In March 1689, James II landed in Ireland and began raising an army to take back the British throne from his son-in-law William III. With a coastline on the Irish Sea, the county of Cheshire was particularly vulnerable. And so, in that same month, Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk, founded a regiment on the Roodee racecourse in Chester.
This unit was sent to Ireland later in 1689 and fought at both the Boyne (1690) and Aughrim (1691). It then fought in Flanders at Landen (1693) and Namur (1695), before returning to Ireland as a garrison until 1702, with a brief redeployment to the Netherlands.
On the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), it was sent to Jamaica, remaining there for 12 years. Following home service, it then spent 22 years on Minorca from 1726. During its time there, it also sent detachments to the Battle of Dettingen (1743).
In 1749, the regiment as a whole moved back to Ireland. Two years later, it became the 22nd Regiment of Foot.
Under its new name, it helped take Louisbourg in Canada in 1758 during the Seven Years War (1756-63). Its grenadiers also joined General Wolfe's force at Quebec in 1759. Soon afterwards, the regiment helped capture Martinique and Havana in 1762.
It was in England and Ireland from 1765 to 1773. It then fought in the American War of Independence (1775-83), including the Battle of Rhode Island (1778), before having to surrender at Yorktown with General Cornwallis.
'Cheshire' was officially incorporated into its regimental title during its voyage home from North America in 1782.
During the French Revolutionary Wars (1793-1802), it was back in the West Indies, taking part in the expeditions against Martinique, St Lucia and Guadeloupe in 1794.
From 1800 until the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-15), it served in South Africa and India, also fighting at Bhurtpore in 1805 during the Second Maratha War (1803-05). Its soldiers remained in India as garrison troops until 1819.
Following home service, it returned to India in 1841. During this time, it became the only English unit to participate in the Scinde campaign in 1843. It was back in England again in 1855.
In 1858, it raised a 2nd Battalion of regular troops, reviving a 2nd Battalion that had been raised for less than a year in 1814. Both battalions undertook garrison duties across the British Empire over the next two decades.
As a two-battalion regiment, it was not merged with another unit during the 1881 reforms. Both battalions served during the Third Burma War (1885-87). They then undertook further garrison duties until 1914, although 2nd Battalion also fought in the Boer War (1899-1902).
Both regular battalions deployed to the Western Front in 1914-15. 1st Battalion stayed there for the duration of the First World War (1914-18), but suffered 771 casualties at Audregnies during the Battle of Mons in August 1914. 2nd Battalion transferred from France to Salonika in late 1915.
The regiment’s battalions spent the inter-war years in Ireland, Malta, Sudan, India and Palestine.
The regiment raised several other units during the war, including the 6th and 7th Battalions that fought in Italy (1943-45).
In 1992-93, it took part in peace-keeping duties in Bosnia (1992-95). It returned to Germany, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and England over the next decade, before its final overseas independent posting to Iraq (2003-11) in 2004.
The National Army Museum works together with Regimental and Corps Museums across the country to help provide a network of military museums for everyone to visit and enjoy.
Explore the history and collections of the Cheshire Regiment by visiting Cheshire Military Museum.