The Staffordshire Regiments
The Staffordshire Regiments have changed over time, but they have a long history of service in the British Army over many decades, under different names and military organisations. The Staffordshire Regiments have been a source of great interest to military historians and collectors of militaria. Antique Armoury specialise in all types of militaria, but particularly in the history and collectibles for the Staffordshire Regiments.
The Staffordshire Regiments that are usually referred to are in the North Staffordshire Regiment and the South Staffordshire Regiment. Each has a history of long service and has played a key role in the British Army.
The first of the Staffordshire Regiments to mention is the South Staffordshire Regiment. This was formed as a line infantry regiment in 1881 as part of a wide sweeping range of army reforms that had been brought in to modernise and standardise the British Army. It was combined from the 28th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot and the 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment of Foot. These dated back to 1705 and 1793, so even when the regiment was formed, it already had a long legacy behind it. It had two regular battalions, two militia battalions and three volunteer battalions. The South Staffordshire Regiment saw service in the Boer War, holding South Africa for the British Empire, as well as in the First and Second World Wars. In the Second World War, for example, soldiers from this regiment saw service in Burma, as parachute infantry, glider infantry and fought at Arnhem in Operation Market Garden.
The other of the Staffordshire Regiments was the North Staffordshire Regiment. They were also formed in 1881 from the same reforms as the South regiment. They were formed from the 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot and the 98th (Prince of Wales) North Staffordshire Regiment. It consisted of two regular battalions, two militia battalions and two volunteer battalions. By 1921, the new regiment had a new name, the North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’). Like the South Regiment, this served all over the British Empire, including in the Boer War, the First and the Second World Wars. For example, the regiment was heavily involved in the Battle of the Somme, as well as the Messines Ridge a year later.
In 1959, the Staffordshire Regiments were reorganised into one regiment, known simple as the Staffordshire Regiment. This combined both the Staffordshire Regiments into one cohesive unit. Since 1959, the Staffordshire Regiments, in this new single unit, have trained and served in Kenya, Uganda, Berlin, the Persian Gulf, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, and in both the Gulf and Iraq wars.
In 2007, the Staffordshire Regiment, which included both the Staffordshire Regiments from pre-1959, was merged with the Cheshire Regiment and the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment to create a new, four-battalion regiment. The new name for the combined unit is the Mercian Regiment, and the Staffordshire Regiments became the third battalion.
For militaria related to the Staffordshire Regiments, including medals, as well as medal research, books and more, use the links to contact the Antique Armoury.