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The Regiments of Foot

Regiments were originally known by the name of their Colonel, but this led to confusion over precedence and rank. Precedence was established by  allocating numbers based on date of raising, or entry into British service. Finally, a Royal Warrant of 1751 decreed that Regiments would henceforward be known by their number only.

This system, which provided a simple and instant indication of a regiment’s seniority, remained in use for over 100 years until the Childers Reforms of 1881 introduced “territorialisation,” and banded senior and more junior regiments together as the 1st and 2nd battalions of the new, county-affiliated regiments.

However, the fondly-remembered and much-cherished old numbers, in which were vested so much history and glory, continued to be used on an informal basis within regiments, as to an extent they still are to this day.

By order of seniority, and therefore precedence, the Regiments of the Line which eventually became the East Lancashire, South Lancashire, and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments, and finally the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, were:

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30th of Foot

40th of Foot

47th of Foot

59th of Foot

81st of Foot

82nd of Foot

1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment

1st Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment

1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment

2nd Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

2nd Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment


The Lancashire Militia originated in 1689 when King William III directed the Earl of Derby, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, to call out and train the Militia under Charles II’s Act of 1662 which formed the basis for Militia law until 1908. After training on Fulwood Moor, in June 1690 the Lancashire Militia embarked for Ireland where they fought at the Battle of the Boyne and the sieges of Carrickfergus and Athlone.......


The Volunteer movement had its origins in the eighteenth century. Service in the Militia was compulsory at that time for those selected by ballot and who were not wealthy enough to hire a substitute. But specific threats, such as Jacobite risings or the threat of French invasion, induced men to volunteer for home defence. A series of Militia Acts, notably in 1761, 1768 and 1802, had the effect of transforming the Militia from a home defence force into a reserve for the Regular Army, and its former function was increasingly filled by the Volunteers.


A chronology of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment from the earliest days through to the amalgamation in 2006.


The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest award which the nation can bestow. It is awarded for “most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy,” and takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals.

Narrative histories

The award of a Battle Honour is the system by which the Sovereign recognises the presence of a regiment at, and its contributions to, a particular battle or campaign. It provides, also, a means by which the Regiment’s past glories are brought to mind and preserved......

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