Essex Regiment & Essex Militia History

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West Essex or 56th Regiment of Foot

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Regimental Information

  Timeline of Stations for Regiment
1755-1860 List of Colonels of the 56th Regiment
1755-1881 Officers in Command of Battalion
1760-1840 Wills of 56th Essex Officers

1st Battalion

1756 List of Officers shortly after Regiment founded
1779-1783 Siege of Gibraltar
1821 Officers on duty list
1821 Officers on half pay list
1833 Officers on duty  list
1833 Officers on half pay list
1855 Regiment embarks for Ireland
1855 Regiment embarks for Crimea
1856 Officer list
1866 Regimental Depot staff at Colchester
1867 Monument at Surah, India
1867 Regimental sports day for other ranks
1880-1901 Meritorious Service Medal and Annuity awarded to NCO's
1881 Battalion annual dinner

2nd Battalion

1804-1818 Story of the 2nd Battalion in India
1804 - 1818 Officers in Command

3rd Battalion

1813 - 1814 Story of the 3rd Battalion in Holland
1813 - 1814 Officers in Command

Reserve Battalion

1846-1850 Story of the Reserve Battalion
1846 - 1850 Officers in Command


The 56th Essex Regiment was formed in 1755 as the 58th but was renumbered as the 55th in 1757. The end of the 56th came in 1881 when it became the 2nd Battalion of the newly formed Essex Regiment

A Second Battalion was added in 1804 spending virtually all of its service in India until it was disbanded in 1817

A 3rd Battalion was added during the later part of the Napoleonic Wars. The Battalion was mainly made up from Militia Volunteers and saw service in Holland and Belgium before disbanding in October 1814.

The reserve Battalion was formed in 1846 while the main Battalion was in Ireland. Once the main Battalion moved to Gibraltar the reserve Battalion was shipped to Gibraltar and absorbed into the main Battalionso that the reserve Battalion was disbanded.