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’

May 1943

Battle of Monte Cassino, where Fusilier Jefferson won his VC

June 1944

D-Day landings, with a successful attack on Villers-Bocage

July 1944

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