To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

 Leicestershire Regiment

Leicestershire Regiment-tn


1688 - 1881

On 27 September 1688 a commission was issued to Colonel Solomon Richards to raise a regiment of foot. From 1688 to 1751 the regiment was known by the name of its various colonels. The regiment saw service in the  Flanders  from 1694 to 1697, before moving to  Ireland. In 1701 the regiment moved to the continent of Europe, and took part in the  War of the Spanish Succession. In 1709 the unit returned to England, moving to  Minorca  in 1725.

In 1751 a  royal warrant  assigned numbers to the regiments of the line, and the unit became the  17th Regiment of Foot. It saw service during the  French and Indian War  at Louisbourg in 1758, Ticonderoga in 1759, and in Caribbean engagements in 1761 and 1762. Following that war it also saw duty during  Pontiac's Rebellion  before eventually returning to England in 1767. The 17th were again in service during the  American War of Independence, landing in  Boston  on  New Year's Day 1776. The regiment's performance at the  Battle of Princeton  was commemorated in the addition of an unbroken  laurel wreath  to its insignia. The regiment moved to  Nova Scotia  before returning to England in 1786.

A royal warrant dated 31 August 1782 bestowed county titles on all regiments of foot that did not already have a special designation  "to cultivate a connection with the County which might at all times be useful towards recruiting". The regiment became the  17th (Leicestershire) Regiment of Foot.

The regiment was increased to two battalions in 1799 and both battalions served in the  Netherlands  before the second was disbanded in 1802. In 1804 the 17th moved to  India, and remained there until 1823. In 1825 the regiment was granted the badge of a "royal tiger" to recall their long service in the sub-continent.

The regiment returned to India in 1837, and then took part in the  First Afghan War  from 1838 to 1842. The 17th next came under fire in the  Crimean War  from 1854 to 1856.

In 1858 a second battalion was raised. The battalions served in  Afghanistan,  Burma,  Canada.

1881 - 1914

The  Childers reforms  of 1881 created multi-battalion regiments. Each regiment had a designated regimental district and also incorporated the local  militia  and rifle volunteers. Regiments of foot were no longer to have numbers, but were to bear a territorial title.

The  Leicestershire Regiment  was accordingly formed on 1 July 1881. The regimental depot was at  Glen Parva, and the regiment consisted of:

  • The 1st and 2nd Battalions (formerly the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 17th Foot)
  • 3rd (Militia) Battalion (formerly the Leicestershire Militia)
  • 1st Leicestershire Rifle Volunteer Corps, redesignated as the 1st Volunteer Battalion in 1883

The 1st and 3rd battalions fought in the  Second Boer War 1899 - 1902.

In 1908, with the creation of the  Territorial Force, the 1st Volunteer Battalion formed the 4th and 5th Battalions (TF). There was a minor controversy in the same year, when new colours  were issued to the 1st Battalion to replace those of the 17th foot. A green tiger had been shown on the old colours and the regiment refused to take the new issue into use. The issue was resolved when the regiment received permission for the royal tiger emblazoned on the regimental colours to be coloured green with gold stripes.

1914 - 1918

In the  First World War, the regiment increased from five to nineteen battalions which served in  France  and Flanders,  Mesopotamia  and  Palestine. The regiment lost approximately 6,000 dead in the four years of war.

1918 - 1939

The War Memorial in  Victoria Park, Leicester: designed by  Edwin Lutyens  and erected in 1923, the Memorial commemorates the members of the Leicestershire Regiment killed in both World Wars

The regiment reverted to its pre-war establishment in 1919. The 1st Battalion was involved in the  Irish War of Independence  1920 - 1922, before moving to various overseas garrisons including  Cyprus,  Egypt  and India. The 2nd Battalion was in India,  Sudan,  Germany  and Palestine.

In 1931 the regimental facing colour was changed from white to pearl grey. Previous to 1881 the 17th foot had "greyish white" facings.

The 3rd (Militia) Battalion was placed in "suspended animation" in 1921, eventually being formally disbanded in 1953. In 1936 the 4th Battalion was converted to an anti-aircraft unit of the  Royal Engineers, later part of the  Royal Artillery. The size of the Territorial Army was doubled in 1939, and consequently the 1/5th and 2/5th Battalions were formed from the existing 5th.

1939 - 1945

Battalions of the regiment served in many theatres of the war, including Burma,  Greece,  Italy, North Africa, North West Europe and  Norway.







Britain at War


Original design by John Weedon
Maintained by Ron Taylor.


To Register please email me below,
with your details & pictures if you have any.

Hymns or music can also be added to the page, please select here

Email Arthur Lane


Site Management



[Britain at War] [Roll of Honour] [Regiments] [Leicestershire Regiment] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]