Remnants of an Army: Dr. Brydon
Lt-Col. Newman
Lieutenant-Colonel Augustus Charles NEWMAN (33927), The Essex Regiment (attached Commandos) (Salford, Bucks.). On the night of 27th/28th March, 1942, Lieutenant-Colonel Newman was in command of the military force detailed to land on enemy occupied territory and destroy the dock installations of the German controlled naval base at St. Nazaire. This important base was known to be heavily defended and bomber support had to be abandoned owing to bad weather. The operation was therefore bound to be exceedingly hazardous, but Lieutenant-Colonel Newman, although empowered to call off the assault at any stage, was determined to carry to a successful conclusion the important task which had been assigned to him. Coolly and calmly he stood on the bridge of the leading craft, as the small force steamed up the estuary of the River Loire, although the ships had been caught in the enemy searchlights and a murderous crossfire opened from both banks, causing heavy casualties. Although Lieutenant-Colonel Newman need not have landed himself, he was one of the first ashore and, during the next five hours of bitter fighting, he personally entered several houses and shot up the occupants and supervised the operations in the town, utterly regardless of his own safety, and he never wavered in his resolution to carry through the operation upon which so much depended. An enemy gun position on the roof of a U-boat pen had been causing heavy casualties to the landing craft and Lieutenant-Colonel Newman directed the fire of a mortar against this position to such effect that the gun was silenced. Still fully exposed, he then brought machine gun fire to bear on an armed trawler in the harbour, compelling it to withdraw and thus preventing many casualties in the main demolition area. Under the brilliant leadership of this officer the troops fought magnificently and held vastly superior enemy forces at bay, until the demolition parties had successfully completed their work of destruction. By this time, however, most of the landing craft had be
Lt. Wearne
2nd Lt. Frank Bernard Wearne, Essex R. For most conspicuous bravery when in command of a small party on the left of a raid on the enemy's trenches. He gained his objective in the face of much opposition and by his magnificent example and daring was able to maintain this position for a considerable time, according to instructions. During this period 2nd Lt. Wearne and his small party were repeatedly counter attacked. Grasping the fact that if the left flank was lost his men would have to give way, 2nd Lt. Wearne, at a moment when the enemy's attack was being heavily pressed and when matters were most critical, leapt on the parapet and, followed by his left section, ran along the top of the trench, firing and throwing bombs. This unexpected and daring manoeuvre threw the enemy off his guard and back in disorder. Whilst on the top of the trench 2nd Lt. Wearne was severely wounded, but refused to leave his men. Afterwards he remained in the trench directing operations, consolidating his position and encouraging all ranks. Just before the order to withdraw was given, this gallant officer was again severely hit for the second time, and while being carried away was mortally wounded. By, his tenacity in remaining at his post, though severely wounded, and his magnificent fighting spirit, he was enabled to hold on to the flank. LG 31/7/1917
Lieut. Rogers and Pte. McDougall
Lieutenant (now Captain) Robert Montresor Rogers (now of the 90th Regiment) and No. 220. Private John McDougall: For distinguished gallantry in swimming the Ditches, and entering the North Taku Fort by an embrasure during the assault. They were the first of the English established on the walls of the Fort, which they entered in the order in which their names are here recorded, each one being assisted by the others to mount the embrasure. LG 13/8/1861
Sgt McWheeney
No. 2802 Serjeant William McWheeney Volunteered as sharpshooter at the commencement of the siege, and was in charge of the party of the 44th Regiment; was always vigilant and active, and signalised himself on the 20th October, 1854, when one of his party, Private John Keane, 44th Regiment, was dangerously wounded in the Woronzoff Road, at the time the sharpshooters were repulsed from the Quarries by overwhelming numbers. Serjeant McWheeney, on his return, took the wounded man on his back, and brought him to a place of safety. This was under a very heavy fire. He was also the means of saving the life of Corporal Courtney. This man was one of the sharpshooters, and was severely wounded in the head, 5th December, 1854. Serjeant McWheeney brought him from under fire, and dug up a slight cover with his bayonet, where the two remained until dark, when they retired. Serjeant M'Wheeney volunteered for the advanced guard of General Eyre's Brigade, in the Cemetery, on the 18th June, 1855, and was never absent from duty during the war. LG 24/2/1857

Medals of the Regiments:
The Essex Regiment

Essex Regiment cap badge.

awaiting more insignia pics
The Essex Regiment bi-metal cap badge, depicting the castle and key of Gibraltar enclosed in an oak wreath, with the Sphinx and Egypt battle honour above.  
Kipling and King 660 

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The Essex Regiment

1685 - 1959
pre 1881 post 1881
44th (The East Essex) Regiment of Foot 1st Battalion, The Essex  Regiment
56th (The West Essex) Regiment of Foot 2nd Battalion, The Essex  Regiment
Earliest recognised formation: 44th: 1741 when raised as Long's Regiment.
56th: 1755 when initially raised as the 54th Foot, renumbered the 56th in 1757
Motto: Montis Insignia Calpe = The Badge of the Rock of Gibraltar.
Regimental Journal:  The Eagle
WWI: Battle Honours; 62 Victoria Crosses; 1 Died; 8860
WWII:    Battle Honours; 41 Victoria Crosses; 1 Died;  ????
Amalgamated: 1958 with The Bedfordshire and Herefordshire Regiment to form the 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th)
A second battalion of the 44th was operational 1803-16 and a second battalion of the 56th, 1804-17.

Egypt campaign 1801 and The Peninsula War 1808 - 1814 44th Regiment

Military General Service Medal 1793 - 1814

Fuentes d'Onor
Total Medals 
Number:53 4293 80156  

One officer received a 7 clasp medal for service with other units (not counted), and  Private Henry Bowman had Martinique and Guadaloupe with his Egypt clasp, for service with the 90th Regiment.


Battle Honours: Badajos; Salamanca; Peninsula:; and a Sphinx superscribed Egypt was permitted to be borne on the colours


Battle of Waterloo 1815 2nd Battalion, 44th Regiment

Waterloo Medal 1815

Number: 453

Casualties 16th, 17th & 18th June 1815 (extracted London Gazette 8/7/1815 & "Medals of the British Army and  how they were won" T. Carter 1861*)

Officers:1 Lieutenant and 1 Ensign killed; 1 Lieutenant-Colonel, 1 Major, 4 Captains, 7 Lieutenants, 4 Ensigns and 1 Staff wounded.

*Sergeants, Trumpeters, Drummers, Farriers and Rank and File:

Killed Wounded Missing
Died of wounds Suffered amputation Discharged Transferred to Veteran or Garrison Battalions Rejoined the Regiment Remaining in hospitals in April 1816 Total Rejoined the RegimentNot since heard of, supposed dead.
12 9 10 - 1 125 9 154 - -

*Carter's figures are in turn extracted from the return prepared by the Adjutant-Generals office, 13th April 1816.

Battle Honour;  Waterloo.


First Anglo-Burmese War 1824-1826  44th Regiment

Army of India Medal 1799 - 1826



number: 96

Battle Honour: Ava

1841-42, 1st Afghan War:  The 44th Regiment was destroyed during the withdrawal to India, ending in a desperate last stand on a snow covered hilltop at Gandamak 13/1/1842. Total British losses during this rout by Afghan forces and the weather are estimated to be 16,500.  One famous survivor, Dr. Brydon, went on to qualify for the Jellalabad Medal 1841-42, and become the subject of a famous painting of this disaster: Remnants of an Army

Crimean War  1854 - 1856  Both Regiments present. (56th arriving later in the campaign.)

Crimea Medal 1854 -56

44th Regiment
Clasp: →..none...





Total Medals  
Number:? 65341 628? 865 +167 
List of Balaklava Recipients
56th Regiment
Clasp: → ...none....- --


Total Medals  
Number: ?    ?879  

Battle Casualties: 44th and 44th/56th

Action.KilledDied of Wounds'Wounded'Dangerously
Battle of Alma 1- 7- -- -8
Battle of Inkermann -- -- -- --
Assault on the Quarries 1*- -- -2 -3
Final Attack on the Redan 19- -10 5051 7137
2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th Bombardments of Sebastopol and Minor Actions. 6*/6-/- -/-3/3 22/224/7 -/-55/18

Grand Total 44th/56th:     


* 1 Wounded Mortally


Men who served in the Crimea also eligible for:

Turkish Crimea Medal 1855


VCs: 1:   McWheeney (44th)


Battle Honours:  Alma; Inkermann: Sevastopol.


India Mutiny 1857-59  56th Regiment (both regiments present on the sub-continent within this time period but only a small number of 56th Regt qualified for a medal)

India Mutiny Medal. 1857 -59

clasp: ...none...

Second China War 1856-60  44th Regiment 

Second China War Medal 1856-60


Taku Forts 1860

Pekin 1860

total medals
number: 54930 291006

7 two clasp medals issued.


VCs: 2:   McDougall, Rogers.  (Joint citation)


Battle Honour;   Taku Forts.

1881: Regiments now become the 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Essex Regiment

The Nile Expedition 1884-5  2nd Battalion (Including 54 serving with the Mounted Infantry Camel Regiment, 22 of which were at Abu Klea)

Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882-89



The Nile 1884-85

Abu Klea


    total medals     


? 22 ? ?



Recipients also entitled to a Khedive's Star   1884-6

Battle Honour: The Nile 1884-5


South African War 1899 - 1902 or "Boer War"  1st Battalion (Dec 1899-end of the war) & 2nd Battalion (Dec 1901-end of the war)

Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902, and for the 1st Battalion:  King's South Africa Medal 1901 - 1902

Common clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902; also for the 1st Battalion:

Relief of Kimberley
Diamond Hill
number: ? ? ? ? ? ?



Officers NCOs and Men
KIA & DOW / DOD Wounded Missing / POW KIA & DOW Death from disease Wounded Missing / POW
1st Battalion December 1899 - end of war
2 /5 7 1 51 98 170 47
2nd Battalion, December 1901 - end of war
-/- 4 4 3 23 15 12

VCs: 1:  Parsons


Battle Honours: Relief of Kimberley; Paardeberg; South Africa 1899- 1902


The Great War 1914 - 1918  (raised 30 battalions; 13 served overseas:- )

Generally awarded the British War Medal & Victory Medal, most men overseas prior to 1/1/1916 also a 1914 or 1914-15 Star.

Battalion → 1*  2 1/4 1/5 1/6 1/7 9 10 11 13 15 1** 2
West Ham Garrison
date of first overseas service.
 (first theatre red x )
France & Flanders x x         x x x x x    
Gallipoli x   x
Egypt & Palestine x   x x x x           x  
India                         x
possible ?
1914 or 1914-15   x                      
or 1914-15 only x   x x x x x x x x   x  
VCs at a glance:                        
Extracted from : "Soldiers / Officers Died in the Great War" (consider approximate - in addition the regiment as a whole lost an additional  185 officers who are recorded with 'battalion not shown'  or with battalions not shown here, or who we have  not yet allocated a battalion.)
1809 1499 480 365 292 342 1100 1048 990 601 25 34 23

* The first battalion was in Mauritius when war broke out and returned first to the UK. Sent to Gallipoli via Mudros.
**Arrived Mudros 3/9/1915, with parties sent to Gallipoli.

Regular Territorial Force New Armies Garrison.


Territorial Force War Medal 1914-19
  156  officers and men of the Essex Regiment also qualified for this medal.


VCs: 1: Wearne    Lt,  3rd Btn att. 11 Btn.


Battle Honours: Le Cateau; Marne 1914; Ypres 1915, 1917; Loos; Somme 1916, 1918; Arras 1917, 1918; Cambrai 1917, 1918; Selle; Gallipoli 1915-16; Gaza.  Retreat from Mons; Aisne 1914; Messines 1914; Armentières 1914; St Julien; Frezenberg; Bellewaarde; Albert 1916, 1918; Bazentin; Delville Wood; Pozières; Flers-Courcelette; Morval; Thiepval; Le Transloy; Ancre Heights; Ancre 1916, 1918; Bapaume 1917, 1918; Scarpe 1917, 1918; Arleux; Pilckem; Langemarck 1917; Menin Road; Broodseinde; Poelcapelle; Passchendaele; St Quentin; Avre; Villers Bretonneux; Lys; Hazebrouck; Béthune; Amiens; Drocourt-Quéant; Hindenburg Line; Havrincourt; Epéhy; St Quentin Canal; Sambre; France and Flanders 1914-18; Helles; Landing at Helles; Krithia; Suvla; Landing at Suvla; Scimitar Hill; Rumani; Egypt 1915-17; Jaffa; Megiddo; Sharon; Palestine 1917-18.


Afridi and Red Shirt Rebellions 1930 -1931.  2nd Battalion

India General Service Medal 1908


North West Frontier

number: ?

Jewish / Arab unrest, Palestine 1936 - 39 1st Battalion (1936)

General Service Medal 1918 -62

number: ?

WW2 1939 - 1945  

Battalion → 1st 2nd 1/4th 5th &  1/5th 2/5th 19th
campaign ↓            
France and
Belgium 1940.
(Dunkirk )
North Africa & Middle East x   x x x x
Burma x          
Sicily / Italy     x x    
N.W. Europe   x   x    


   "The Canal Brigade"  (23rd), in Egypt at the start. Served Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt...  Burma theatre 6/5/43-24/5/43 and 3/4/44-10/8/45 Long Range Penetration. (Chindits) Also served 10th , 5th Ind and 29th Inf Bde 25th Inf Bde for Dunkirk evacuation.
6/6/44 XXX Corps
D-Day Landers: under command of 50th Division for initial assault phase, then 56th Infantry Brigade.
West Africa 4/1/41 -25/11/41 with 161st Inf Bde....Also  5th Inf Bde/ 4th Ind Inf Div from 30/4/42 served Cyrenaica, Tunisia, Egypt, Italy. (arrived Italy 22/11/43) "1/5th" to 8/5/43 then titled the "5th"     Iraq Syria with 8th Ind Inf Div.   To Egypt 31/5/43 and on to Italy 24/9/43.  Entered NW Europe Theatre with 13th Inf Bde 4/3/45 Egypt, Iraq, Palestine; 24/12/41-15/7/42. reduced to Cadre GHQ MEF Troops 29/5/43-17/7/43????

One Coy: 2nd Sudan Defence Force Brigade. Aug 1943-June 1944

WW2 Stars common to the Battalion. (excluding 39-45 star )
 Key: A = Africa, P = Pacific, B =  Burma, I = Italy,  F&G = France and Germany

  A, B. F&G A, I. I, F&G A? ?

Most also entitled to the 1939-45 War Medal and many the Defence Medal


VCs: 1: Newman


Battle Honours: Zetten; North-West Europe 1940, 19445; Palmyra; Tobruk 1941; Defence of Alamein Line; Enfidaville; Sangro; Villa Grande; Cassino II; Chindits 1944. St Omer-La Bassée; Tilly sur Seulles; Le Havre; Antwerp-Turnhout Canal; Scheldt; Arnhem 1945; Abyssinia 1940; Falluja; Baghdad 1941; Iraq 1941; Syria 1941; Belhamed; Mersa Matruh; Deir el Shein; Ruweisat; Ruweisat Ridge; El Alamein; Matmata Hills; Akarit; Djebel Garci; Tunis; Ragoubet Souissi; North Africa 1941-3; Trigno; Castle Hill; Hangman's Hill; Italy 1943-4; Athens; Greece 19445; Kohima; Burma 1943-5.

1948: Regulars reduced to a single battalion. (the 1st)
1st Battalion served Korea, Aug 1953 -: outside the qualifying period for the Queen's Korea Medal but would qualify for the UN Korea Medal.

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Selected Links

The Regimental Museum. (Located in )       


Selected Bibliography;

Author Title Publisher
Thomas Carter Historical Record of The Forty-Fourth, or The East Essex Regiment of Foot. 222 pp. London: W. O. Mitchell, 1864
Richard Cannon Esq. Historical Record of The Fifty-Sixth, or The West Essex Regiment of Foot; containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1755, and of its subsequent Services to 1844. 62 pp. London: Parker, Furnivall, & Parker, 1844
John Wm. Burrows. The Essex Regiment.  Published by arrangement with the Essex Territorial Army Association.

1st Battalion (44th), 1741-1919. [1923]. 158 pp. (Essex Units in the War, 1914-1919, Vol. 1)

2nd Battalion (56th) (Pompadours). [1927]. 203 pp. (Essex Units in the War, 1914-1919, Vol. 2)


Southend-on-Sea: John H. Burrows & Sons, Ltd.
Col. T. A. Martin The Essex Regiment, 1929-1950   668 pp. Brentwood: The Essex Regiment Association. 1952.
 Lieut. A. A. Vince 2nd Battalion The Essex Regiment "The Pompadours, " 'D' Day to 'VE' Day in North West Europe.   54pp. 1945
John Wm. Burrows The Essex Regiment. 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th and 15th Battalions.457 pp (Essex Units in the War, 1914-1919, Vol. 6). Southend-on-Sea: John H. Burrows & Sons Ltd. 1935
 Lt.-Col. T. D. Banks and Capt. R. A. Chell With the 10th Essex in France.  290 pp. London: printed and published for the 10th Essex Old Comrades Association by Burt & Sons, 1921
John Wm. Burrows. The Essex Regiment. Essex Territorial Infantry Brigade (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Battalions). Also 8th (Cyclists) Battalion The Essex Regiment.  410 pp. (Essex Units in the War, 1914-1919, vol. 5). Southend-on-Sea: John H. Burrows & Sons Ltd., 1932
 Lt.-Col. T. Gibbons. With the 1/5th Essex in the East.  198 pp. Colchester: Benham & Company Ltd., 1921.
Major Denis Beckett 1/4th Essex. A Battalion of the Eighth Army.  43 pp. London: Wilson & Whitworth Ltd. 1945


Additional Bibliography for this Page.

Author/Compiler Title Publisher
Officers of the Regiment. Unpublished rolls in the care of the National Archives; WO 100/ etc. -
  Additional bibliography same as Northumberland Fusiliers page  



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