MINDEN ROSES
 


 

BRITISH FOOT REGIMENTS  •  BATTLE OF MINDEN  •  1 AUGUST 1759
 

The Battle of Minden (Seven Years War, 1 August 1759) witnessed one of the British Army's most celebrated feats of arms. The allied army of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, which included six British regiments of infantry (the 12th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, 37th and 51st Foot), advanced against the French Army, which had taken up a position near the fortified town of Minden in western Germany. The French were expecting reinforcements and Ferdinand's intention was to attack and gain a victory before these reinforcements could arrive. On the day of battle, the six British foot regiments together with the Hanoverian Guards constituted two brigades, posted in the center of the allied line. In an incident that was to become famous, as the British troops approached the battlefield some of the soldiers plucked roses and stuck them in their hats and buttonholes. Misunderstanding their orders, the two brigades advanced in line to attack the French cavalry—a hazardous undertaking for infantry on the eighteenth-century battlefield. Though under heavy artillery bombardment, the brigades drove off repeated French cavalry charges with steady, well-directed musket fire. Thereupon the entire allied line advanced, driving the French from the field in complete disorder. Ever since this memorable victory, the Minden regiments of the British Army and their successors have celebrated Minden Day, and each year on August 1 the soldiers of the Minden regiments wear roses in their caps.

The colors carried by the original Minden regiments were of the pattern established by the Royal Warrant of 1751: a King's Colour described as "the Great Union throughout" and a Regimental Colour with the Union Flag as a canton and a field of the regimental facing color. In the center of both colors appeared a "union wreath" of roses and thistles enclosing the number of the regiment in gold Roman numerals. Regiments like the 23rd Foot that were permitted to bear on their colors royal devices or "ancient Badges" displayed their number in the canton of both colors.

Note on the Illustrations: For each regiment, the King's Colour is depicted on the left and the Regimental Colour on the right.
 



 

12th REGIMENT OF FOOT


 

20th REGIMENT OF FOOT

 

23rd REGIMENT OF FOOT
THE ROYAL WELSH FUZILEERS

 

25th REGIMENT OF FOOT
 

 

37th REGIMENT OF FOOT
 

 

51st REGIMENT OF FOOT
 



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