This is a history of three regiments: Vol I The 63rd and 96th Foot; Vol II The Manchester Regiment. The 63rd began as 2nd Battalion 8th Foot in 1756; in 1758 it became a separate regiment, was numbered 63 and almost immediately sent to Guadeloupe with an expedition against the French. Subsequently it fought in the American War of Independence, in Flanders and the ill-fated Walcheren expedition, in the Crimea, India and Burma and the 2nd Afghan War, gaining fifteen battle honours in all. The 96th, raised in 1824, was the sixth regiment to have that number, taking the Egyptian and Peninsular honours of its immediate predecessor, 96th Queen’s Own, disbanded in 1818. It fought in the First Maori War adding the battle honour “New Zealand” to the other two. Volume II is concerned with the regular battalions of The Manchester Regiment which came into being in 1881 with the Cardwell Reforms, when the 63rd and 96th were paired to form the 1st and 2nd Battalions respectively of the new regiment. Both battalions fought in the S African war and in 1900 two more regular battalions, 3rd and 4th, were formed, both were in the S African war and both were disbanded in 1906. In the Great War there were 42 battalions but this volume deals only with the 1st and 2nd Battalions. The 1st served with the 3rd (Lahore) Division on the Western Front, in Mesopotamia and Palestine, the 2nd on the Western Front from Mons to the Armistice, first with 5th Division, and then from the end of 1915 with the 32nd Division.The final chapter provides comprehensive and historically valuable details for the three regiments on uniforms, Colours, badges, weapons, equipment, followed by several useful and interesting appendices. There is correspondence (1922-23) requesting the restoration of the Fleur de Lys cap badge of the 63rd Ft to replace the much disliked Manchester City Coat of Arms cap badge, a badge which was worn by “every worker in the employment of the City corporation.” (request approved). There is the succession of Colonels and an alphabetical roll of regimental officers from 1758 to 1923 showng dates of service with the Regiment, dates of promotion and date and reason for being struck off. The list of Honours and Awards, including foreign, is for all three regiments,. Incidentally the heading for the Order of the British Empire should read “Most Excellent”; the names listed here do not indicate which of the five grades was awarded. Citations of 14 VC awards are given. Officers of the 1st and 2nd Battalions killed in action in the Great War are shown by name, for the rest there is a table summarising the total dead by battalions, giving an overall figure of 14,122 of whom 723 were officers: the total number of casualties of all types numbered some 45,000
HISTORY OF THE MANCHESTER REGIMENT (63rd and 96th Regiments): VOLUMES I (1758-1883) AND II (1883-1922)
A massive two-volume history of the Manchester Regiment down to the end of the Great War: ‘None more devoted, and none more valiant’.In effect a history of three regiments: 63rd and 96th Foot in volume I, and in volume II the Manchester Regiment.