I’ve been busy finishing off the final regiment in my Nappy Cavalry Project, the French 10th Cuirassiers. I took some time out from those cuirassiers recently to visit my local military museum which is dedicated to the Leicestershire Regiment. I’ve been there many times since I was a boy, but it’s always worth taking advantage of the free entry and going in again (I fear that one day government cuts I feel will inevitably take their toll on such cultural treasures and deny them for future generations).
I know from my meagre knowledge of my family’s history that both my maternal grandfather and great-grandfather had served in this regiment (nicknamed The Tigers). Seeing the excellent exhibits to the regiment’s service on the Western Front in WWI and in WWII Burma, offers me a small connection to their experiences. But Suburban Miltarism’s focus has mostly been further back in time, so here’s a few of some of the excellent Victorian and other 19th century exhibits:
The Crimean exhibits are of particular interest to me. There’s a painting on display at the museum by Terence Cuneo depicting the first Victoria Cross won by Sgt Smith of the regiment. I recall seeing this painting there from my childhood! The horror, drama and bravery was brilliantly captured by Cuneo, I always thought.
The regiment also served in the American War of Independence. landing at Boston on New Year’s Day 1776. It was actively engaged in all the battles of this campaign. Most notable was the Battle of Princeton in 1777 where the Regiment found itself alone and surrounded by the army of General Washington, only extricating itself by the most vigorous hand to hand fightingand multiple charges. The painting below is also on display there:
There’s also a Kipling poem on display there, his “Danny Deaver” apparently being based on a true incident of the Leicestershire Regiment when it was based in India: