The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire, Worcesters and Foresters, and Staffords) is an infantry regiment of the British Army, which is recruited from five of the 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.
|Mercian Regiment (Cheshire, Worcesters and|
Foresters, and Staffords)
|Active||1 September 2007-|
|Role||1st Battalion - Armoured Infantry|
2nd Battalion - Light Infantry
4th Battalion - Light Infantry
|Part of||King's Division|
|Garrison/HQ||RHQ - Lichfield|
1st Battalion - Bulford
2nd Battalion - Episkopi, Cyprus
4th Battalion - Wolverhampton
|Nickname(s)||The Heart of England's Infantry|
|Motto(s)||"Stand Firm and Strike Hard"|
|March||Wha Wadna Fecht for Charlie/Under the Double Eagle (Quick)|
Stand Firm and Strike Hard (Slow)
|Mascot(s)||Ram (Private Derby XXXII)|
|Colonel in Chief||The Prince of Wales|
|Major General Ian John Cave|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
|Arm Badge||Stafford Knot and Glider|
From Staffordshire Regiment
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 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.
In 2017 the regiment moved to the King's Division.
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.
The 2nd Battalion deployed on three operational tours to Afghanistan. It is a Light Infantry battalion, part of 42 Infantry Brigade, and was based at Dale Barracks in Chester, England from July 2014, to August 2018, when it moved to Episcopi, Cyprus.
The 3rd Battalion was an armoured infantry battalion, part of the 7th Armoured Brigade based in Bad Fallingbostel, Germany. It was disbanded in July 2014 as part of the Army 2020 defence review. On 13 January 2018 the colours of the 3rd Battalion were laid up in Lichfield Cathedral.
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. Accordingly, a slightly modified design featuring two colours of metal was adopted.
In 2012, following the announcement that the 3rd Battalion (ex-Staffordshire Regiment) was to be disbanded, a proposal was submitted to the Army to have the name of the Mercian Regiment changed to reflect its entire lineage and maintain the Staffords name. In July 2014, this proposal was approved, and the regiment was renamed as The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire, Worcesters and Foresters, and Staffords).
"Derby", a Swaledale ram, is the regimental mascot, a tradition inherited from the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. The 30th iteration of the Mascot was known as Lance Corporal Derby XXX, before he died on 27 November 2015. His successor, known as Private Derby XXXI, was announced on 20 February 2016 but he died on 1 September 2017.
In December 2017 Private Derby XXXII was presented to the Regiment by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire at Chatsworth House. Private Derby was received by Brigadier Williams, OBE, Colonel of the Regiment.
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
- Collar badge: oak leaves and acorn from the Cheshire Regiment combined with the motto Firm from the Worcestershire Regiment
- 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.
- 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
- Warrant officers' and NCO's rank badges: Black backing from Staffordshire Regiment.
- Cap badge backing: A square Lincoln green cloth backing worn behind the cap badge on the beret, from the Sherwood Foresters
- Lanyards: Originally, each battalion wore 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. A regimental pattern with twists of cerise, buff and green was worn by those who were extra-regimentally employed: this multi-coloured lanyard is now worn by all in the regiment.
- 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 antecedent 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.
- Regimental Side Hat: black with buff inner crease and green piping and peak. The cap badge is in silver and gold wire embroidery.
- Pullover: Buff, worn by officers and WOs, from the Cheshire Regiment.
- Stable Belt: Buff, from the Cheshire Regiment, with a bronze locket bearing the cap badge in brass.
The Museum of the Mercian Regiment (WFR Collection) in Nottingham Castle is now (2018) closed due to redevelopment of the castle.
- 2007–2013: Brig. Andrew Sharpe, OBE
- 2013–2018: Brig. Andrew P. Williams, OBE Video Interview With Brig Williams at Laying up of 3BN Colours 2018 and video interview in Tamworth in the 10th Anniversary of the forming of the Mercians.
- 2018–Present Major-General Ian J. Cave
All of the previous alliances of the three individual regiments were carried over into the Mercian Regiment.
Antigua and Barbuda - Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Australia - 8/7th The Royal Victoria Regiment Canada – 4th Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Canada - The Grey and Simcoe Foresters Canada - The Cape Breton Highlanders Jamaica - The Jamaica Regiment Pakistan - 13th Battalion, The Punjab Regiment Pakistan - 7th Battalion, The Baloch Regiment India - 5th Battalion (Napiers), Rajputana Rifles India - 14th Prince of Wales's Own Scinde Horse India - Madras Engineer Group United Kingdom - N Battery (The Eagle Troop)
The regiment has received the Freedom of several locations throughout its history; these include:
2007: Ellesmere Port and Neston. 2007: Lichfield. 2007: Worcester. Originally granted to the Worcestershire Regiment in 1950. 15 October 2007: Nottingham. 12 December 2007: Chesterfield. 26 March 2008: Chester. July 2008: Cheshire West and Chester. 20 May 2009: Redditch. 2009: Wirral. 26 January 2010: Amber Valley. 27 May 2010: Cheshire East. 11 November 2010: Stockport. 20 January 2011: Bromsgrove. 29 March 2011: Wychavon. 7 November 2012: Cannock Chase. 21 May 2013: Tameside. 29 June 2014: Sandbach. 19 February 2015: Crewe.
Order of precedence
|Infantry Order of Precedence||Succeeded by|
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