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A Brief History of the Regiment in Twelve Objects

The Sixth Regiment of Foot (1743 – 1782)


Prestonpans drum – a rallying cry against the Jacobites

Designed as a rallying point during the noise of fighting, this regimental drum of the 6th of Foot, with an early image of the antelope badge, was lost during the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. Although the Jacobite Highland Scots led by exiled royal, Charles Edward Stuart forced the English cavalry to retreat, the 6th of Foot infantry held out until the battle was lost. This drum was found in a Highland cottage in 1901 and returned to the regiment.

The Sixth or Royal Warwickshire Regiment of Foot (1782 – 1832)


Tarleton Hat belonging to a defender of Birmingham           

This bearskin hat was worn by soldiers of the Birmingham Loyal Association. This volunteer unit existed between 1797-1802 to respond to possible invasion by Napoleon’s army.

The Sixth or Royal (First) Warwickshire Regiment of Foot (1832 – 1881)


A Silver Spoon Set in a wooden box – a short-lived wedding present

Possible wedding present for newly married couple Ensign Lawrence Metford and Maria Falkner who were on the ship, Birkenhead. Maria left the ship at Simons Town before her husband tragically died when the Birkenhead was wrecked off the coast of South Africa on 26th February 1852.

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment (1881 – 1963)


A Battalion Jacket of a Birmingham Pals volunteer

New soldiers in the Birmingham Pals Battalions were given blue uniforms. They received standard khaki uniforms just before going to the Front. This is Private George Ross Poyser’s tunic. He served in the 1st Birmingham City Battalion (14th Battalion) and was wounded at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was honourably discharged in 1917 and received the Silver War Badge.


Memorial Plaque dedicated to the first British officer of mixed heritage to die in WW1

In September 1914, Lieutenant Euan Lucie-Smith became the first officer of mixed heritage (British and Afro-Caribbean) to enlist in the British Army. Sadly, he was also the first mixed heritage officer to die in the Great War, killed at the Second Battle of Ypres at St. Julien on 25th April 1915. In 1919-20, memorial plaques, known as ‘Death Pennies’, were sent to the next of kin of all those killed in WWI.  Although in this example, Euan’s name is misspelt as Evan, this plaque was his as there are no other E. Lucie-Smiths who served in the Great War.


Medal group belonging to a WW1 hero

William Amey received the Victoria Cross for extraordinary bravery serving in 1/8th Battalion at the battle of the Sambre in Northern France in November 1918. After the war, he moved to Leamington Spa where he died in 1940 and was buried with full military honours.


William Joseph Slim’s revolver – a hero of two wars    

This .455 Webley Pistol was used by Field Marshal W.J. Slim when he was wounded in Gallipoli in August 1915. Commissioned into the regiment in 1914 as a second lieutenant, Slim went on to command the 14th Army during World War 2 achieving significant victories against the Japanese in the Far East. He was later Governor-General of Australia.


Monty’s Beret   - 'worth two Divisions'            

During the Battle of El Alamein, Field Marshal Montgomery borrowed a crew member’s beret eventually adding his Field Marshal’s badge to the Tank Corps insignia. He wore such a beret throughout the Battle and its iconic status made it a morale booster to the troops. Despite being asked officially to discard it, he refused saying "I don’t give two hoots what anyone says, this beret is worth two Divisions."

Historians generally agree that El Alamein and victory over the German Field Marshal Rommel marks one of the biggest turning points of World War II.  


1/7th Battalion Crest - lost in the Normandy D-Day Landings

The 1/7th Battalion which recruited from the Coventry area and South Warwickshire, took this crest to the D-Day landings at Normandy on 6th June 1944. Lost in battle, it was later found in the French town of Thury-Harcourt and presented back to the regiment in 1978. 


The Colours of the 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment

From 1751, it was ordered that each regiment would have the first King’s colour or flag as the Union flag and the second in the Regimental colours. The King’s Colour records those battles in which the battalion fought in WW1 and WW2. The Regimental Colours record all other battles in which the Battalion took part.   

Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers (1963 – 1968)

The Colours of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers

This flag, in the regimental colours, records those battles in which the regiment fought up to the end of the Boer War in 1902. It is not on display in the main museum but in a room occasionally open for temporary exhibitions and events.

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1968 – Present)


The Coventry Freedom Scroll, 12th October 1974

This scroll records the privilege and right for the Fusilier Regiment to march through the City of Coventry.


Hand-drawn signs from peace-keeping duty in Afghanistan, 2007   

These signs were made by ‘C’ Company of the Second Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. They were made for their temporary HQ while on duty to support the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.