Men born in Staffordshire were soldiers long before a regiment was raised there in the reign of Queen Anne. The Staffordshire Regiment traces its roots to the formation of a Regiment of Foot at Lichfield in 1705 and is unique amongst all of Britain’s infantry regiments in its continuous identity with a single County. A direct link with Staffordshire was established in 1782, when the 38th Foot received the additional title of 1st Staffordshire Regiment and the 64th Foot of 2nd Staffordshire Regiment.
The South Staffordshire and North Staffordshire Regiments were created out of four of the old numbered regiments, which for the South included the 80th Staffordshire Volunteers, in 1881. From that period too, the old County militias and volunteers were linked directly with their Regular Army counterparts. These links were regularised further by the formation of the Territorial Force in 1908, by which year both South and North Staffords each had six battalions: two Regular, two Militia and two Territorial.
Vast expansion took place in both World Wars but reductions after 1945 saw each of the County Regiments reduced to one Regular Battalion and one Territorial. In 1959 the South and North were amalgamated to form the Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s). The Territorials survived a little longer (1968). The Staffords held on to their independence until the major reorganisation of the Infantry in 2005-2007. On 1 September 2007 they merged with the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment and the Territorials of the West Midlands Regiment to become the four-battalion Mercian Regiment. The traditions and ethos of the Staffords are carried forward by the 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Staffords) under the proud motto: Stand Firm, Strike Hard.
The Staffordshire Regiment Tree
In 2014 the 3rd Battalion were disbanded. Following this reduction the Mercian Regiment reorganised under a new official title; The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire’s, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters and Stafford’s).