This Day In History

1918 Battle of the Selle. In a carefully-planned attack, rehearsed over 5 days, 5th East Lancashires mount a remarkably successful night assault near Briastre. They move off at 2 a.m., in a heavy downpour which lasted throughout the engagement, to the sound of the Regimental March being played by the battalion band. Met by heavy machine-gun fire and an artillery barrage which causes 50 casualties, they charge through with a yell and are on their final objective well before the 7 a.m. deadline set, taking 300 prisoners in the process. Casualties are 2 officers and 13 men dead, and 6 officers and 109 men wounded. Some 22 German dead were counted on the battalion front. Study of the ground the next day shows that the battalion had gone through no fewer than 6 defensive belts, including a very strongly-held railway embankment, before reaching its final objective. The 300 prisoners were ‘of far better physique and appearance’ than any of the enemy previously encountered, and turn out to be picked troops. They said that they were members of Kaiser Wilhelm’ bodyguard; that they had never before known defeat; and that they had been sent to hold the line at all costs.
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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.