Mercian Regiment

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The Mercian Regiment
Mercian regiment.PNG
Cap Badge of the Mercian Regiment
Active 1 September 2007-
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Line Infantry
Role 1st Battalion - Armoured Infantry
2nd Battalion - Light Infantry
4th Battalion - Light Infantry
Size Three battalions
Part of Prince of Wales' Division
Garrison/HQ RHQ - Lichfield
1st Battalion - Bulford
2nd Battalion - Chester
4th Battalion - Wolverhampton
Nickname The Heart of England's Infantry
Motto "Stand Firm and Strike Hard"
March Wha Wadna Fecht for Charlie/Under the Double Eagle (Quick)
Stand Firm and Strike Hard (Slow)
Mascot Ram (Lance Corporal Derby XXX)
Commanders
Colonel in Chief HRH The Prince of Wales
Colonel of
the Regiment
Brigadier AP Williams OBE
Insignia
Tactical Recognition Flash Mercian TRF.svg
Arm Badge Stafford Knot and Glider
From Staffordshire Regiment
Abbreviation MERCIAN

The Mercian Regiment is an infantry regiment of the British Army, which is recruited from the five counties that formed the ancient kingdom of Mercia. Known as The Heart of England's Infantry, it was formed on 1 September 2007 by the amalgamation of three existing regiments. The Regiment has deployed on eight operational deployments since its formation, making it one of the most operationally experienced regiments in the British Army.

The regiment originally had three regular army battalions and one Army Reserve battalion, though the 3rd Battalion was disbanded as part of the restructuring of the British Army.[1]

Formation[edit]

The regiment's formation was announced on 16 December 2004 by the then Secretary of Defence Geoff Hoon and General Sir Mike Jackson as part of the restructuring of the British Army Infantry - it consisted of three regular battalions, plus a territorial battalion, and was created through the merger of three single battalion regiments. The three remaining battalions are all known formally as 'The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire, Worcesters and Foresters, and Staffords); however, this is usually abbreviated to MERCIAN.

The antecedent Regiments were, The 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, The 1st Battalion, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment and the 1st Battalion, Staffordshire Regiment . The reserve West Midlands Regiment, with elements of the King's and Cheshire Regiment and the East of England Regiment formed the 4th Battalion, Mercian Regiment.[2]

Structure[edit]

1st Battalion[edit]

The 1st Battalion has deployed on three operational tours since its formation in 2007, one to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. It is an armoured infantry battalion, part of the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade based at Bulford Camp, England.[3][4][5]

2nd Battalion[edit]

The 2nd Battalion deployed on three operational tours to Afghanistan. It is a Light Infantry battalion, part of 42 Infantry Brigade, and has been based at Dale Barracks in Chester, England since July 2014.[6]

3rd Battalion[edit]

The 3rd Battalion was an armoured infantry battalion, part of the 7th Armoured Brigade based in Bad Fallingbostel, Germany.[7] It was disbanded in July 2014[8] as part of the Army 2020 defence review.[1]

4th Battalion[edit]

The 4th Battalion is the regiment's Army Reserve Light Infantry battalion.[9] The battalion, whose HQ is based in Wolverhampton, England, has five rifle companies and a HQ Company.

Regimental Distinctions[edit]

The regiment's cap badge is a double headed Mercian Eagle with Saxon crown. This has been chosen because it forms a link to the regiment's recruiting area, which encompass a number of divergent counties that do not have modern traditional links, only under the ancient Kingdom of Mercia (unlike the other new regiments from Scotland, Wales and Yorkshire). It was originally intended to use the old Mercian Brigade badge worn by the Cheshire Regiment, Staffordshire Regiment, Worcestershire Regiment and Sherwood Foresters from 1958 to 1968, rather than create an amalgamated badge that would require elements from all of the antecedents. In 2005, this badge was rejected by the Army Dress Committee on the grounds that it had been the badge of a territorial unit, The Mercian Volunteers, which was junior to the amalgamating regiments.[10] Accordingly, a slightly modified design featuring two colours of metal was adopted.[11]

Mercian Regiment in Ashbourne, Derbyshire on 18 March 2010

Mascot[edit]

"Lance Corporal Derby", a Swaledale ram was the regimental mascot, inherited from the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. Unfortunately, lance corporal Derby XXIX passed away on 6 December 2013. A new ‘Derby’ has been kindly offered to the regiment by his Grace, the 12th Duke of Devonshire KCVO CBE.[12]

Dress[edit]

Various "Golden Threads", representing the traditions of predecessor units, are incorporated in the Mercian Regiment's uniform:

  • Arm badge: a gold wire Stafford knot and glider badge with a backing of "Brown Holland" material on a black felt patch from the Staffordshire Regiment[13]
  • Collar badge: oak leaves and acorn from the Cheshire Regiment combined with the motto Firm from the Worcestershire Regiment[13]
  • Facing colour: buff, from the Cheshire Regiment. To be worn on full dress uniform, mess dress and as piping on No.1 dress shoulder straps.[13]
  • Sword frog on the Sam Browne Belt comes from the Worcestershire Regiment
  • Officer's rank badges will be coloured bronze /gun metal, from the North Staffordshire Regiment[13]
  • Warrant officers' and NCO's rank badges: Black backing from Staffordshire Regiment.[13]
  • Cap badge backing: A square Lincoln green cloth backing worn behind the cap badge on the beret, from the Sherwood Foresters[13]
  • Lanyards: Each battalion is to retain a distinctively coloured lanyard on No.2 dress: red cerise for the 1st battalion, Lincoln green for the 2nd, black for the 3rd and Mercian blue for the 4th. There is also a regimental pattern with twists of cerise, buff and green for those who are extra-regimentally employed.[13]
  • Tactical Recognition Flashes: The regiment's TRF is a 3 vertical striped diamond with cerise on the left, buff in the middle and Lincoln green on the right. Each Battalion also has their own, the 1st and 2nd Battalions use their antecendant regiment's flashes, buff and cerise for the 1st and cerise and Lincoln green for the 2nd. The 3rd battalion has a black diamond with the Stafford knot and the 4th Battalion has a blue diamond with the Mercian Eagle on it.[13]
  • Regimental Side Hat: black with buff inner crease and green piping and peak. The cap badge is in silver and gold wire embroidery.[13]
  • Pullover: Buff, worn by officers and WOs, from the Cheshire Regiment.[13]
  • Stable Belt: Buff, from the Cheshire Regiment, with a bronze locket bearing the cap badge in brass.[13]

History[edit]

The Regiment has been deployed to Afghanistan (six times), Iraq (once) and Cyprus (once) in 2014.

Alliances[edit]

All of the previous alliances of the three individual regiments were carried over into the Mercian Regiment.

Affiliated Ships[edit]

Order of precedence[edit]

Preceded by
Yorkshire Regiment
Infantry Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Royal Welsh

Lineage[edit]

Lineage
The Mercian Regiment
The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment
The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot) The Worcestershire Regiment The 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment
The 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment
The Sherwood Foresters
(Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
The 45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment
The 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment
The Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's) The South Staffordshire Regiment The 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot
The 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment of Foot
The North Staffordshire (Prince of Wales's) Regiment The 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot
The 98th (Prince of Wales's) Regiment of Foot

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Army Loses 17 Major Units In Defence Cuts". Sky News. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Mercian Regiment". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "1 Mercian". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "4th Mechanised Brigade". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Army 2020 page 7" (PDF). Retrieved 4 April 2014. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Dale Barracks Chester welcomes 2 Mercian Regiment". Ministry of Defence. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "3 Mercian". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Mercian Regiment: Final marches for disbanded battalion". BBC. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "4 Mercian". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Regiment's 'strangled chicken' badge rejected, (telegraph.co.uk), accessed August 22, 2007
  11. ^ "Regimental Customs and Traditions". The Mercian Regiment. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  12. ^ "Mascots". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Dress Regulations for the Mercian Regiment" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. January 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 

External links[edit]