72: The Lincolnshire (1685) & The Northamptonshire (1740) Regiment

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Royal Lincolnshire Regiment

The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment was raised on 20 June 1685 as the Earl of Bath’s Regiment for its first Colonel, John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath. In 1751, it was numbered like most other Army regiments and named the 10 Regiment of Foot. After the Childers Reforms of 1881, it became the Lincolnshire Regiment after the county where it had been recruiting since 1781. After the Second World War, it was honoured with the name Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, before being amalgamated in 1960 with the Northamptonshire Regiment to form the 2nd East Anglian Regiment.


18th century

The regiment would see action during the War of the Grand Alliance, the War of the League of Augsburg and the War of the Spanish Succession at the Battle of Blenheim, Battle of Ramillies and the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1751, the regiment was given the title of the 10th Regiment of Foot, as all British regiments were given numbers for identification instead of using their Colonel’s name. The regiment would next see action during the American War of Independence at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the New York Campaign, the Battle of Germantown, the Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Rhode Island. In 1778, the 10th returned home to England after 19 years service overseas. In 1781, the regiment was linked to the County of Lincolnshire for recruiting. During the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, the 10th Regiment would see service in Egypt and in Portugal and Spain in the Peninsular War.

19th century

In 1842, the 10th Foot was sent to India and was involved in the First Anglo-Sikh War and the bloody Battle of Sobraon. The 10th would also see action in the Second Sikh War in the Punjab, taking part in the Battle of Goojerat (or Gujrat, Gujerat) and the siege of Mooltan. In 1857, at the outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny, the Regiment was stationed at Dinapore and went on to play an important role in the relief of Lucknow.

The 1st Battalion, 10th Foot served in Japan from 1868 through 1871. The battalion was charged with protecting the small foreign community in Yokohama. The leader of the battalion’s military band, John William Fenton, is honoured in Japan as “the first bandmaster in Japan”[2] and as “the father of band music in Japan.”[3] He is also credited for initiating the slow process in which Kimi ga Yo came to be accepted as the national anthem of Japan.[4]

In 1881, when all British regiments were given county names, the 10th Regiment of Foot became known as the Lincolnshire Regiment.

During the war in the Sudan, the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment took part in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. The 2nd Battalion saw action in South Africa during the Boer War (1899–1902).

20th century

First World War

Bullock’s Boys. The First Contingent of the BVRC to the Lincolns, training in Bermuda for the Western Front, Winter 1914–15. They reached France in June 1915, as an extra company of 1st Lincolns, and the survivors merged with a Second Contingent the following year.


The Roll of Honour 1914–1919 contains over 8000 names of men. It is displayed in a wooden case in the Services Chapel of Lincoln Cathedral

The regiment started the Great War with two regular battalions, one militia battalion and two territorial battalions. The 1st Lincolns were stationed in Portsmouth, the 2nd Lincolns on Garrison in Bermuda, and the 3rd in Lincoln. The 4th and 5th Battalions were the Territorial battalions, based throughout Lincolnshire.[5]

The Commanding Officer of 2nd Lincolns, Lieut.-Col. George Bunbury McAndrew, found himself acting Governor, Commander-In-Chief, and Vice-Admiral of Bermuda in the absence of the Governor, Lieut.-General Sir George Bullock, and oversaw that colony’s placement onto a war footing.[6] The battalion returned to England on 3 October 1914, and was sent to the Western Front soon after, arriving in France on 5 November 1914.

A contingent from the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps was detached in December 1914 to train for the Front. It was hoped this could join 2nd Lincolns, but 1 Lincolns need for reinforcement was greater and it was attached to that battalion as an extra company (at least one Bermudian, though not from the BVRC, Corporal G.C. Wailes, did serve with the 2nd Lincolns).[7][8] Although commanders at the Regimental Depot had wanted to break the Contingent apart, re-enlist its members as Lincolns, and distribute them throughout the Regiment as replacements, a letter from the War Office ensured that the BVRC contingent remained together as a unit, under its own badge. The contingent arrived in France with 1 Lincons on 23 June 1915, the first colonial volunteer unit to reach the Western Front. It remained an extra company of 1 Lincolns til the following summer, by when its strength had been too reduced by casualties to compose a full company (having lost 50% of its then remaining strength at Gueudecourt on 25 September 1916). The survivors were merged with a newly arrived Second BVRC Contingent, of one officer and 36 other ranks, who had trained in Bermuda as Vickers machine gunners. Stripped of their Vickers machine guns (which had been collected, in the Army, under a new regiment, the Machine Gun Corps), the merged contingents were retrained as Lewis light machinegunners, and provided 12 gun teams to 1 Lincolns headquarters. By the War’s end, the two contingents had lost over 75% of their combined strength. Forty had died on active service, one received the O.B.E, and six the Military Medal. Sixteen enlisted men from the two contingents were commissioned, including the Sergeant Major of the First Contingent, Colour-Sergeant R.C. Earl, who would become Commanding Officer of the BVRC after the War (some of those commissioned moved to other units in the process, including flying ace Arthur Rowe Spurling and Henry J. Watlington, who both went to the Royal Flying Corps).

The 1st and 2nd battalions served on the Western Front throughout the war. Thirteen other battalions were raised during the course of the war, including the 10th, the Grimsby Chums. At the end of the war in 1918, the 1st Lincolns, under Frederick Spring, and the 3rd Lincolns were sent to Ireland to deal with the troubles in the unrecognised Irish Republic.

Second World War

The Second World War was declared on 3 September 1939 and the two Territorial Army battalions, the 4th and the 6th (a duplicate of the 4th), were called-up immediately. The 2nd Battalion embarked for France with the 8th Infantry Brigade attached to the 3rd Infantry Division Commanded by Major General Bernard Montgomery in October 1939. They were followed by the 6th Battalion, part of 138th Brigade with the 46th (West Riding) Infantry Division, in April 1940; both served with the British Expeditionary Force and managed to return from Dunkirk. After returning to England, both battalions spent many years in the UK on home defence anticipating a possible German invasion of the United Kingdom. However, the invasion never occurred and both battalions with their divisions started training for offensive operations to be able to return to Europe.

The 1st Battalion, stationed in British India, saw no combat until 1942. They remained in India and the Far East throughout the war and were assigned to the 71st Indian Infantry Brigade, part of 26th Indian Infantry Division, in 1942. fighting the Imperial Japanese Army in the Burma Campaign and during the Battle of the Admin Box, the first major victory against the Japanese in the campaign, in early 1944 where Major Charles Ferguson Hoey was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

The Territorials of the 4th Battalion, part of 146th Brigade attached to 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division, were sent to Norway and were among the first British soldiers to come into contact against an advancing enemy in the field in the Second World War. Ill-equipped and without air support, they soon had to be evacuated. Within a few weeks, they were sent to garrison neutral Iceland. They trained as Alpine troops during the two years they were there. After returning to the UK in 1942, when the division gained the 70th Brigade, they were earmarked to form part of the 21st Army Group for the coming invasion of France and started training in preparation.

After two years spent on home defence, the 6th Battalion left for the final stages of the Tunisian Campaign in January 1943. In September 1943, they took part in the landings at Salerno in Italy as part of Mark Clark’s US Fifth Army. The battalion returned to Egypt to refit in March 1944, by which time it had suffered heavy casualties and lost 518 killed, wounded or missing. It returned to Italy in July 1944 and, after more hard fighting, it sailed for Greece in December to help the civil authorities to keep order during the Greek Civil War. In April 1945, the 6th Lincolns returned to Italy for the final offensive but didn’t participate in any fighting and then moved into Austria for occupation duties.

The Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps again provided two drafts; one in June 1940, and a full company in 1944. Four Bermudians who served with the Lincolns during the war (three from the BVRC) reached the rank of Major with the regiment: Major General Glyn Gilbert (later of the Parachute Regiment), Lieutenant Colonel Robert Brownlow Tucker (the first Commanding Officer of the Bermuda Regiment, amalgamated from the BVRC and the Bermuda Militia Artillery in 1965), Major Anthony Smith (killed-in-action at Venrai, in 1944, and subject of an award-winning film, In The Hour of Victory),[9][10][11][12][13] and Major Patrick Purcell, responsible for administering German newspapers in the British area of occupation.

Currently, the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment is the modern unit descended partly from the Lincolnshire Regiment. After forming up as a new squadron in Lincolnshire, 674 Squadron Army Air Corps adopted the Sphynx as the major emblem within its crest in honour of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, this honour being bestowed on the squadron by the then Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Michael Walker.

The Royal Anglian Regiment maintains the same parental relationship with the Bermuda Regiment that the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment had maintained with the BVRC (retitled Bermuda Rifles in 1951, before amalgamating into the Bermuda Regiment).

Battle honours

Steenkirk 8 July 1692, War of the Spanish Succession 1702–1713, Blenheim 13 August 1704, Ramillies 23 May 1706, Oudenarde 11 July 1708, Malplaquet 11 September 1709, Bouchain 13 September 1711, Lexington 19 April 1775, Bunker’s Hill 17 June 1775, Peninsula 1816, Sobraon 10 February 1846, Mooltan 21 December 1848, Goojuarat 21 February 1849, Punjab 1857, Lucknow 1858, 1863, Atbara 1898, Khartoum 1898, Boer War 1899–1902, Pardeberg 19 February 1899, South Africa 1900–02,

Great War: Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, ’18, La Bassée 1914, Messines 1914, 1917, 1918, Armentières 1914 Ypres 1914, ’15, ’17, Nonne Bosschen, Neuve Chapelle, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Aubers, Loos, Somme 1916, ’18, Albert 1916, ’18, Bazentin, Delville Wood, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Thiepval, Ancre 1916, ’18, Arras 1917, ’18, Scarpe 1917, ’18, Arleux, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917, ’18, St. Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Lys, Estaires, Bailleul, Kemmel, Amiens, Drocourt Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, Canal du Nord, St. Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914–18, Suvla, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1916,

Second World War: Vist, Norway 1940, Dunkirk 1940, Normandy Landing, Cambes, Fontenay le Pesnil, Defence of Rauray, Caen, Orne, Bourguébus Ridge, Troarn, Nederrijn, Le Havre, Antwerp-Turnhout Canal, Venraij, Venlo Pocket, Rhineland, Hochwald, Lingen, Bremen, Arnhem 1945, North-West Europe 1940, ’44–45, Sedjenane I, Mine de Sedjenane, Argoub Selah, North Africa 1943, Salerno, Vietri Pass, Capture of Naples, Cava di Terreni, Volturno Crossing, Garigliano Crossing, Monte Tuga, Gothic Line, Monte Gridolfo, Gemmano Ridge, Lamone Crossing, San Marino, Italy 1943–45, Donbaik, Point 201 (Arakan), North Arakan, Buthidaung, Ngakyedauk Pass, Ramree, Burma 1943–45



 Northamptonshire Regiment


The Northamptonshire Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1960. Its lineage is now continued by The Royal Anglian Regiment.



The regiment was formed as part of the reorganisation of the infantry by the Childers reforms. The 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot (raised in 1741) and the 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot (raised in 1755) were redesignated as the 1st and 2nd battalions of the Northamptonshire Regiment, with the regimental depot at Northampton.

As well as the two regular battalions, the Northamptonshire and Rutland Militia became the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, and the 1st Northamptonshire Rifle Volunteer Corps became the First Volunteer Battalion. With the enactment of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907, they became the 3rd (Special Reserve) and 4th (Territorial Force) Battalions respectively.


In the years 1881-1914 the two regular battalions saw overseas service in Hong Kong, India, Singapore and South Africa, with the regiment receiving battle honours for actions in the North West Frontier Province and the Second Boer War.

During the First World War the regiment was expanded to comprise 13 battalions which served on the Western Front in France and Flanders, the Gallipoli campaign, Egypt and Palestine.

Between the two world wars the regular battalions were in a number of overseas locations including Burma, China, Egypt, Iraq, Ireland, Palestine and Sudan.

On 17 October 1935 a Royal Scot Class locomotive of the London Midland and Scottish Railway was named The Northamptonshire Regiment at a ceremony at Northampton (Castle) Station.[1]

In the Second World War battalions of the regiment fought in North West Europe, North Africa, Burma, Italy and Madagascar. The 1st Battalion was in Burma and India throughout the war. The 2nd and 5th Battalions served in France 1940 and North Africa, Sicily and Italy.


In 1948 the regiment was reduced to a single regular battalion. Following the recommendations of the 1957 Defence White Paper, the 1st Battalions of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment and the Northamptonshire Regiment were merged on 1 June 1960 to form the 2nd East Anglian Regiment (Duchess of Gloucester’s Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire). This regiment was short-lived, becoming part of the Royal Anglian Regiment on 1 September 1964.

The Museum of the Northamptonshire Regiment is housed at Abington Park, Northampton. The regiment were stationed at the former Quebec Barracks, later renamed Simpson Barracks on a large site at Wootton, south of the town adjacent to the Newport Pagnell road which include the old Hardingstone Workhouse building. They also had an ammunition dump at Yardley Chase.

Badges and dress distinctions

The badges of the regiment included references to the units combined in 1881. The cap badge featured a representation of a castle and key and the battle honour “Gibraltar“, earned by the 58th Foot in 1779-1783. Below the castle was a scroll bearing the honour “Talavera”, and the badge was encircled by a laurel wreath earned by the 48th Foot in 1809 during the Peninsular War.

The collar badge (which was also used as the design for the regimental “crest”), was based on that of the Northamptonshire and Rutland Militia. This featured the cross of St George within a crowned circle. Around the circle was a laurel wreath, on the base of which was a horseshoe, representing Rutland.

The regimental buttons of other ranks bore the castle and key surmounted by a crown, while those worn on officers’ mess dress displayed a scroll inscribed “Talavera” below a crown.

The facing colours of the 48th and 58th Foot were buff and black respectively, and although white facings were imposed in 1881 by the Childers reforms, the old colours were still used in the regiment. The regimental stable belt consisted of equal stripes of black, buff and sky blue. In 1927 the regiment’s facings were changed to buff. The scarlet and blue officers’ mess dress worn in the 1930s included collar and cuffs in the buff of the 48th and waistcoats in the black of the 58th. A black lanyard was worn on the battle-dress blouse introduced in 1937, and this was later adopted by the 2nd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment.

The “unknown use” badge of the Northamptonshire Regiment with the numerals 48 and 58 incorporated at either end is a bandsman’s pouch badge.  These pouches were worn by all infantry bands with a special regimental badge on the flap.  For normal line infantry they were whitened buff leather and for Rifle regiments, black patent leather.  Royal regiments usually backed the badge with scarlet wool felt and some non-Royal units used a piece of felt of facing colour.  It is probable that the 2nd Northants used black.  They certainly did for the drummers arm badge.

These badges are poorly recorded and only a specialist historical society will have detailed information.  Looking at the badge It has to be after 1881 when the 48th and 58th merged to form the Northants Regt and before they were merged too into the Royal Anglian Regt in 1964.  They would have been used by the band throughout that time as such specialised badges were not ever made in anondised aluminium (so-called STABRITE) until after that latter date.  I do not know if they were issued at ‘public expense’, and they might well have been purchased by the regiments themselves using the ‘band fund’ that was paid as an obligatory levy (from their salary) by all regimental officers.

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