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British Cemetery Elvas

British Cemetery in Elvas

The Staffordshire Regiment

The four founding Regiments of The Staffordshire Regiment are the 38th, 64th, 80th and 98th 

The 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot, the oldest ancestor of the Staffordshire Regiment, was raised in 1705 at Lichfield and titled Luke Lillingstone's Regiment of Foot. It was the successor to two previous regiments raised by Col. Lillingstone

Col. Lillingstone took his unit to Ireland and then to the West Indies in 1707. There it remained until 1764, the longest overseas posting of any regiment in the British Army. Clothing wore out and the only alternative was the local sugar sacking, This is commemorated in the 'Holland Patch' of coarse sacking worn behind the cap badge and on the collar badges of The Staffordshire Regiment

In 1782 regiments were given territorial titles to encourage recruiting. The 38th became the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot and the 64th the 2nd Staffordshire. They began then to wear the Stafford Knot. 

The Staffords formed part of the original expeditionary force to the Iberian Peninsula under Sir John Moore. The fought at the Battles of Rolica and Vimeiro before being evacuated from Coruña in January 1809. 

A 2nd battalion was raised in 1804 and was sent in 1810 to join the Peninsular Army of the Duke of Wellington. During the Siege of Badajoz in 1812, the 2nd/38th stormed the San Vincente Bastion drawing the defenders away from vulnerable breaches and contributing significantly to the capture of the town. 

In May 1812, after the capture of Badajoz, Gen. Sir Rowland Hill led an audacious raid that destroyed the bridge over the Tagus River at Almaraz and hindered the French Armies of Portugal and the South from joining forces against Wellington’s army.

That same month, the 1st Battalion rejoined the Peninsular Army and both battalions of the 38th fought in the same brigade at the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812. The 2nd Battalion was disbanded in 1814. The 1st Battalion remained in Spain and fought at Vitoria, San Sebastian during 1813 the 1st Battalion also took part in the Battle of Bayonne in April 1814.

The 38th and the 80th were amalgamated into the South Staffordshire Regiment  in 1881. The South Staffordshire Regiment and The North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's) were amalgamated in 1959 to form The Staffordshire Regiment [Staffords], part of the Prince of Wales' Division.

For more information about the Staffords