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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Friday 21 June 2024

King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)

I am in Lancashire today to do a book talk about the Napoleonic Wars in the Adriatic. The King's Own Royal Regiment Museum in Lancaster has been closed when I have been in the city, but today it was open. It is housed in the local history museum.

The King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) was a line infantry regiment existing under various titles. It fought in almost all the major conflicts from 1680 to 1959, when it was amalgamated with the Border Regiment to form the King's Own Royal Border Regiment.

It fought at Sedgemoor and the Boyne, but it was in the front line at Culloden during the '45. They are featured in the famous Morier painting of the battle, and there is a vignette and a uniform in the museum. The regiment also spent three years in North America during the revolution.

They served in most of the main theatres of the Napoleonic Wars although there aren't many exhibits. Service included Portugal and all the big Peninsular battles as well as in North America again during the War of 1812. Don't tell Donald Trump, but they helped burn down the White House!

Then the Crimean War and most of the colonial conflicts up to the Boer War. The 1868 Abyssinian War was one that had passed me by, but the regiment was there doing its bit for gunboat diplomacy.

My interest stepped up a gear when I got to WW1, because two battalions fought in the Salonika Campaign, and there are several interesting exhibits. Two of a staggering 14 battalions raised from the region during the war.

In WW2 they were unfortunate to have been dumped on Leros (mostly ending up captured) and also served in Iraq and Syria. The 2nd Battalion took part in the Chindit raids.

It is only a small museum and will only take a hour of your time if you are in the city. We should support our regimental museums, they are a national treasure.


  1. I suspect regimental museums are rather a thing of the past, with most visitors these days being from the “older” age group. I don’t know how you would encourage the younger age group. It’s a shame but, if we don’t support them, there’s a risk the museums might close down and any exhibits put into storage (where no one will see them) ☹️

    1. You do see school trips and the like, but casual visitors tend to be older. I suspect a bigger problem will be getting volunteers to run them. They are certainly of an older age group.