THE MIDDLESEX REGIMENT (DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE'S OWN)
The Middlesex Regiment has a long and glorious history within the British Army, and its traditions are continued within GWS MIDDLESEX to this very day.
Our regiment dates from 1755 when the 59th Foot (which became the 57th Foot in 1756) was raised by Colonel John ARABIN in Manchester. In 1782, regiments were affiliated to counties, the 57th to West Middlesex and the 39th Foot to East Middlesex. The 77th Foot (to become 2nd Battalion, Middlesex Regt.) was raised in Dover in 1787.
It was the 57th Foot who earned us our famous nickname during the Peninsula War against Napoleon's forces ...
On Thursday, 16th May, 1811 at the village of ALBUHERA, the 57th were posted on the ridge which formed the key to the British position. The regiment was formed in line, with its colours at the centre and, for four hours, sustained terrible fire from enemy cannon and musketry. Our commanding officer, Colonel INGLIS, was wounded early in the battle but refused to be carried to safety, choosing to remain with his men and to exhort them with the cry "DIE HARD, 57th, DIE HARD!".
Of the 570 officers and men who went into action with the 57th that day, over 400 fell as casualties. Since then, 16th May has been a day of remembrance and celebration within the Middlesex Regiment but, perhaps more importantly, the regiment became known as "The Die-Hards".
The 57th and the 77th Foot were amalgamated as the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Middlesex Regiment in 1881. By this time, we had seen action in India, The Crimea, New Zealand and in South Africa against the Zulus.
During the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, 2nd Battalion were again in action in South Africa and it was during this time that 3rd and 4th Battalions were raised in Woolwich (LONDON) in 1900. In 1905, our depot was established at Mill Hill in LONDON.
At the outbreak of the Great War, the number of battalions was rapidly increased until, by the end of the conflict, it numbered forty six!
Our regiment was represented by more battalions in nearly every theatre of war between 1914 and 1918. During the Great War, the Middlesex Regiment gained eighty three new battle honours, of which ten were added to the King's Colour: MONS, MARNE, YPRES, ALBERT, BAZENTIN, CAMBRAI, HINDENBURG LINE, SUVLA, JERUSALEM and MESOPOTAMIA.