What a strange bird, 78 years ago today
A Tommy with 2nd Battalion, the Warwickshire Regiment is perched in a tree taking aim with his rifle. The photograph was taken during an exercise at Rumegies near the Belgian border, on the 22nd January 1940, during the eight-month “Phoney War” or “Sitzkrieg” period between the fall of Poland and the invasion of France.
His rifle is the Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle No.1 MkIII.
The Warwickshires were originally formed in 1685 in the Netherlands by James II as the 6th Regiment of Foot, changing their name to the 1st Warwickshire in 1782. They fought in the Napoleonic wars, both World Wars, the Boer War and other assorted conflicts around the globe for 283 years when amalgamated finally as a single battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers, they lost their name and were folded into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1968 with their current RHQ in the Tower of London. Today they field an active duty armored infantry battalion (1st) equipped with Warriors while a TA unit, (5th bn) is equipped as light infantry.