Christopher Pincher Writes to Prime Minister Supporting 3 Mercian (The Staffords)
Christopher Pincher, Member of Parliament for Tamworth, together with Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant, has drafted a joint letter to the Prime Minister signed by all six Conservative MPs, calling on him to help save 3 Mercian.
The former Staffordshire Regiment is faced with withdrawal from the Order of Battle and most of its personnel subsumed into other units. Mr Pincher and his colleagues have asked the Prime Minister to help them “preserve and cherish the symbols, tradition and heritage of 3 Mercian”.
Five MPs (Bill Cash, Jeremy Lefroy, Aidan Burley, Karen Bradley and Christopher Pincher) also met with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP last week to ask him to help retain the name of the battalion. Mr Hammond said that the government is keen for the heritage of former regiments to be preserved but that the decision how to do that is always left to the regiment in question.
Following the meeting with the Secretary of State, Mr Pincher said:
“We will now seek an urgent meeting with the Colonel of the Mercian Regiment, Brigadier Andrew Sharpe OBE, to impress upon him the importance of preserving the name and traditions of 3 Mercian. Regiments must of course be responsible for their own history but they must also be mindful of what former and serving soldiers think.”
The regiment was originally raised in 1705 in the King’s Head Inn, Lichfield. In the 1870s as part of the Cardwell reforms two regiments (North Staffordshire and South Staffordshire) were created. These were amalgamated in 1959 to form the Staffordshire Regiment which was itself merged with two other regiments to form a battalion of the Mercian Regiment in 2007. The changes are being made to help deal with the £38billion black hole left in the defence budget by the last Labour government.