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SWEETHEART PIN CUSHION 9TH NORFOLK REGIMENT
A sweetheart pin cushion from The Royal Norfolk Regiment. Pin cushions, were a very common memento sent home by the troops to their loved ones during WW1. As with this one, they often incorporate the name of the soldier’s unit – here the insignia, of Britannia and the regiment’s colours can be seen.
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The Royal Norfolk Regiment, originally formed as the Norfolk Regiment, was an infantry regiment of the British Army. The Norfolk Regiment was created on 1 July 1881 as the county regiment of Norfolk. It was formed from the 9th (the East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot (formerly the 9th Regiment of Foot) and covered the local militia and rifle volunteers. It became the Royal Norfolk Regiment on 3 June 1935.
The 8th Battalion as part of the 18th (Eastern) Division was present on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916. They got beyond their initial target and had by 5.00pm reached the German trenches known as "Montauban Alley". Over one hundred men and three officers had been killed.
During the war Lt-Col Jack Sherwood Kelly, a Norfolk regiment officer, won a Victoria Cross leading a trench assault by Irish troops during the battle of Cambrai in 1917.
They inherited the regimental nickname of the "Holy Boys" from the 9th Regiment of Foot. The story of the nickname is that it was gained it from a misidentification of their cap badge of Britannia by a Spanish soldier for the Virgin Mary.