in a small force which defeated 30,000 Baluchis, and "Mons", gained in 1914 when the 1st Battalion was left exposed to the attack of two German Army Corps and their subsequent heroic stand was instrumental in saving the British Expeditionary Force from disaster.
The Regiment's traditions include the wearing of oak leaves in the presence of Royalty to commemorate an occasion in 1743 at the battle of Dettingen when a detachment of the Regiment saved King George II from capture.
Both the 1st Battalion and its TA elements served operationally to great effect in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Iraq. The Regiment had an enviable reputation for and tradition of sport, particularly in athletics and football, although it has also had notable successes in boxing, rugby, cricket, and hockey as well as a host of minor sporting activities.
The Regiment was founded in 1970 by the amalgamation of the Worcestershire Regiment with The Sherwood Foresters, but it traces its origins back over three hundred years through its four antecedent regiments.
It was the County Regiment of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire and the Dudley/Oldbury/Halesowen/Stourbridge area of the West Midlands. It consisted of one Regular Battalion and, at times, two Territorial Army Battalions, reducing latterly to two Companies.
Since its formation in 1970, the 1st Battalion has served extensively on operations in Northern Ireland, with UN Forces in Cyprus and with NATO Forces in Bosnia as well as on garrison duties in Germany, Cyprus, Belize, and the United Kingdom. All units of the Regiment pride themselves on their high standards of marksmanship. Those who served took pride in the history and traditions of their antecedent regiments which stretch back over 300 years and include 176 battle honours earned in all corners of the globe spanning the period from Marlborough's wars in the early 18th Century to the Second World War.
It was on 25th March 1705 that Colonel Luke Lillingston began to recruit a new Regiment in the city of Lichfield, at the King's Head public house.
This was later numbered as the 38th Regiment of Foot and it duly became one of the British Army's most famous Regiments.
The first thing to note is the global nature, as Staffordshire soldiers have served, fought, and died in places as far apart as New Zealand, Korea, China, Burma, Iraq, Cyprus, Kenya, South Africa, Argentina, the Caribbean, North America, and over much of Europe.
They have sweated through jungles, sweltered in deserts, lived through monsoons, climbed mountains and survived the frozen wastes.
They were often moved by sea and the Regiment has been involved in two shipwrecks.
It has not just been a "Cook's Tour", as Staffords have removed tyrants and despots, fought the Armies of Napoleon, Kaiser Bill and one of the Russian Tsars, went over the top in the Flanders mud and took on Panzers in WWII.
The West Midlands Regiment was formed on 5th April 1988 - an amalgamation of four proud territorial infantry battalions:
Throughout its history, the Regiment supported the Regular army on operations in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Kuwair, Iran, and Afghanistan. It would be difficult to find a period in its history when soldiers of The West Midlands Regiment were not on operations with the Regular Army somewhere in the world.
The West Midlands Regiment was disbanded on 1st September 2007 where it became the 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment. The Battalion gained a large fire support element with SF, Assault Pioneers, Javelin, and Mortar Platoons being developed.