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THE WORCESTERSHIRE AND SHERWOOD FORESTERS REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION
Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis
You can also view the Newsletter in pdf format here (http://www.stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk/index.php/newsletter)
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Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis
18 September 2020 WFRA NEWSLETTER Volume 11 Issue 40
It is with sadness that I report the death of 23700992 LCpl John Desmond Harper of Chesterfield who died on 25 August 2020 aged 81. Des enlisted into the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters on 28 February 1959 and served in Malaya and Singapore with MMG Platoon, then with Recce Platoon in NI, Libya, and Cyprus before leaving on 27 February 1965. His funeral has taken place.
It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Mo Jones the wife of Arthur. Mo Passed away at home.
Mo will be remembered for her support of the branch and for her baking, especially the mince pies at Christmas. Mo and Arthur held garden parties raising funds for the branch and other charities. She will be missed by all.
Letters of condolence can be sent to :-
Mr Arthur Jones
29 Oldbury Rd,
001 THE 95TH (DERBYSHIRE) REGIMENT OF FOOT
General Sir Colin Halkett, founder of the regiment, by William Salter
The regiment was raised by General Sir Colin Halkett as the 95th Regiment of Foot in response to the threat posed by the French intervention in Spain, on 1 December 1823. It embarked for Malta in March 1824 and was given a territorial designation as the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot in December 1825. It then sailed on to the Ionian Islands in January 1830; the headquarters was initially established in Corfu but moved to Vido in December 1831. The headquarters went back to Corfu in May 1832, to Cephalonia in April 1833 and back to Corfu again in June 1834. The regiment embarked for home in December 1834.
The regiment embarked for Ceylon in October 1838; the headquarters was initially established at Colombo but moved to Kandy in September 1841 and reverted to Colombo in January 1844. While in Colombo the regiment suffered from a serious epidemic of cholera: at least 63 soldiers died. The regiment transferred to Hong Kong in March 1847. In autumn 1848 the regiment lost nearly 40% of its strength to fever: representatives of Jardine Matheson provided extensive support in the form of the loan of boats and trips for convalescents. The regiment embarked for home in March 1850.
The regiment embarked for Turkey in March 1854 for service in the Crimean War. It sailed on to Kalamita Bay in September 1854 and advanced under heavy Russian fire at the Battle of Alma on 20 September. Due to the heavy casualties suffered in this attack the Regimental colours, normally carried by an ensign, were seized by Private James Keenan: he planted them triumphantly on the earthwork of the Great Redoubt. The regiment lost some 20 officers and some 180 other ranks in the battle.
The regiment sustained further losses at the Battle of Inkerman in November 1854 and Major John Champion, who commanded the regiment during the battle, was killed in action. The regiment was also present at the Sevastopol in winter 1854, the regiment continued to sustain losses caused by the extreme cold and rampant disease. This led to the comment that: "there may be few of the 95th left but those few are as hard as nails." The regiment embarked for home in June 1856.
The regiment embarked for the Cape of Good Hope in June 1857 but, within days of arriving in September 1857, it was sent on to India to help suppress the Indian Rebellion. The regiment took part in the capture of the entrenched town of Rowa in January 1858. During the assault Private Bernard McQuirt became the first soldier of the Regiment to be awarded the Victoria Cross. He was involved in hand to hand combat with three men. He fought valiantly, killing one and wounding another. In the midst of this combat, he was wounded six times, five by sabre cuts and the other by a musket shot. Due to the severity of his wounds, he was returned to the UK and medically discharged. His Victoria Cross was gazetted on 11th November 1859, and he would receive his medal in person from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 4th January 1860, almost two years after his action. Following his investiture, he returned to Ireland, where he lived in obscurity, until his death on 5th October 1888, at his home, Urney Street in Belfast. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Belfast City Cemetery. His grave was later marked with a headstone.
The Regiment went on to take part in a skirmish at Kotah-ke-Serai in June 1858 during which the rebel leader, Rani of Jhansi, was killed. It also took part in the recapture of Gwalior later that month as well as several other actions during the Central Indian campaign.
Gwalior Fort as it looks today
The regiment remained in India until October 1870 when it sailed for England.
As part of the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s, where single-battalion regiments were linked together to share a single depot and recruiting district in the United Kingdom, the 95th was linked with the 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, and assigned to District No. 26 at Normanton Barracks in Derby. On 1 July 1881 the Childers Reforms came into effect and the regiment amalgamated with the 45th Nottinghamshire Regiment of Foot to form the Sherwood Foresters.
Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol & Central India
Colonels of the Regiment
The 95th Regiment of Foot
1823–1829: Gen. Sir Colin Halkett
The 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot
1829–1834: Lt-Gen. Sir Archibald Campbell, 1st Baronet GCB (of Ava)
1834–1838: Lt-Gen. Sir Charles Pratt KCB
The 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment
1838–1843: Lt-Gen. Sir John Buchan KCB
1843–1848: Lt-Gen. George Guy Carleton L'Estrange CB
1848–1850: Lt-Gen. Sir Richard Armstrong KCB
1850–1853: Gen. Sir John Bell GCB
1853–1868: Gen. Sir Francis Cockburn
1868–1869: Gen. John Ffolliott Crofton
1869–1871: Maj-Gen. Frederick Holt Robe CB
1871–1876: Gen. James Pattoun Sparks CB
1876–1881: Gen. John Studholme Brownrigg CB
002 ASSOCIATION AGM
The Association AGM 10th October at Lichfield is now cancelled. It is re scheduled for March 2021.
Does anyone have a Mercian buff jumper (size large/extra large) and a side hat for sale?
Please contact Maj Tony Calunniato XO 4 Mercian on firstname.lastname@example.org
004 VETERANS SUPPORT
The following are available to support veterans and their families who may be experiencing mental health difficulties;
Forcesline Tel: 0800 731 4880 (between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday)
Combat Stress (24 hours)
Veterans and their families; Tel: 0800 138 1619
Serving personnel and their families; Tel: 0800 323 4444
Samaritans (24 hours); Tel: 116 123
for Executive Committee
Social media :-
Mercian Museum (WFR Collection)
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