DERR

Home Whats new Regt Museum Museum Shop Redcoats Search

Home

THE ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE, BERKSHIRE and WILTSHIRE REGIMENT

(28th, 49th, 61st, 62nd, 66th and 99th Foot)

 

This is a temporary page put here by 'Mac' the site Historian to inform 'Farmersboys' about the Regiments future.

In the lead up to the proposed merger I intend to place on this page any news I can that relates to us. Anything that happens to 1 RGBW, is in effect happening to 1 DERR. The views expressed below are mine and mine alone. I have added extracts from the other units involved and you can draw what conclusions you wish. I will make comment when and where necessary.

 

Mac's initial observations
By now most of you will be aware of the proposal to merge the RGBW and the D & Ds into the Light Division. The Gloster element of our Regimental family have been very pro-active in making their views known and they are to be commended for that. As the whole issue revolves around 'The golden thread' an expression that has never been used before I feel it is only right we should brief our members via this site, in particular those abroad in Australia, Canada and other far out obscure places. It appears now that the Labour party have returned to power the Infantry arm of the British Army is 'doomed' to put it into Home guard speak. I have made enquiries into the future and although it appears to be bad news there must be something we can regimentally get out of this if we are prepared to look. For those of you who believe the Regiment died in 1994, then read on no further. If like me you take the view that the Regiment was never disbanded (No more than the Royal Berkshires or Wiltshire's were) then there is a future within the new structure providing our negotiators fight our corner. For the historians amongst you , remember the British Army has been chopping and changing since it was formed as we recognise it by Cromwell. So nothing is new.

My understanding is that the RGBW after the tour of Afghanistan will  'Merge' into the Light Infantry, the D& Ds already having arrived (i.e. having taken the high ground). The three Battalions of Light Infantry will then be joined by the two Battalions of Royal Green Jackets to form a five battalion Light Division. I'm not sure but I think they will be called the Royal Rifle Regiment (Unconfirmed). I am sure the planners are having a right nightmare trying to tie this lot together in insignia terms. The only hope I get from this arrangement is the RGBW are in the same boat as everybody else now they are not being dismembered (i.e. disbanded) so they must have a equal say in all matters. Looking to the future beyond this I see this as an exercise to get the Infantry arm into a position whereby the 5th Battalion of the 'Blankshire' regiment will drop of the end of the table on the next reorganisation with the minimum of fuss. The precedence has already been set in the past when the 4th LI (formerly Durham Light Infantry) and the 4th Queens (Formerly the Middlesex) got the chop. Both those battalions were splendid outfits so history and service appears to only play a small part.

 

REGIMENTAL COUNCIL'S RESPONSE - 03 November 2005
FORMATION OF THE RIFLES –
RGBWLI REGIMENTAL COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 28 OCT 05
Earlier this year, the Regimental Council agreed to support the Army Board’s desire for the Infantry to reorganise into large Regiments.  The Council met most recently to consider the implications of the decisions made at the meeting of the Colonels of the Light Division on Wednesday 19th October 2005.  The Council’s views were as follows:

§       Strongly supported the creation of a large regiment to be called The RIFLES.

MAC....Should have supported 'The Royal Rifles'
 

§       Welcomed the retention of strong links with our Counties and the appointment of a Deputy Colonel Commandant for Gloucestershire, Bristol, Berkshire and Wiltshire.
 

§       Welcomed the recent appointment of Lt Col David Brown, RGBWLI to be the first Commanding Officer of 1RIFLES to be based in Chepstow on its formation in 2007.
 

§       Welcomed the decision to wear the Back Badge across the new regiment on No 1 Dress Hats but urged the Colonel of the Regiment to continue to argue for the Back Badge to be worn on all forms of dress within all battalions of The RIFLES, and affiliated Cadet detachments.

MAC...See comments below, the back badge will disappear when they drop the No 1 dress hat.
 

§       Argued for the Brandywine Flash to be incorporated into the uniform of The RIFLES.

MAC...If the Light Infantry have dropped the red backing from behind their present cap badge which is for the same action this will not happen.
 

§       Noted with disappointment that The RIFLES would not carry Colours; however, it was recognised that Colours would not be compatible with the new regiment which is to be founded on a Light/Rifle regiment ethos.

MAC...Only the Green Jackets carried no colours and that came from the 5/60 Rifles. I suspect the issue was numbers. Of course that means any link to  the battle of Ferozeshah is now dead
 

§       Acknowledged that the Regimental Headquarters of the new regiment would be in Winchester, but welcomed that Gloucester and Salisbury would be outstations.

 

MAC..For how long. Will this new formation positively support the regimental museums ?. and furthermore will Salisbury because of a defective decision in 1994 be disadvantaged.
 

§       Stressed the importance of the continued support of the Branches and members of our Regimental Association.

The Regimental Council recognised that the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire Light Infantry was but one element of the new regiment.  This made it difficult for our negotiating teams to carry the day on many things that we held to be important.

 

MAC..So were the other elements only one part. The bottom line is Berkshire and Wiltshire have no representation left. So much for the 'Golden Thread' Whilst accepting the difficulties why does DERR always come out of these situations in a weak position ?.

Finally, the Regimental Council acknowledged that there was much still to be done.  The RGBWLI Future Working Group will be consulting and making recommendations to the Colonel of the Regiment on such matters as customs and traditions, dress and the implementation plan over the coming months.
 

[1] 

 The RIFLES will consist of seven battalions, five regular and two TA, comprising The Devonshire & Dorset Light Infantry,  The Light Infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire Light Infantry,  and The Royal Green Jackets.

 

 

[2]

1RIFLES will be formed from The Devonshire & Dorset Light Infantry and The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire Light Infantry.

 

 

[3]

This is vital as members of the TA, ACF, and CCF rarely wear any head dress other than berets.

 

 

 

Formation of The Rifles - Regt Council response 3 Nov 05

 

 

 

 

Latest from RHQ at Gloucester after the public announcment of the formation of the Rifles.

(I have placed my observations in red, they are mine and mine alone)

THE FORMATION OF THE RIFLES 

You will be aware of the Army Board’s initial decision on 16 December 2004 to split the RGBW back into its prior parts and across two separate Infantry Divisions.  We won that argument and the Army Board agreed that the RGBW would merge with the Devonshire & Dorset Regiment (D&D) to form the 1st Bn Light Infantry.  As part of the transition, we became the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry on 22 July 2005.  I am now writing to tell you that we have decided to form a new regiment, consisting of The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry, The Light Infantry and The Royal Green JacketsSubject to the approval of the Army Board and Royal assent, the new regiment will be formed in 2007 and will consist of five regular and two TA battalions.  It will be called The RIFLES; it would be for Her Majesty The Queen to decide whether the regiment should be granted the title “Royal”. 

 

MACS COMMENT

My reading of the above is that the designation 'ROYAL' will disappear. It would been better to have read something like We are recommending very strongly to Her Majesty that the new Regiment be called 'The Royal Rifles' thus ensuring the 'Golden links' we have been referring to over the past year are maintained. I suspect the 'Black Buttons' have clearly knocked this one into touch.

RGBWLI and the DDLI will form 1st Bn The Rifles [1RIFLES] based at Chepstow, the other battalions will be based as follows: 

·        2nd Bn The Rifles - Ballykinler

·        3rd Bn The Rifles - Edinburgh

·        4th Bn The Rifles - Bulford

·        5th Bn The Rifles - Paderborn

·        6th Bn The Rifles - TA battalion, with HQ in Exeter

·        7th Bn The Rifles - TA battalion, with HQ likely to be in Brock Barracks in Reading 

The cap badge of The Rifles will be a Light Infantry style Bugle, and the Back Badge will be carried forward into the new regiment and worn on No 1 Dress Hats of all battalions; we will continue to argue to wear the Back Badge on all forms of dress. 

MACS COMMENT

As already indicated this is a Light Infantry formation. The Light Infantry have agreed to dispense with the Red Backing to the bugle horn cap badge as currently worn by them. This of course puts paid to 'The Brandywine Flash' which will disappear when the regiment forms. As for the Back Badge (Glosters) I think it is a small victory that will not stand the test of time. If it is being retained for the No 1 Dress hats it will soon disappear when the wearing of these hats is discontinued in favour of berets. This of course will be introduced as a cost cutting exercise. The telling comment above is 'We will continue to argue to wear the Back Badge on all forms of dress'. This to Farmersboys is somewhat academic as it has nothing to do with DERR.

 

Despite our preference, to be consistent with Rifle history, the Rifles will not have Colours.  Battle honours will be incorporated in a Maltese Cross, inscribed with representational honours from the four founding Regiments, to be worn on the Cross Belt (officers) or Belt Buckles (soldiers) as appropriate. 

 

MACS COMMENT

I anticipated this as a solution. I think it has more to do with ease of progression (i.e. No research and/or arguments due to Battle Honour numbers) than it is to following the 'Light ' tradition. It will be very interesting to see what Battle honours are selected and whether Berkshire and Wiltshire (DERR) will be properly represented. Based on what's happened so far I will not hold my breath.

The Rifles will have a single Colonel Commandant – a senior serving officer.  He will appoint Deputy Colonels Commandant to assist him in his duties in respect of the battalions and counties.  There will be a Deputy Colonel Commandant specifically for RGBWLI and our four counties. 

Regimental Headquarters of The Rifles will be at Winchester.  However, The Rifles will continue to have a number of outstations, including Gloucester and Salisbury; thus, the formation of the new regiment is likely to have little effect on our museums – the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, and the RGBW Museum at The Wardrobe in Salisbury will continue to be the homes of our heritage. 

 

MACS COMMENT

Lets hope they keep their word. Salisbury has played second fiddle to Gloster from day one. The Museum at Salisbury took on the name of the RGBW straight away and should remain as its Museum. If someone somewhere does not get a grip of this one the RGBW history will scatter to the four winds.

We shall continue to maintain close links with our counties, cities and towns; the ending of arms-plotting will mean that 1RIFLES will be based at Chepstow when not on operations.  However all soldiers currently serving with 1RGBWLI, if they wish, may find a place in any of the regiment’s battalions.  With regular battalions based at both Chepstow and Bulford, we will be able to provide close support to our TA battalions, affiliated ACF detachments and CCF contingents. 

 

MACS COMMENT

It matters not that 1 RIFLES are based at Chepstow, my understanding is that when formed they will become a national organisation and any individual links between battalions and counties will disappear.

The Regimental Association will, in due course, be part of a much larger association.  It is hoped that branches in the same town or city will attend each other’s functions, but change will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.  We will retain our branch standards which will continue to be of great importance in carrying forward our heritage.                                                                                                                               

The future is clear; we are now set on course to merge with 1DDLI in Chepstow in 2007 to form 1RIFLES.  We have the opportunity to take with us into the new regiment, the professionalism and excellence that has made the RGBW so successful in the last few years, whether on operations or in sports.  Much work needs to be done to sort out the detail, but I am confident that our excellence will be carried forward into the 1st Bn The Rifles, and that all who serve in The RIFLES will have an even greater opportunity for a rewarding, fulfilling, and enjoyable career.   

 

Colonel of the Regiment

 

MACS COMMENT

I am sure those serving will move on. But it is very clear that DERR and the Berkshire/Wiltshire Element have been treated very badly. Everything seems to have gone which makes a total nonsense of Hoon's statements in parliament about maintaining the Regiments 'golden thread'.   Having said all that, you get what you pay for and I am afraid we have been deafened throughout by DERR silence which elsewhere is seen as acceptance. It happened in 1994 and this time the final nail was firmly banged into the DERR coffin. The only bit we have left now is the Museum. The only way forward it to contribute to the new formation in a positive way ensuring DERR traditions are included.  

 

 

HM QUEEN APPROVES NEW REGIMENTAL TITLES

(This section has been taken from a Light Infantry site who appear to be far better informed than we are)

 

Royal Assent has been given by Her Majesty The Queen for new regimental titles in the Infantry, UK Defence secretary, John Reid announced today.
The changes are part of the Future Army Structure (FAS) which is developing a more deployable, agile and flexible Army. This new structure is now reflected in the titles of the new multi-battalion regiments.
After months of consultation with the regiments, the agreed title changes evolved from those announced on 16 December 2004 are: 

The King's Own Royal Border Regiment, The King's Regiment and The Queen's Lancashire Regiment will form a new regiment to be known as The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border). On formation in July 2006 the new regiment will have 3 regular battalions with the TA battalion known as 4 LANCS, until the 3 regular battalions merge to form 1 LANCS and 2 LANCS in March 2007 allowing 4 LANCS to assume the vacant title of 3 LANCS. 

.The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry, The Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets will form a new regiment, to be known as The Rifles. The Rifles will comprise five Regular battalions and two TA battalions. 

.The Scottish Division consists of the new Royal Regiment of Scotland; The King's Division will now be made up of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border) and The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th/19th and 33rd/76th Foot); The Prince of Wales' Division will now comprise The Mercian Regiment and The Royal Welsh. 

.In accordance with the Territorial Army (TA) restructuring announcement made in December 2004, the King's and Cheshire Regiment will be merged. The companies will be re-allocated to neighbouring TA battalions.

 

Mr John Reid, said: 

"This restructuring is part of our strategy to provide a truly robust and expeditionary Army. 

It is the next step in modernising the Army into a fully deployable force.
It is essential to ensure that we are structured to provide the most powerful capability possible from the resources available."There has been a constant process of change and regeneration in the Army, in which new organizations have been created, drawing from previous military renown, while developing their own traditions and reputations.
"The planned changes to the infantry are well underway to ensure the Army is fit for the challenges of the 21st Century and remains amongst the best in the world." 

General Sir Mike Jackson, Chief of the General Staff, said: 

"The Army has consulted extensively to find the best names for the new regiments, taking into consideration history and their role in the Army. 

"I am confident that these changes will contribute significantly towards our ability to deliver a truly robust and expeditionary Army. 

It will also provide for better career management for the infantry, and greater stability and predictability of life for their families." 

The Light Division  
The Rifles  
  
Formation Arrangements: Regimental Formation 2007.
  
Regular Battalions
  
  
1st Battalion The
Devonshire and Dorset Light Light Infantry.
And
1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire
and Wiltshire Light Infantry 

 1st Battalion The Rifles 

 1 RIFLES
1st Battalion The Royal Green Jackets
 2nd Battalion The Rifles 2 RIFLES
2nd Battalion The Light Infantry
 3rd Battalion The Rifles 3 RIFLES
2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets
 4th Battalion The Rifles
 4 RIFLES 1st Battalion The Light Infantry 

 5th Battalion The Rifles 5 RIFLES

 

Territorial Army Battalions  
The Rifle Volunteers
 6th Battalion The Rifles 6 RIFLES
The Royal Rifle Volunteers
 7th Battalion The Rifles
 7 RIFLES 

'
53.
Q.
What plans have the Light Division made? 

A. The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry (DDLI), The Light Infantry (LI), The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry (RGBWLI) and The Royal Green Jackets (RGJ) have elected to join and make a wholly new regiment called The Rifles. The Rifles will be comprised of seven battalions, five Regular and two Territorial, as well as other Territorial elements, Cadets and Associations. The Rifles will take their inspiration from the Founding Regiments' Light Division roots, including their Line Regiment history. The Rifles will hold the qualities advanced by General Sir John Moore and displayed by the finest of Infantry regiments. They will demonstrate the values of independent thought and action, leadership, self-discipline, fortitude and steadfastness. The Rifles will strive for excellence and be known for their fighting spirit and strong sense of decency. They will be forward-looking, at the forefront of military thought, and determined to set the standards to which other regiments aspire. 

54. 

Q. Why did the Regiments elect to merge? 

A. A merger was one of a series of options ranging from evolutionary to more bold choices. The merger offers a number of advantages. First, it a bold forward-looking option - it 'seizes the high ground' in embracing inevitable change. Second, it will create five regular battalions, supported by a strong T A element, that cover a wide range of the operational roles envisaged. Third, it is a union of famous names who feel that they have common aspirations and a shared ethos. It will benefit from the combined resources and span of our regional bases as well as offering a better potential career structure for our Regulars and Reservists. We believe with more choice within a single unified capbadge there is the opportunity to create the best regiment of infantry. 

55. 

Q. Why will the new Regiment be named "The Rifles"?
A. "The Rifles" was selected as a distinctive and forward-looking name, true to the Light Division heritage and the ethos of the new regiment. 

56. 

Q. Why is there no mention of Royal or Regiment in the name? 

A. The possibility of The Rifles earning the title 'Royal' in the future remains an option for the
Monarch and The Rifles. The Royal patronage enjoyed by the founding regiments has not been affected by this choice of name. As a single large regiment, it was felt that adding "Regiment" after The Rifles was superfluous and its omission more distinctive. 

57. 

Q. Which date will be chosen for formation day - what is the significance of this date? 

A. A date will be selected in early 2007 based around the Operational Commitments Plot. This reflects the fact that The Rifles will form to better meet the operational and organisational demands of the future. 

58. 

Q. What will be chosen as the capbadge? 

A. This is still to be decided by the Army Dress Committee and is likely to be based upon a silver bugle. 

59. 

Q. How will the 'golden threads' of the antecedent Regiments be preserved?
A. 'Golden threads' will be preserved on No 2 Dress. It is proposed that the DDLI 'Croix de
Guerre' will be worn on the sleeve, the LI bugle and RGBWLI back-badge will be displayed on the forage cap and the RGJ thread will be preserved in the black buttons, cross belt and whistle cord. . This is still subject to Army Dress Committee approval. 

60. 

Q. What seniority will The Rifles adopt? 

A. 

This issue is still being addressed. 

61. 

Q. How have the numbers been allocated to Rifles battalions? 

A. The seniority of the DDLI and RGBWLI has been recognised in their merging to form 1 RIFLES. The remaining battalions have been allocated on an alternate basis between the LI and RGJ in recognition of the values and partnership underlying the formation of The Rifles2. 

62. Q. How will The Rifles maintain links with their founding Regiments recruiting areas? 

A. These regional links are essential to underpin the national outlook and ethos of The Rifles. The Rifles will maintain a central RHQ supported by a network of area offices across the country. Additionally, T A units, affiliated Cadet organisations, associations and recruiting areas will be
better aligned to the UK based Regular battalions now that Arms Plotting has ceased. 

63. 

Q. Will The Rifles carry Colours? 

A. To be consistent with Rifle history, Colours will not be carried. Battle honours will instead be celebrated by a Maltese/Waterloo Cross inscribed with representational battle honours in each quarter.  

64. 

Q. How will The Rifles be governed?
A. A single serving Colonel Commandant will be appointed to The Rifles; he will be supported
by a number of Deputy Colonels Commandant. 

65.

 

Q. Does the merger have the unanimous support of the founding regiments? 

A. Yes it does and a Rifles Charter has been signed by the four Regimental Colonels and Colonel Commandant, which reflects this. There is wide recognition of this forward-looking agreement.

 

 

 

 

 

Latest news 30th October 2007

(Info from Light Infantry Site.)

THE FORMATION OF THE RIFLES
1. As you know the Army Board directed the Infantry to form larger regiments in order to better meet operational demands and efficiency. Arms plotting will give way to an Individual Posting policy.
2. After careful, wide-ranging and cooperative, indeed generous, discussion The Light Infantry, The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets have decided to form a wholly new regiment, The Rifles.
3. Our inspiration will be The Light Division. We aspire to the values of independent thought, action and leadership forwarded by General Sir John Moore: self-discipline, fortitude and steadiness of heart. We want to be known for our fighting spirit and our strong sense of decency. We want to be at the forefront of military thinking.
4. The Rifles will be rooted in its Counties and Cities. We shall have an essential sense of place and this will underpin our national identity. And we shall give a place to all and anyone who swears to serve faithfully. We shall strengthen our essential links - Regular, TA and Cadet.
5. Our vision has Regular battalions reflecting and celebrating the history of all antecedent regiments. But we recognise the vital importance of the

1 st Battalion initially being the place where DDLI and RGBWLI bring their treasure, and proud successful history, to The Rifles.
6. The capbadge of The Rifles will be The Light Infantry’s bugle. The RGBWLI back badge will be worn on the No 1 Dress hat; wider display is a matter for further discussion.
7. Despite the preference of some for Colours we agreed that to be consistent with Rifle history we should not have Colours. Our battle honours will be celebrated by a Maltese Cross inscribed with representational battle honours in each quarter, to be worn on the Cross Belt or Waist Belt as appropriate.
8. The Rifles will have a single Colonel Commandant - a senior serving officer. He will appoint Deputy Colonels Commandant to assist him in his duties in respect of the Battalions and Counties. Initially, there will be a Deputy Colonel Commandant DDLI and one for RGBWLI.
9. We shall be writing to the Chief of the General Staff to seek Army Board approval and Royal Assent of our agreement with a view to forming The Rifles in 2007.
10. I believe this decision is both exciting and sad. All regiments have given up elements we hold dear. The title ‘Light Infantry’, proudly earned and determinedly, loyally, upheld is a case in point. We shall not forget it nor those who for generations have represented it. We have been exceedingly lucky.
11. But we have the opportunity to build an even more powerful regiment. The Rifles will be relevant to the future and proud of its rich history. Regimental Associations will uphold that history and be an important part of the new regiment.
12. I commend the historic decision to form The Rifles to all Light Infantrymen. God’s speed and God bless you all.

 

In addition to above our own HQ has published the following.

the RGBWLI will merge with D & DLI in 2007 and then become 1st Bn The Rifles

1st Bn - Chepstow

2nd Bn Ballykinler

3rd Bn Edinburgh

4th Bn Bulford

5th Bn Paderborn

6th Bn (TA with HQ at Exeter)

7th Bn (TA with HQ at Reading - Possibly)

 

Macs observations on above

If we thought that 1 DERR disappeared in 1994, it sure as hell will in 2007. Based on the information given to date there is nothing there from our old Mob. They have stated that the back badge will be worn on the service dress hat. I have no doubt this will slowly disappear over the next few years as the beret takes precedence and the back badge will go with it. If they placed it on the beret (As they should have done) it would be a different matter. I think our Gloster comrades might see this as a victory, it will be short lived.

Despite all the spin the county links will disappear in 2007, and although on paper the RGBW and D & D form 1 The Rifles the links with the counties are very cosmetic.

The bit missing is the 'Royal' which for us comes from the Royal Berkshires. All they have said is they have put it before HM The Queen to decide, they are not stating that they are recommending that it remains a Royal Regiment. If they fail to do this, then there will be no links with Berkshire or Wiltshire.

They have said that the 7th (TA) Bn might have their HQ at Reading, I read that as they won't and it will end up in London where the influence is located. If they pull the plug on Brock Barracks, that's it for our County links. So much for the waffle stating our 'Historical Golden threads' would be safeguarded.

 

 

 

 

 

FROM MAC - The following was sent from RHQ Gloucester today (25.7.2005) for the information of all. For those of you that believe that life as we know it stopped in 1994, read no further. For the rest who believe as I do that the DERR golden Thread is tied up in this latest mess then read on and you will get a flavour of what's happening. As you will see below they have used Salamanca day as the focus for the merging of the names. This is nothing to do with DERR or the former Regiments so it will be interesting to see what develops. If they move into the LI saving the Back Badge and nothing from our Regiment then questions will have to be asked.

For those of you who take an interest in our history I advise you to view some Light Infantry Websites where it it clear the LI lads want this merger no more than we do, and in some cases they are stating that nothing historically should come over from the D & Ds or the RGBW. I am not picking up the same vibes from elsewhere, but it remains to be seen.

Message from

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Colonel in Chief, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire

AND Wiltshire Light Infantry

The British Army has had to endure a number of major changes in recent years.  The creation of a large Light Infantry Regiment brings together the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment with the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment.  I hope it is a good omen that this change takes place on the anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July, when the Regiments fought side by side in that famous battle, along with the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

I send my best wishes for the future to all the members of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment as you become Light Infantrymen.                                 

 

Message from

General Sir kevin o'donoghue

Colonel, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire

AND Wiltshire Light Infantry

to

All members of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry

Today, on the anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca, we become The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry.  At the same time our friends in The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment - who like us joined The Light Division earlier this year - become The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry.

 
The RGBWLI will wear the rifle green beret of The Light Infantry but, in all other ways, we will continue as we have since 1994.  This step is significant as it illustrates our becoming Light Infantrymen; late next year, after 1 RGBWLI returns from operations in Afghanistan, we shall form a new Battalion within The Light Infantry.

 
Throughout our long and glorious history our forebears have served alongside those of the DDLI within the Wessex Brigade, within the Prince of Wales's Division and on the battlefield.  At the Battle of Salamanca in 1812 the 61st (South Gloucestershire) Regiment fought alongside the forebears of The Devonshire Regiment and those of The King's Shropshire Light Infantry and The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.  We are joining Regiments with whom we have enjoyed success in battle and with whom we will be well placed to face the challenges of the future.

 
It is quite natural that these changes can appear unsettling, but we can take much reassurance from the outstanding success that was our last amalgamation and the fine reputation that this Regiment has built for itself in just 11 years.  In moving forward I send you my best wishes in the certain knowledge that this Regiment's future is bright as well as Light - we will continue to serve and represent both the country and our counties with distinction.

 

Message from

General Sir kevin o'donoghue

Colonel, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire

AND Wiltshire Light Infantry

to

Lieutenant General Sir Cedric Delves KBE DSO
Colonel, The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry
 

Today, on the anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca, we commemorate the brave deeds of former members of both our Regiments.  Our close friendship continues from 22 July 1812 when remnants of our two battalions, both of which had suffered heavy losses, formed for a while one victorious battalion.  Since then, our soldiers have taken part in many campaigns together and have, of course, served together in the Wessex Brigade and the Prince of Wales's Division.  All officers and soldiers of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire Light Infantry join me in sending heartfelt greetings to all ranks of The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry as we embark on the next chapter of our history.  We look forward to our bright future together as Light Infantrymen.

 

MESSAGE FROM

THE COLONEL OF THE DEVONSHIRE AND DORSET LIGHT INFANTRY

TO

THE COLONEL OF THE ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE, BERKSHIRE AND WILTSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY

SALAMANCA DAY

FRIDAY 22 JULY 2005


 

    The Colonel of the Regiment and all members The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry send their warmest greetings to you and all members of the Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry on this the One Hundred and Ninety Third anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca when our forebears fought shoulder to shoulder in Hulse's Brigade.  Today as we start our moves to join fully in the Light Infantry we look back to our shared experiences in many campaigns, and on many battlefields, and as members of the Wessex Brigade and Prince of Wales's Division.  And we also take comfort in our long and true friendship.  It all lends the utmost confidence.  We look forward with optimism to our future together.

 

MESSAGE FROM THE COLONEL OF THE REGIMENT [DDLI]

SALAMANCA DAY

FRIDAY 22 JULY 2005

To all members of the Regiment, past and present, and our friends in the two Counties.

Today, the One Hundred and Ninety Third anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca, we formally adopt the title The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry; and, as an outward symbol of that change, we wear for the first time the Green Beret of the Light Infantry.  We do this at the same time as our friends and comrades of the RGBW whose forbears of the 61st Foot fought shoulder to shoulder with us in Hulse's Brigade on that same bloody battlefield, a battle honour held also by the Light Infantry. 

So, shoulder to shoulder we make our move to join our friends and comrades of the Light Infantry, a move that will see us becoming in time their First Battalion, an honour generously given, an honour with responsibilities willingly accepted, warmly received. 

Of course this has undertones of sadness for us all.  But any dynamic and successful organization must by definition undergo constant adjustment.  The Regiment has changed and prospered in the past, always meeting the demands placed upon it.  I am so proud of the way that you have all faced up to the challenges and needs of today.  I am confident that the changes upon which we are now embarked will ensure that we will preserve the best of our Regimental heritage while equipping ourselves to face the challenges of the future.  Let us go forward with pride, confidence and indeed optimism.

 

Lieutenant General Sir Cedric Delves KBE DSO
Colonel, The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry

 

MESSAGE FROM

THE COLONEL, THE LIGHT INFANTRY

SALAMANCA DAY

FRIDAY 22 JULY 2005


 

I send you and all ranks, serving and retired, greetings on Salamanca Day.  We share this history, and I know all ranks of The Light Infantry look forward to sharing our future.

Today you add Light Infantry to your regimental titles; this is the start of a journey of transformation.  The Light Infantry recognises your sacrifices, salutes your past and looks forward to marching swiftly to our bright future.


 

 

The 61st at the Battle of Salamanca - Spain

22nd July 1812

The Duke of Wellington described Salamanca as the battle of the Peninsular War of which he was most proud, and the 61st Regiment could certainly make the same claim, although during the early stages of the battle it was in reserve with the rest of the 6th Division of which it formed part.

The battlefield was dominated by two steep-sided hills known as the Greater and the Lesser Arapiles, the former in French hands and the latter in British.  During the course of the battle our 4th Division was sent to attack the Greater Arapile, but scarcely had they reached it when the French launched a successful counter attack with a fresh formation against their flank.  Immediately the 6th Division was ordered to regain the ground thus lost, and the 61st with the 11th Foot (later the Devonshire Regiment) on its right, was directed to capture the feature.  After three ringing cheers they advanced steadily on their enemy and gradually drove them backwards up the slopes of the hill.  The men of both British regiments went down by scores as battalion after battalion of Frenchmen attempted to halt their progress.  Having at last gained their objective they came under the fire of a battery of twelve guns and a swarm of sharpshooters, but they stood awaiting further orders with perfect discipline in the gathering darkness.

Elsewhere the French were withdrawing, leaving a division as rearguard along the top of a steep escarpment, and once more the 6th Division was called upon to attack.  As it came within the range of the French muskets the 61st received a devasting volley, but closing its ranks to fill the gaps thus made, it pressed on, answering shot for shot.  In the gathering darkness the hill was one vast sheet of flame, for the dry grass had caught fire, and it looked to an observer as though the British were attacking a burning mountain.  During the final charge all the officers and the sergeants with the Colours fell together under the enemy's fire but they were seized by two privates.  Crawford and Coulston, who bore them triumphantly to the summit.

No less than six reliefs of officers and sergeants had been shot under the Colours during this fierce day of battle.  The Regiment went into action with a strength of 27 officers and 420 men, and of these 24 officers including Colonel Barlow, the CO and 342 men were either killed or wounded.  The Regiment received unstinted praise for its gallantry on this occasion and an officer of the 32nd Foot who was present throughout wrote "The 61st which was almost annihilated in this severe action, was by far the finest Regiment in the 6th Division".


 

Capt [Retd] Ian G Spence
Regimental Secretary
Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire Light Infantry

 

 

Today, 22 July 2005, Salamanca Day, RGBW become The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry (RGBW LI). This title will be retained until such time as they join with the Devon and Dorset’s LI to become a battalion in the Light Division, sometime in late 06.

MESSAGE FROM
THE COLONEL, THE LIGHT INFANTRY
TO
1 D&D LI and 1RGBW LI
SALAMANCA DAY
FRIDAY 22 JULY 2005

I send you and all ranks, serving and retired, greetings on Salamanca Day. We share this history, and I know all ranks of The Light Infantry look forward to sharing our future.

Today you add Light Infantry to your regimental titles; this is the start of a journey of transformation. The Light Infantry recognises your sacrifices, salutes your past and looks forward to marching swiftly to our bright future.

 

 

MESSAGE FROM
COLONEL, THE ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE, BERKSHIRE & WILTSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
TO
THE COLONEL, THE LIGHT INFANTRY
SALAMANCA DAY
FRIDAY 22 JULY 2005

Today, on the anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca, we become the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry and adopt the rifle green beret. We do this in recognising that our predecessors fought alongside brave Light Infantrymen on this day, 193 years ago. All officers and soldiers of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire Light Infantry join me in sending heartfelt greetings to all our fellow Light Infantrymen as we join them to embark on the next chapter of our history. We look forward to our future within the Light Infantry with confidence

 

MESSAGE FROM
THE COLONEL OF THE DEVONSHIRE AND DORSET LIGHT INFANTRY
TO
THE COLONEL, THE LIGHT INFANTRY
SALAMANCA DAY
FRIDAY 22 JULY 2005

Today as we adopt our new title of The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry and wear for the first time the outward symbol of the green Light Infantry beret my Regiment and I send to you our warmest greetings. It is particularly appropriate that this should happen on the One Hundred and Ninety Third anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca and we remember particularly the reputation of the Light Division in that glorious campaign. We appreciate the honour that you have given us in ultimately forming your 1 st Battalion and are confident that we will live up to the expectations that your Regiment has of us.

Semper Fidelis!

NOTE FROM MAC - Salamanca is a Gloucestershire Battle honour carried over to RGBW. DERR did not carry it as a battle honour. Our only involvement was via the Provisional Battalion of which the 2nd/66th formed part.

 

The latest information from the Regimental Museum Website relating to the change in uniform, in this case the conversion to the Green Beret. - At least the Brandywine in still visible for the time being.

New Green Beret from July

Just to make sure that you are aware that in July the 1st Battalion will wear the Light Infantry green beret, as part of the ongoing merger with the Devon & Dorset's to form 1LI. The image is of a 1st Battalion soldier. The Regiment has already moved to the Light Division for administration, as did the Devon & Dorset's some time previously. The change to the green beret in July will also mean a name change to The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment Light Infantry. This will be the Regiment's name until the formal merger in 2006.


 

 

 

CGS’s MESSAGE TO THE ARMY

General Sir Mike Jackson GCB CBE DSO ADC Gen

Chief of the General Staff

 

NOTE FROM MAC...This is the latest (14th June 05) from the Chief of the General staff. This is clear confirmation if we ever needed that the county name is lost, or will be when we become the 1st Light Infantry. Some of you might have seen an article in the Mail on Sunday where supporters of the D & Ds including the Widow of Col 'H' Jones VC were claiming they had saved the D & D name. They have clearly got it wrong the D & Ds title along with the RGBW is going for good in the near future. This proposal to bolt on the LI title at the end of the Regimental title for a short period of time is a good example of 'Smoke and Mirrors'

FUTURE INFANTRY STRUCTURE (FIS)

 

THE DEVONSHIRE AND DORSET REGIMENT (D and D) AND THE ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE, BERKSHIRE AND WILTSHIRE REGIMENT (RGBW) - TRANSITIONAL REGIMENTAL TITLES

 

1.       In my last Message to the Army about FIS[1], I explained that the Director of Infantry, together with the Colonel Commandant of the Light Division and the Colonels of The Light Infantry (LI), D and D and RGBW, would be examining the detailed mechanism by which the D and D and RGBW will amalgamate to become a battalion in the Light Division. 

 

2.       The Director of Infantry has recently proposed to ECAB that, as a critical step in this process, both Regiments should adopt transitional titles: The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry (D and D LI) and The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry (RGBW LI) respectively.  These titles would be adopted on 22 July 2005, when D and D, RGBW and LI will all be celebrating Salamanca Day, and retained until such time as the D and D LI and RGBW LI join to become a battalion[2] in the Light Division, sometime in late 06.  These transitional titles would afford these Regiments an early opportunity to demonstrate, to their regimental families and wider county communities, the direction of their futures in the Light Division. 

 

3.       After taking into account the wider implications of the use of these titles, including the Light Division’s response, ECAB decided to endorse the proposals.  I have informed Ministers of our decision.  Finally, I am pleased to report that Her Majesty has graciously approved the adoption of these transitional titles. 

 

 

 

CGS


 

[1]   GS/11/4/7(CGS) dtd 8 Mar 05.

[2]   Exactly how this will be achieved is the subject of ongoing work which will be considered by ECAB later this year. 

 

 

To all members of the Regimental Family
A Letter from the Colonel Of The Regiment

                                                       

FROM MAC....This is from the Devon and Dorset Website, a message from the D & Ds Col of the Regiment

 

THE FUTURE OF THE REGIMENT

                                                          New up-date as of the 29th May 2005

 

As some of you may have heard, the Executive Committee of the Army Board (ECAB) is considering whether to recommend to Her Majesty The Queen the re-titling of the Regiment, to The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry (DDLI).  We do not expect to hear the outcome of this until some time in June.  I would emphasize that there will be no change for the Regimental Day in Plymouth on Saturday 4th June.  We will parade, past and present, as the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment.  As this will probably be the last time that the Regiment will parade with its present title and headdress I would ask as many of you as possible to come and support the occasion, the details of which have already been sent to you separately. 

 

Concurrently with us, the RGBW has also applied to re-title to RGBWLI and, if approved, we both hope to adopt the use of our new titles and the wearing of the Light Infantry green beret on Salamanca Day, 22nd July, a battle honour we proudly share with the RGBW and the Light Infantry.  Throughout our time as DDLI there will be no other changes.  Our other distinctions and privileges will remain exactly as they are until we become 1LI some time late next year, or possibly early in 2007. 

 

The title DDLI, together with the adoption of the rifle green beret, would serve to mark both our place in the Light Division and our move to becoming the 1st Battalion of the Light Infantry.  DDLI would be a proud title that would recognise in particular our close and natural associations with both the DCLI and the SLI, now within the LI.  You might note that the Light Division could decide to form a wholly new Rifle Regiment, combining the Light Infantry with the Royal Green Jackets.  This has still to be decided.  But even so, we should remain to make the 1st Battalion of such a new regiment, with links to the past maintained and looking with confidence towards the future. 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Signed

CNGD

 

 

From:  General Sir Kevin O’Donoghue KCB CBE

            Colonel of the Regiment 

 

 

Regimental Headquarters

The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment

Custom House  31 Commercial Road  Gloucester  GL1 2HE

 

  

 

THE FUTURE OF THE ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE, BERKSHIRE AND WILTSHIRE REGIMENT

 

The Regimental Council met on Mon 9 May to discuss implementation of the Secretary of State’s announcement of 9 Mar and the Chief of the General Staff’s subsequent direction.  Before I outline the details of the above discussion, I would like to recap on the changes of structure we will undergo during the coming months: 

  • The RGBW has already moved administratively from the Prince of Wales’s Division to join the Light Division, alongside the D and D, the LI and the RGJ.

 

  • We are currently seeking approval for the RGBW to formally join the LI under the transitional title of The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry (RGBWLI).  We hope to action the change from RGBW to RGBWLI on the anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca[1] (a Battle Honour shared by the RGBW, the D and D, the LI and the RGJ) this year.

 

  • In the autumn of 2006, 1 RGBWLI will merge with the 1st Battalion The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry (1 DDLI) to become the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry (1 LI).  The LI will then consist of 3 battalions.[2]

NOTE FROM MAC....It is clear from this, that when the RGBW join the D & Ds and become 1LI all references to the counties will disappear as already happens with the LI.

 

It is intended that the RGBWLI will wear the rifle green beret of the Light Division as a clear symbol of the direction in which we are heading.  This change of headdress will also demonstrate our willingness to embrace the ‘light/rifle’ ethos espoused by the Light Division which will, in turn, embrace and henceforth carry forward the proud history of the RGBW, just as the RGBW celebrates the heritage of the GLOSTERS and the DERR. 

Throughout these changes, our lineage will be clear and the RGBW (then RGBWLI, then LI) will continue to support our wider regimental family, including the TA, the 4 ACF Battalions and our 12 CCF Contingents, just as we will continue to be the county infantry Regiment of Bristol, Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire.  We will ensure that the TA, ACF and CCF will continue their affiliation to the Regiment and will also adopt the rifle green beret of the Light Division. 

Although no decisions have been taken on future plans for the Regimental Association, it is likely that there will be little change.  The LI Regimental Association continues to have branches in all their counties – RGBW branches will be no different and would be welcomed into the LI. 

A review is to be undertaken this year on the future role of RHQs.  No decision is likely before December at the earliest, but it is likely that we will retain a presence in Gloucester and Salisbury following our merger. 

As for the future of the Light Division, it is likely that the LI and the RGJ will choose at some point to merge the whole Division to form a regiment of 5 battalions.  The LI and RGJ are discussing this possibility at present and are aware of our strong preference that to minimise disruption any such merger should be coincident with the formation of the new 1 LI in autumn 2006.  The RGBWLI would then move straight into the new ‘light/rifle’ regiment without taking the step from RGBWLI to LI en route. 

Of course, the eventual future of the Light Division has a bearing on how we might seek to take forward the RGBW’s ‘Golden Thread’ and the Future Working Group (FWG) is mindful in its consideration that it must plan for all possible scenarios.  It is important that we bear in mind that the ‘Golden Thread’ comprises the totality of our heritage and celebration of key Battle Honours (particularly Ferozeshah); our counties and affiliations; our Association; our soldiers; and the iconography that represents all this.  The FWG is considering carefully our iconography and has provided an early idea of what they believe may turn out to be our priorities to be taken forward into our future regiment including the Back Badge, the Brandywine Flash and the US Presentational Citation.  Whatever we take forward will, of course, symbolise the RGBW and therefore all of our antecedent Regiments. 

I know that there are those amongst our Regiment’s retired members who feel that the RGBW should be spared further amalgamation so soon after our last.  This unfortunately is not possible, given the large regimental structure that the Infantry has decided to adopt to best equip it to meet future operational commitments.  That the Infantry should reduce in size while reorganising is a decision over which we have no influence, and I am certain that, given the circumstances, we have reached the best deal we could have hoped for.  Indeed, the Regimental Council is clear that the RGBW will be much better placed for its future in the post-Arms Plot Infantry within the Light Division, whether as part of a 3-battalion Light Infantry or a 5-battalion large regiment.  The LI (and RGJ) will ensure that the RGBW is able to demonstrably carry forward its ‘Golden Thread’ into the Light Division and the Light Division’s future roles and locations will guarantee broader career opportunity and greater operational diversity than will be available to many Infanteers in other Divisions.

 


 

[1] The anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca is 22 Jul.  Should this date be selected for the change from RGBW to RGBWLI, RHQ will promulgate details of associated public events as part of a media campaign to inform our counties.

[2] The LI currently consists of 2 battalions.

 

 

Historic Regiments To Merge

Friday, May 20, 2005

Source: The Army

From Mac - This is the latest from the MOD Oracle Website

Now that the election is over, changes to the organisation of the South West’s Infantry will advance speedily. The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment will join The Light Infantry, the South West’s other Infantry Regiment, which recruits in Cornwall, Somerset, Bristol south of the River Avon and also in Durham, Yorkshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire.

The 1st Battalions of The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment (D and D) Regiment and The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (RGBW) will merge to become the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry in late 2006 or early 2007, whilst the existing Light Infantry battalions will renumber to become the 2nd and 3rd Battalions. Before then the D and D and RGBW will take on interim Light Infantry titles and become part of the famous Light Division as a first step towards the formation of a new and more effective Regiment at the heart of which will be Sir John Moore’s founding ideals in ethos, character and appearance. But the Regiment will also be sensitive to the heritage of the D and D and RGBW and will celebrate the history of all the constituent parts of the new Light Infantry.

Plans for the Regiment’s future TA structure have yet to be announced, but it is almost certain that the South West’s TA Regiment, The Rifle Volunteers, will become the 5th Battalion The Light Infantry, thus confirming a strong link between the regular and TA elements of the Regiment, which will enable the Regiment to support its Light Infantry badged cadet battalions, its affiliated Combined Cadet Force Detachments and its Regimental Associations more effectively.

As the restructuring goes ahead all Light Infantrymen extend a very warm welcome to their new brothers in arms.

 

Comment from Mac - This press release mentions the 1st (RGBW & D&D) LI, and the 2nd and 3rd Bns of the LI, and then goes on to mention the TA battalion which according to this will be the 5th Battalion. Where is the 4th Battalion ?, could it be that the two RGJ battalions will merge and become the 4th ????

 

 

 

HANSARD - PARLIAMENT - JANUARY 2005

From Mac - This is an extract from Hansard which may assist with some of the backgroud information

Army Recruitment

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were recruited into the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire regiments in each of the last five years; and how that affected establishment in each case. [204908]

Mr. Caplin: Individual regiments are not allocated on recruitment, but during or on completion of training. Therefore the information in the following tables refers only to the trained strength of the Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment. The numbers recruited into the regiment are represented in terms of gains to the trained strength of the regiment.

Gains to the trained strength of The Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (RGBW)
 
Financial year Officers Soldiers Total

1999–2000

50

50

2000–01

80

80

2001–02

10

70

80

2002–03

10

60

60

2003–04

80

80


 

 

Trained strength of The Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (RGBW)
 
    Infantry personnel with
RGBW capbadge
 

Other (non-RGBW)
 

Total
As at 1 April Serving in: Officer Soldier Officer Soldier Officer Soldier Total
1999 RGBW Regiment 30 450 70 30 520 550
  Not serving with the Regiment 60 90 60 90 140
  Total 80 530 70 90 610 690
2000 RGBW Regiment 30 400 60 30 460 490
  Not serving with the Regiment 50 80 50 80 140
  Total 80 480 60 80 540 630
2001 RGBW Regiment 30 440 90 30 540 570
  Not serving with the Regiment 50 80 50 80 130
  Total 80 520 90 80 610 690
2002 RGBW Regiment 30 460 70 40 520 560
  Not serving with the Regiment 50 70 50 70 120
  Total 80 530 70 80 600 680
2003 RGBW Regiment 30 450 10 70 40 520 550
  Not serving with the Regiment 50 80 50 80 130
  Total 80 530 10 70 90 590 680
2004 RGBW Regiment 30 480 80 40 560 600
  Not serving with the Regiment 50 60 50 60 110
  Total 80 540 80 80 620 710


Note:
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and therefore totals may not always equal the sum of the parts.

 

Memorandum from the Regimental Family of the Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment. Submitted to Parliment, January 2005

From Mac - This is a copy of the evidence presented to Parliament, it is repeated in some places by comments below, but still worthy of insertion for your information.

  The announcement by the Secretary of State for Defence that the Regiment was to be dismembered, was both devastating and a complete surprise to us all.[2] The Army Board have taken the decision based on misleading and unfounded facts. I and my colleagues who have proudly served the Regiment and its forbearers question that decision. The following points need to be taken into consideration before a final decision is made.

  Firstly please look at the reasons why it is wrong to be cutting the Infantry by four battalions at this time:

    —  It will considerably reduce the Army's capability to be a "force for good in the world", which is the Government's stated intention. This makes the mathematics irrelevant compared to the need for infantry.

    —  We need to be able to embark on expeditionary warfare to wage war on global terrorism.

    —  No commentator has agreed that it is a sound and sensible decision; most believe it is putting the country at unnecessary risk.

    —  Overspending on high tech equipment that will seldom, if ever, be used in anger is not wise whilst the infantry are certain to be used, both in anger and in the critical role of peacekeeping, they always have and always will.

    —  The infantry is already overstretched and battalions being required to do the job of two or even three. This will eventually lead to a catastrophe. The TA is losing over 4% of its strength annually—these cuts are likely to make this situation worse.

  In particular there are many reasons why it is wrong to focus the cuts on the RGBW. Here are a few:

    —  The Director of Infantry's study into "Sustainable Manning" was "massaged" to remove those regiments that it was felt could not be cut for wider reasons (not Options for Change) and this inevitably led to the wrong result.

    —  The study looked back NOT forward; unsustainable battalions are therefore being retained whilst the Army is losing one of its best-manned and most cost effective battalions—RGBW.

    —  It is certainly not the most cost effective solution, yet this is supposed to be about cost saving. Perhaps it should be referred to the "Audit Commission".

    —  How can Mr Hoon praise "a successful amalgamation like the RGBW" by name [Daily Telegraph] and, within a month announce that he is punishing their success by "dismembering them"?

  Retention. Some regiments are four times better than others at retaining trained soldiers; RGBW, in spite of undertaking "Public Duties" for over three years, is second only to the Devon & Dorset's and has been consistently good over the last 10 years. RGBW are currently 19 men under strength and forecast to remain at this level. D&D are currently 50 men under strength and forecast by 1 June 2005 to increase to 68 under strength.

  The option of cutting the three Guards "incremental companies" based in Chelsea Barracks seems to have been overlooked, why? A battalion, giving the infantry more capability and flexibility, could replace them (three Guards regiments currently have a Bn + Coy).

  The infantry were told which regiments were likely to be cut in the summer before the Government announcement in July. Mr Hoon's claim that "there has been a wide-ranging and detailed consultation exercise, with the infantry being invited to express their views on how the restructuring should be implemented" is very misleading.

  It assumes that it is possible to undo decisions implemented over 10 years ago; it isn't—it merely destroys success.

  It also punishes those individuals who have made RGBW so successful as 75% of the soldiers were never in either the Gloucestershire Regiment or Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment. The GLOSTERS and DERR components of 1 RGBW are only 25% of RGBW today and diminishing month by month.

  There is a very real risk that some first class officers and soldiers from RGBW will leave the Army when the decision is implemented, probably in 2006. The Foreign & Commonwealth soldiers serving in RGBW, principally Fijians, have all joined since RGBW was formed; RGBW is their "home" in the UK. In effect, this decision will break up operationally effective teams, friendships and encourage the most excellent officers and soldiers to leave early rather than deliver their full potential to the Army. It is neither cost effective nor justified. How can "golden threads of identity be preserved" in these circumstances?

  The Proposal to merge the DERR component of RGBW to the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (PWRR) has been ill thought out. PWRR are 15 over strength now. The whole of the Queen's Division are only 16 under strength. The PWRR already recruit from Hampshire, Surrey, West and East Sussex and Kent. Neither they, nor the Queen's Division need a larger recruiting area so to allocate them Berkshire and Wiltshire is quite unnecessary and does not in any way justify dismembering the RGBW.

  If the whole of RGBW were to go with the D&D to the Light Division, and all maintained their current strengths, the Light Division would end up some 15% over strength. Applying the same assumption to the King's and Scottish Division, they would be 15% and 11.5% respectively over strength so there is no justification for dismembering RGBW.

  By contrast the combined Mercian and Welsh Regiments will be 250 or half a battalion under strength and are probably destined to being permanently undermanned, particularly the current Royal Regiment of Wales (95 under strength by June), the Cheshires (72 under) and the Staffords (69 under).

  The dismembering of RGBW will make it almost impossible to preserve the "golden thread", which the Secretary of State claims is so important. County connections will inevitably further diminish.

  The dismemberment of RGBW was not recommended to the Executive Committee Army Board by the Regiment or the Prince of Wales's Division in the consultation. To call it ". . . the result of detailed consultations" is simply not true; it wasn't.

  It was a last minute change by the ECAB, probably promoted by Director Infantry, Brig Jamie Balfour, late of the Royal Green Jackets, to prevent the Light Infantry and RGJ having to absorb a complete battalion, but this did not justify butchering RGBW.

  Having chosen the wrong regiment to cut, this created a "blood clot" in the South and dismemberment seems to have been the drastic surgery chosen for which there is no precedent.

   It is not too late. I understand that the House of Commons Defence Committee has begun to investigate the proposed cuts. I therefore urge you to bring these points to the attention of the Executive Committee of the Army Board, clearly pointing out that the cuts in the infantry are wrong and ill judged, and I implore the Committee to recommend a re-examination of the decision and the appalling treatment of the RGBW.
 

January 2005
 

 

 

From:   Major General (Retd) RD Grist CB OBE

24 March 05

(This was issued by General Grist prior to the election - Mac)

Dear Supporter,

             THE FUTURE OF THE ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE, BERKSHIRE
                                                       AND WILTSHIRE REGIMENT



Most of you will be aware that Mr Hoon has recently announced a change to the decision he announced in December last year. The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (RGBW) will now amalgamate with the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment (D & D) and form a new battalion within the Light Division. As a result many have believed that the RGBW has been ‘saved’; it hasn’t. At the same time as Mr Hoon was making his statement General Sir Mike Jackson, the Chief of the General Staff issued a message to the Army about the change which included: “however, this amalgamation will be conducted (as had previously been planned) on the basis of a third of the RGBW’s manpower amalgamating with the D and D to become 1 LI, and the remaining two thirds being distributed elsewhere in the Army.”

Although it is a small change for the better that is, in itself, an achievement and the fact that the heritage of both the RGBW and its antecedent regiments will now go in one direction is welcome. This would not have been achieved had it not been for the wave of protest by so many people at the original decision to disband the RGBW; consequently I would like to thank on behalf of the Regiment everyone who has been part of that protest in any way whatsoever. In particular we are most grateful to most of our MPs, through whom so many have been able to express their dismay, and to the media who have publicised this thoroughly unjust decision.

Serving officers and soldiers have welcomed the change. It acknowledges the success of the RGBW; it gives a home in the Light Infantry to most of our officers and soldiers (while only one-third of the Regiment will move to the new 1 LI, it is likely that another third of the RGBW will go to other battalions in the Light Division), and this means that most of our soldiers should continue to serve with friends (individuals will regularly move from one battalion to another within the Division once Arms Plotting ceases). The final third will have to move elsewhere in the Army but this may benefit individual careers. The future consequently appears brighter for the serving members of the Regiment as a result of Mr Hoon’s latest announcement.

Nevertheless the change is, in reality, a very small adjustment. Despite its magnificent record this exemplary infantry regiment, the RGBW, will still be amalgamated and dispersed across the Army. This is not in the interests of the County, the Army or the Infantry and neither is it a fair or a just outcome. We therefore intend to go on campaigning for what is right, the retention in the future Army of RGBW as a complete battalion. To achieve this we will continue to need your support.

Most commentators believe that the Army reduction, particularly the cut of four battalions, is totally unjustified and is merely being done to save money, despite the risks to our security. However it is unlikely that the present Government will make further changes unless external circumstances alter. This may happen:

· The Conservative Party have already announced that, if they formed the next Government, they would increase the size of the Army to 108,500 from the current funded strength of 103,500, maintain the infantry at its current level and retain the existing Regiments.

· The situation in Northern Ireland may prevent the reduction that it was assumed would be possible when the cuts were announced.

· Some quite unforeseen threat to our security or our vital interests may erupt somewhere in the world making it necessary to retain as many infantry battalions as possible.

Of course the changes may eventually be implemented. Planning will therefore continue to ensure that every serving officer and soldier is properly looked after. In addition the way in which the heritage of the RGBW is taken forward into the Light Infantry in general, and the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry in particular, needs to be resolved. Despite reassurances from the Prime Minister, Mr Hoon and General Sir Mike Jackson, we need to ensure that the RGBW heritage, which incorporates that of the Gloucestershire Regiment and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment, is carried forward in a ‘publicly visible way’ and that any ‘transition period’ is many years. Whilst this is largely a matter for the serving officers to resolve, the public pressure to get this right and to retain local links has been, and will continue to be, important.

In a wider context we must continue to question the wisdom of the cuts in our defence capability and the RGBW. We need your support to argue, along with everyone else, that the cuts in the infantry are wrong and ill judged and justifying them mathematically, based on a reduced need in Northern Ireland and changes to the Arms Plot, simply does not recognise that, since the Strategic Defence Review, the world scene has changed and is changing. We need to be able to embark on expeditionary warfare to defeat global terrorism. It simply isn't enough to 'secure' ourselves, although this is vitally important; unless we defeat terrorism the continuous costs of higher security will otherwise be a constant drain on the Exchequer. We must also be able to intervene in humanitarian situations and to continue to defend our interests in the world. In all these cases we need trained, experienced, and disciplined infantry like the RGBW.

There is expected to be a General Election in early May. Defence is unlikely to be one of the key issues in the campaign, although it probably should be. However it can be locally, and it is important that each candidate is questioned about their position, and that of their party, on defence in general and the infantry in particular. Serving officers and soldiers may not become involved in politics but those who are retired and our supporters can and, if they believe these cuts are wrong and put the security of the nation at risk, should do so. In this way, whoever is elected must continue to be made aware of the issues.

In the meantime it is critical that the RGBW remains an exemplary battalion, and for all who come into contact with them to recognise it. They have shown, since the first announcement last December, their determination not to allow morale to drop and to maintain their very high standards, exemplified by winning the Army Rugby Cup this month. They have now learnt, to their delight, that they are to deploy to Afghanistan on an operational tour in the autumn, another measure of the confidence senior commanders have in them.

Much of our media has given us outstanding support and I hope that the Press will continue to remind their readership and listeners of what is happening. The RGBW are still being split up unlike other Regiment. I attach a Background Briefing Note, which I hope will help to keep you informed of some of the arguments that can be used.

With very best wishes,
Robin Grist

 

 

BACKGROUND BRIEFING: THE FUTURE OF THE ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE BERKSHIRE AND WILTSHIRE REGIMENT (RGBW) – 21/3/05

(Again prior to the election and now somewhat historical, this together with many other submissions were sent to the commons defence select committee- Mac)



OVERVIEW - The RGBW believes that it has earned the right through its exemplary performance, its cost effectiveness and its support of the Army corporate image, to be retained in the Future Infantry Structure as a complete battalion. Under present plans this will not happen.

Latest Developments
· Jan 2005: 1 RGBW has the best rate of retaining trained manpower of any infantry    battalion in 2004/05, clear evidence of their cost effectiveness.

· As at 1 January 2005 1 RGBW was the 16th best manned infantry battalion (of 40) and is forecast to be 8th best manned by 1 June 2005.

· Jan 2005: Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the Chief of the General Staff visits the 1st Bn RGBW and admits that the RGBW been treated more harshly than any other regiment.

· Mar 2005: RGBW won the Army Rugby Cup beating the Royal Scots 31-24.

· Mar 2005: Mr Hoon announces that, instead of splitting the RGBW as he had originally decided, the reduction will “be achieved by the amalgamation of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment with the RGBW. The resulting new regiment will become the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry”. But this is not quite what it seems (see below).

· Mar 2005: It was announced that the RGBW will deploy to Afghanistan on an operational tour in the Autumn of 2005.

· Mar 2005: Defence Select Committee publishes report expressing concern at the cuts in the services in general and the infantry in particular.

The Facts
· The RGBW are the result of an outstandingly successful amalgamation of the Gloucestershire Regiment (GLOSTERS) with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment (DERR) in 1994.

· On 9 Mar 05 Mr Hoon announced that the RGBW would not be disbanded but would amalgamate with the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment to form the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry. However in a letter to the Army about this change Gen Sir Mike Jackson has written “the RGBW will now amalgamate as a single entity with the D and D, and the resulting new regiment will become the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry (1 LI)…. However, this amalgamation will be conducted …on the basis of a third of the RGBW’s manpower amalgamating with the D and D to become 1 LI, and the remaining two thirds being distributed elsewhere in the Army.”

· The effect of this change therefore still means that only a small proportion of the RGBW will remain together in a new battalion.

· The heritage of the RGBW will now go to the 1st Bn The Light Infantry but how this will manifest itself has still to be determined.

· The proposed changes will not take place until 2006, at the earliest, and in the meantime the RGBW will carry out an operational tour in Afghanistan from Oct 05.

· The future structure of the TA has yet to be announced.

The Case Against Cutting the Infantry by Four Battalions
· The infantry cuts reduce the Army’s capability to be a 'force for good in the world', which is the Government’s stated intention. This makes the mathematics irrelevant compared to the need for infantry.

· It is not simply rebalancing the Army as is claimed. More manpower is needed in the support services but this is an actual cut in the funded strength of the Army by 1,500 trained personnel simply because of funding constraints. General Sir Mike Jackson has said he needs more infantry but this is not possible “within existing constraints”.

· Risks are being taken with training because the infantry are ‘overstretched’, and have been for years. Increasing the availability of infantry by ceasing arms plotting should be used to reduce overstretch but the cuts will ensure that it continues.

· There are currently two artillery regiments in Iraq in the ‘infantry role’.

· 11 of the 36 future infantry battalions will continue to ‘arms plot’.

· The infantry reduction was also partly based on finalising the peace process in Northern Ireland, an outcome that currently appears to be further away than was assumed.

· The TA is losing over 4% of it strength annually – these cuts are likely to make this situation worse.

The Case for Changing the Decision to Amalgamate the RGBW
· The decision is not in the best interests of the Army and the infantry, and is unfair on a Regiment formed by amalgamation as recently as 1994.

· It means the whole of the South West Region will, in future, be represented by only two infantry battalions.

· ‘Sustainable Manning’ was intended to be the only criteria for deciding which regiments should be amalgamated. The study into which regiments had the best ‘Sustainable Manning’ statistics was 'adjusted' to remove those regiments that it was felt could not be cut for various reasons, thus invalidating the criteria; excluding regiments that had been recently formed through amalgamation was not one of them.

· The option of creating a large Prince of Wales’s Regiment of 2 Wessex, 2 Welsh and 2 Mercian battalions, which would have been highly cost effective and least disruptive, was ignored because it would have meant the amalgamation of the Cheshires and the Staffords, ordered under ‘Options for Change’ but then stopped.

· The RGBW retention rate is the best in the infantry. From Apr – Nov 04 just 16 trained soldiers left the RGBW early, whilst the rate in four other regiments was over 45. The cost of recruiting and training a new infantry recruit is £26,000 so replacing this wastage will cost an additional £750,000 per regiment.

· It is impossible to understand how retaining unsustainable battalions whilst the Army is losing one of its best manned and most cost effective battalions can be “in the long term interests of the Army and the Infantry” as is claimed. In February the 2 Welsh and 3 Mercian battalions were an average of 48 men under strength and by August this is forecast to increase to 68 under strength or the equivalent of more than three rifle companies.

· A complete battalion could replace the 3 Guards ‘incremental companies’ based in Chelsea Barracks and this would provide more capability and flexibility.


Contact: Regimental Headquarters RGBW – 01452 522682. Spokesmen: Maj Gen (Ret’d) Derek Crabtree, Brig (Ret’d) Simon Firth and Maj Gen (Ret’d) Robin Grist.

 

 

To all members of the Regimental Family
A Letter from the Colonel Of The Regiment

(Extracted from the Devon and Dorset site, for info- Mac)


The Future of the
Devonshire and Dorset Regiment

I am very aware that the stark announcement from the Ministry of Defence that we would be joining the Light Infantry has caused much concern in many places throughout the South West and within the Regimental Family. Up to now it has not been possible to give you detail of our future even though it is by every account a most promising one, and certainly not the axing described so vividly and inaccurately by both press and television.

We as a Regiment The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment are moving lock stock and barrel into the Light Division to join our brothers in the Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets. We have asked that this should happen as soon as possible and in fact at the beginning of March this year, although this has yet to be agreed. We have also asked that to mark our move to the Light Division the suffix 'Light Infantry' should be added to our title so that the 1st Battalion will become '1st Battalion The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment Light Infantry', thus preserving our past while acknowledging our future. At some future date we will be joined by the Gloucester element of the Royal Gloucester, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, their other elements joining the Queens Devision.

Already plans are being made to bring the four Regiments involved: ourselves; the Gloucester element (together making one Battalion), The Light Infantry (two Battalions), and the Royal Green Jackets (two Battalions), into one new five Battalion Regiment. Although no decisions have yet been made the Army board have already indicated that the historic links of the past Regiments must be maintained. I must emphasize that nothing has yet been formally agreed but this is what we are all amicably working towards.

I hope it will reassure you that our identity is being preserved and that our regimental future - albeit in a larger grouping is indeed bright.


The Colonel of the Regiment

Comment  from Mac.....This came out prior to the decision not to dismember the RGBW, and it can be seen the D & Ds were very keen to get on the road, take the high ground and await the arrival of the Gloster element who would have been operating at a severe disadvantage having been 'Disbanded'

 

THE FUTURE OF THE REGIMENT

SITREP 2/05

(as at 22 March 2005)

(Mac - Again from the D & D Col of the Regiment)

 

The Regiment moved across from the Prince of Wales’s Division (P of W Div) to the Light Division (Lt Div) on 1 Mar 05.On 9 Mar 05 the S of S for Defence announced in the House that the Executive Committee of the Army Board (ECAB) had revisited their original decision, announced in the House on 16 Dec 04 by the S of S, on how the RGBW reduction would be done. The original decision, which was based on the RGBW being the one Battalion reduction to be found from the P of W Div, had been adjusted and the RGBW would now be amalgamated with D and D to form 1LI. You should note that the RGBW is still described as being the regiment selected to meet the required reduction.

This change in ECAB’s original decision has prompted a rethink by all involved – it does further complicate our move across to the LI.

The Lt Div has set up the Light Division Working Group (LDWG), to take forward the move of the D and D and the RGBW to the LI and to date it has met twice.  

The LDWG reports to the Lt Div Council, which includes the Colonels D and D, RGBW, LI and RGJ, where all the policy decisions will be taken.  

A Regimental Working Group (RWG) is now in the process of being set up. It will deal with all the Regimental issues involved in our move to the LI. The RWG will report to the Colonel of the Regiment’s Council. Brig Richard Toomey, now Comd 1 Mech Bde, has agreed to be the Chairman of the RWG and Lt Col Bill Sharpe, the Deputy Chairman.  They together with a committee of mostly serving, and some retired, members of the Regiment, will take the merger forward through a process of consultation with all parts of the Regiment. The RWG will make recommendations to the Colonel of the Regiment’s Council, enabling the Colonel of the Regiment to go forward to the Light Division with fully developed regimental views and positions. CO 1 D and D is a member of the LDWG, the Colonel of the Regiment’s Council and the RWG, and this will provide additional influence and safeguards, ensuring the fullest possible input by the 1st Battalion.

 

The Operational Commitments Plot (OCP) covering the period to Dec 07 has been published. The good news is that the 1st Battalion will go to Chepstow in Aug 07, remaining in 19 Lt Bde for the time being. It is hoped that Chepstow will become the permanent base for the new 1LI battalion. The future role for this battalion beyond 07 has yet to be announced.

The Colonel of the Regiment wants to reinforce what he said in his letter to the Regiment of 29 Jan 05, which was posted on the website, and what he said more recently in his message to the Regiment in the Regimental Journal. The 1st Battalion, the serving members of the Regiment and the vast majority of the retired folk he has spoken to, see the logic and merits of the infantry restructuring. It is only natural that to an extent, and for a while, our hearts will be at odds with our head. But we are in true, good and fine company, together we shall carry forward into continued greatness. We are privileged to be making our future with the Light Infantry and our old Wessex partners. Be assured that we shall be working hard to ensure that all that is best and all that we cherish most will be carried forward into the new LI with us together with the RGBW and the Light Infantrymen of Somerset and Cornwall; the future LI is most certainly going to have something seriously of the "janner" about it.

 

Comment  from Mac - I draw your attention to the comments in the first paragraph, The Col is clearly stating that the RGBW was the selected battalion to meet to required reduction. I don't blame him for saying this, but it is very clear the D & Ds are in place and the RGBW would appear to be playing second fiddle ....I hope I've got it wrong.

 

The Future Structure of the Regiment


(From the Light Infantry Site)


“Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in consideration of the enduring gallantry displayed in the Defence of Lucknow, has been pleased to direct the 32nd be clothed, equipped and trained as a light infantry regiment.”  - Army restructuring c.1858

The Light Infantry, the county Infantry Regiment of Durham, Yorkshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Somerset and Cornwall, is due to be joined by the Devonshire and Dorset (D and D) Regiment, and the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire (RGBW) Regiment, under plans announced by the Army Board as part of the Future Infantry Structure of the British Army. 

The 1st battalions of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment will merge to form a new battalion, which will become the 1st Battalion, The Light Infantry (1LI). 

Our current regular battalions, will re-number to become 2LI and 3LI. In anticipation of this expansion, the D and D have already joined the Light Division, and the RGBW is expected to do so in the very near future.

Although change is unsettling, this expansion is widely seen as a real opportunity to build an even more powerful Regiment. All Light Infantrymen extend a very warm welcome to those in the D and D and the RGBW. At the same time, the Light Infantry is taking the opportunity to examine forming an even larger Regiment with the Royal Green Jackets, and a working group has been established, consisting of the commanding officers of the regular battalions of the Light Division, to examine this wider opportunity. 

The D and D and the RGBW will become Light Infantrymen and at the heart of this new Regiment will be Sir John Moore’s founding ideals in ethos, character and appearance. The Light Division will also be sensitive to the heritage of the D and D and RGBW as it is they who are taking a larger step; we will celebrate their history as we celebrate our own. This year sees the 250th anniversary of the raising of the 51st and 53rd Regiments, and next year the 68th Regiment. 

As we celebrate in Yorkshire, Shropshire and Durham respectively, we reflect on the remarkable history of the Regiment during those 250 years. This is a journey that others now join – proud of their own past and confident in our future. Our Light Infantry, and indeed the Light Division identity continues to span the breadth of England. This is an essential part of our character and the basis for our success. We should not be considered, either by the Army, or by our own counties, to be a south western regiment. It has always been Yorkshire and Durham that have produced the exponential manning – Regular and Territorial Army – that has been the cornerstone of our success. 

We must preserve and build upon this fact, whilst using all the manning resources that the South West and the Marches have traditionally supplied and which have kept the national balances within our Regiment. Our 6 counties (Cornwall, Somerset, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Yorkshire and Durham), soon to expand to 11 (with the addition of Devonshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire), drawn from across the country, are the essential foundation producing the totality of the Regiment. We come from the counties and return to the counties. So Regulars and Territorial Army soldiers alike owe a great deal to our Cadets (Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force), County Offices, Regimental Association and our plentiful friends and supporters. We will continue to nurture this totality.

As the planning for the expansion of the Regiment develops, and the Future Infantry Structure is brought to reality, we are positive in looking forward, being proactive in the strongest tradition of Light Infantrymen over the last 250 years, and calm against rumour. As a regiment, we are confident in each other. These are the qualities required in testing times, as our predecessors proved throughout the Second World War. As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ending of that heroic struggle, we salute those who made the sacrifices – and we resolve to build a regiment they would both recognise and champion.

 Comment from Mac- This insert from the Light Infantry is very much more positive and it is clear they value their past, so as a consequence our 'Golden thread ' should be secure in their hands. There is no mention about the Green Jackets coming on board so we wait and see. Remember it was the Light company of the 49th (Royal Berkshires) who won us the right to wear the Brandywine flash, and the 62nd (Wiltshire's) in the American war of Independence were known as 'The Springers'. All good Light Infantry stuff if you choose to seek it out.

 

I will add further info as and when I get it.

 

MAC

 

 

 
                             
 
                        
                             Copyright © 2000 Farmersboys.com. All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 19 July 2006.