Middlesex Regiment
The Middlesex Regiment was a regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

. It was formed in 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms
Childers Reforms
The Childers Reforms restructured the infantry regiments of the British army. The reforms were undertaken by Secretary of State for War Hugh Childers in 1881, and were a continuation of the earlier Cardwell reforms....

 when the 57th (West Middlesex)
57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot
The 57th Regiment of Foot was a regiment of line infantry in the British Army.-History:The regiment started out as the 59th Regiment of Foot raised in Gloucester in 1755....

 and 77th (East Middlesex) Regiments of Foot
77th (East Middlesex) Regiment of Foot
The 77th Regiment of Foot was a line regiment of the British Army . In 1881 it was united with the 57th Regiment of Foot to form The Middlesex Regiment ....

 were amalgamated with the county's militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 and rifle volunteer units.

On 31 December 1966 The Middlesex Regiment was amalgamated with three other regiments to form The Queen's Regiment
The Queen's Regiment
The Queen's Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army formed in 1966 through the amalgamation of the four regiments of the Home Counties Division...

. The latter regiment was itself subject to a merger in 1992 to form part of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
"PWRR" redirects here. For the railroad with these reporting marks, see Portland and Western Railroad.The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment is the senior English line infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Queen's Division...


The Middlesex was one of the principal home counties
Home Counties
The home counties is a term which refers to the counties of South East England and the East of England which border London, but do not include the capital city itself...

 based regiments with a long tradition. They inherited their nickname, the “Die-hards”, from the 57th Regiment of Foot (West Middlesex), which later became the 1st Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. The 57th gained the name during the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 when, at the Battle of Albuera
Battle of Albuera
The Battle of Albuera was an indecisive battle during the Peninsular War. A mixed British, Spanish and Portuguese corps engaged elements of the French Armée du Midi at the small Spanish village of Albuera, about 20 kilometres south of the frontier fortress-town of Badajoz, Spain.From...

 on 16 May 1811 their commander Colonel Inglis
William Inglis
Lieutenant General Sir William Inglis, KCB was a British officer of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars....

 had his horse shot from under him, severely wounded and outnumbered by the French he called to his men “Die hard, 57th. Die hard!” "Albuhera" was the principal battle honour on the Middlesex Regiment's colours.


The regiment was formed on 1 July 1881 with two regular, two militia and four volunteer battalions:
  • 1st Battalion formerly the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot (raised 1755)
  • 2nd Battalion formerly the 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment of Foot (The Duke of Cambridge's Own) (raised 1787)
  • 3rd Battalion formerly the Royal Elthorne or 5th Middlesex Light Infantry Militia
  • 4th Battalion formerly the Royal East Middlesex Militia
  • 1st Volunteer Battalion formerly The 3rd Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps
  • 2nd Volunteer Battalion formerly The 8th Middlesex (South West Middlesex) Volunteer Rifle Corps
  • 3rd and 4th Volunteer Battalions formerly the 17th Middlesex (North Middlesex) Volunteer Rifle Corps

In 1900 the number of regular battalions was doubled with the formation of a new 3rd and 4th battalion, and the militia battalions were renumbered as 5th and 6th. In 1908, with the formation of the Territorial Force, the volunteer battalions became the 7th, 8th 9th and 10th Battalions.

Duke of Cambridge's Own

On formation in 1881 the regimental title was The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment)

The regiment inherited the designation "Duke of Cambridge's Own" from the 77th Foot, to which regiment it had been awarded in 1876. The regiment was also permitted to bear the coronet and cypher of Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge was a member of the British Royal Family, a male-line grandson of King George III. The Duke was an army officer and served as commander-in-chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895...

 on its colours and badges. The regiment had earlier been granted the plumes and motto of the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 in 1810 for twenty years service in India.

In 1921, in common with many other regiments, the regimental title was effectively reversed to The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)

The Duke was colonel-in-chief of the regiment from 1898 to his death in 1904.

Its regimental marches were 'Sir Manley Power
Manley Power
Lieutenant General Sir Manley Power, KCB, ComTE was a British military leader who fought in a number of campaigns for Britain and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. He is chiefly remembered for leading a brigade of Portuguese troops under The Duke of Wellington in the Iberian Peninsular War...

' and 'Paddy's Resource' (quick), and 'Caledonian' and 'Garb of old Gaul' (slow).http://books.google.ca/books?id=CNcNAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA103&lpg=PA103&dq=badajoz+manley+power&source=bl&ots=KDF8jGSDJE&sig=wW8udG4fl1ckTgag4j4DWWUWe98&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA103,M1

First World War

At the start of the First World War there were a number of First Line Battalions of the Middlesex Regiment and these were sent off to their war stations including the four territorial battalions: the 1/7th, 1/8th, 1/9th and 1/10th. However there was a surplus of volunteers who had sought to enlist; these men had joined the Territorial Battalions, and although the War Office
War Office
The War Office was a department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence...

 wanted them to transfer to the Regular Army or the New (Kitchener's Army
Kitchener's Army
The New Army, often referred to as Kitchener's Army or, disparagingly, Kitchener's Mob, was an all-volunteer army formed in the United Kingdom following the outbreak of hostilities in the First World War...

), the majority elected to remain with the Territorial Battalions which had enlisted them. General Kitchener
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, ADC, PC , was an Irish-born British Field Marshal and proconsul who won fame for his imperial campaigns and later played a central role in the early part of the First World War, although he died halfway...

 was not in favour of the Territorials although he and other critics were silenced after the Territorials fought so well with the BEF after Mons
Battle of Mons
The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War. It was a subsidiary action of the Battle of the Frontiers, in which the Allies clashed with Germany on the French borders. At Mons, the British army attempted to hold the line of the...

. It became obvious that the First Line battalions that had gone overseas would need reinforcements almost at once and the War Office gave permission to raise Second Line Territorial Battalions and in this way the 2/7th, 2/8th, 2/9th and 2/10th were formed. The 2/7th & 2/8th served with the Western Frontier Force
Western Frontier Force
The Western Frontier Force was a force of British Empire troops formed in response to the Senussi Uprising and coming under the command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force....

. In due course the 4/8th Battalion was raised in June 1915. Additional war-formed "service" battalions were the 11th to 34th and 51st to 53rd.

In October 1966 the regiment paid a then record sum of £900 for the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 awarded to Private Robert Edward Ryder
Robert Edward Ryder
Robert Edward Ryder VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces....

 for bravery during the Battle of the Somme.

Inter-war period

In the early 1920s the 3rd and 4th battalions were disbanded, leaving two regular battalions. The 7th and 8th territorial battalions continued in existence, while the 9th was converted to a searchlight regiment of the Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery , is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it comprises a number of regiments.-History:...

 and the 10th became a unit of the Royal Signals. In 1937, Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment, which had been a territorial battalion of the London Regiment
London Regiment
The London Regiment is a Territorial Army regiment in the British Army. It was first formed in 1908 in order to regiment the various Volunteer Force battalions in the newly formed County of London, each battalion having a distinctive uniform. The Volunteer Force was merged with the Yeomanry in 1908...

, was transferred to the Middlesex Regiment but retained its original title and distinctions.

Second World War

In 1938 the two territorial battalions formed duplicates, thus forming the 1/7th, 2/7th, 1/8th and 2/8th battalions. In 1943, the 1/8th officially became the 8th Battalion as part of the 43rd (Wessex Division) during the Normandy Campaign.

Post-war to amalgamation

The regiment was reduced to a single regular battalion (the 1st) in 1948, and two territorial battalions (the 7th and 8th). The Kensington Regiment amalgamated with the Middlesex Yeomanry
Middlesex Yeomanry
The 47 Signal Squadron is a unit of the Royal Corps of Signals within the British Territorial Army.During the Napoleonic Wars that the Gentlemen of Uxbridge sought permission from the Government to form a Military Association to maintain law and order when the Regular Forces were sent to the coast...

 to form the 31st (Greater London) Signal Regiment (V)
31 (City of London) Signal Regiment
31st Signal Regiment was a Territorial Army regiment in the Royal Corps of Signals in the British Army. The Regiment previously formed part of 2 Signal Brigade, providing military communications for national operations...


In 1948, the 1st battalion became part of the Home Counties Brigade
Home Counties Brigade
The Home Counties Brigade was an administrative formation of the British Army from 1948 to 1968. The Brigade administered the regular infantry battalions of the Home Counties of south east England....

, along with the regular battalions of other regiments in southeast England.

From August 1950 to April 1951, the 1st battalion saw action in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 as part of 27th British Commonwealth Brigade, being one of the first British units to be deployed there.

In 1961 the Territorial Army was reduced in size and a new 5th Battalion was formed by the amalgamation of the 7th and 8th with the 571st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery (the successor to the 9th battalion).

In 1966 the four battalions of the Home Counties Brigade became a "large regiment"
Large regiment
A large regiment is a multi-battalion infantry formation of the British Army. First formed in the 1960s, large regiments are the result of the amalgamation of three or more existing single-battalion regiments, and perpetuate the traditions of each of the predecessor units.-Origins:Following the...

, The Queen's Regiment
The Queen's Regiment
The Queen's Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army formed in 1966 through the amalgamation of the four regiments of the Home Counties Division...

. Accordingly, the 1st Battalion was redesignated as 4th Battalion the Queen's Regiment (Middlesex) with the other regular battalions being formed by the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, Queen's Own Buffs and Royal Sussex Regiment
Royal Sussex Regiment
The Royal Sussex Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1966. The regiment was formed as part of the Childers reforms by the amalgamation of the 35th Regiment of Foot and the 107th Regiment of Foot...

. The 5th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment was disbanded in 1967, forming parts of the 5th (Volunteer) Battalion and 10th (Territorial) Battalions of the Queen's.

External links

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