The South Essex Regiment (later the Prince of Wales' own volunteers) is a fictional single battalion regiment in the British Army. The troops wore yellow-faced jackets, and the officers had silver lace on their shakoes. The unit was first raised as a militia battalion, under Colonel Henry Simmerson, but was later moved to Portugal to fight in Wellesy's army on the Peninsular. Lieutenant Sharpe and his band of riflemen were joined to the South Essex's light company at the beginning of Sharpe's eagle, as part of a diplomatic escort to Captain Hogan who had been ordered to prevent French advances by blowing up a bridge on the Tagus. Simmerson ordered his troops across the bridge to scare off some french scouts, but they were attacked by French Chasseur cavalry. The Chasseurs routed most of the South Essex, except for 100 men who fought valiantly for the colours, but ultimately lost the king's colour, while Sharpe and Harper fought tooth and claw to retreive the regimental colour. The dying captain Lennox asked Sharpe to replace the lost colour with a French Eagle. Due to his bravery, Sharpe was promoted to captain of the light company, though Simmerson was humiliated by having his regiment considered a 'battalion of detachments' in the division of General (Daddy) Hill.

Later, at Talavera, Simmerson showed cowardice, and ordered the unit back, but Sharpe and Harper kept the light company in the fray, fighting their way through to the centre of a french column and restoring the regiment's honour by capturing its eagle. Simmerson was dismissed for his actions, and the regiment was placed under the command of Colonel William Lawford.

List of known officers:

  • Sir Henry Simmerson
  • Colonel Lawford
  • Colonel Girdwood
  • Major Forrest
  • Captain Lennox
  • Captain Leroy
  • Lieutenant Knowles
  • Lieutenant Gibbons
  • Lieutenant Berry