The Middlesex Regiment
In 1881, the 57th and 77th, who had been linked since 1873, became the 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment). This was the result of the British Army, adopting the Cardwell system so regiments could have one battalion abroad on foreign service in our then far flung empire and one battalion at home as a “feeding” unit to keep them supplied with men. The 77th had been granted the title 77th Duke of Cambridge’s Own (East Middlesex) Regiment in 1876 and the Duke’s cypher and coronet were included in the design of the new badge. The officers belt union bore the Arms of the County of Middlesex whilst the NCO’s and soldiers wore the title “Middlesex” on their shoulder straps. The regiment was now firmly welded to the county.
When not on active service, the regiment was still to the fore. In the years 1878, 1879, 1880 the 77th were the best shooting regiment in the British Army. Courage was abundant too. A draft from the 1st Battalion in South Africa, on its way to join the 2nd Battalion in India, was on board the “Warren Hastings” when it was wrecked on the island of Reunion in January 1897. A report said only “the remarkable courage and exemplary discipline displayed by the troops, under most trying circumstances” prevented a major disaster. Lord Wolesby said it was “a good example of the advantages of subordination and strict discipline” in his general orders to the Army.
Some photographs and postcard images of the Regiment.