The Valise Star

In the 18th century, Regiments wore ornaments of various kinds on their pouches or valises. Examples were a bugle, a grenade, a crown. But the men of the 29th Regiment wore the Star of the Order of the Garter. In the 1830-40's there is evidence of the Grenadier and Light Companies of the 29th Regiment with a grenade or bugle at the centre of the Valise Star (See bottom examples on this page).

This star, supposedly granted for special service in the field, shows a connection with the Coldstream Guards, who wore, and still wear, a similar one.

The wearing of pouch ornaments was abolished in 1784 for all Line Regiments; but the 29th Regiment's claim to their Star as an honour was admitted, and they were allowed to retain it.

In 1877 the right of the 29th to this single distinction was confirmed, and the Regiment was ordered to wear the Star in the same way as the Coldstream Guards, on the back of the valise. At the same time, the ammunition pouches worn on the front of the belt were changed to white, in order to conform to those of the Guards.

The Valise Star differs in detail from the badge. The Garter is circular instead of oval; and in its centre is the Royal Lion, but not the motto FIRM. In 1890 the FIRM motto was added but was then removed and did not reappear again until the Valise Star of 1952.

Below are examples of how the Valise Star changed over the years.

Valise Star (1840-1881)

Valise Star (1881)

In 1881 hwne the 29th and the 36th Regiments were amalgamated and the centre "29" was replaced with "WR". The new badges were die-stuck as apposed to cast as the previous badges.

Valise Star (1890)

In 1890 the Worcestershire Regiment regained the right to use the Lion as a centre-piece of all their badges. Also note the the scroll "FIRM" added.

Valise Star (1890-1952)

During 1890 the scroll "FIRM" was removed because it was a 36th Regiment distinction. However, the previous badge continued to be used also.

Valise Star (1952-1970)


From 1881 onwards the Valise Star used by the Regiment were usually all die-struck, compared to the earlier ones which were cast. There was a number of different fastenings used over the years and these varied from a box section which would allow it to fit through a strap of the pouch or valise.

In 1952 the Valise Star was changed and became elongated with an oval Garter enclosing a Lion standing on a block inscribed "FIRM". This badge was used until 1970 when the Worcestershire Regiment then became amalgamated with the Sherwood Foresters Regiment. After 1970 the Regiment continued the tradition of the Valise Star and a new pattern was designed.

Below are some examples of early (c. 1830-40's) Valise Star ornaments as used by the Grenadier and Light Companies of the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment on their pouches.

Grenadier Company


Light Company