Military Patches

 

North stafford printed shoulder title

North stafford printed shoulder title Image

Printed issue type reproduction on cotton drill.

The North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, which was in existence between 1881 and 1959. It can date its lineage back to 1756 with the formation of a second battalion by the 11th Regiment of Foot, which shortly after became the 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot. In 1881, the 64th Foot was merged with the 98th (Prince of Wales's) Regiment of Foot (originally raised in 1824) to form the new regiment.

Formed at a time when the British Empire was reaching its peak, the Regiment served all over the Empire, in times of both peace and war, and in many theatres of war outside the Empire. It fought in World War I and World War II, as well as in other smaller conflicts around the world. These other wars included the Second Sudanese War, the Second Boer War, the Anglo-Irish War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

In 1959, as part of a defence review, the regiment was amalgamated with the South Staffordshire Regiment to form the Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's). Today the traditions of the Regiment are continued by the 3rd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment.

Second World War (1939–1945)

In September 1939, the North Staffordshire Regiment consisted of two regular and two Territorial battalions — the 1st, 2nd and 6th and 7th Battalions. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, the regiment was expanded as it had been during the First World War. This expansion, however, was limited this time only to the addition of two more battalions — the 8th and 9th Battalions, raised in 1940. The roles of the two regular battalions were reversed this time, with the 1st Battalion serving in India and Burma throughout the war, while the 2nd Battalion remained in Europe and North Africa.

The 1st Battalion saw no action until 1942, when one company that was stationed on the Andaman Islands were involved in the defence of the islands during the Japanese invasion. In 1943, the battalion served for six months in Burma before being withdrawn to India again. For the rest of the war, the battalion was employed on internal security duties.

The 2nd Battalion went to France in September 1939 as part of 1st Division of the British Expeditionary Force, and was involved in the Battle of France before eventually being evacuated from Dunkirk on 1 June 1940. Following that, it remained in the United Kingdom until 1943 when, still as part of 1st Division, it sailed to North Africa and took part in the Tunisian Campaign. The battalion did not participate in the invasion of Sicily or the initial invasion of Italy but was one of the lead units for the Anzio landings. As part of 15th Army, the 2nd Battalion continued to serve in Italy until January 1945 when the battalion and the rest of 1st Division were transferred to Palestine.

The two Territorial battalions both formed part of 176th Brigade of 59th (Staffordshire) Division. The division spent several years training until it landed in Normandy in June 1944. Only the 6th Battalion landed in France as the 7th Battalion had been transferred in 1942. The 6th Battalion had been in France for less than two months when, in August 1944, along with all the other infantry units of 59th Division, it was broken up to supply replacements to other units. The 7th Battalion, upon leaving 59th Division, served with the 228th and 207th Infantry Brigades in the Orkney and Shetland islands in 1943–1945, before being transferred to Italy in 1945 as an administrative unit in the 183rd Infantry brigade within the 61st (South Midland) Infantry Division. The battalion was disbanded in 1947.

The 8th and 9th Battalions were initially raised as training battalions. The 8th Battalion was converted to artillery in March 1942 becoming the 180th Field Artillery Regiment, RA. This unit was disbanded in August 1944. The 9th Battalion transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) in December 1941 becoming 154th Regiment RAC, retaining their North Staffs cap badge on the black beret of the RAC. This unit was disbanded in July 1943.

The regiment was awarded 22 battle honours for the war but, as at the end of the First World War, only 10 could be displayed on the colours.

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