The Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment Exhibition.
Amalgamated in 1970 from the Worcestershire Regiment and the Sherwood Foresters Regiment, the WFR served Worcestershire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, and Nottinghamshire, in the Midlands of England. Their battle honours include Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007 the regiment became the 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment.
*** For our younger visitors there is a little quiz at the end of each regimental gallery *** If you manage to answer all the questions correctly you can access a special prize.
Officer's Service uniform of Brigadier R. G. Silk. CBE DL.
Brigadier R. G. Silk was commissioned into the Worcestershire Regiment in 1962 and steadily rose through the ranks reaching Brigadier in 1992. In 1983 he was MID for gallantry and distinguished service in Northern Ireland, and was awarded the CBE in 1989.
From 1992 to 1994 Silk commanded the 143rd (West Midlands) Brigade, and during that period served as Colonel of the regiment. Brigadier Silk retired form active service in 1994, becoming DL as well as the Honorary Colonel of the Hereford and Worcester Cadet Force.
1980s Dress cap to Brigadier R. G. Silk. Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment.
Field Officer's service cap attributed to the above Officer, with staybrite Colonel side buttons, bi-metal WFR cap badge. Vinyl peak and rim, with leather underside. Gold-wire band peak detail. The cap ranks to Lt. Colonel. Maker is Herbert Johnson of London.
1960s Service cap to Brigadier R. G. Silk. Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment.
Officer's service cap with staybrite Colonel side buttons. Maker is Herbert Johnson of London. A red band with an embroidered Royal Crest badge would have been worn on this cap, to correspond with this uniform's rank. The Officer would have worn this cap as a Lt. Colonel, Colonel and Brigadier.
1970s Service tunic to Brigadier R. G. Silk. Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment.
The service tunic also has staybrite colonel buttons and has rank insignia denoting that of full Colonel. A dark green lanyard WFR is worn from the right shoulder. Tunic displays the medal ribbon for the CBE, as well a General Service medal, with oak leaves signifying MID. The tunic is dated to 1973 when Silk was the rank of Major.
Officer's Service Dress jacket to Lieutenant A. H. J. Coleman.
Anthony Hugh John Coleman attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Worcestershire Regiment, in July 1967. He was promoted to Lieutenant in January 1969 and served with the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. In July 1973 he was promoted to the rank of Captain, before retiring in mid 1978. (Note the WR collar dogs).
The black removable armband on the left arm is a mourning band and was worn on ceremonies and occasions of mourning. It was found in one of the tunic's pockets.
The officer's SD uniform of the Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester Regiment was basically as that worn prior to 1970. Unique to the WFR, a Lincoln green lanyard was worn on the right shoulder. The use of green reflecting that worn previously by both amalgamated regiments. Other British regiment have their lanyard on the left shoulder.
Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester SD tunic.
The service tunic has staybrite WFR buttons and has rank pips denoting that of Lieutenant. Bi-metal WR collar badges. A dark green lanyard WFR is worn from the right shoulder. Tunic displays the medal ribbon for the UN Cyprus Medal, as well a General Service medal. The tunic is dated to 1966 when Coleman was a 2nd Lt.
Officer's No. 10 Mess Dress of Captain P. J. C. Higgins.
Patrick Joseph Charles Higgins passed out of Sandhurst in late 1967 and joined the Forester Regiment. In 1969 he was promoted to Lieutenant and stayed with the regiment through its amalgamation. He was promoted to Captain in late 1973 before retiring in 1976.
It is interesting to observe that while Higgins retired a Captain the jacket is indeed ranked to a Major, which would point to the probablility of it being sold on to a fellow serving officer.
Worcesters & Foresters officer's Mess Dress.
WFR Dress tunic button and goldwire epaulette detail.
WFR Dress tunic collar detail and badge.
Officer's mess jacket. Scarlet red with black felt collar and cuffs, with gold oakleaf braid trimming. Red lining. Has corded gold braid epaulettes with WFR buttons and QC embroidered rank crowns, denoting rank of Major. WFR badges mounted on collar (right one is missing).
Lincoln green matching waistcoat with felt facing and silk zip-up rear. 50 gilt globe buttons positioned down the front. Attributed to P. J. C. Higgins. Maker is Gieves Ltd.
Matching mess trousers to jacket. Heavy black cloth with wide red stripe down each leg. Button fly. Leather boot fasteners at ankles.
Officer's Forage cap of Colonel N. H. Turner TD.
Officer's No.1 dress cap with staybrite WFR side buttons, sadly missing WFR cap badge. Vinyl peak and rim, with leather underside.
Officer's Service uniform of Lieutenant C. W. Manning.
The service tunic also has staybrite WFR buttons and rank insignia for Captain. Missing WFR collar badges. A dark green lanyard WFR is worn from the right shoulder. Tunic displays the General Service medal 1962 ribbon. Includes matching SD trousers and brown shoes.
Matching SD dark brown leather Sambrowne belt, shoulder strap and sword frog with brass buckle and fittings.
No. 13 Barrack dress Lincoln green v-neck wool pullover. Cotton epaulettes attached by staybrite WFR buttons, with metal WFR regimental slides.
No. 10 Mess dress black Mess Wellington boots.
Officer's Field Service Cap.
A Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester Regiment coloured side hat, most probably dating to the early amalgamation period. This example is particularly attractive due to its heavy goldwire piping detailing and silver and gilt side buttons. Such hats are quite scarce compared to their Worcestershire Regiment forebearers, and as mention before, were an article of private purchase reserved for non parade barrack dress.
Fine Lincoln green felt body with dark blue flaps, featuring heavy gold-wire piping. Bi-metal regimental cap badge. Maker is Herbert Johnson.
Officer's Forage cap of Colonel P. J. Mercer OBE, MP.
Colonel Patrick Mercer was commissioned into the Worcestershire and Sherwood Forester Regiment in 1975 and steadily rose through the ranks before reaching Substantive Colonel in 1998. After nearly a quarter of a century serving Queen and country he retired from military service in 1999 and began a career in politics, as a Conservative Member of Parliament.
During his military career he saw service in Northern Ireland and was the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, from 1995 - 1998, overseeing their peacekeeping tour to Bosnia in 1996. He was Mentioned in Dispatches for his service in Northern Ireland and was later awarded an MBE and then an OBE.
This superbly tailored cap is named and shows evident personalised style, in its short peak and high positioned cap badge. It dates to around 1975, when Gieves Ltd. became Gieves and Hawkes Ltd., and was most probably re-peaked for Field Officer status when Captain Mercer was promoted to Major in 1988.
Dress cap to Lieutenant Colonel P. J. Mercer. Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment.
Worcesters & Foresters side button.
WFR Officer's Gieves Ltd. cap lining.
Field Officer's service cap attributed to the above Officer, with silver and gilt regimental side buttons, bi-metal WFR cap badge. Patent leather peak with vinyl rim and leather underside. Gold-wire band peak detail. The cap ranks to Lt. Colonel. Maker is Gieves Ltd. of London.
Officer's Forage cap of Major E. A. Ireland.
A late 1960s example of a Field Officer's Forage cap, worn through the 1970s and 1980s, attributed to Major Edward Anthony Ireland, featuring the side buttons of the newly amalgamation Worcestershire and Sherwood Forester Regiment.
Major Ireland joined the Worcestershire Regiment as a Lieutenant in 1956, coming from the Suffolk Regiment. In 1964, now an Adjutant Captain, he was a member of the 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, which along with a compliment of men, was posted to Dominica, in the West Indies, as part of "Exercise Rum Jungle". Captain E. A Ireland was promoted to Major in 1966 and retired at that rank in 1987.
1966 Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Field Officer's Dress cap.
Field Officer's Forage cap. Stay-bight WFR side buttons with gold-wire band peak detail. Missing bi-metal cap badge. Maker is Herbert Johnson.
Officer's Forage cap of Captain J. B. Mawby (TA).
Prior to joining the regiment, as a junior officer of the Territorial Army in 1988, Mawby served with the WFR A.C.F. In 1993 at the rank of Captain (Quartermaster) he resigned his commissioned. This dress cap is in excellent condition and was made by the favoured regimental tailors, Herbert Johnson, as are most WFR officer examples.
Late 1980s Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Territorial Army officer's cap.
Worcesters & Foresters silver and gilt side button.
WFR Officer's Herbert Johnson cap lining.
Officer's Forage cap. Silver and gilt WFR side buttons and bi-metal cap badge. Maker is Herbert Johnson.
Officer's Forage cap.
This example of a Forage cap was used by Junior Officers, with the No.1 Dress Uniform, until 2007.
Pre 2007 Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Officer's Dress cap.
Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment Officer's cap badge.
Modern WFR Officer's Herbert Johnson cap lining.
Junior Officer's Forage cap. Stay-bight WFR side buttons with stay-bright bi-metal cap badge. Maker is Herbert Johnson.
WO2s NCOs & Soldiers Service issue Forage cap - Sergeant Major.
An example of a No.1 Dress cap cap worn by Warrant Officer 2nd Class and all lower ranks. The cap style is identical to that used after the amalgamation.
This particular example is interesting and unique as the peak has been shortened and positioned upright, giving it that look typical of those worn by Sergeant Majors. The modification was professional carried out and suggests a depot job.
Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Sergeant Major's Dress cap
Other Rank's No.1 Dress cap. Stay-bright WFR side buttons and stay-bright bi-metal (J. R. Gaunt) cap badge on slide. Not maker marked.
c. 1990 - 2007.
NCOs Uniform Grouping.
These uniform items came from a member of the 1 WFR who was an NCO during the 1990s, serving on through the amalgamation into 2 Mercian, on operational tours in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. The brassard is of particularly interest as it was only issued for the UN IFOR peacekeeping mission to Bosnia in 1996, Operation Resolute, when the 1 WFR Battlegroup, equipped with Warrior armoured vehicles was part of the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade. Also note the coloured beret badge, worn by senior NCOs prior to the Battalion's deployment to the Balkans.
For more information on the 1st Battalion's role in Bosnia during Operation Grapple, consult chapter thirteen of Firm and Forester The History of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot) 1970-2007 - Tom Blyth. Bannister Publications, 2009.
1990s period Worcestershire Sherwood Foresters Regiment beret.
Worcesters & Foresters blazer badge.
Worcesters & Foresters cap badge.
Navy blue beret with black leather rim joining at the rear. Lincoln green felt patch with stay-bright bi-metal and blue cap badge. Black cotton lining, unmarked.
A matching set of Lincoln green felt epaulette slides, fitted with gilt WORCESTERS & FORESTERS regimental titles, as worn on the No.13 Dress Barrack Dress Jumper Order Parade.
Stay-bright bi-metal cap badge with slide attachment, hallmarked Firmin. (Including an original piece of green felt from which the beret badge backing was taken).
NCOs drill cane with embossed WFR badged white metal head, varnished wooden body and brass foot plate.
Large sized embroidered WFR badge, taken from a flag, perhaps ceremonial or an association.
c. 1990s - 2007.
Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment IFOR brassard.
Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester Special Forces Combat Smock.
Trousers Combat 95.
2 Mercian Regiment stable belt.
DPM camo cotton brassard, with epaulette loop and green velcro fastening. Displays a grass green Worcesters and Foresters shoulder title with a cloth Union flag badge sewn below. Also sewn is the red, green and black triangular patch for the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade.
Special Forces pattern Smock Combat (Windproof Arctic) with cerise & Lincoln green regimental TRF patch worn on the right sleeve and a Unionjack flag on the upper left sleeve. Green plastic buttons and a black hood drawstring toggle. NATO specification label. Field repaired. Not maker marked.
Matching DPM Combat trousers 95.
c. 1990s - 2007.
Plain Buff cloth stable belt with blackened bronze regimental union locket clasp and slide size adjuster. Maker is Ammo and Co.
c. 2007 - 2013.
No. 8 dress beret.
An early example of the WFR beret, dating from the 1970s. The green felt patch appears square and slightly darker in shade to later Lincoln green patches. The beret came from Malvern in Worcestershire and most probably belonged to a Worcestershire veteran.
1970s period Worcestershire Sherwood Foresters Regiment beret.
Navy blue with black cotton rim joining at the rear. Dark green felt patch. Black cotton lining, unmarked.
No. 8 dress beret to a WO2
During the 2000s the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester Regiment was based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, acting as a resident battalion. This beret was worn from 2000 up until 2007 by its owner who served through the amalgamation into the 2nd Mercian Regiment, raising to the rank of Warrant Officer 2nd Class. It is worth noting that after 2007 the blue beret was no longer worn. An embroidered WFR blazer badge came together with the beret, direct from the veteran.
Navy blue with black leather rim joining at the rear. WFR bi-metal cap badge, heavily polished, with pin & loop attachment, on a dark green felt patch. Blue silk lining. Maker is AMMO & CO Limited.
Black felt blazer badge with black oilcloth backing. Silver and goldwire embroidered WFR cap badge motif with coloured cloth detailing.
No. 8 dress beret.
The beret was worn by all ranks during temperate and warm conditions. The blue beret was replaced by the khaki beret when the regiment officially became the 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), in 2007. Cloth rank slides were worn with DPM uniform dress.
This example belonged to a sergeant and came with a cloth rank slide.
Navy blue with black leather rim joining at the rear. WFR stay-bright bi-metal cap badge, marked for Firmin with slide attachment, on a dark green felt patch. Black cotton lining, unmarked.
Green cloth slide with woven green curved WORCESTERS & FORESTERS title, ranked to sergeant.
Regimental Medical Officer's beret.
A 1970s period example of a Royal Army Medical Corps. (RAMC) officer's beret, as worn by the Regimental Medical Officer (RMO) of the Medical Section. In 1999 the RMO position was held by a RAMC Captain. RAMC Other Ranks serving in the section wore a metal badge on their regimental pattern beret, as opposed to the officer's embroidered version.
In this exhibit, the green of its felt patch has faded over the years but appears to match that of Lt. Colonel Prince, who's beret is part of the IWM's collection, (Catalogue number: UNI 9816).
1970s period Worcestershire Sherwood Foresters Regiment beret.
RAMC Officer's embroidered beret badge.
Navy blue with black cotton rim joining at the rear. Dark green felt patch with embroidered goldwire RAMC cap badge. Black cotton lining with plastic sweat protector. Maker is Kangol Wear Limited.
Mk.6 Composite helmet.
The Mk.6 composite helmet was introduced in the early 1980s to replace the Mk.5 steel "Turtle" helmet, of WWII origin. The Mk.6 was made from ballistic nylon which was finished in green. DPM camouflage helmet covers were worn over the helmet featuring elastic straps for adding foliage.
This particular example has been fitted with a temperate climate or Woodland DPM cover, which exhibits a green felt diamond on the left side, denoting the WFR. Like in previous times it appears that this was not regulation specific and a feature found on all helmets.
This helmet is named and possibly attributed to Lt. Grant, 1 Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion, Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment. 1995 - 2002.
Green composite helmet with DPM cloth helmet cover. Green diamond WFR flash sewn onto the cover. Black leather lining pads with crown webbing lining and green webbed chinstrap assembly with black plastic hardware. Maker in N. P. Coventry.
Mk.6 Composite helmet cover.
Similar to the above exhibit, this is a temperate climate or Woodland DPM composite helmet cover, which exhibits a green felt diamond on the left side, denoting the WFR. This particular example is named to a Private and also has his serial number written on a webbing strap, with black marker pen.
Woodland DPM cloth helmet cover, with green diamond WFR flash sewn onto the left side.
c. 1990 - 1994.
Army Cadet Corps. / Combined Cadet Force
The Army Cadet Force (ACF) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF) are Ministry of Defence supported youth organisations associated with serving military units. They allow youngsters to learn new skills, build self confidence, and develop social skills, as well as making new friends. Until 2007 the local ACF and certain CCF cadres were connected to the Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester Regiment.
Officer's Mess Dress jacket. (ACF).
This mess jacket is named to a Sgt. G. Taylor, formerly of the Royal Corps. of Signals and was reused by him during his time in the ACF. After leaving the army it would appear that he volunteered to serve in the WFR Army Cadet Force, eventually reaching the rank of Captain. This style of the jacket matches the W&SF Other ranks version albeit with black facings as opposed to green.
Worcesters & Foresters officer's Mess Dress.
WFR epaulette detail.
WFR tunic button.
Officer's mess jacket. Scarlet red with black felt lapels and cuffs. Red lining. Has embroidered rank pips on epaulettes denoting rank of Captain. Anodised aluminium regimental buttons. WFR collar badges mounted on lapels. Maker is Hobson. Ltd.
No. 8 dress beret (ACF).
The blue WFR beret with embroidered badge was worn by members of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Army Cadet Force.
Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment CCF blue No. 8 Dress beret.
1990s WFR ACF Dress beret.
Navy blue with black leather rim joining at the rear. The WFR badge is sewn onto the body and is made up of silver and yellow thread on a dark green patch. Black cotton lining, unmarked.
This named brassard was used by an accomplished member of the Derbyshire Army Cadet Force, ranking to a Staff Sergeant. The cadet may have organised physical training activities for the detachment, which would explain the unusual addition of the PTI crossed sabre patch, surmounted to the rank chevrons. As with all cadets his or her achievements and skills are displayed on the brassard, which would have been worn on the upper right arm. It was slipped up the arm and secured in place through the epaulette strap.
Brassards were not only used by cadets but regular soldiers also, including Military Police and Regimental Provosts. The exampled beret above would have been worn together with his brassard.
Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment ACF brassard.
Khaki cotton brassard, with epaulette loop and green elastic arm strap. Ranked to a Staff Sergeant. Displays a Lincoln green & white Derbyshire A.C.F. shoulder title with PTI badge over the rank insignia. Sewn onto the brassard are also two cloth shooting badges for Full Bore Marksman and Small Bore 1st Class, as well as a St. John Ambulance Youth First Aid badge, an Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) Master Cadet star patch and a Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award cloth badge.
Hereford and Worcester ACF Cadet's brassard.
Like the Malvern College CCF, prior to 2007, C Company of the Hereford and Worcester Army Cadet Force wears a rifle green beret, albeit with the crown mounted Rifles cap badge. The Battalion's unique regimental patch design is as interesting as it is attractive, featuring a pale blue ground surmounted by a black cathedral on a green lawn, with the river Severn in the foreground.
Hereford and Worcester ACF brassard.
Brassard rear side.
Khaki cotton brassard, with epaulette loop and green elastic arm strap. Ranked to a Lance Corporal. Displays a scarlet red A.C.F. shoulder title with a cloth Union flag badge and the unique regional detachment insignia sewn over the rank insignia. Sewn onto the brassard is the Pass badge for the Full Bore rifle, as well as an Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) One Star patch. Unusually there is also the addition of two long service chevrons.
Malvern College CCF grouping.
The Combined Cadet Force is different to the Army Cadet Force, as it combines various branches of the military. The Malvern College CCF comprised of Infantry, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force sections. This grouping consists of the cadet's No.8 Dress beret, shoulder brassard and cut-down scrim scarf. The scrim was also used to break up the outline of the head and shoulders.
Similar to the ACF beret, this example was used by a pupil of House No. 5. He was a member of the Malvern College's infantry branch and attended the annual CCF Longmoor Camp, prior to its affiliation with the Mercian Regiment around 2007. Malvern College, on College Road in Great Malvern, played an important role during the Second World War. Not only did House 5 host a contingent of Free French officers but it was also the wartime home of the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE), which was responsible for the development of RADAR. The beret features an anodised aluminium badge for The Light Infantry and was worn together with a DPM jacket, webbing belt, and green trousers tucked into the polished black combat boots with olive green elastic straps. The brassard was worn on the right and featured a red Malvern College shoulder title.
Malvern College CCF beret.
Malvern College Cadet's scrim scarf.
Malvern College CCF shoulder brassard.
Dark green with black leather rim joining at the rear. Light Infantry cap badge on slide with red felt backing. Black cotton lining, unmarked.
Khaki cotton brassard, with epaulette loop and green elastic arm strap. Displays a red Malvern College shoulder title with black text.
Cut-down olive drab and brown cloth camo scrim scarf. Approx. 30 x 100cm.
*** Worcestershire & Sherwood Regiment Gallery Quiz *** 1. When was the Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester Regiment formed? 2. Who was the Colonel in 1992? 3. What colour is the waistcoat on Captain Higgins's mess uniform? 4. What vehicle did 1 WFR Battlegroup use in Bosnia, in 1996? 5. Which cadet force is the sergeant's armband (brassard) from? Check your answers here!