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Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment

(Berkshire & Wiltshire)




Regimental Anniversaries:

  • Maiwand Day (27 July) 

Although it would be natural to assume a battle celebrated would have been a victorious one, it is not in the case of "Maiwand Day", taken from the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

This was a defeat for the British forces but as you read the story of the battle you will appreciate just why it was decided to honour this day. Maiwand does not appear on the Colours or as a Battle Honour of the Regiment, but the award of "Kandahar 1880", in which the remains of the 66th played a small part, does.

On the anniversary of this battle a Families' Sports Day was normally held, followed by an All Ranks Dance.


    • Ferozeshah (21 December)

    Ferozeshah, taken from battle fought by the 62nd Regiment over 21st and 22nd December 1845, was a victory for the Army, but the loss to the Regiment was great.

    A Ceremonial Parade was held annually on which, in appreciation of the services rendered by the sergeants, the Colours were handed over by the Commanding Officer to the custody of the Warrant Officers and Sergeants of the battalion for the remainder of the day. A Sergeants Ball is held in the evening and the Colours handed back to the Officers at midnight.

    The composition of the Colour Parties on this day differed from the normal one which is two Subalterns, a Warrant Officer Class II and two Sergeants. The Officers Colour party consists of two Subalterns and three Corporals. The Sergeants' Colour party consists of two Colour Sergeants, a Warrant Officer Class II and two sergeants.

    Before the handover of the Colours from the Officers to the Sergeants, the Commanding Officer read out the charge:

    "Warrant Officers and Sergeants of the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment. I am about to hand over to your custody for a period, the Colours of the 1st Battalion. This high honour is bestowed on you in commemoration of the gallant services rendered by your predecessors at the battle of Ferozeshah, the anniversary of which we celebrate today. Safeguard and honour these Colours as your Officers have ever done and let the fact that our Colours are entrusted to your keeping be not only a reminder of past services but also a visible expression of the confidence and trust which to-day your Officers just place in you.

    Hand over the Colours".

    Another unique custom on this parade was that the Regimental Sergeant Major alone commanded the Escort to the Colours, which was usually the Champion Drill Company.

    Regimental Customs:

    Wherever the Regiment was stationed, placed outside the Guardroom was a large ship's bell. This bell was presented to the Regiment by HMS VERNON, a Naval shore establishment in Portsmouth, with whom there was an affiliation. This affiliation was at the request of the Duke of Edinburgh, who wished to continue the association of the Wiltshire Regiment and the Royal Berkshire Regiment with the Royal Navy, which had existed for over two hundred years.

    Throughout the day the bell was struck by the Regimental Police or Guard Commander to indicate the time of day, in the same manner as is the custom in the Royal Navy. The Regiment was the only Regiment to observe this custom. This custom of striking ship's time stems from the Wiltshire Regiment. Just two years after their formation, the 62nd were employed as Marines and were in action as such when they formed part of the force of the sea-borne attack on French Canada, gaining the Battle Honour of Louisburg.

    To commemorate their service as Marines, the band was permitted to play Rule Britannia on special occasions.

    Later the Regiment acquired a ship's bell and started to strike time throughout the day. This developed into a custom which became unique in the British Army.

    Officers Mess Customs:

    The Royal Berkshire Regiment's custom of "ROLLING IN" on Officers' Mess Guest Night, was still observed in the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment. The custom was observed in the following manner:

    "When the band played 'The Roast Beef of Old England', two Drummers, dressed in the scarlet jackets and blue helmets of the pre-1914 period, lead the Officers and their guests from the ante-room to the dining room beating a roll upon their drums. One drummer went to one side of the table whilst the other took the opposite side.

    On arriving opposite the middle of the table they halted but continued playing until all the officers were placed, whereupon they ceased playing and withdrew."

    The drums used were both trophies. One was a small Russian drum acquired by the old 49th Foot when in the Crimea known as the Inkerman Drum. The other was a German drum captured by the Royal Berkshire Regiment during the 1914-18 war.

    The Colours:

    • The Queens Colour

      • The Queens Colour

         Queens Colour DERR


      • The Regimental Colour

          Regimental Colour DERR


      • The Farmers Boy (Quick March)

      • Auld Robin Grey (Slow March)

      • Rule Britannia (The March Off)

      Regimental Song:

      • The Farmers Boy.


      The Wardrobe, 58 The Close, SALISBURY, Wiltshire SP1 2EX.

      The Wardrobe




                             Copyright 2000 All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 19 July 2006.