1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (1839 - 1880)
In April 1842, the 29th embarked for India, landing on the 29th of July the same year In December the regiment was stationed at Ghazipur, a town in the United Provinces. During the year 1843, the 29th lost 20 officers and 100 men of disease.
1845 THE FIRST SIKH CAMPAIGN
In 1845, the Sikh Army numbering 60.000 men crossed the river Sultan and invaded British Territory. Sir Hugh Gough hurried to the frontier, and within a short period the invaders were totally defeated.
In 1845 (December) whilst stationed at Kasauli, the 29th received orders to join Cough’s Army against the Sikhs. To reach Femozeshah from Kasauli, the regiment had to march 170 miles in nine days, the roads being thick with dust, nights cold and wells scarce. So rapidly did they march that bread could not be made and flour was served out to make chapatties. The 29th arrived too late to take part in the battle of Moodkee, much to the disgust of the men, one of whom remarked, “The regiment was too late for Waterloo, and now we are too late again. The regiment a few days later took part in the Battle of Ferozeshah, receiving its16th honour.
During the Battle of Sobraon 1846, Brigadier General Taylor, late Commanding Officer of the 29th was killed, and the following order was published by the Governor General of India.
The Army has also sustained a heavy loss by the death of Brigadier Taylor, commanding the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Division, a most able officer, and very worthy to have been at the head of so distinguished a Corps as Her Majesty’s 29th Regiment, by which he was beloved and respected. "In the same order the gallant conduct of the 29th was recognised by the following:— Her Majesty’s 29th Regiment and 1st European Regiment have entitled themselves by their gallant conduct to the thanks of the Government."
Sobraon was the 17th honour to be won by the Regiment.
1848—SECOND SIKH CAMPAIGN
Lord Dalhousie, Governor General, had not been six months in India before the second Sikh war broke out. Two British officers were treacherously murdered at Ilultan. Unfortunately, Henry Lawrence, our Resident at Lahore, was at home on sick leave.
The British Army was not ready to act in the hot weather, and, despite the single banded exertions of Lieutenant (afterwards Sir Herbert) Edwards, this outbreak of fanaticism led to a general rising in the Punjab
In the following year the 29th took a prominent part in the Battle of Chillianwallah, losing 29 killed and 203 wounded. During the battle, Major Day met a man of the Light Company arrayed in a fine fur coat with gold buttons. He stopped the man and said, "Where did you get that handsome garment?" "Please Sir," replied the man, "Me and a Sikh nobleman had a few words and I came away with this coat."
On the fatal field of Chillianwallah declared to be indecisive, the British lost 2,400 officers and men, four guns and the Colours of three Regiments. This was the 29th’s eighteenth honour.
In the same year the 29th took part in the Battle of Goojerat, which owing to the previous heavy losses among the Sikhs was only a minor engagement. After this battle, the whole of the Punjab was placed under British rule. For the part taken in the First and Second Campaigns, the 29th was granted the honour “Punjab,” which with the one gained at Goojerat made the 20th.
After the conclusion of the Sikh Campaign, the 29th was stationed at Fyzabad.
In 1852, Queen Victoria sanctioned the wearing of the three honours "Punjab," "Chillianwallah," and "Goojerat," being worn on the Colour.
In 1854, the regiment proceeded to Burma, and was stationed at Thayetmyo on the River Irrawadi.
In 1858, Captain Middleton of the 29th whilst serving with an irregular unit was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry in saving a brother officer.
In the same year the regiment returned to England being stationed at Aldershot, having been on Foreign Service fifteen years.
During this period the number of deaths amounted to 32 officers, 79 sergeants, 11 drummers, 57 corporals and 1,255 privates. It will be seen from the foregoing that India was not the healthy place that it is today.
Between 1859 and 1875 the regiment was stationed in Scotland, Malta and Canada.
In 1879, the regiment was again ordered to India. Two years later Regimental Districts were formed, and the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment and 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment were amalgamated into the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Worcestershire Regiment.
In the same year an order was issued abolishing the custom of carrying the King’s and Regimental Colours into action. This was due to the new fighting formation and range of weapons.
29th (Worcestershire) Regiment - Field Officer and Quater Guard (1850)