Malayan Gift Tin

The 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, fought in the Malayan Emergency of 1950-53. Many National Servicemen and volunteers spent weeks and months in patrolling the dense jungle, tracking down Communist-led bandits.

Malayan Gift Box

Malayan Gift Box

These tins were sent out to the members of the Battalion at Christmas 1952. They were paid for by the Sergeant’s Mess Reunion, and contained a card, cigarettes and other small presents. They follow the tradition started by Queen Victoria in giving her soldiers a gift box for Christmas in 1900, as did Princess Mary in 1914. They also show the strong bond which exists between past and present members of the Regiment

Recent acquisition – a Lovell pattern 1839 musket

The Mercian Regiment Museum Trust has recently acquired a fine 1839 musket recently acquired for the Worcestershire Soldier Gallery

A fine 1839 musket recently acquired for the Worcestershire Soldier Gallery

The Trustees of the Mercian Regiment Museum have recently acquired an British Pattern 1839, percussion smooth bore musket. It is 55 ½” long with a 39″ barrel marked with ordnance proof marks. The barrel is equipped with a standing foresight and a plain rear sight. It is equipped with a side action lock which is engraved with a Crown over VR (Victoria Regina) set over an Enfield stamp. The lock bears a crowned broad arrow Ordnance mark and is dated 1841. The lock is retained by 2 side nails with Lovell cups. The musket has a New Land pattern style full stock, with brass furniture including a plain brass fore-end cap for socket bayonet, three ramrod pipes retaining the original ramrod. The musket has two sling swivels, one mounted from trigger guard, the other above front ramrod tube.
percussion musket p.39

The percussion lock of an 1839 pattern musket


It was with this pattern of musket that the 29th Regiment obtained its victories in the Sikh Wars. Although it is equipped with the most up to date percussion ignition system the musket’s smooth bore limited its accuracy and its effective range was between 50 to a hundred yards. The musket fired a lead ball of .75″ calibre (approximately 18mm).

The Black Drummers

1770's Drummer

One of the Black drummers c.1770.

In 1759 ten slaves captured from the French were presented to the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot for use as drummers, and started a tradition which would last nearly a century.
Over the next 84 years nearly 50 black men were actively recruited to serve as drummers in the 29th. Each man was a volunteer, and many served for 20 or more years, receiving equal pay, pensions, medals and status as any other soldier. Some sons followed fathers, and fresh recruits joined from Canada, Ireland, the West Indies and India.
The black drummers remained an important and proud part of the Regiment until the last drummer died in 1843.

Yeoman, 1916

Mounted Worcestershire Yeomanry Trooper at Huj

This Yeoman is stopping to check his compass while on patrol in the Sinai Desert.

During the First World War the Worcestershire Yeomanry fought in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine. Roving across wide open desert in the blistering heat for days on end, the Yeomanry led the British Army all the way from the Suez Canal to Damascus in one of the most successful British campaigns of the war. It was a tough life in a very harsh environment. Water was always short and disease common.

The Yeomen also carried out raids on enemy positions, and could act as storm troops in battle. At Huj, in November 1917, less than 200 Yeomen charged eleven Austrian field guns and over 2000 Turkish infantry with swords drawn – and won. It was the last great charge of the British cavalry .

First World War Body Armour

WWI body armour

WWI body armour worn in Flanders

 This is a set of First World War body armour, used by the British Army. It has curved metal plates for the chest and the back, and was supposed to protect snipers and other vulnerable soldiers by stopping or deflecting bullets. Unfortunately, the metal is very thin, and probably would not have stopped a direct hit. Also, the metal curves in to the middle, so any bullet hitting in the centre of the armour would have been deflected inwards!

This set belonged to Private A. W. Tunkiss of the 1/8th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. He used it in France in 1916. He was wounded in action on the 5th November 1916, and discharged from the Army the following March .