This is the story of the famous 20th Foot, whose history dates from the Glorious Revolution in 1688 until it amalgamated in 1968 when it became part of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which it still is today.
The Regiment has been involved in many campaigns and peace keeping duties including the Jacobite uprising, the American War of Independence, the Napoleonic Wars, the Indian Mutiny and both World Wars. The museum has a wonderful collection which portrays this wide and varied career.
5th November 1688
Formation of the Fusiliers, known as ‘Peyton’s Own’
1st July 1690
Battle of the Boyne
During the campaign in Ireland between William of Orange and the former James II the 20th were involved with the Capture of Athlone and the Siege of Limerick
AWARDED: Won distinction at the Capture of Athlone.
1713 – 1728
Stationed at Gibraltar and involved in the unsuccessful Spanish siege between 1727 – 1728.
Won battle honours at the Battle of Dettingen
AWARDED: Won Battle Honours
Battle of Fontenoy which, although not decisive, was the scene of great courage.
16th April 1746
Battle of Culloden in Scotland against ‘Bonny’ Prince Charlie.
All regiment became known by their numerical titles.
During the 7 years War (1756 – 1763) the 20th distinguished themselves at the Battle of Minden.
AWARDED: a laurel wreath to be placed on the colours.
James Wolfe fell on the Plains of Abraham (near Quebec) in a battle that won North America for Britain.
Involved in the American War of Independence
The 20th were a flank unit at the Battle of Wilhelmstahl
Changed name to the 20th East Devon Regiment of Foot based in Exeter.
20th first recruitment march to Lancashire.
Fought in Egypt against Napoleon.
Battle of Maida, defeated Napoleon‘s army for the first time in Europe.
1808 – 1814
Peninsula War, in 1808 the battles fought were:
Vimiera, (5th & 6th)
Peninsula (5th, 6th & 7th )
Toulouse (5th & 7th)
Rolica (5th & 6th)
AWARDED: Received Battle honours for the battles of Vimiera and Rolica.
Retreat from Corunna where Sir John Moore (at the cost of his own life) enabled the 5th, 6th and 20th to be rescued by the Royal Navy. The Veterans from Corunna became the nucleus of a new army under Sir Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington) who expelled the French from Spain.
War with America. 20th won the Battle of Bladensberg.
Involved in the Peninsula War in 1813 where the battles fought were:
Vittoria (5th, 6th & 7th )
Pyrenees (6th & 7th)
Nevelle (5th & 6th)
1820– 5th May 1821
The 20th were Napoleon’s guard at St Helena until his death on 5th May 1821.
1854 – 1855
Crimean War, the 20th took part in the major battles of Alma, Inkerman and Sevastopol.
Helped to relieve the Siege of the Residency at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny.
1st July 1881
Changed name again to the 20th Lancashire Fusiliers, and moved to Wellington Barracks in Bury
The 20th were part of the force that relieved Khartoum and fought in the Battle of Omdurman.
1899 – 1902
During the Boer War the 20th took part in the battles of Spion Kop and the Relief of Ladysmith.
AWARDED: Primrose Hackle and Red Rose
20th was 4th Battalion of the British Expeditionary Force. The first force to enter France against the Germans.
24th April 1915
Gallipoli the taking of W beach by the Lancashire Fusiliers won the regiment 6 VCs, awarded to six men chosen by their comrades.
AWARDED: ‘Six VCs before Breakfast’
Battle of Monte Cassino, where Fusilier Jefferson won his VC
D-Day landings, with a successful attack on Villers-Bocage
Fought in Burma, where the Lancashire Fusiliers found their mascot ‘Minnie’.
Suez Canal, met with HMS Euryalus
Mau Mau rebellion, in Kenya
23rd April 1968
Amalgamation of the four regiments, with the Lancashire, Northumberland and Warwick Fusiliers joining the Royal Fusiliers to create the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 1968 to the present day
1968 – 1970
3rd Battalion based in Sharjah
1969 – 1971
2nd Battalion based in Berlin
1970 – 1971
1st Battalion in Belfast on operations
1971 – 1973
1st Battalion based in Gibraltar
1971 – 1975
2nd Battalion based in Catterick UK
1971 – 1977
3rd Battalion based in Colchester UK.
January 1972 – September 1972
3rd Battalion based in Londonderry and Armagh in Northern Ireland.
October 1972 – November 1972
2nd Battalion based in Andersons Town, Belfast Northern Ireland
1973 – 1975
1st Battalion based in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
1975 – 1979
1st Battalion based in Cambridge.
1975 – 1977
2nd Battalion based in Padborn, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR)
1975 – 1976
3rd Battalion based in South Armagh, Northern Ireland
1977 – 1989
3rd Battalion South based in Fallingbastal, BAOR.
1977 – 1979
2nd Battalion based in Hemer BAOR
1979 – 1984
1st Battalion based in Minden BAOR
1981 – 1983
3rd Battalion based in Belfast, Northern Ireland
1983 – 1987
2nd Battalion based in Catterick
1983 – 1984
2nd Battalion involved in the Falklands conflict.
1983 – 1985
3rd Battalion based in Berlin, BAOR
1984 – 1986
1st Battalion based in Bally Kelly, Northern Ireland
1985 – 1987
2nd Battalion based in Cyprus
1985 – 1989
3rd Battalion based in Catterick
1986 – 1988
1st Battalion based in Cyprus
1988 – 1991
1st Battalion based in Canterbury
1990 – 1992
3rd Battalion based in the Gulf
3rd Battalion disbanded, and its personnel merged with the 1st and 2nd Battalions
1995 – 1996
1st Battalion in Bosnia on Peace Keeping Duties
1996 – 2001
2nd Battalion based in Celle BAOR