The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester, Dorset
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The Duke of Kent, Our Patron
The Regiment's association with the House of Kent began in 1802, when the First Duke of Kent was Governor of Gibraltar. On Christmas Eve and again on Boxing Day two regiments of the garrison mutinied. The 54th of Foot, later 2nd Battalion the Dorset Regiment, remained loyal and despite appeals from the mutineers, opened fire, thus saving His Royal Highness's life.
As a mark of his 'high regard and esteem', the 1st Duke of Kent presented the Regiment with a fine silver punch bowel which is still in constant use by the Regiment today.
Over three hundred years of existence is a long span in the history of any human organisation and my Regiment has seen action through out what are, perhaps, the three most dynamic centuries in the history of the British nation.
This web site describes the Regiment's far-flung campaigns of the 18th Century and Imperial days; the terrible sacrifice, relieved only by the courage and comradeship of regimental officers and soldiers, of the two world wars; the multitude of guerrilla and counter insurgency operations which marked the closing of the imperial chapter. More recently, the Devon and Dorsets played their part in the defence of the Western World in Europe during the Cold War and in many other parts of the world, including Bosnia and Iraq.
The descriptions in these pages highlight the continuity of service the soldiers of Devon and Dorset have given over the centuries to the Crown and nation and of the unswerving devotion of its officers and men, sustained always in their duty by their families. It is in essence a portrait of a great family of Regiments, of generation after generation of service.
For me it is a very special honour to be Colonel-in Chief of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. A Regiment with such a distinguished record of service: and second because of my family's close personal involvement with the Devon and Dorsets, from the time of the siege of Gibraltar at the end of the 18th Century when they gave such stalwart support to my ancestor, up to my mother's association as Colonel-in-Chief of the Dorsets.
I commend these pages as a most fitting tribute to the Regiment and the Museum of the Regiments of Devon and Dorset.