A Sherwood Foresters Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment Cap Badge.

A Maltese cross surmounted by an Imperial crown. In the centre of the cross a wreath of oak and, within the wreath, a stag lodged. On the left arm of the cross and across the left branch of the wreath a half-scroll inscribed 'SHERWOOD', and on the right arm of the cross and across the right branch of the wreath half-scroll inscribed 'FORESTERS'. Below the cross a scroll inscribed 'NOTTS & DERBY'.

The Sherwood Foresters by Stephen Mee

1881-1914

The Cardwell reforms of 1881 brought together the 45th and 95th Regiments of Foot with the Militia of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire plus the volunteer regiments of the two counties, to form The Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment). It is of interest that it was not until 1902 that Nottinghamshire was added to the title.

The Regiment now consisted of: 1st Battalion (45th), 2nd Battalion (95th), 3rd (late Derbyshire Militia) and 4th (late Royal Sherwood Foresters) Militia Battalions, and 1st and 2nd (Derbyshire) and 3rd and 4th (Nottinghamshire) Volunteer Battalions. The Headquarters of the Regimental District was established in Derby.

The 2nd Battalion saw active service in Egypt during 1882 and later went on to India. In 1888 they took part in the Sikkim Expedition to Tibet, and in 1897 they were once again on active service in the Tirah Expedition where Lieutenant H. S. Pennell won the VC during the capture of the Dargai Heights. It was in India in 1885 that the Battalion established what is accepted as a World sporting record, when two companies contested a tug-of-war pull that lasted 2 hours 41 minutes.

The outbreak of the Boer War in 1899 found both regular battalions in Malta and during November of that year the 1st Battalion sailed for South Africa where they were to remain until the end of the War in 1902. They took part in most of the major battles and shared all the hard marching and privations of that long campaign. On one occasion they marched 400 miles in 45 days and were engaged with the enemy 28 times. The 4th Battalion and service companies of the Volunteer Battalions also took part in the campaign with great credit. The 2nd Battalion, still stationed in Malta, provided volunteers for the many mounted infantry companies. VCs were won by Cpl H Beet and Pte W Bees, while amongst the many other decorations bestowed on Foresters were no fewer than twenty-two Distinguished Conduct Medals.

The growing threat of War with Germany at the beginning of the Century caused a further reorganisation of the Army. In 1908 the 3rd and 4th Battalions became part of the Special Reserve with liabilities for overseas service, whilst the Volunteer Battalions became the 5TH, 6th, 7th (Robin Hoods) and 8th Battalions of The Sherwood Foresters in the newly formed Territorial Force, later renamed the Territorial Army.