The museum tells the story of one of the oldest infantry regiments in the British Army, the soldiers and their families. The regiment, originally called the Fifth Regiment of Foot, has an unbroken record of service from 1674 to the present day. It began as an Irish regiment raised in Holland to help the Dutch who were at war with France. Soon afterwards Sir John Fenwick, of Wallington in Northumberland, was appointed Colonel and it became an English regiment, adopting St George and the Dragon as its emblem.
The connection with the Percy family goes back to the 18th century when Hugh, Earl Percy, later the Second Duke of Northumberland, commanded the Fifth Regiment of Foot during the American War of Independence. A lasting link to Northumberland was created after King George III decreed that every infantry regiment be given a county name. The Second Duke responded, ‘I cannot hesitate one moment in wishing that the 5th Regiment of Foot may bear the Name of the County of Northumberland’.
In 1935 King George V granted the Northumberland Fusiliers the title ‘Royal’. In 1968 the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers merged with three other Fusilier regiments: the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers, the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and the Lancashire Fusiliers to form today’s Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. In 1970, at the invitation of the Tenth Duke of Northumberland, the museum moved from its former home in Fenham Barracks, Newcastle upon Tyne, to Alnwick Castle.
The museum is marking the Centenary of the First World War with a special WW1 exhibition. The museum’s development programme aims to renew the displays, develop activities and offer more opportunities for volunteers. Visit the Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle and discover what it means to be part of the Fusilier family.
Northumberland Fusiliers, 1914
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