“The Battle of Minden”


Painting by Dawn Waring 1993

This painting depicts the 37th of Foot repelling a charge from the French cavalry during the Battle of Minden. The painting itself is on loan to the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. It is owned by the Hampshire's Regimental Museum and was brought to the Regiment in 2009 for the 250th anniversary of the battle. The loan was organised by Quartermaster Technical Captain Stu Horder, who was the Regimental Sergeant Major at the time, and he wanted it to be displayed in the Warrant Officers' and Sergeants mess. However, Lt Col Charlie Sykes, the Commanding Officer at the time decided that he rather liked it where it was and so it stayed in the Officers' Mess. It was painted in 1993 by Dawn Waring and is her most famous piece of work.

The battle took place on 1 August 1759 and was part of the Seven Years War. The British were part of an Anglo-Prussian coalition and were under the command of a Prussian General, Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. The coalition consisted of six British Foot regiments. The 37th were the centre regiment of the first line. Duke Ferdinand gave a rather confusing order of "Advance with the drums beating in proper time". This was taken by the regiments to advance with drums beating. The Duke however meant "prepare to move on orders">

Despite there being 60 French guns firing across the front of the Allies, the British infantry advanced. This was the first recorded time that foot soldiers had attacked cavalry head on. As they advanced on the cavalry, the British repelled three separate French charges of ferocious power, a act which was completely unheard of. The French, cut down and repelled, had no choice but to withdraw.

The troops picked roses from the battlefield and placed them in their headdress on that day and this is the reason that troops still display and wear the rose on their headdress on Minden Day.