24th Regiment of Foot


24th Regiment of Foot Colours


1689 The Colours may have been of green silk but there is no record of what they looked like. Each company would have had its own Colour, with the Colonel's Company carrying a plain one, maybe with the crest of Sir Edward Dering in the middle. The other Colours probably had the red cross of St George in the upper corner.

1747 New regulations at this time laid down the size as being 6'6" x 6' deep on a pole 9'10" long. The King's Colour was the Union Flag with the crosses of St George and St Andrew, and XXIX REGT. In the middle. The regimental Colour was green with a similar central device.

1763 New Colours presented to the regiment. In the centre of the green flag was REGT. XXIV inside an oval border 'of yellow silk, of fantastic and very free design'. Around this was the wreath of roses and thistles.

1774 New Colours presented just before the 24th went to North America. The regiment surrendered along with the rest of the army at Saratoga in 1777 but the Colours did not have to be given up.

1795 New Colours received. The central device was a red silk shield with XXIV REGT. in the middle. Around this was a slimmer and neater wreath of roses and thistles than on the previous Colour. These Colours were carried in the Egyptian campaign. After the Union with Ireland in 1801 the red cross of St Patrick was added to the Union devices on both Colours. Shamrocks were also added to the wreath of roses and thistles. When the Sphinx of EGYPT was awarded in July 1802 this was added also, placed below the central device.

1804 The 2nd Battalion was raised at Warwick and given Colours. The words '2nd Batt' were placed in the red shield below the regimental number. These Colours were carried throughout the Peninsula War. The 2nd Battalion gained 8 battle honours for the regiment but was so depleted at the end of the war that it ceased to exist as a battalion.

1812 New Colours were given to the 1st Battalion to replace the old ones which had to be thrown overboard in the Mozambique Channel on the voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to Bengal, to prevent them falling into the hands of the French, along with the greater part of the battalion.

1825 New Colours were presented on 21st March. The title WARWICKSHIRE (not II or 2nd) appeared, encircling 24 REGT. on red silk. The Union wreath surrounded this, and EGYPT and the Sphinx underneath. Above the wreath was CAPE OF GOOD HOPE and the other honours placed four on each side. The same devices and honours were placed on the King's Colour.

1842 New Colours were presented which were carried at Chillianwallah. In the centre was the regimental number XXIV on its own, with II WARWICKSHIRE around it. In 1852 the battle honors for PUNJAUB, CHILLIANWALLAH and GOOJERAT were sewn onto the Regimental Colour. The Queen's Colour was lost to the Sikhs.

1850 A new Queen's Colour arrived in Calcutta in October 1849 but by April 1850 had not reached the regiment. By warrant of 1843 the Queen's Colour was not permitted to have battle honours, so the only addition to the Union Flag was a crown and XXIV below.

1859 A new 2nd Battalion was raised in 1858 and they received Colours the following year. They were subject to new regulations that stated that the pole must have a royal crest in gilt at the top. The size of the flag was to be 4'4" by 4'. These Colours were left in the camp at Isandhlwana when the Zulus attacked. They were captured and probably inadvertantly destroyed when the British soldiers burned the Zulu kraals. Some remnants were later brought to light.

1866 The 1st Battalion received new Colours. See Regimental Colour 1866 The Queen's Colour was famously saved by Melvill and Coghill while the Regimental Colour had been kept safe with the two companies of the 1st Battalion at Helpmakaar. The tattered Queen's Colour and the green Regimental Colour continued to be paraded by the South Wales Borderers until the 1930s.

Saving the Queen's Colours The Last Sleep of the Brave
Colours of the 1st Battalion 1880
Regimental Colour 1866


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by Stephen Luscombe