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1st Bn The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment


27th APRIL 1994

As befits a modern Regiment the formation Parade of the 1st Battalion Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment. took place in a soldier like and business  manner. The Commanding Officer Lt Col Patrick Davidson-Houston addressed the Battalion at that time numbering 25 Officers and 710 other ranks. This formation parade was a practical and symbolic occasion to mark the beginning of the Regiment. It was not a formal ceremonial parade. That was to come later in June at Windsor. The Battalion marched through the Barrack Gates behind the band, they there halted and faced the unfurled Regimental flag. On the third strike of the 'H.M.S.Vernon Bell', the Regimental flag was broken, symbolizing the start of the new Regiment.


The new Regt enters Alma Barracks

The 'New' Regiment enter Alma Barracks

Before the new Regiment fell out to commence their duties the Commanding officer addressed them as follows :-

'This short ceremony today is the final step in the amalgamation of the Gloucestershire Regiment and the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire). It marks the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another in our Regimental History. Of course, we all regret the passing of our two former gallant Infantry Regiments of the line, with  their long and distinguished records of service to crown and country. The 300 years of past service rendered by our forbears will always be the bedrock of our new Regiment. No-One can strike it from the record.

Today, Wednesday 27th April 1994, we begin a new chapter with the formation of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, a Regiment formed with soldiers from the counties at the very heart of England. This formation will be completed in a few minutes, when the 1st Battalion march through the gates of Alma Barracks, followed by the striking of ships time and the unfurling of the Regimental flag for the first time.

From that moment we go forward to take our place as a mechanized (Wheeled) Battalion in the 19th Mechanized Brigade. I am very confident that we are ready to face the challenges and grasp the opportunities that the future holds for us, as our forbears did at the battles of Alexandria (1801) Salamanca (1812) Ferozeshah (1845) Tofrek (1885) The Somme (1916) Kohima (1944) Imjin (1951) to name but a few of the 89 Battle Honours to be bourne on our new colours. Soldiers of the 1st Battalion the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, let us now with pride, enthusiasm and confidence, march into our barracks to do our duty to Queen and Country.'

And with that the Battalion went about its duties, with its first major parade to take place at Windsor on the 8th June for the formal presentation of colours.


The Presentation of Colours at Windsor Castle 

8th June 1994

The 1st Battalion marched on parade, as is traditional to 'The Army of the Nile'. They saluted the arrival of the Colonel of the Regiment and H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester before the arrival of the Colonel in Chief, which was heralded by a 21 Gun salute fired behind the stands, by 25/170 (Imjin) Battery R.A.. The Colonel in chief then inspected the parade, passing for the last time, the Colours of the Gloucestershire Regiment and of his own old Regiment. The stands, now full of over 3000 spectators, were bathed in sunshine, and the band played airs for the last time on a major parade, being sadly due for disbandment a month later.

The two colour parties of the old Regiments then left the parade, which now formed a hollow square. The drums were piled and the new colours, carried by 2Lts THOMAS and VINE, were uncovered and laid upon them. They were then consecrated in a service conducted by the Chaplain General, the Rev James HARKNESS, attended by Monsignor S.W. LOUDEN, principle Army Roman Catholic Chaplin, and the Rev Sam DAVIES, formerly Hon Regimental Chaplin of the Glosters, and himself a survivor of of the Imjin.

The Colonel in Chief then presented the colours to the Battalion after which he addressed the parade as follows. 

Colonel in Chiefs address to the Regiment

There may be many old comrades here today who will remember the amalgamation in 1959 of the Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales) with the Wiltshire Regiment (The Duke of Edinburgh's) to form the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment. Little did any of us  imagine that we would have to go through that process all over again only 35 years later.

Disappointing it may be, but it has all happened before. In 1782, the 28th Regiment of foot became the North Gloucestershires , the 49th became the Herefordshire's, the 61st became the South Gloucestershires, the 62sd became the Wiltshire's and the 66th became the Berkshires. In 1881 a further reorganization took place and, for reasons which only the Ministry of Defence might have understood, the 99th, originally the Lanarkshire Regiment (The Duke of Edinburgh's) joined the Wiltshire's to become the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire) Regiment.

When options for change identified the need for further contraction, however painful it may be, the decision to put the Gloster's together with the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment has meant that the neighbouring counties of Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire now share a Regiment whose components have fought together in all the major campaigns of the British Army over the past 250 years.

The 28th gained their first Battle Honour at Ramillies, but after that the parent Regiments were together in North America, in the Peninsular, in China, India, the Crimea, Afghanistan, Egypt, South Africa and the first World War. In the Second World War, they were together in France, Sicily, Italy, Burma and in several other campaigns from Madagascar to Syria. No statistics can do full justice to their service, but it is worth mentioning that this new Regiment has 16 V.C.s and 311 Battle Honours to its credit.

It can also claim the unique distinction of commemorating an engagement in the American War of Independence, at Brandywine creek, with the red patch in its cap badge, as well as being allowed to inherit, from the Gloster's, the United States Presidential Citation awarded for their heroic action at the Imjin river in Korea.

I am delighted to welcome Gen Gordon R SULLIVAN, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and to tell him how much his presence here today is appreciated. I know that every  member of the Regiment is deeply touched and honoured by the decision to pass on this very special mark of distinction from the Gloster's to the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment on this occasion.

The Regiment came together at Catterick just six weeks ago, but it is the presentation of these colours that marks the formal beginning. I am very pleased to have been able to present these new colours on behalf of her Majesty the Queen, in the presence of the Duke of Gloucester , the Deputy Colonel-in-chief, and in front of so many members of the Regimental Families.

I have not the slightest doubt that they will be honoured and respected and that they will always remind all present and future members of the Regiment of the quite exceptional service, loyalty and gallantry of their predecessors. 


The Commanding Officer Lt Col P DAVIDSON-HOUSTON replies:-
Colonel-in-chief, on behalf of the 1st Battalion, may I ask you to convey to Her Majesty the Queen our loyal greetings. We are most honoured to receive these colours presented by you on behalf of Her Majesty. We will guard and cherish these colours as our forbears have ever done and they will serve as a reminder of our duty to Queen and Country.




Drum Maj TUBB RGBW Colours

Drum Major TUBB laying the new colours on the drums ready for consecration

The Regimental Colour pictured on the right, carried by 2nd Lt VINE, features the Solmar-Ri streamer.

Band & Drums Windsor Solmar-Ri-Streamer presentation

The band and Drums lead the parade past Windsor Castle for the first and last time

The Solmar-Ri streamer, a unique U.S. Presidential honour for a British Infantry Unit is tied to the Regimental Colour by General Gordon SULLIVAN, chief of Staff, United States Army

Markers take up position

Markers take up position at Windsor The Colonel in Chief inspects the Battalion at Windsor

Presentation of colours booklet

Commanding Officer

Lt Col P E O'R-B Davidson-Houston

Second in Command Major S J Oxlade
Adjutant  Captain P R Flavell
Quartermaster Captain A M Turner
Technical Quartermaster         Capt M K Godwin
Regimental Sergeant Major WO 1 (RSM) I J Wood
Drum Major Sergeant S J Tubb

No 1 Guard

No 2 Guard

Major I V K Harris Major P C Tomlinson M.B.E.
Lieutenant J J Dineen Captain M C Evlyn-Bufton
2nd/Lt M J Spandler 2nd/Lt G A McDade
C.S.M. C Sumner C.S.M. B A D Phillips
No 3 Guard No 4 Guard
Major F D F Drury Major S J Beattie
Lieutenant T J Way Captain J C Collier
2nd/Lt O E R Major Lieutenant P C Thornbury
C.S.M. K R Bloodworth C.S.M. S J Proberts



The Gloucestershire Regiment Colour Party The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Colour Party
Lieutenant M D Shaw Lieutenant S J Ross
Lieutenant I M Savage Lieutenant J R Biggs
Sergeant Major J P Hussey Sergeant Major M J Truman
Colour Sgt M J Cook Colour Sgt S W C Wright
Colour Sgt P D Cooper Colour Sgt J A Stevens

The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment Colour Party

Second Lieutenant M J A Thomas
Second Lieutenant M S Vine
Sergeant Major P J Tait
Colour Sergeant W Apperley
Colour Sergeant J J Rogers
                             Copyright 2000 All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 24 July 2002.