By kind permission of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment Museum, Warwick
The 2nd Battalion 6th of foot was raised at Preston by Robert Walker
Maclin Fraser late of the 1st Battalion under authority from the
Secretary of State for war dated 13th October 1857. The condition on
which the raising of the Battalion was undertaken were that on its
parading one thousand strong Major Fraser should be approved to the command of it with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
The first recruit joined the regiment on the 30th of October and on the 25th of November in the unprecedented space of space of 26 days, the Regiment paraded one thousand strong in addition to which upwards of 250 men have been enlisted and finally approved most of whom joined in a few days, of this number 125 were transferred from the 2nd Battalion, 7th Fusiliers then also at Preston.
The head quarters of the regiment remains at Preston with three companies detached at Bury and three at Manchester up to the 15th of February 1858 when the detachments were called in, and the regiment was together until the 8th of March when it was removed to Aldershot where it remained until the 17th of may 1858.
The great progress the regiment in the short space of time from its first foundation till it went to Aldershot drew from His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge the General Commanding in Chief the highest commendations on his inspecting it there in April. On the 17th of May 1858 the service companies eight hundred and thirty strong, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Fraser embarked for Gibraltar where it arrived on the 25th of the same month. A depot of two companies consisting of one hundred and twenty one men were left in England.
The first inspection of the Battalion was made by Major General Rumcley commanding infantry brigade on the 17th June 1858 at Gibraltar.
The first Colours were presented to the Regiment on the 13th of October 1858 by Lieutenant General Sir James Ferguson KCB Governor of Gibraltar, being the day after authority was given to Lieutenant Fraser to raise the Battalion.
The Battalion was augmented by two sergeants and two corporals on the 1st of April 1859 as per War Office letter dated 31st March 1859. Genl 20/197.
The rifle muskets with bayonets pattern 1853 in possession of the sergeants were exchanged for the rifle muskets pattern 1856 with sword bayonets received at Gibraltar on the 1st of June 1859. The Battalion was removed from Town Range on the 30th of September 1859 and remained under canvas at the North Front until the 1st of February 1860 when it was removed to the South Barracks.
Between the 10th of August 1860 and the 29th of August 1860 the new interchangeable rifle musket (789 in number) were issued to the Battalion in Gibraltar.
The establishment of the Battalion was augmented by one sergeant by authority dated Horse Guard 31st August 1860. The Sergeant Instructor of Musketry being taken on the strength of the Service Company.
The Battalion was removed from the South Barracks on the 10th of June 1861 when it was quartered on Windmill Hill one wing being in barracks and one wing encamped.
The establishment of the Battalion was reduced by one assistant surgeon from the 1st of April 1861 by authority dated War Office 20th June 1861 War Office letter 51/86/499. On the 31st September authority was received to issue on the 1st of April 1862, one pair of blue serge trousers to all ranks to last two years, and on the 1st of October 1862 a pair of boots to each soldier at present in receipt of one pair only annually.
new pattern shako (regimental helmet) was issued to the Battalion on 1st of April 1862.
On the 5th of April 1862 the establishment of the Regiment was altered in the Service and Depot Companies as follows:-
• Service Companies from 760 privates to 730
• Depot Companies from 140 privates to 120
• Total Battalion from 900 privates to 850
On the 23rd of June 1862 the Battalion embarked on board H.M. Transport Himalaya enroute for Corfu, at which station it arrived on the 29th of the same month and disembarked the following morning leaving detachments as follows:-
Capt. Lieut. Bms Serg Corps Drummers Pvts
Santa Inaura 1 1 1 4 4 2 106
Ithaca 1 1 3 3 1 60
Vids one company
The barracks occupied by the Head Quarters were those at the Fort Neuf.
The establishment of the Battalion was increased by one Bandmaster per authority dated War Office 14th June 1862.
By War Office letter 54/2136 of 19th August 1862 40 ball bags for sergeants and 759 for rank and file were authorized to be issued to the regiment the large 40 round pouches were altered to contain 50 rounds and the small 20 round pouches were returned into store.
By Horse Guards circular memorandum No.248 of 1st April 1863 the establishment of the Service and depot Companies were altered as follows:-
The Service Companies reduced from 730 privates to 640 privates
The depot companies reduced from 120 to 110 privates.