Posts tagged ‘Military’

Lichfield Cathedral 11

Lichfield Cathedral is home to the Staffordshire Regimental Chapel with its magnificent display of old colours and battle honours from the Crimean War, Second Sikh War, Second Burmese War, Persian War, Indian Mutiny, Zulu War and both World Wars:

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The lineage of regiments serving in the British army can be quite long and involved with various reorganisations and re-namings taking place overtime. Pre-1751 regiments were known after their founding Colonel, after that each regiment was given a number and in 1782 these were formally associated with an individual county. For example, “Colonel Lillingston’s Regiment” founded in 1705 became the 38th regiment of foot in 1751 and the “1st Staffordshire’s” in 1782. In that year there was a second regiment associated with the county as well – the “2nd Staffordshire’s” (or 64th regiment of foot founded in 1756). In 1793 the 80th regiment of foot or “Staffordshire Volunteers” were founded and in 1824 the 98th regiment of foot known as the “Prince of Wales’s”.

The Cardwell Reforms of 1881 saw each regiment associated with a geographical location and comprising two battalions. So for Staffordshire this meant that the 38th and 80th regiments of foot were amalgamated into the “South Staffordshire Regiment” and the 64th and 98th regiments of foot were formed into the “Prince of Wales’s (North Staffordshire) Regiment”. The latter had its name changed to the “North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s)” in 1921. In 1959 these were combined into the “Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s)” and in 2007 brought together with the “Cheshire Regiment”, “Worcestershire Regiment” and “Sherwood Foresters” into the “Mercian Regiment”.

Although I wasn’t born in Staffordshire (I’m a Cheshire lad) my parents were, and most of my remaining extended family still live in that County. My great-grandfather, Bartholomew Shryhane, served in the North Staffordshire Regiment during the First World War. Seeing action at Gallipoli, he reached the rank of Sergeant, before being discharged to Z Class Army Reserve on 11th November 1919. As a survivor of the Great War, I guess you could argue that he was one of the lucky ones……..although I can’t imagine that many soldiers returning home from that conflict would have seen it that way.

This is my last post on Lichfield Cathedral……it seems like a fitting place to end.

© Mark Simms Photography (2014)

Playing Soldiers

Last weekend we went to the English Heritage History Live 2013 event at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire. I think I’m right in saying that this is the largest gathering of historical re-enactors in Europe. It’s certainly on a very large-scale – there must have been a few hundred participants at least and a few thousand spectators. Of course I was there purely for the photo opportunities…….;0).

Actually from a photography perspective this was quite a frustrating event – and I think this shows in the quality of some of the shots. The action mainly took place in the middle of two large arenas and so even with a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4 tele-convertor, on a crop-sensor camera, I was still wishing I had more reach. It was possible to get close to the edge of the arenas but only if you sat down so that the crowds behind could see. The problem then was that it proved difficult to get a clean shot from such a low angle because of the way the arenas were double roped-off for crowd safety.

The main problem though was that because the crowds were often 10 to 15 deep around the edge, once you had chosen your position you were basically stuck with it! Unfortunately you had no real way of knowing, before the action got underway, whether your choice of position was a good one or not. If you tried to move to improve your chances of a good shot then you ran the risk of not getting a shot at all….!!  

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

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