On the 1st July 1916, under heavy enemy fire, 8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment were waiting ready to go 'over the top' in the first Battle of the Somme. Captain WP (Billie) Nevill, commanding B Company had purchased four footballs for his platoons to kick across 'No Man's Land'. Captain Nevill promised a reward to the first platoon to score a 'goal' in enemy trenches.
On 7th July 2006 Cpl Caines had returned from a combined stop and search operation in the remote desert region of Maysaan to a forward operating base shared with a unit from the Iraqi Army. His platoon and its company headquarters were the only multinational forces in the area for some 80 kilometres and were totally outnumbered by their Iraqi colleagues. The Iraqi Army unit had not had food or water for 36 hours and were, not unreasonably, becoming anxious that they should receive a re-supply.
On 9 August 2004, insurgents loyal to the rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr had taken over the Ba'ath Party building in Basra. The mission for B Company, 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment was to rescue nine men lost in downtown Basra with no means of communication other than an Iraqi mobile phone. They were holed up in a house but weren't sure exactly where it was.
On the 23rd May 2006 CSgt Harkess's platoon was tasked to an operation in a Mahdi Army stronghold. They were under attack from more than 50 heavily armed Militia. CSgt Harkess moved to secure the extraction route. CSgt Harkess's platoon then came under fire themselves from small arms and rocket propelled grenades from several directions. CSgt Harkess attacked, leading his platoon from the front, under heavy enemy fire. He then held the vital ground despite immense and prolonged pressure from the rapidly reinforcing enemy. The Company safely extracted.
Diana, Princess of Wales, was appointed as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1985. This was a popular choice throughout the Regiment especially as she had visited the 1st Battalion regularly, including during their residential tour of Londonderry in 1991. It was considered to be a logical choice of name for the new regiment when it was formed in 1992 and she became the first Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment until she relinquished the post in 1996 following her separation from HRH Prince Charles.
Private Beharry carried out two individual acts of great heroism by which he saved the lives of his comrades. Both were in direct face of the enemy, under intense fire, at great personal risk to himself (one leading to him sustaining very serious injuries). His valour is worthy of the highest recognition.
Lance Corporal Wood is employed as a dismounted Section Commander in C Company, 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, deployed in Al Amarah,Iraq.
Charles Henry Nevile (recorded as John in the Admiralty registers of those embarked in ships in 1794) was born in 1775 at Badsworth, near Harmsworth, in West Yorkshire. He was the son of John Pate Nevile Esq, a well-to-do gentleman with extensive estates and sporting interests in the county, where the family had been landowners for at least three hundred years. He purchased a commission as Ensign in the 2nd, or Queen’s Royal, Regiment of Foot in February 1791 and a Lieutenancy in April 1793.
Lieutenant Eric Archibald McNair VC - Royal Sussex, Hooge, 1916
Born: 16 June 1894, Calcutta, British India. Died: 12 August 1918 aged 24
Sidney Lewis, enlisted with the East Surrey Regiment in August 1915, five months after his 12th birthday, and was fighting on the Somme by the age of 13. But within weeks he was ordered home to his mother, Fanny Lewis, in south London, after she told officials he was too young to fight and should be sent back. The Imperial War Museum declared Private Lewis the youngest fighting soldier after examining papers provided by his son, Colin, the papers included Sidney's birth certificate and letters from the War Office to his mother promising he would be sent home immediately.