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Regimental History

The Colours of the Regiment

Regular Battalions

The Regiment received several stands of Colours during the early part of its existence, there being separate Colours for the Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Major and each of the Companies; it is recorded that the Regiment took new Colours into use in 1680, 1687, 1702 and 1707. During the reigns of Queen Anne and George I, Regiments gradually abandoned the Company and Major’s colours, retaining only the Colonel’s and Lieutenant Colonel’s which became the Regimental and King’s or Queen’s Colours.

The Colours carried in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries measured 6 feet flying by 6 feet 6 inches on a pike 9 feet 10 inches long. By 1868 the size had been reduced to 3 feet 9 inches by 3 feet on a pike 8 feet 7 1/2 inches long. The King’s or Queen’s Colour was the Union flag, to which ten Battle Honours were added after the First World War and a further ten after the Second. The last Queen’s Colour of the King’s Own Royal Regiment had in the centre the Regimental title within a circle. The Regimental Colour which, until 1881, had a small Union Flag in the top corner nearest the pike, was royal blue with a gold fringe. In the top corner nearest the pike was the Battalion number in Roman numerals, while in the centre was the Royal Cypher on a red ground within a circle inscribed with the Regimental title, all within a wreath of thistles, roses and shamrocks with a crown over. This was surrounded by sprays of laurel bearing the Regimental Battle Honours up to 1914 with, in each of the four corners, the Lion of England.

Colours 1687

An illustration survives of The Queen's Majesty's Regiment of Foot, afterwards 4th King's Own, Colonel's Colour of 1687 and First Captain's Colour of the same date.

Colours circa 1734-1751

King’s Own Royal Regiment of Foot. Colonel’s and Lieutenant Colonel’s Colours presented by William Barrell, probably when he became Colonel in 1734. Carried at the Battle of Culloden. Passed eventually to the Stewards of Ballachulish and through the Stewart Society laid up in the Scottish United Services Museum, Edinburgh Castle, on 1st August 1931.

Colours 1751

4th Regiment of Foot. New Colours taken into use. Date of replacement and location unknown.

Colours 1756

2nd Battalion, 4th Foot. Passed to Colonel Alexander Duroure in 1758 and to his descendant Sir Godfrey Thomas. Returned to the Regiment in December 1946 and laid up in the Regimental Chapel on 17th August 1947.

Colours 1782

4th Foot. New Colours were imported to Ireland for the Regiment. In September 1797 they were thrown overboard by Mrs Elizabeth Maguire on the voyage back from Canada to avoid capture by the French.

Colours 1799

1st Battalion, 4th Foot. Presented by HRH the Prince of Wales on 3rd September 1799. Carried in the Peninsula and at Waterloo. The King’s Colour passed to Colonel Faunce, who gave it to Captain Mason in 1828. His daughter gave it to the Parish Church, Yately, Hampshire, in September 1922. It was restored to the Regiment on 10th July 1927 and laid up in the Regimental Chapel on 8th November. Whereabouts of Regimental Colour unknown.

Colours 1799

2nd and 3rd Battalions, 4th Foot, raised in 1799 and disbanded in 1802. There is no record of Colours being presented to these battalions.

Colours 1804

2nd Battalion, 4th Foot. No record of the Colours. Battalion disbanded in December 1815.

Colours 1816

4th Foot. Presented by the Earl of Chatham at Fauquemberques, Pas-de-Calais, France. Location unknown.

Colours 1828

4th Foot. Presented by the Earl of Chatham at Glasgow on 27th September 1828. Passed to Sir Thomas Bradford in 1846 and deposited in Hartburn Parish Church, Northumberland, where they still hang.

Colours 1846

4th Foot. Presented by Lieutenant Colonel Breton at Kampti, India, on 24th March 1846. Carried in the Crimea and during the Indian Mutiny. Placed in Exeter Guildhall in 1865, restored to the Regiment by Exeter Corporation on 17th May 1938, and laid up in the Regimental Chapel on 9th July 1938.

Colours 1859

2nd Battalion, 4th Foot. Presented by Sir James Yorke-Scarlett KCB at Chichester on 22nd February 1859. Deposited in Windsor Castle on 13th December 1878. Restored to the Regiment on 9th July 1937 and laid up in the Regimental Chapel on 28th November 1937.

Colours 1864

1st Battalion, 4th Foot. Presented by Miss Frere at Poona, India on 27th July 1864. Carried during the Abyssinian Campaign. Laid up in the Regimental Chapel on 23rd February 1906.

Colours 1878

2nd Battalion, 4th Foot. Presented by HM Queen Victoria at Windsor on 6th December 1878. These were the last Colours to be carried on active service during the Zulu War (1879). Laid up in the Regimental Chapel on 4th August 1926.

Postcard showing Regimental Colours of 2nd Battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment circa 1900
Accession Number: KO2494/01

Colours 1905

1st Battalion, King’s Own. Presented by HRH the Prince of Wales at Fort William, Calcutta, on 30th December 1905. Laid up in the Regimental Chapel on 17th August 1947.

Colours 1926

2nd Battalion, King’s Own. Presented on 27th January 1926, by Field Marshal Sir Claude Jacob GCB GCSI KCMG at Rawalpindi, India. Retained by the 1st Battalion when the 2nd amalgamated with it on 22nd April 1949. Laid up in the King’s Chapel, Gibraltar, on 18th December 1955.
Amalgamation Parade, April 1949.

Colours 1947

1st Battalion, King’s Own. Presented by Major-General R M Luckcock CB CMG DSO at Trieste, Italy, on 25th July 1947. Laid up in the Regimental Chapel on 3rd September 1961.
Presentation of New Colours, July 1947.

Drawing of Banner in Regimental Chapel
Accession Number: KO2914/17

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

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