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The Sherwood Foresters Regiment



In 1741 , in Bristol , a new regiment of foot under the command of Colonel Houghton was formed. Initially, serving in Gibraltar, then Nova Scotia and Canada. They won glory in capturing Louisburg from the French  , Hence becoming their first battle honour . In 1759 they were with General Wolfe at Quebec, providing a grenadier company in a Grenadier Battalion. Known as The Louisburg Grenadiers .

The Regiment were originally numbered the 56th foot and in 1748 some marine regiments were disbanded and the 56th took the senior number of `45`, which had belonged to the 2nd Regiment of Marines (45th Foot) known as the `Green Marines` . The blue behind the WFR cap badge recognizes this connection.

In the American War of Independence, the 45th fought in many engagements, Long Island , Brandywine , Philadelphia and Germantown  were amongst these actions .

When the regiments began to be linked with counties, so 45th were linked to Nottinghamshire and after the war in America the 45th returned to their new home of Nottingham .  

The people of Nottingham requested that the Regiment should be called the Nottinghamshire Regiment, the King agreed . Nottinghamshire were the first county to make such a request and 300 men were duly recruited and they have this proud claim.

1786 – 1802, the 45th were fighting the French in the West Indies at Dominica , Martinique and Les Saints .

In 1804 a second battalion was raised in Nottinghamshire, but was disbanded ten years later.

The Regiment took part in the South America Campaign (1807 ) and were involved in the attack on Buenos Aires.

The Peninsular War

1st Battalion the 45th foot ( 1st Nottinghamshire ) served with great honour in the Peninsular War and fought in almost every engagement, from Rolica 1808, to Toulouse 1814 . In this war the regiment won 13 Battle Honours, from Rolica and Vimeiro 1808. The battalion spent the winter in Portugal and in 1809 came Talavera , Busaco 1810 and Fuentes d`Orono in 1811. In 1812 the Regiment attacked the great breech at Cuidad Rodrigo .  They served at the siege and assault on Badajoz also in 1812. This action has become one of the main Battle Honours,  as during the assault on Badajoz no flag was at hand so Lieutenant Macpherson used his red jacket to raise up a flagpole to relay the message that the breech was taken . This is celebrated on the 6th April each year.

The regiment went on to serve at Salamanca 1812 and Vittoria , Sorauren , Nivelle and Nive in 1813 . After the battle of Toulouse in 1814 the Regiment was posted to Ireland.

1819 Onwards

 The Regiment served in Ceylon and the First Burma War 1824 -1825. Back in England they were involved in the `Bossenden Wood Battle` 1838 and supressing an uprising from the `Chartist` movement in Newport , Wales , at the Westgate Hotel.

 In 1843 the 1st Battalion was split into a 1st and a reserve Battalion , the reserve going onto active service in the defence of Monte Video, South America and the Kaffir wars of 1846 – 47 and re – absorbed back into the 1st Battalion in 1850.

The Regiment went on to serve in South Africa in the `Kaffir Wars` of the late 1840`s early 1850`s. Abyssinia 1868 the Regiment marched 300 miles in 24 days.

1866 a secondary title was granted to the 45th by Queen Victoria, the title being `Sherwood Foresters`. The Nottinghamshire Militia had the title of the `Royal Sherwood Foresters`.

The Regiment went on to serve in India and Burma, returning to England in 1878.

In 1881 under the `Cardwell Reforms` the 45th Foot Regiment became 1st battalion The Derbyshire Regiment ( Sherwood Foresters ) 45tth  / 95th foot , the 95th becoming the 2nd Battalion.




In Coventry, 1823 the 95th  was formed and shortly afterwards were granted the title, The Derbyshire Regiment . In the first 20 years the Regiment saw service in Malta, Ionian Islands, Ceylon and China.

The Crimean War was the first action the 95th  were involved in . On the 20th September 1854 at the Battle of Alma, they suffered heavy casualties. In this action the 95th were at the front of the attack across the Alma river and up the heights. Due to the heavy casualties amongst the officers the Regimental Colour was taken up by Pte Keenan, this tradition carried on and on this date the Colours were in the custody of a private soldier. On the 26th  October they were foremost in driving back a Russian attack. The 95th also saw action at the Battle of Inkermann 5th November 1854, again suffering heavy casualties. It is said that the last man killed in the Crimean War was a Grenadier of the 95th after the Russians had withdrawn from Sevastopol.

In 1858 the 95th spent 12 years in India, being diverted on their way to South African Cape. The Indian Mutiny had started and the 95th saw action at Awah, Khotah-ke-Serai, sieging and capturing Gwalior, Pouree and Koondryee. Through out the actions the Regiment had marched over 3,000 miles fought in 14 actions. Pte Bernard McQuirt became their first recipient of the Victoria Cross.


Under The Cardwell Reforms the 95th became The 2nd Battalion The Derbyshire Regiment (The Sherwood Foresters ) 45th / 95th  Foot . With the 45th becoming the 1st Battalion.

The Regiment consisted of 1st Battalion the 45th, 2nd battalion the 95th, 3rd Derbyshire Militia, 4th Royal Sherwood Foresters, Militia Battalions. 1st & 2nd  Derbyshire. 3rd 4th Nottinghamshire Volunteer Battalions, with the Headquarters in Derby.

1882 saw the 2nd Battalion on active service in Egypt and then on to India. Taking part in the Sikkim Expedition toTibet. 1897 the 2nd saw active service at Tirah with Lt Pennell gaining the second Victoria Cross.

1899 both 1st & 2nd battalions were in Malta and with the outbreak of the Boer War the 1st went on to active service in South Africa, remaining to the end of Hostilities. The 4th and some volunteer battalions saw service in this campaign. A further 2 Victoria Crosses was won in this war.

1902 saw the Regiment become entitled The Nottinghamshire And Derbyshire Regiment ( Sherwood Foresters ).

Changes to the Regiment came about in 1908 with the 3rd, 4th  Battalions becoming liable for overseas service as part of the Special Reserve.The Volunteer Battalions becoming the 5th, 6th, 7th Robin Hoods. The 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters becoming part of the Territorial Force, later The Territorial Army.



At the outbreak of World War One the Regiment had 8 Battalions and was expanded further to 33, 20 of these served overseas. Of the 140,000 serving men, nearly all were from the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area. The 1st battalion went into the European campaign still fresh from service in India. They saw action in Neuve Chapelle and Loos 1915, gaining 2VC`s and heavy casualties. Somme 1916, 1917 at Ypres. Arras and Somme again in  1918.

The 2nd battalion was part of the BEF landing in September 1914 and into the bitter fighting at Aisne and Ennettiere In October. In this action they held against a greater force of Germans for 48 hours, losing 16 officers and 710 men. This was followed with action at, Hooge 1915. Somme 1916. Cambrai 1917. In the last year of the war they were at the Somme, Lys, Hindenburg Line and Selle.

The 3rd & 4th remained in the UK as reinforcement units.

The other Battalions of the regiment served on active service from Ireland to Gallipoli and Europe with distinction earning more Vc`s.

Early 1919 saw the disbandment of the Territorial and Service Battalions with some being reduced to cadre levels.

1920 the Regiment became The Sherwood Foresters ( Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment ). Between the wars the 1st Battalion went from Ireland and England, to the West Indies and onto Palestine in 1939.

The 2nd Battalion went from Germany to England and onto Egypt, then peacekeeping between the Greeks and Turks. Then onto India and then the Sudan before returning to the UK after nearly 17 years.




The 1st battalion being in Palestine, were moved to Cyprus and in early 1942 to Egypt, being converted into a motorized role, but they were forced to surrender at Tobruk. After being re formed in 1945 they trained for the last push against the Japanese.

The 2nd Battalion was in the BEF landing in France in 1939, with the 1/5th joining as communications troops. The 2/5th and 9th Battalions were there as Pioneer troops, later to be evacuated from Dunkirk with the 2nd Battalion. The 1/5th were evacuated from Cherbourg,  they went to Singapore prior to the surrender to the Japanese, with the officers and men suffering badly as prisoners of war on the Burma Siam railway, losing 450 of their number.

The 2/5th, renamed the 5th, were with the 1st British Army in Tunisia along with the 2nd Battalion. The 2nd participated in the Anzio Landings 1944 fighting with distinction at Campoleone and with casualties so high that at one stage the Battalion was commanded by a corporal.

The 5th Battalion were at the Salerno Landings and push to Monte Cassino. Some Battalions remained in the UK as Search Light Regiments in the Royal Artillery.

12th and 13th battalions were in India and became jungle training units for the Burma Campaign.

The 14th Battalion converted to a Motor Battalion in 1942, fighting at El Alamein 1942 and at Anzio. 1944 they took heavy casualties in the battle for the Gothic Line and fought to a standstill at san Savino. Due to losses the officers and men were posted to the 5th Foresters and 1/5th Leicesters.

The Foresters won 25 Battle Honours an more Victoria Crosses. A total of 26,940 officers and men served with the regiment, 1,520 were killed and three times that number  wounded..

The 1st Battalion were in Germany in 1945, with the 2nd Battalion in Palestine and Syria and after a brief spell in England were amalgamated with the 1st Battalion in 1948 in Germany. The 1st Battalion went on to become motorized infantry with tracked armoured vehicles, as this they saw service in Germany, a brief spell in the Korean War. Peace keeping in Cyprus, then moving to Germany in 1964.Several Regimental groupings occurred  and then on the 28th February  1970 The Sherwood Foresters ( 45th / 95th )  amalgamated with The Worcestershire Regiment ( 29th  ), to become  The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment ( 29th / 45th Foot ) . The county Regiment of Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.








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