With the generous assistance of the The ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the Mercian Regiment Museum we have recently acquired an Officer shoulder belt plate of the 36th Herefordshire Regiment. This belt plate succeeded the 1800 pattern and was prompted by the plethora of battle honours awarded for the Peninsular War, and the authorisation of the motto “FIRM”, both events occurring in 1816. The introduction of this plate must therefore be after 1816 when the last four battle honours were granted yet before 1825 when “PYRENEES” and “NIVE” were granted. This plate shows clear signs that the star has been moved upwards to accommodate the “FIRM” scroll. Bennet, who originally acquired the badge of Captain Bayley, (Bennet R.W. 1994 “Badges of the Worcestershire Regiment”) mentions only one other example of this type of shoulder belt plate, whose current location is unknown.
Charles Andrew Bayley was first commissioned on the 25th November 1804, as an Ensign of the 41st Regiment of Foot. On the 26th January 1806 he was a gazetted Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 31st Foot and it was in this capacity that he served in the Peninsular. He was present at the siege of Badajoz and the Battle of Albuehera and at the action of Arroyo del Molinos for which he received a promotion. He was gazetted Captain and joined the 36th Foot (the Herefordshire Regiment) on the 15th January 1812. He joined the 2nd Battalion of the 36th in May and went recruiting in Borrisokane, Ireland. He was back in Spain in March 1813, but was sick and on leave from October 1813 to May 1814. He was then appointed Officer in charge of the 36th Depot in Cork. Following the disbandment of the 2nd battalion in 1815 he joined the first battalion in Portsmouth. In 1817 he was posted to Malta. He became DAQMG Malta in August 1821 and then Military Secretary Corfu in February 1822. He was appointed military secretary in Malta from May 1824 and then deputy Judge Advocate in Malta in April 1825. In 1826, he went on half pay until 1841. On the 23rd November 1841 he was appointed Lt. Colonel Mediterranean and from 1846 to 1850 he was Commander Forces Gozo, Malta. He died in 1852.