Soldiers of Gloucestershire
(The ‘Glorious Glosters’)
Gloucester GL1 2HE
“By our deeds we are known” is the motto of The Gloucestershire Regiment. Housed in the former Customs House in the historic Gloucester Docks is a Museum devoted to the exploits of this Regiment and their companion volunteer Regiment, the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH).
Like many famous regiments, the Gloucestershire Regiment and the RGH have been amalgamated with other fighting forces and are currently part of The Rifles and the Royal Wessex Yeomanry respectively.
Since 1694 the Gloucestershire Regiments have served courageously and unforgettably in every major conflict.
Displays cover such battles as the American Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Boar War, the Battle of the Somme, the defence of Dunkirk and the Korean War. This museum tells their remarkable story.
Learn how they earned the right to wear their Sphinx badges both on the back and front of their caps; earned their nickname of the ‘Glorious Glosters’ and the right to display the blue United Nations Distinguished Unit Citation flash on their shoulders.
There are interactive and static displays that allow visitors to experience what it was like for soldiers and their families throughout 300 years of service. The collections include contemporary film records, a magnificent medal display, uniforms, weapons and souvenirs from all over the world.
The Regiments’ Memorial Chapel is in Gloucester Cathedral. Here can be seen the Battle Ensigns carried into battle and beautiful, illuminated Remembrance Books containing the names of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:
The Gloucestershire Regiment
- A Brief History & some Highlights
In 1694 an infantry regiment was formed in Portsmouth and in 1751 it became known as the 28th Regiment of Foot. The early battles were fought during the American War of Independence and the Canadian Battle of Quebec.
In 1782 it was renamed the 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot, and subsequently amalgamated with the 61st (South Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot to form the two-battalion Gloucestershire Regiment in 1881.
In 1801 the 28th were fighting Napoleon in Egypt. At the Battle of Alexandra they defeated Napoleon’s forces by literally fighting back to back. For this feat they were awarded the Sphinx badge with the legend ‘Egypt’ on it which is worn on both the back and front of their headgear. This is a unique honour in the British Army.
In the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, the 28th was the only unit to be mentioned in dispatches by the Duke of Wellington.
Hundreds of men saw active service when the Gloucestershire Regiment participated in the Second Boar War (1890-1902). Twenty-five battalions were raised to fight in the First World War. They saw service on the Western Front, Gallipoli, Macedonia, the Middle East and Italy.
During the Second World War the Regiment was involved in the battle for France and the Low Countries in 1940 before distinguishing themselves once again in covering the successful Dunkirk evacuation. Only 30 infantrymen were left to defend the road to Dunkirk.
The Regiment went on to fight the Japanese forces in Burma and take part in the D-Day Landings in 1944, resulting in the victorious North-West Europe campaign.
- The Korean War
The Korean War in the 1950s is when the Regiment earned its nickname of ‘The Glorious Glosters’, earning their right to wear the UN flashes on their shoulders. Colonel Carne won the VC.
On November 7, 1950, the first battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment landed in Korea as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force. The crucial Battle of Imjin River was fought on the 22-25 April 1951. The 27,000-strong Chinese communist army was hoping to sweep into Seoul but the Glorious Glosters put a stop to that idea.
Spurred on by a Gloucester bugler playing repeated bugle calls, drowning out the Korean buglers, the soldiers held their position on Gloster Hill. They fought a desperate rear guard action against hordes of Chinese communists as other United Nations soldiers retreated down the Korean peninsula.
Their bravery halted the enemy’s advance and allowed the United Nations forces to regroup and defeat the Chinese spring offensive. Although taken a prisoner of war by the communists, Lt Col Carne continued to inspire his troops by carving a small stone Celtic cross for use at religious services. The cross is now on display in pride of place beside King Edward IIs tomb in Gloucester Cathedral.
By the time the regiment amalgamated with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment in 1994, they were one of the British army’s most battle honoured units.
The newly formed 1st Battalion, the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Warwickshire Regiment were merged in 2005 with the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment to ultimately become The Rifles in 2007.
Accommodation - Search & Book through Tripadvisor here:
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH)
- A Brief History
Since 1794, Gloucestershire men have responded to their country’s call for volunteer defence units. In 1834 the units were formed into a regiment known as the Gloucestershire Yeomanry Cavalry. In 1841 they were renamed The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars.
These cavalry units progressed to mechanical steeds and are now part of the Territorial Army tank force. They are now attached to the Royal Wessex Yeomanry providing replacement crews for the Challenger2 Main Battle Tank.
The Hussars fought in the Boar War. During the First World War they landed at Suvla Bay to fight at Gallipoli. On their return to Egypt they took part in the Battle of Beersheba.
During the Second World War the RGH was divided into three lines, one of which provided defences for south west England following Dunkirk. The second line was sent overseas to Egypt where they served as part of the British 2nd Armoured Brigade. The third line served as a training, trials or decoy unit.
Plan Your Visit
There are some facilities for the disabled visitor. Details on Museum website.
Please check the Museum website - link below
Admission costs for adults, concessions for seniors, students, children and families are available – check up to date prices on Museum Website Web: Soldiers of Gloucestershire
Contact & Further Information
Follow the brown tourist information signs from the city centre to the Gloucester Docks (about 10 minutes walk).
- By Car
There is ample short and long term parking ('Pay & Display') – the Museum is easily located – look for the three flags flying from the building’s parapet.
Google Maps - Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum