A bi-metal headdress badge of an eight-point star in the centre of which an acorn and oak leaves. Star and scroll in white metal, acorn and leaves in gilding metal.The remnants of a slider is on the reverse.
Badge of pattern worn 1898 to 1922.
The predecessor Regiment was raised in 1689 as the Duke of Norfolk’s Regiment of Foot. In 1747 it was ranked as 22nd of Foot and formally known by that number from 1751. In 1782 it was re-designated 22nd (The Cheshire) Regiment of Foot and in 1858 a 2nd Battalion was raised. Being a two-battalion Regiment, the Cheshires escaped amalgamation during the 1881 Cardwell/Childers reforms, but was re-named The Cheshire Regiment.
At this time the badge was an eight-pointed star with the Prince of Wales’s plumes, coronet and motto superimposed, the origins of which design are not clear. When the Army’s headdress changed in 1898 the new badge kept the eight-point star but exchanged the Prince of Wales’s motif for an acorn, displayed vertically between oak leaves. (The Prince of Wales connection was retained through the Regimental motto, ICH DIEN.) The origins of the oak symbol are also unclear, but alternative versions appear in the literature. The Regimental Museum suggests that it arose from an incident at the Battle of Dettingen (June 1743) when the Regiment is said to have protected King George II from capture by the French and he presented them with a sprig of oak. An alternative suggestion is that the oak symbol derives from the Arms of the Duke of Norfolk, the first Colonel of the Regiment, (and it is worth noting that the same Duke of Norfolk also raised the Suffolk Regiment, and their badge carried an oak leaf wreath.), while Sir H. Bellamy, the Regiment’s second Colonel, is said to have had an acorn and oak leaves as his crest. This would be a more likely derivation, if more prosaic, were it not for the fact that there seems to be no oak symbol on the arms of the Dukes of Norfolk, although one does feature in a description of a crest of the Fitzalan branch of the family, and neither this nor the Bellamy oak crests are shown in Fairbairn.
In 1922 the badge changed again, the star becoming more elaborate and a circle with roped edges added, bearing the Regimental name and enclosing the central oak motif.
In 1958 the Regiment became part of the Mercian Brigade, when the regular battalions were expected to wear the Brigade badge. In 1970 the Brigade was dissolved and the Regiment regained its independence and badge. In 2007 the Mercian Regiment was formed from the Mercian Brigade successor regiments, the Cheshires becoming the 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Cheshire). The battalion adopted the Mercian Regiment badge.