The King's Shropshire Light Infantry
 
   
 
 
 
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Origins and Development.

53rd Foot raised in 1755, it became the Shropshire Regiment in 1782. The 85th Foot originated in the Aylesbury area in 1793 and was known as Bucks Volunteers, the 53rd were the Brickdusts, this was due to their red facings. Two earlier regiments having previously had the number in 1759 and 1779.

It was converted to Light Infantry in 1809 and in 1814 was designated The Duke of York's Own Regiment of Light Infantry as a result of its services in the Peninsular War and the Anglo-American War of 1812-1814. In 1821 it became The King's Light Infantry after guarding King George IV during a riot in Brighton. In 1881 they were linked as the 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Kings's Shropshire Light Infantry. Reduced to a single battalion in 1948. In 1968 the regiment became the 3rd Battalion, The Light Infantry.

The 85th converted to Light Infantry in 1809 , first being The Duke of York's Own and later in 1821 The King's. The two regiments were linked in 1881, the 52rd being converted to Light Infantry and losing its red facings but not its Shropshire connections, the 85th retained its royal title and blue facings. The Depot was moved from Oxford to Shrewsbury.

The KSLI marches were Farmers Boy, Old Towler and Daughter of the Regiment.The Regimental Museum is housed in Shrewsbury Castle, some of the Colours are there with others in the Chapel of Quarry and St. Mary's Church Shrewsbury.

The King's Shropshire Light Infantry, 1865-1912, showing a variety of uniforms and headgear.

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History.

Raised by Colonel William Whitmore of Apley, near Bridgnorth, the 53rd proceeded to North America in 1775, seeing its first major action in the American War of Independence. It then served in the Flanders campaign in 1793-4, earning the battle honour 'Nieuport' shared only with the Royal Marines. The 85th was part of the British force that burned the presidential mansion in Washington in 1814. Subsequently it became known as the White House after restoration, since white paint was used to obscure the scorch marks.

Relics of the 85th include the Colour taken from the James City Light Infantry and the Guidon of the Harford Dragoons, both captured from the Americans at Bladensburg outside Washington on 24th August 1814. The 85th earned the motto, "Aucto splendore resurgo" (I rise again with increased splendour) from its distinguished conduct after the earlier disbandment of the previous regiments bearing the number 85th in 1763 and 1782.

The 53rd was in India from 1804 to 1823 again during the Sikh Wars, guarding the famous Koh-i-noor Diamond, which was subsequently incorporated into the Crown Jewels. The regiment also possesses a lock of Napoleon's hair, acquired by Captain Poppleton of the 53rd while acting as orderly officer to the exiled Emporer on St Helena. There are also relics of General Viscount Hill, a divisional commander under Wellington and later commander in chief of the army, who served in the 53rd as a subaltern.

In 1894 the battalion was in Hong Kong when plague struck. For the battalions work in burying the dead and disinfecting housing, each officer received a gold medal and each enlisted man a silver medal from the Hong Kong authorities.

In the South African War the 2nd Battalion travelled some 6000 miles (almost 10,000km) with the 19th Brigade, taking part in ten general actions and twenty seven minor actions in five months. The regiment had eight battalions in service during WW1. At Bligny on 6th June 1918 the 1/4th Battalion made a crucial counter attack to re-establish the line against the Germans, winning the French Croix de Guerre.

In WW2 Corporal Priday of the 1st Battalion had the misfortune to be the first soldier killed in action. After the war, the regiment fought in Korea and against the Mau Mau in Kenya between 1955 and 1957.

Nicknames

The Brickdusts (53rd) from the original red facings

The Young Bucks (85th) to distinguish itself from the Old Bucks (16th Foot)

The Old Five and Threepennies (53rd): from the regimental number.

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Wednesday, 3 October, 2007 15:39

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