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 The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.

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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:06 pm

Some historical facts.

The regiment was raised in 1689 in Pluckley, Kent, England.
It was raised for the defence of the English Kingdom.
It was later given the English county title of Warwickshire.
Most of the men in the regiment were English.
It was an established English regiment of the British Army, it had no connection with wales whatsoever, yet it was stupidly moved to the border of south wales in 1873, but this was on paper only, as by the time of the AZW in 1879, neither battalion had ever been to Brecon.
The regiment that fought during the AZW at both iSandlwana and RD was the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment of foot.
At the defence of RD 7 VC's were awarded to 7 men of the regiment, all these men were English.
The regiment kept its English county title until 1st July 1881, when reforms were introduced to the Army.

All infantry regiments line numbers were officially abolished and new titles were given to the regiments, these new reforms sounded the death knell for the old established regiments, and virtually new regiments arose from the ashes of the old established regiments like phoenix's. The virtually new regiments now all had different names and no line numbers, however, old habits die hard, and the old line numbers were still quoted for some time, especially by the older members of the new regiments, but officially the line numbers had been abolished on the 1st July 1881, meaning that officially the new regiments just had their new titles and no line numbers. The old 24th's new title was the south wales borderers (SWB), and not the 24th SWB, the SWB were never the 24th, they were just the SWB. Special permission had to be obtained for the SWB to be allowed to wear a collar dog which consisted of the wreath of immortalles which had been placed on the colours of the old 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment by HM Queen Victoria's own hand. Inside the wreath of immortalles were the numerals XXIV, which were the numerals of the old 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, the special permission was granted, and for a time the SWB were allowed to wear this collar dog with the numerals XXIV, however, officially they were never the 24th, the badge was just an honourary token that the SWB were temporary allowed to wear.

Problems can arise when regiments are moved from one location to another or when amalgamations occur, it takes time to get accustomed to the new surroundings etc, however, it's not such a big problem when regiments are moved within their own country, but it is a big problem when a regiment is moved from its native homeland to foreign pastures. I have no problem with new regiments carrying on the traditions of its predecessors, however, when the new regiment doesn't acknowledge or give any credit to nor hardly ever mention their predecessors English regiments title or its English roots, and words its history in such a way as to give the impression that its English past never even existed, and gives the false impression that it has always been welsh, then that is totally unacceptable. If they want to honour their predecessors then they should do it properly, by telling the public of its English origins, and by giving the true facts about its real name and its mostly Englishmen that fought in the AZW at both iSandlwana and RD, let the public know that there was not one welsh regiment that took part in the AZW, and stop the pretence that it was a welsh outfit that defended RD.

Maybe if the film was remade and the real true facts were given to the public, then this just might put a stop to this myth that the regiment and its men were welsh and that the regiment was called the SWB, and hopefully justice will finally be given to the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment and its mainly Englishmen that defended RD.

There were NO welsh regiments that took part in the AZW of 1879.
The regiment that defended RD was the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment and not the SWB.
The majority of the men were English not welsh.
All 7 VC's awarded to the men of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment went to Englishmen.
The SWB were NEVER the 24th regiment of foot, they were just the SWB.
The new name SWB did not come into existance until two years AFTER the AZW.
Marlborough was NEVER the SWB's colonel.
The Sphinx was presented to the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment NOT the SWB.
The wreath of immortalles was presented by HM Queen Victoria to the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment NOT the SWB.
The honour and the glory for the defence of RD belong to the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment and its mainly Englishmen, and not to a fictional welsh outfit that did not exist at the time of the AZW.
Baker had an anti English chip on his shoulder, and that is why he made the film pro welsh.
Baker created the myth to con the public into believing that RD was an almost all welsh affair.
A new film should be made to put an end to this myth and give the public the truth, and give the credit back to where it rightfully belongs.
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:19 pm

Yawn!!!!! Martin what's the source for the above.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:09 pm

Chard, Oh dear!!! you do seem very tired yawning like that, obviously far too tired to have read the sources that have been provided in other posts, you might be better off going back to sleep, have a good gonk me old china. agree

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:42 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:52 am

Martin

No, I will never come round to your way of thinking, basically because you spout so much anti-Welsh rubbish. The quotes come from a newspaper article and are NOT what I said word for word !
I have in the past specifically addressed the points you have made, clearly with no success. However, I am sure the majority of visitors to this site clearly understand the historical aspect and have grown tired of your incessant tirade.

The Regiments of the British Army are just that – British. There is no Welsh army, no English Army no Scottish Army and no Irish Army. Any references to “English” or Scottish” or “Irish” or “Welsh” invariably refers to where the regiment’s Depot is based and from where they traditionally recruit.

The Army’s initial attempts to geographically link regiments was not a great success. In the case of the 24th, it was given the title “2nd Warwickshire” to link it to that county. At that time most of the Army’s recruits were unskilled farm labourers (with Britain being in its pre-industrial state). It was thought that Warwickshire could therefore sustain two regiments – the 6th and the 24th. In reality the link was not really fully formulated. The 24th did NOT establish a Depot in the County; it was NOT based in the county; had NO LINKS with the County Militia units; and only RARELY recruited in the County. The title “2nd Warwickshire” was therefore tenuous in the extreme ! Regiments generally recruited from the area around wherever they happened to be garrisoned.

In 1881, as part of the Cardwell Army reforms, the question of geographical links was again looked at. By then Britain had gone through the Industrial Revolution and most of the Army’s recruits were now unskilled INDUSTRIAL labourers. The recruiting base therefore had shifted from the traditional agricultural areas to the new industrial conurbations. This had already been recognised in 1873 when the 24th’s Depot was established at Brecon, to enable them to recruit from the industrial areas at the heads of the Welsh valleys. Anyone who joined the 24th after 1873 would have gone to Brecon for his recruit training before posting to either of the Regiment’s two battalions.

Another factor to be considered is that as part of the Army reforms, the length of service had been reduced from 12 years to 6 (with the additional 6 in the Reserve). Therefore in 1879 the larger part of both battalions would have enlisted under the 6 year engagement, and it was only those who had been in more than six years who would have been serving under the previous terms. I have analysed the enlistments dates of B Coy 2nd Battalion at Rorke’s Drift, and around 75% were 6 year men and would therefore have done their training at Brecon. So, whatever their nationality it is not unfair to say that they “came from Wales” (ie Brecon) !

On the subject of nationality, I have made the point before, what defines a “Welshman” – is it where he was born; is it where his father was born; is it where he lived/worked; is it what he thought of himself as ? We simply do not have all four facts for each of the defenders of Rorke’s Drift. Cliff Richard was born in India – does that make him Indian ? The 23rd, 24th and 41st contained more Welshmen than most of the other regiments in the British Army because of where their Depots were located and because of the counties allocated to them for recruiting. That is really all we can say definitively about the %age of nationalities.

In 1881, to reflect the fact that the Depot of the 24th had been based in Brecon for eight years, the name of the Regiment was changed to reflect its geographical link and it became the South Wales Borderers. Everything in the Regiment remained the same, only the title was changed, the SWB were thus able to claim on the heritage of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment. Those men who fought at Rorke’s Drift as part of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment were the SAME men who in 1881 were part of the SWB. John Williams VC, for example, who was in the SWB would be able to claim his, and his unit’s, heritage back before 1881. Your insistence that there is no connection between the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment and the SWB, is an injustice to this brave man, to his colleagues and to his Regiment.

Martin, you clearly have no concept of what an amalgamation, or change of title, means in the Army. With ever increasing financial constraints the Army has had to reduce in size. Amalgamation was a way in in which proud regimental traditions and heritage could be maintained in the new smaller force. I have suggested that if you are unhappy with the way that the Army deals with amalgamations/name changes, then you ought to write to the Army, your MP and the Secretary of State for Defence to express your views. Have you done this ?

With reference to the “Welshness” in “Zulu”, I think Frank’s analysis hits the nail on the head. For all your dislike of Stanley Baker, he has clearly not gone overboard as you would insist. Yes, there is no doubt that he was an ardent Welshmen and was proud of what his ancestors had done at Rorke;’s Drift, whether the percentage of Welshmen (define ?) there was 5% or 30%.

I would add one point to Frank’s excellent analysis – on the singing of “Men of Harlech”. At no stage does the Stanley Baker (Lt Chard) character ask “Pte Owen” to sing the Regimental march – but just to sing. “Men of Harlech” was a traditional marching song and I believe there is evidence of the 4th Regiment singing this on their march in Zululand. A stirring moment in the film, which probably never happened in reality !

I have been told that there are over 140 historical inaccuracies in the film – but that is the point – it is a popular FILM made for entertainment, and not a historical documentary. In my opinion none of the inaccuracies detract from the essence of what went on at Rorke’s Drift. It was good entertainment in 1964 and remains so today, 50 years later. And, of course it is the reason so many of us today have an interest in the conflict.

I have on a number of occasions over the last five years invited you to Brecon to view the Museum and to see how we portray things, but regrettably you have not been able to make it. So please do not presume to interpret what the Museum says and does not say.

You clearly hold a (significantly) minority viewpoint and I doubt that this response will in in any way change your mind. Indeed I suspect you will come back with a response equally as long, repeating ad-nauseum your long held views. Like Frank, I won’t be responding any further.

With the current struggle to hold the United Kingdom together, your anti-Welsh crusade does you no credit and puts you firmly in the camp of the fanatics. Be proud to be British – as were the defenders of Rorke’s Drift !

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:06 pm

Hello Bill,
I really think your post above gives a measured view of the whola affair, as I said is an earlier comment, I fell for the fact that the RD defenders were in a Welsh Regiment as a result of viewing the film years ago and on a number of later occasions. I support your views above and have visited the Museum at Brecon twice over my visits to the UK. I think it is a wonderful tribute to all concerned.

Not being British Subject any more, I was, before our government dropped it to be Australians years ago, I agree again with your remarks on that point. I still have a strong association with the British people and have been over on 8 trips and about to make my 9th in August. Amalgamations in yiur Army have led to a lot of heartache and even one of my favourite ones, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) disbanded in 1968 when they refused to do so. Perhaps this topic may have played itself out ?
Nitro450
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Tenedos

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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:34 pm

Bill - that is exactly how I see it.

The British Army is organic and has changed and adapted over centuries. Regiments amalgamated and kept the traditions and history of their predecessors and view the men, traditions and history of those earlier regiments as the same as themselves - part of the regiment irrespective of what name or number it now has.

The film was made for entertainment and is not a documentary.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:59 pm

Now now Bill, I see that you are still trying to convince people that I am anti welsh by your rant, when you know full well through our previous 'conversations' that I and my family have welsh relatives, and that I have welsh friends. You also know that I have nothing against the welsh people, the problem is with the various parties that promote the false impression that the regiment that fought in the AZW at both iSandlwana and especially RD was a welsh regiment, and with the people that persist with this myth that was created by Baker's film.

I have never ever suggested that there was a Welsh, Irish, English or a Scottish Army, I said that the regiment was an established English regiment in the British Army, and that it was raised in England, as were all the other regiments that make up todays RW, ie; 23rd, 24th, 41st and 69th. Besides, if they are all BRITISH regiments, then why did Baker go out of his way to give the false impression that it was a 'Welsh' regiment,ie; "every Welsh regiment has a chior", "this is a Welsh regiment, though there are some foreigners from England mind", "Can the Welsh do any better Owen", plus all the other little bits and pieces of false welshness, and Burton's quote at the end of the film, ie; "24th foot South Wales Borderers".

I also said that the history of the RW found on the British Army web site, gives the false impression that the regiment was always welsh, they even say the Marlborough was the swb's colonel, which is a total impossibility.

I suggest that you should read again, I never mentioned the museum or its website, it was the Army web site I mentioned, not the museum.

I have never said that there was no connection between the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment and the swb, I said that the regiment had no connection with wales, yet it was stupidly moved there. John Williams (Fielding) fought at RD and was awarded his VC whilst his regiment was named the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, not the swb, and I never said that he had no connection with the swb, so I suggest you read it again.

You can rant all you want to try to convince others that I am anti Welsh, but it won't wash, because if they have already read our previous 'crossing of swords', they will know that you have tried that ploy before and failed, and that is because I have Welsh relatives in my family on my mothers side, and they agree with my point of view about how the regiment is portrayed, and how certain parties still try to convince people that the regiment was always Welsh when it wasn't. So again, you are barking up the wrong tree with the anti Welsh nonsense, you know that I have nothing at all against the welsh people, it is the ones that continue to promote the myth and try to con the people into believing that the regiment that did the business at RD was Welsh when it most certainly was not.

If the break up of the UK does happen, then it will not be me nor the English that will be to blame, you should look elsewhere for that, and you know it, so don't try to suggest that it is me or the English that are the fanatics when you know full well who and where the culprits are.

No matter how much you try to convince others that the regiment suddenly became 'Welsh' after just a few short years when it had been an established English regiment since 1689, is, I think, a bit of a 'grasping at straws' sort of thing, all the historical facts in my post are still valid, and history itself will back me up on that.
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:15 pm

Martin, Bill doesn't have to convince any of us, you posts say it all, you are 100% Anti Welsh!
Bill excellent post.
Martin instead of looking at Bill's post as a rant! Look at it has a History lesson. agree
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:32 am

John, I don't think that the welsh members of my family would take very kindly to your suggestion that I am 100% anti welsh, I rather think that they would be more than a little angry at your accusation, put it this way, they know me, you don't.

I suggest that it is you (and maybe some others), who should read the history of the regiment, you will then realise that it is not me that needs a history lesson.

There is an old saying that says "you should put your brain into gear before putting your mouth into motion", I think that you should remember that young man.
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:14 pm

"At Brecon Cathedral. Old Colours of 1st Battn. S. Wales Borderers laid up." 

The wreath of immortelles can be clearly seen!

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Click on link below after you have watched the news reel.


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John

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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:44 pm

Didn't the original wreath of immortelles get stolen at some point ?
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:37 am

Hi John,

 In the 1980s  Queen Victoria’s silver wreath was  stolen  from  Brecon  Cathedral  and  later  found  in  the  River  Honddu  not  far  from  the Cathedral. Lost and found symbolism of the Buffalo and Honddu rivers, connecting the present with the past

Regards

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:21 pm

Thanks mate. agree
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:23 pm

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The special distinction of the South Wales Borderers was the adornment of the Queen's Colour with this silver Wreath of Immortelles. It was given to the regiment by Queen Victoria at Osborne House on 28th July 1880 and has been carried on the top of the flag-staff ever since. It is still carried by the Royal Regiment of Wales.

Source:South Wales Borderers

Waterloo. What's your source regarding them being stolen.
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:39 pm

The original immortelles are in Brecon Cathedral - I assume it was these that were stolen and not the silver replica on the Colour staff?

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Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:48 pm

Source: Transcript of the Sermon taken at Brecon Cathedral 'Rorke's Drift' Service, Sunday 18th January 2015 Service held by the Very Revd Dr Paul Shackerly, Dean of Brecon.

There is also an archived newspaper cutting held in the archives at the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh Brecon. Reference Zb24A.

Regards

Waterloo


Last edited by waterloo50 on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:52 pm

This from the Brecon Cathedral website. Looks like it was the originals that were stolen and were washed away. So only the replacements remain.
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Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:55 pm

littlehand wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

The special distinction of the South Wales Borderers was the adornment of the Queen's Colour with this silver Wreath of Immortelles. It was given to the regiment by Queen Victoria at Osborne House on 28th July 1880 and has been carried on the top of the flag-staff ever since. It is still carried by the Royal Regiment of Wales.

Source:South Wales Borderers

Waterloo. What's your source regarding them being stolen.

'Quote'

The special distinction of the swb scratch scratch scratch

It was given to the regiment by Queen Victoria at Osborne House on 28th July 1880 scratch scratch scratch


Well, doesn't that say it all, and doesn't it just prove what I have been saying all along.

Anyone reading that would presume that the Silver Wreath of Immortalles was presented to the swb, when in actual fact it was presented to the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment and NOT the bloody swb. The swb did NOT come into existance until 1st July 1881, so how the hell could HM Queen Victoria have presented the Silver Wreath of Immortalles to the swb in 1880 when they didn't exist at that time scratch scratch scratch

So typical of the way things are worded by these people, just so that they can avoid mentioning the English county title of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, and pretend that it was the welsh and the bloody swb, what a disgusting way to treat the memory of the mainly Englishmen of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment who fell at iSandlwana and the REAL name of their regiment.
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:11 pm

Here is a link that explains the history of the 24th and the Wreath of Immortelles and the connection with the SWB.

The original Wreath made of Dried flowers was presented to the 24th in 1880. On the 15th December 1880, QV gave permission for a Silver Wreath to be borne on the Queens colour pike of both Battalions for ever more.

I hope this helps.

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Kind Regards

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:14 pm

Yes, there is an obvious link between the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment and the swb, however, the Silver Wreath of Immortalles was NOT presented to the swb by HM Queen Victoria, she presented it to the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment NOT the swb, but the way that things are worded in many write ups and in regimental histories, gives a false impression to the public.

Just look at the picture posted by Steve yesterday at 10:39 pm, it just reads '24th Regiment' rather than 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment. It is this sort of thing that gives a false impression to the public, the title '24th regiment' only existed for 31 years (1751-1782), after that the correct title of the regiment was the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, a title it held for the best part of 100 years (longer than any other title in its entire history), however, the title it held the longest is very rarely mentioned, it always gets reduced to 24th foot, 24th regiment, or just the 24th, and even the swb get mentioned rather than the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, thereby giving the false impression to the gullible public that the swb have always been the 24th when they certainly and most defineitely have not. They were just the swb, they were NEVER the 24th, but they like to pretend they were, so that they can steal the glory from the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment and pretend it is theirs. The way they word things of course, enables them to avoid mentioning the English county title of 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, and also avoid mentioning the mainly Englishmen of its ranks, what a lousy way to treat the memory of those men and their regiment, just so that the welsh and the swb can stick their chests out with false pride, steal the glory and also gain the credit, utterly shameful.
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:37 pm

Your posts continually demonstrate a severe lack of generosity of spirit.  It is difficult for any of us to judge whether one regiment of the British Army is superior to another. Significantly, more men served with the South Wales Borderers, many giving their lives in two World Wars & other conflicts, than 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot.  In your next posts, as I am sure this topic will not go away, I would like to see 'SWB' rather than your continued use of 'swb'.

Do not constantly blame the loyal soldiers of the South Wales Borderers - the correct thing to do is to place responsibility where it correctly lies - with the Secretaries of State - Edward Cardwell and Hugh Childers.  You should remember in 1873 it would have been impossible for the County of Warwickshire to recruit and support 4 regular battalions and 4 militia battalions. Yes, it was regrettable that the old 24th had to move to new recruiting ground in Wales.  Yet, SWB and R WELSH (note correct abbreviation) has continued to show that indomitable spirit, they have surely inherited from their gallant and courageous predecessors.  Lets have no more 'swb' but SWB.
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PostSubject: Re: The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.   Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:34 pm

I remember seeing a Wreath from Queen Victoria for Lt. John Rouse Merriott Chard at St Johns Church in HatchBeauchamp. I wonder if it's still there? I' am sure that it was the original wreath that QV had sent. It had an inscription: 'A mark of admiration and regard for a brave soldier from his sovereign'.
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The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) and the Welsh.
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