02 April 2010

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #9

 Manchester (63rd) Regiment

History

The 63rd Regiment was formed in 1758 from the 2nd Battalion, 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot during the Seven Years War against France. The regiment has been a single battalion regiment for most of its lifetime, barring a short period during the Napoleonic Wars when a second battalion was created. The 63rd has served Her Majesty (God Bless Her!) in many theaters of operations, including Afghanistan, New Zealand, and the Martian Crown Colony.

In 1881, as a result of army reforms, the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment was amalgamated with the 96th Regiment of Foot into the Manchester Regiment. As with all the regiments, many officers and other ranks still refer to the regiment as the 63rd (it having numeric precedence over the 96th, you see).

The Manchester Regiment was posted to the Martian Crown Colony in 1880.

Combat History

The 63rd has taken part in the Seven Years War, the American Rebellion, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Crimean War. Some of the battles in which the 63rd fought include Bunker Hill (1775),  Brandywine (1776), Monmouth (1778), Guadaloupe (1809), Martinique (1810), Inkerman (1854) and the Siege of Sevastopol (1854-55). More recently, the Regiment took part in the Second Afghan War in 1878. Their services were invaluable in defending the passes of the Northwest Frontier from Afghan irregulars.

Since arriving at the Crown Colony, the 63rd has performed the usual tasks of garrison and patrol duty that occupy a colonial force in peacetime. There have been small clashes with natives, Fenians, and smugglers, but no major battles. The largest skirmish involved the attempt by Imperial German forces to assist a smuggler delivering a clandestine cargo to the German advisors in Galfor. Company A of the 63rd's First Battalion, along with a squad of the R&D Platoon, successfully defended the site of the crashed smuggler's airship. As usual, the entire incident was hushed up and smoothed over through the timely intervention of the Foreign Office's skilled diplomats.

Colour Sergeant Graves, Company A, 1st Battalion, 63rd (Manchester) Foot

Uniform

The Manchester Regiment is outfitted in the manner typical of modern British Line Infantry. The basic field uniform consists of white sun helmet, scarlet tunic, grey shirt, white braces, dark blue trousers with scarlet outside seam, brown leather leggings and low black leather boots. Facings (collar, epaulettes and cuffs) are white for this English regiment. NCO insignia is worn on the right sleeve, as shown above in the photostat of Colour Sergeant Graves.

Lieutenant Gorse, Company A, First Battalion, 63rd (Manchester) Foot, wearing patrol jacket

Some officers and men of the 63rd wear either a Glengarry cap or local ulurr straw hat in place of the typical sun helmet. Officers sometimes exchange the standard scarlet tunic/jacket for a dark blue patrol jacket. Officers may also wear riding pants and boots, and most forego the leggings issued to the NCOs and Other Ranks.

Equipment for enlisted men consists of white leather 1879 pattern gear. Enlisted men and NCOs are armed with the Martini Henry breechloading rifle. Sergeants carry a sword bayonet, Other Ranks a triangular spike style. Officers wear a Sam Browne belt and shoulder strap, and are typically armed with revolver and saber. Again, individual officers may make adjustments to their equipment as funds, personal tastes, and regimental command sees fit to allow. After all, the officers do pay for their uniforms out of their own pockets.

[Editor's Notes: These are my new Empress Miniatures Zulu British. They are available in the US from Age of Glory in Maryland.  I really like these figures. I have more, but it will probably be a bit before I get another batch painted. I am concentrating on finishing up the Automaton army in April.]

2 comments:

Eli Arndt said...

They look good. Empress' figs do look really nice. I've seen a lot of them re-purposed for VBCW games.

J Womack, Esq. said...

VBCW?

Glad you like them. I would rate the paint job about a 5.5, honestly. I can do better, but I top out at about a 7. Still, they are good solid tabletop quality. Maybe I need to post to coolminiornot or some other rating site to see how I stack up?