The South Staffordshire Regiment was one of Britain's Regular Army formations, with its two battalions having a long and distinguished history. The 2nd South Staffs had originally seen life in 1793 as the 80th Regiment of Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers), but in 1881 the 80th and the 38th, its sister regiment, were reorganised into the 1st and 2nd Battalions The South Staffordshire Regiment. During the course of its two lives, the battalion collected Battle Honours in a wide range of famous theatres, including many of the major campaigns of the First World War.

 

As part of the 31st Infantry Brigade, the 2nd South Staffords had been in India when the war began, but returned to Britain in late 1940 and formed a part of home defence in Wales. When the Brigade was selected to be converted to the role of glider-borne infantry, the usual process began of rooting out those men who were medically unsuitable for air travel. Any such people would be posted elsewhere and replaced by volunteers from any area of the British army, but despite this the battalion was able to retain much of its pre-war Staffordshire character. Their part in the Sicily landings (see 1st Airlanding Brigade) had cost them dear, but in spite of reinforcements being rushed in, many of the men were still of South Staffs descent.

 

In 1959, the North and South Staffordshire Regiments were amalgamated and were henceforth known as the Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's), consisting of a single regular and one volunteer battalion.

 

Commanders of the 2nd South Staffordshires

 

1943

Lieutenant-Colonel A. Gordon Walch

1944

Lieutenant-Colonel W. Derek H. McCardie