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regiments


Guest wrinklyone

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Guest wrinklyone

One of the aspects we keep coming across in WW1 studies is the incredible loyalty to county, regiment or 'pals'. Frequently it seems to have been this which led men to carry out an action which could be classed as a 'forlorn hope'.

The Times has just carried an item about the imminent amalgamation of the Devons and Dorsets with the Berks, Wilts and Gloucesters - obviously already amalgamated, but each of these five with its own distinguished record. The ultimate aim is a formation to be known simply as The Light Infantry, but MOD says that the county affiliations will be maintained.

Without getting into the politics of all this, can such a formation aspire to the remarkable feats we have all read about? Discuss.

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One of the aspects we keep coming across in WW1 studies is the incredible loyalty to county, regiment or 'pals'. Frequently it seems to have been this which led men to carry out an action which could be classed as a 'forlorn hope'.

The Times has just carried an item about the imminent amalgamation of the Devons and Dorsets with the Berks, Wilts and Gloucesters - obviously already amalgamated, but each of these five with its own distinguished record. The ultimate aim is a formation to be known simply as The Light Infantry, but MOD says that the county affiliations will be maintained.

Without getting into the politics of all this, can such a formation aspire to the remarkable feats we have all read about? Discuss.

Yes - because the loyalty and esprit de corps actually starts at a much lower level, initially to your mates in the section, tank crew or gun detachment that you are in and then at the the platoon and troop level and then company, squadron and battery etc. Its no accident that a clear hierachical structure has been maintained in the British Army for over 300 years - it works and will continue to do so.

David :)

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The sad thing is that whoever chose the new names appears to have gone to the same training institution as those who name local government areas! They are not imaginative or inspiring- they seem to have been chosen to conceal historical 'record' and I am not quite sure why the regiments named should be retitled 'Light Infantry' as opposed to Infantry any way!

Greg

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Guest wrinklyone

If we're talking about names, surely the worst must be the 'Royal Logistic Corps'. Doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, does it?

Incidentally, a mate of mine who was in RASC then RTC, which are now in RLC, told me that one of the questions is what to do with masses of regimental silver. During amalgamation apparently some of theirs 'dematerialised' ...

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Thought we already had a "Light Infantry" in the Light Division; unless they are going to amalgamate them into that regiment.

Seems a shame to do that when the Devon & Dorset have not historically been "light infantry" and nor have the others as far as a I am aware but stand to be corrected as always.

About time they did away with some of the awful names that they come up with for these amalgamated regiments. Royal Green Jackets and Blues & Royals are names should never have been taken up. They don't even sound military.

What about using the ones we already have and sticking to Royal tiles where appropriate? King's Regiment, Queen's Regiment, Prince of Wales's Regiment,

Princess of Wales's Regiment, Royal Irish Regiment, Royal Regiment of Wales, Royal Scottish Regiment, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, The Light Infantry, The Rifle Regiment (better than Green Jackets) and, if required, another "Royal" one, The Princess Royal's Regiment.

Some of the customs and traditions of the old regiments have been carried on at Company and Battalion level by the "large" regiments and this could continue.

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Guest wrinklyone

I have just browsed another forum here, and am grateful to a contributor who appended this to his post:

"Pride of Regiment and love for the Regiment's history and tradition is the sacred Ark of the Covenant on which the British soldier depends in battle and on which Britain, through him, has again and again survived and won through to victory."

Sir Arthur Bryant

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Surely a lot of it is down to leadership, training, and "will to win". I remember reading somewhere about Colonels in 1914 saying that 'damned names mean nothing', and Hutchison always referred to the 2nd Argylls by their old number. The Cameronians/Scottish Rifles dabte never seems to have resolved, but it was by no means a bad regiment.

I do agree that modern names are downright silly - but that is down to trying to placate a lot of traditionalists - clean slate, I say.

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What is wrong with "The Blues and Royals" as a name?

The Royal Horse Guards were always called the Blues right back to the 17th Century - to be a Blue was no small thing. The 1st Royal Dragoons were known as "The Royals" at least as far back as Waterloo.

It is traditional, it is short, it is fair to both components

Now "Princess of Wales Royal Regiment" - there really is a stupid name and "Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire" sounds like a Victorian railway company - could be worse though in the Royal Thai Army there is a regiment called the "Queens Cobras"

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I also think a point to note is that this new regiment will still display their battle honours and remember them at various point sof the year.

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Guest wrinklyone
Thought we already had a "Light Infantry" in the Light Division; unless they are going to amalgamate them into that regiment.

Yes, Squirrel, there's even a light infantry museum, at Peninsula Barracks in Winchester, which allegedly concentrates on the LI story since its inception in 1968.

However the report I quoted said that by the end of next year the new formation will be known as the 1st Bn, The Light Infantry. It was in The Times, so it must be true ...

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Can anyone explain the amalgamation (proposed) of the Guards...why?? if it's for logistical reasons its not required as they are all based near each other. If its to cut numbers why not just do that, making each regiment smaller. Smaller regiments collected into a guards division would still be sufficient and the individual rgiments would keep their personal identity. It would be a shame to see all of the Guards regiments to be lost, the Grenadier and Coldstream Gds in particular. Is the proposal to keep the individual names as battalions within a Guards regiment???

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The Brigade has not finalised what it is doing yet - but there will not be one Guards Regiment - so I am confidently told.

One of the objects of the current "re-structuring" of the Infantry is that battalions will not be "all singing - all dancing" some shall sing and some shall dance and everyone will be happier and better at their specialty (that is the theory)

Since "options for change" when the three senior Guards Regiments lost their second battalions deployment has been based on two battalions (plus the incremental companies) in London/Windsor on public duties, one in an armoured infantry role in West Germany, one in a dismounted infantry role in NI and the charmingly named "surge battalion" in SE England available for foreign service and to supplement the public duties batttalions on the really big state occasions. Up to now the five battalions have periodically rotated.

The new idea is for them to stay put - but this causes real problems. Would you want to spend all your life stuck in Munster? some great brains are trying to square this circle...

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Guest wrinklyone
, one in an armoured infantry role in West Germany, one in a dismounted infantry role in NI and the charmingly named "surge battalion" in SE England available for foreign service and to supplement the public duties batttalions on the really big state occasions.

Pray explain why we still have this presence in Germany, at a time when a furthercut back innumbers has just been announced and we are having probs fulfilling a 'surge' role in other areas.

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Blues & Royals is a combination of the vernacular or nicknames for the regiments concerned. Green Jackets was similarly a nickname.

These were formalised in to titles in the 1960's and previous to that the titles of Regiments invariably gave some clue as to what they did or where they came from. These two do neither.

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That is an interesting question. Continued prescence in Germany is probably more Treasury and Foreign Office driven than stictly military

I would hazard a guess that the large training areas for training mechanised formations are just not available (at reasonable cost) in the crowded UK. We already have large barracks in FRG so why go to the expense of building new ones in UK

The US still maintain a prescence and probably the other NATO countries too (I am not up to date with the present situation, but Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands certainly had troops in the country)

It is the best place to keep troops for any multi-national committment associated with the EU as it is handy for France and Germany who would provide the bulk of the other troops. It is also handy for support to the emergent nations of Eastern Europe (British troops regularly excercise with the Poles for example), or intervention in any instability (eg Jugoslavia).

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Guest wrinklyone

Have just seen a pic of our soldiers handing out sweets in Basra. Should we have a regiment called The Royal Social Workers Corps?

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The Irish Guards were nicknamed "the toffees" by African children for this very reason, for a time the name did stick

If you don't mind me saying you are perhaps a little bit of a curmudgeon oh wrinkly one - looking for a transfer to that little known Indian Army unit "Meldrew's Horse"?

Win the kids - the parents follow

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Guest wrinklyone

You've been talking to my family, tintin. And, yes, I have been considering including an avatar of said VM in my posts.

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