Nottingham City Council
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The Cardwell reforms of 1881 brought together the 45th and 95th Regiments of Foot with the Militia of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire plus the volunteer regiments of the two counties, to form The Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment). It is of interest that it was not until 1902 that Nottinghamshire was added to the title. The Regiment now consisted of: 1st Battalion (45th), 2nd Battalion (95th), 3rd (late Derbyshire Militia) and 4th (late Royal Sherwood Foresters) Militia Battalions, and 1st and 2nd (Derbyshire) and 3rd and 4th (Nottinghamshire) Volunteer Battalions. The Headquarters of the Regimental District was established in Derby. The 2nd Battalion saw active service in Egypt during 1882 and later went on to India. In 1888 they took part in the Sikkim Expedition to Tibet, and in 1897 they were once again on active service in the Tirah Expedition where Lieutenant H. S. Pennell won the VC during the capture of the Dargai Heights. The outbreak of the Boer War in 1899 found both regular battalions in Malta and during November of that year the 1st Battalion sailed for South Africa where they were to remain until the end of the War in 1902. They took part in most of the major battles and shared all the hard marching and privations of that long campaign. On one occasion they marched 400 miles in 45 days and were engaged with the enemy 28 times. The 4th Battalion and service companies of the Volunteer Battalions also took part in the campaign with great credit. The 2nd Battalion, still stationed in Malta, provided volunteers for the many mounted infantry companies. VCs were won by Cpl H Beet and Pte W Bees, while amongst the many other decorations bestowed on Foresters were no fewer than twenty-two Distinguished Conduct Medals. The growing threat of War with Germany at the beginning of the Century caused a further reorganisation of the Army. In 1908 the 3rd and 4th Battalions became part of the Special Reserve with liabilities for overseas service, whilst the Volunteer Battalions became the 5TH, 6th, 7th (Robin Hoods) and 8th Battalions of The Sherwood Foresters in the newly formed Territorial Force, later renamed the Territorial Army. The History of the Regiment in the First World War is very much the story of the men of the counties of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. When War was declared, The Sherwood Foresters consisted of eight Battalions and a depot at Derby. During the War the Regiment expanded to a maximum of 33 Battalions, of whom 20 served overseas. Altogether some 140,000 men, nearly all from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, served in the Regiment. (Article extracted from the excellent Sherwood Foresters web site by Stephen Mee) This view shows the departure of men for the Great War.