Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment
|The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot)|
|Part of||Prince of Wales' Division|
|Garrison/HQ||1st Battalion - London|
|March||Quick - Young May Moon & The Royal Windsor|
|Mascot||Ram named Private Derby|
|Engagements||See honours list|
|Ceremonial chief||HRH The Princess Royal, LG, LT, GCVO|
|Colonel Jonathan Rupert Maunsell Hackett, CBE|
The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales' Division. It was formed in 1970 through the amalgamation of two other regiments:
- The Worcestershire Regiment (29th Regiment of Foot / 36th Regiment of Foot)
- The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
The regiment served as the county regiment of the following counties:
In 2004, as part of the restructuring of the infantry, it was announced that the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters would be amalgamated with the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment and the Staffordshire Regiment to form the new Mercian Regiment.
In July 2005, the 1st Battalion moved to Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow as a public duties battalion, where it, amongst other duties, provided the Queen's Guard. In August 2007, the regiment was renamed as the 2nd Battalion, Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), before moving to Northern Ireland in the light infantry role in 2008.
The 95th Derbyshire Regiment were, since 1858, famous for their Regimental Mascot, a Ram. He was and still is known as Private DERBY and has been held on the official strength of the regiment since that time. He has his own individual system of numbering (beginning with No1 to the present 28th) and documentation. In addition he is on the ration strength and draws his rations like any other soldier, albeit he tends to favour a much different diet.
The first Private Derby was acquired in 1858 by the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot at the siege and capture of Kotah during the Indian Mutiny Campaign of 1857 - 1858. The Commanding Officer whilst on one of his forays within the town, noticed a fine fighting ram tethered in a temple yard. He directed Private Sullivan of Number 1 Company to take the ram into his possession. We are not told what were the intentions of the Commanding Officer in taking the ram, but if it were with the anticipation of a sound mutton dinner, then he must have gone hungry, for the ram was not slaughtered.
Since that time there has followed a succession of fine rams, each of which has inherited the official title of PRIVATE DERBY followed by his successive number. The earliest replacement Rams were presented to the regiment in which ever part of the world they were serving in at the time. However, since 1912 it has become the tradition for the Duke of Devonshire to select a Swaledale Ram from his Chatsworth Park flock and present it to the regiment. It is a tradition the Duke is proud to hold, in recognition of the close association between the regiment and the Dukes of Devonshire.
However, as with most things, there have been odd departures from tradition and in 1924, DERBY XIV was presented to the regiment by His Highness Sir Umeo Singh Bahador GCB GLSI GCIE The Mohorac of Kotah.
When on parade Private Derby wears a coat of scarlet with Lincoln green and gold facings, the whole emblazoned with the regiment's main battle honours. Also on his coat is a replica of his India Mutiny Medal, in addition he now wears the General Service Medal 1962 with Clasp Northern Ireland for he has been stationed there several times over the years. On his forehead is a silver plate suitably embossed with the Regimental Cap Badge while on the tips of his horns fit a pair of silver protectors. These latter are not as might be imagined to protect the horns, but rather to protect the clothing of the Ram Major, Ram Orderly and visitors, of which he receives a great number each time he appears in public.
Private Derby has two handlers whose duty it is to look after him at all times. The senior handler carries the battalion rank of "Ram Major" whilst the other has that of "Ram Orderly". It is the Ram Major's responsibility to prepare Private Derby for all parades and the many other appearances which he makes. They also escort Private Derby when he is on parade by standing, one on either side, leading or controlling him with two white ornamental ropes which are attached to a leather collar.
- Canada - The Grey and Simcoe Foresters
- Pakistan - 13th Battalion, The Punjab Regiment
- Royal Navy - HMS Nottingham