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Forum Home > For King/Queen and Country. > Non stop fighting.

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From the start of the French Revolution, the military resources of the nation, both on land and Sea, were always under some strain. Troops in India were in action in 1803, and Trafalgar of course in 1805. In 1808 a series of battles began the Peninsular War which culminated in Wellingtons victory in 1813, finishing at Waterloo in 1815. There were little actions during this time as well, the 1812 War against the United States of America being just one. Local diputes marked the next 24 years then in 1839, the first Afgan War broke out, and occupied the military until 1842. Just 3 years later, in 1845 the first of two Wars against the Sikhs, in India began, and didn't die down until 1849. An all to brief respite then until 1854, when we found ourselves up to eyes in mud in the Crimea, this time fighting the Russians. Almost as soon as that ended in 1856, sections of the East India Companies Army revolted, in what became then known as The Indian Mutiny. From 1859, we managed to stay out of serious trouble, but in 1878, war again broke out in Afganistan, and our troops received a severe drubbing. While this debacle was going on, the Army was shocked to the core when in 1879, almost the entire 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment of Foot, ( Warwickshire Regiment ) was wiped out in the short Zulu War. No sooner had this finished, and we had been forced out of Afganistan as well, then General Gordon came up against a bit of local trouble in the Sudan in 1882. It took a few more shocks before this ended favourably for us in 1885. There was more trouble on the way when the farmers of South Africa, ( The Boers ) created a little problem, and although it went quiet for a while, all hell broke out again in late1898, causing the Government to urgently send thousands of troops to restore some order. ( The garrison in the region, had suffered no less than 5 defeats in a week, and were mostly all under siege conditions. ) Queen Victoria left the scene in 1901, but this war didn't finish until 1902, when more troops died from sickness ( Enteric Fever ) than were actually killed in action. So short of Artillery were the Army during most of the period, that Gun Crews from the ships, were pressed into action, dragging heavy weapons long distances. Over 300 men from  Dudley, and hundreds more from the region, took part in this second Boer War, 56 of them paying the full price, and commemorated on a memorial in the cemetery at Queens Cross, Dudley. There are other such memorials scattered around the area, but by and large, the men who fought, died, were wounded and survived, have long been forgotten. Records are scarce, but if you have a relative who took part in any of the above, contact me and I will include their story. If you're not sure, a visit to the National Archives at Kew may be the answer.

To help you on the way, the 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, left England on 16th December 1899, aboard the Tintagel Castle. The 1st Battalion, left on board the Braemer Castle, on 1st March, 1900. The 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, left aboard the Aurania, on the 18th March,1900. The 16th Company of the Queens own Worcestershire Hussars, ( based in Dudley ) left in March 1901, on board the Manchester Merchant, to be combined with other mounted units, and to form part of the Hussars, attached to the 17th Division. They performed stirling service, and were several times mentioned in dispatches.

And just a further aid to your interest, The South Staffordshire Regiment was listed in early records as the 38th Regiment of Foot, and later as the 80th Regiment of Foot. The Worcestershire Regiment also had two listings, the 29th Regiment of Foot, ( 1st Battalion ) and the 36th Regiment of Foot. ( 2nd Battalion ) Just a note of what could be expected in earlier times, in 1794, when the Navy was short of marines, 400 men of the 29th, took their place aboard ships, and were present, and fought in the sea battle that we call " The Glorious First of June ".


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

July 20, 2012 at 3:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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