The Mercian Regimental cap badge of a Saxon crown over a double headed eagle was originally the Crest of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, better known through his wife Lady Godiva of Coventry. The first modern known reference to the title Mercian can be found in an instruction sent to editors of army newspapers during World War 2. Reporting on a wartime sports day, it was recorded that "they (whoever they are!) won the same event in their recent Brigade Championships from the 2nd Wessex Regiment and the 1st Mercian Regiment part of 100 Infantry Brigade, 17th Armoured Division". (Taken from the Union Jack, a Scrapbook of British Forces Newspapers 1939 -1945, published by HMSO).
Just as the Mercian Eagle had two heads, so the Mercians raised two battalions, Mercian Volunteers, later to become 1st Battalion Mercian Volunteers and The Light Infantry and Mercian Volunteers, later re-named 2nd Battalion Mercian Volunteers
Mercian Volunteers was formed in 1967 with four infantry companies based at Stockport, Kidderminster, Burton on Trent and Nottingham respectively. HQ Company and Battalion HQ were based eventually at Fallings Park in Wolverhampton
In 1975 Mercian Volunteers became the 1st Battalion Mercian Volunteers, abbreviated to 1 Mercian (V), retaining its existing structure and bases. The battalion was re-titled in 1988 to become the 3rd Battalion the Staffordshire Regiment TA and its colours were laid up in St Peters Collegiate Church Wolverhampton, where they can still be seen.
The Light Infantry and Mercian Volunteers was formed in 1971 as part of the territorial army expansion, designed to meet the growing threat posed by the then Cold war. It raised four infantry companies based in Worcester, Stoke on Trent, Ellesmere Port and Walsall, with Bn HQ and HQ Coy eventually being located in Shirley.
In 1975, the battalion was re-designated the 2nd Battalion Mercian Volunteers, abbreviated to 2 Mercian (V), retaining all its bases and organisation. In 1988, the battalion was re-titled to become the 4th Battalion the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment TA. Its colours were laid up in the Council Offices in Solihull where they are still on view.
During their twenty one years of existence the Mercians achieved many notable successes on duty, in shooting and in their national reputation. There is still today a strong and enduring bond of camaderie and esprit de corps, as witnessed by the following snapshots of regimental life