The Mercian Regiment was formed on 1 September 2007 at Tamworth Castle in the presence of The Colonel in Chief, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, KG KT GCB OM.
The Mercian Regiment is an amalgamation of three Regular regiments – The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment and The Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s) – and the elements of two Territorial regiments – The West Midlands Regiment and The King’s Cheshire Regiment.
On formation the Regiment consisted of four battalions:
- 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire)
- 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters)
- 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Staffords)
- 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Volunteers)
The Regiment’s badge is the double-headed Eagle surmounted by a Saxon Crown. The badge was chosen as it had been worn by all of the antecedent regiments in the 1950s and 1960s.
A proud, close-knit local regiment, The Mercian Regiment draws its fighting strength from the history and traditions of the antecedent regiments, and the strong family ties it maintains with its counties and communities. To honour this history the full title of the new Regiment is; The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire, Worcesters and Foresters and Staffords).
The Mercian Regiment recruits across five counties – Cheshire, Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire – and the Black Country. They are known as the Heart of England’s Infantry. Their Regimental motto is ‘Stand Firm, Strike Hard’.
Their national memorial, the Crich Memorial Lighthouse, is unique to the Regiment. It is located in Crich, Derbyshire, and was completed in 1923 to commemorate the 11,409 Sherwood Foresters who fell in the Great War. Built as it is on the Derbyshire Peaks it provides a viewpoint over what was the entire recruiting area of the Sherwood Foresters. The memorial later encompassed all those who fell in subsequent conflicts and now includes the names of the fallen of the Mercian Regiment. There is an annual pilgrimage to the site on the first Sunday in July, a date chosen to commemorate the opening of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Always on parade is the Regimental Mascot, Private Derby.
In 2014 further reductions in the size of the Army led to the merger of the three Regular battalions into two – the 1st and 2nd Battalions. At the same time changes to the Territorial Army saw the 4th Battalion renamed as the 4th (Reserve) Battalion. Currently the 1st Battalion is an armoured infantry battalion based in Bulford, Wiltshire, and the 2nd Battalion is a light infantry battalion based in Cyprus. The 4th Battalion is based throughout the North and West Midlands.
The two Regular Battalions and many soldiers from the Reserve Battalion have played a prominent part in operations since 2007 and especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. To get the latest news and to find out more about this close-knit infantry regiment, visit The Mercian Regiment website by clicking below.