The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) - The King’s Colour, 1924
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Overall: 37.5cm (14.6in) x 33cm (13in)
Lithograph with ten hand embellished First World War battle honours finely executed in watercolour, gouache and gold leaf on foolscap folio. The College of Arms designs for the King’s Colour of 2nd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, autographed signed and dated H. F. Burke, Garter King of Arms and Inspector of Regimental Colours, 26 August 1924. Framed and glazed.
The scale of the Great War led to a previously unheard of number of battle honours being awarded and the realisation it was simply impractical to emblazon every one of them on Regimental Colours. It was at first ordered, in September 1922, that regiments should select up to 10 honours to be emblazoned on their Regimental Colours along with previous awards, up to a total of 24. This led to a storm of protest, since many regiments would have had to remove previous honours. The order was, therefore, amended the following December to allow each infantry regiment to select up to 10 honours to be emblazoned on its King's Colour, honours from other conflicts continuing to be displayed on the Regimental Colour.
The Garter King of Arms, as the senior officer of arms at the College of Arms, traditionally also served as Inspector of Regimental Colours since 1806. Regulations for colours were laid down in 1768, but were widely ignored and designs left to the whim of individual colonels. H.F. Burke, his successors and predecessors, were responsible for the conformity in the design of Colours, Guidons, Standards and other insignia, all of which was produced in pictorial form by heraldic artists prior to submission to the Sovereign via the War Office or other appropriate ministry. The actual 2nd Battalion Colours were presented on 27 January 1926, by Field Marshal Sir Claude Jacob, GCB, GCSI, KCMG at Rawalpindi, India. They were afterwards retained by the 1st Battalion when it amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion in 1949. They were afterwards laid up in the King’s Chapel, Gibraltar in 1955.