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28th Foot: Nicknames

' The Old Braggs'

This was the favourite nickname in the Regiment itself and was in honour of Colonel Philip Bragg, who commanded the 28th Foot from 1734 to his death in 1759.

' The Slashers '

There are two stories attached to this nickname:

The Slashers in Canada
('Walker's Ear')

1764: As there were no public buildings in Montreal at the time, troops were billeted in private homes. They were to be provided bedding, firewood and cooking facilities by the house owner. One such man was Thomas Walker, a merchant. The merchant class was opposed to this practice and when Walker was appointed a Justice of the Peace he used his authority to challenge the military authority. In November 1764 Walker arrested a Captain of the 28th Foot for refusing to leave a room that a merchant claimed to have rented to someone else. The Governor, James Murray, asked that Walker travel to Quebec to explain his actions in person.

On the 6th December, 'between the hours of 8 and 9 of the clock at night, a most violent, barbarous and inhuman assault was made upon the person of Thomas Walker by a number of disguised persons, armed with swords and other weapons, who in a most cruel and outrageous manner wounded the said Thomas Walker, so that his life is in the utmost danger'.

Walker had been beaten and a part of one ear was cut off. A short while later, two masked men burst into the room of the adjutant of the 28th Foot and threw him the ear "for his supper". A search found no military men missing from their quarters. 300 pounds was raised by the city, and the Government offered another 200 pounds and a discharge from the army, for information, but the perpetrators were never identified. It was believed in the city was that the assailants were members of the 28th Foot and some men were arrested. But they were twice released from prison by their friends.

A trial was finally held in July 1765, but the soldiers were acquitted and bad feeling between the military and the merchant class deepened. Walker took the merchants' complaints to London, and Murray was instructed to support Walker 'in that unmolested pursuit of Trade, which as a British subject, he is entitled to'. The Governor was recalled to London to explain his conduct in the colony. He left on 28th June, 1766 and defended himself (all charges of obstructing justice and mismanagement of the colony's affairs were dismissed), but he never returned to Quebec.


The Slashers in America

Battle of White Plains (New York) in 1776. The Americans had taken up position on a steep hill beyond the Bronx River. Unable to carry their muskets up the hill the 28th drew their short swords and charged, driving the Americans from the hill.

' The Glorious Glosters '

In 1950 the 1st Battalion went to Korea as part of the United Nations Forces defending South Korea. In April 1951 British 29th Infantry Brigade was holding the defensive line along the Imjin River. The main invasion route across the Imjin was held by the Gloucestershire Regiment (750 strong) and the men of C Troop Light (Mortar) Battery, R.A. The U.N. command needed time to reorganise and asked the Glosters to hold for as long as possible. Against them were three Chinese Divisions (approx. 27,000 men). From April 22nd to 25th the Glosters held out, surrounded, radio batteries dead, low on water and ammunition the order was given to break out..... The Glosters in Korea