This Day In History

  • 1707 War of the Spanish Succession. After two months of siege, to avoid further pointless bloodshed,  the garrison of the fortress of Lerida (now Lleida) in Spain beats the chamade as the French are about to make their final assault. 600 emaciated survivors of the original garrison of 1800, who had been reduced to living on oatmeal, rice and water, march out under arms and with the full honours of war. They are followed by a similar number of sick and wounded in carts supplied by the victors. Amongst them are several much-reduced companies of Wills' Marines (later 30th Foot, and then 1st East Lancashires), led by the by-then Major General Wills. All are complimented by the enemy commander, the Duc d'Orleans, on their gallant defence
  • 1857 Indian Mutiny. Relief of Lucknow. 82nd Regiment (later 2nd South Lancashires) engage in desperate fighting in the advance to the Martiniere College. The silver-chased "Rajah's Bed Post" staff which is now one of the Museum's most treasured exhibits was captured on this day.
  • 1945 Battleship HMS Nelson reaches Portsmouth carrying 2nd Loyals colours, colour belts and some mess plate. They had been found 2 months earlier in bank vaults in Singapore, where they had remained undiscovered by the Japanese since the capitulation in 1942. They are carried to Preston, where one month later they are ceremonially paraded through the town
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The Collection

The Museum is packed to the rafters with military related artefacts.

We have everything from early action such as the American War of Independence, to items used during modern day conflicts such as Afghanistan.

The Waterloo Room

This room contains some of our oldest and most unique treasures. It covers the Regiment’s history from 1689 to 1899. The Salamanca Eagle (as shown below) is listed by the Home Office as a British National Treasure. The Eagle was captured from the French 22nd Regiment du Ligne at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812 by the 30th Regiment of Foot.

The Medal Corridor

Be dazzled by the numerous medals on display in the Medal Corridor. The medals are a testiment to our brave soldiers. The highest award for valour is the Victoria Cross and the Museum owns five. Three of the Victoria Crosses are on display with the other two being out on loan at the Museum of Lancashire and Blackburn Museum.

This VC was awarded to Colour-Sergeant John Lucas of the 40th Regiment of Foot for his brave actions in New Zealand in 1861.

The Somme Room

This room is the Museum’s main display gallery and traces the history of the Regiment and its predecessors through the 20th Century, from the Boer War to Afghanistan. There are many amazing stories to read and artefacts to see in here.

This was a magazine produced whilst the soldiers were held as prisoners of war in Korea during World War 2.

The Quebec Room

Currently this room holds objects relating to the history of our Territorial Army battalions and their Militia and Volunteer predecessors. Later this year it will have a temporary display for Preston Guild 2012 and will celebrate the link between Preston and the military.

German breast plate captured during World War 1.

The Council Chamber

This beautiful room displays some of our most valued paintings and silver from all forebears of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. It also houses the silver drums of the 82nd Regiment of Foot (2nd Battlaion, The South Lancashire Regiment). The drums were presented in memory of all their comrades who fell in the First World War.

Silver Drums

The Regimental Chapel

The Garrison Church of St Alban was completed in 1848 and is the second oldest Garrison Church in use in the United Kingdom. In 2006 it was named as the Chapel of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. The Church contains some wondrous Regimental Colours, beautiful stained glass windows and memorials to the Regiment.

Regimental Colours in the Chapel.