Cambridgeshire Regiment

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This article is about The Territorial Army regiment. For the regular infantry regiment raised in 1702, and which became the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment in 1881, see 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot.
Cambridgeshire Regiment
Active 1908–1961
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Type Territorial Army
Role Infantry
Engagements Battle of the Somme, Fall of Singapore

The Cambridgeshire Regiment was a territorial infantry regiment of the British Army. Originating in units of rifle volunteers formed in 1860, the regiment served in the Second Anglo-Boer War and the First and Second World Wars before losing its separate identity in 1961.[1] Its lineage is continued today by the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Pre 1908[edit]

The regiment had its origins in the rifle volunteer corps formed in Cambridgeshire in 1860. By 1880 the volunteer units in the county had amalgamated as the battalion-size 1st Cambridgeshire Rifle Volunteer Corps. In the following year, as part of the Childers Reforms, the 1st Cambridgeshire RVC were nominated as a volunteer battalion of the Suffolk Regiment. In 1887 the unit was renamed as the 3rd (Cambridgeshire) Volunteer Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment.

The 3rd Volunteer Battalion sent voluntary detachments to reinforce the regular Suffolk Regiment in the Second Boer War, earning the battle honour:

  • South Africa 1900–01

1908–1919[edit]

On the formation of the Territorial Force in 1908, the 3rd VB became The Cambridgeshire Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment (TF). In the following year the Cambridgeshires were constituted a separate regiment, with the title 1st Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment, although remaining part of the "corps" of the regular Suffolk Regiment

On the outbreak of the First World War, the Territorial Force was doubled in size, with the Cambridgeshire Regiment forming a 2/1st Battalion. In 1915 a further increase in the size of the TF led to the formation of 3/1st and 4/1st Battalions.

The regiment's 1/1st Battalion fought on the Westen Front, and twenty seven battle honours were awarded in 1925.[2] Those in bold type were selected as representative honours, and were placed on the King's colours of the regiment after the war:

The last known veteran of the Cambridgeshire Regiment in World War I was Pte. George Edward White (28/02/1899 - March 2000) who died aged 101. He also served in the Suffolk Regiment

1920–1947[edit]

The Territorial Force was reformed as the Territorial Army in 1920, and the 1st Battalion was reraised.

In 1939, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, the TA was again doubled in size. Consequently a 2nd Battalion was raised. Both battalions served in the Far East, and were in Singapore at the time of its fall.

The regiment received the award of four battle honours for the conflict:

1947–1961[edit]

In 1947 the regiment was converted to an artillery role, becoming the 629th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (The Cambridgeshire Regiment). In 1956 the regiment returned to its traditional role and designation as 1st Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment (TA).

There was a general reduction in the size of the Territorial Army in 1961, and 1st Cambridgeshires were amalgamated with the 4th Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment to form the Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Regiment (TA). Since 1967 the lineage of the Cambridgeshire Regiment has been continued by the Royal Anglian Regiment.

The history of the Cambridgeshire Regiment and its predecessors and successors is recorded at the Royal Anglian Regiment Museum based at the Land Warfare Hall of the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mills, T F. "The Cambridgeshire Regiment". Regiments.Org. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Battle Honours. Awards to 12 Infantry Regiments.". The Times. 10 May 1925. p. 4. 

External links[edit]