95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot
|95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot|
|Active||1823 - 1881|
|Country||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
The 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot was formed in 1823 when the 95th Rifles were redesignated as The Rifle Brigade. In 1881, during the Childers Reforms, it was united with the 45th Regiment of Foot to form the Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment).
In 1854 the regiment was sent to the Crimea where war had broken out between the French, Turkish and British forces against Russia. The regiment saw action in some of the most heavy fighting of that war. It was in the forefront of the attack across the Alma River and on to the heights beyond. Due to the heavy casualties suffered in this attack the Regimental colours, normally carried by officers, was handed to Private James Keenan, who planted it triumphantly on the earthwork of the Great Redoubt. Just before the Battle of Inkerman an order was passed that colours were no longer to be carried into battle, but the 95th were in the front line positions when the Russian army attacked and were therefore the last British regiment to carry their colours in a major battle.
After Inkerman the regiment was reduced to less than a hundred officers and men but continued to serve in the trenches which led to their nickname that: "there may be few of the 95th left but those are as hard as nails."
Soon after the Crimean War ended the Sepoy Rebellion broke out in India in 1857. The 95th Regiment was on its way to South Africa and was diverted to India. Over the next sixteen months it marched 3,000 miles through jungle and desert and fought in fourteen actions. Private Bernard McQuirt won the Victoria Cross at Rowa. The 95th remained in India until 1870 after which they returned to England before becoming the 2nd Battalion of the newly formed Sherwood Foresters.
References in fiction
Captain Anthony Morgan gained the rank of Captain in the service of the 95th Regiment. He lived at Bunalun, Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland. He is the central character in the novels of Patrick Mercer entitled "To Do and Die" (set in the Crimea) and "Dust and Steel" (the Indian Mutiny). Morgan was, in fact, a real person