Shropshire’s Military Heritage

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The picturesque county of Shropshire, one of the country’s least populated areas, has a fascinating military history. It was here that the Battle of Shrewsbury took place in 1403, the first battle in which English archers were pitted against each other on English soil. The battle was celebrated by Shakespeare in Henry IV, Part I. The county was a central part of the Welsh Marches during the medieval period and was often embroiled in the power struggles between powerful Marcher Lords, the Earls of March and successive monarchs. Shropshire is home to many castles, built to defend against the Welsh and enable effective control of the region. From the mid-eighteenth century, Shropshire’s military heritage has been linked to two regular regiments of the British Army: the 53rd and the 85th Regiments of Foot. They came together in the late 1880s to form the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI), the county’s own regiment. Soldiers of the KSLI, together with the volunteer Shropshire Yeomanry, served with great distinction in the two world wars. In this book author John Shipley peels back the ravages of time as he explores the military heritage of this historic county.