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|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. Its lineage is continued today by the Royal Anglian Regiment.
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
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. 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
In early 1939, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, the Territorial Army was again doubled in size with each unit forming a 2nd Line duplicate. As a consequence, a 2nd Battalion was raised. Both battalions served in the Far East with the 18th (East Anglian) Infantry Division, and were in Singapore in early 1942 at the time of its fall during the short but fierce battle there against the Imperial Japanese Army. Both battalions were lost when the Singapore garrison was ordered to surrender by Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, commander of the garrison, and the men of the two battalions suffered great hardships as prisoners of the Japanese.
The Cambridgeshire Regiment received the award of four battle honours for the conflict:
- Batu Pahat
- Singapore Island
- Malaya 1942
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.
- Roll of Honour entry
- The Cambridgeshire Regiment in 1914-1918 (www.1914-1918.net), accessed September 7, 2007
- Cambridgeshire 'Regimental family' revisits scene of finest hour (Ministry of Defence), accessed September 7, 2007[dead link]
- Cambs. Regt - History (Cambridgeshire History), accessed September 7, 2007
- Cambridgeshire Regiment World War 2 - Deaths Database