East Anglian Brigade

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The East Anglian Brigade was an administrative formation of the British Army from 1948 to 1968. The Brigade administered the regular infantry regiments of eastern England.

After the Second World War the British Army had fourteen infantry depots, each bearing a letter. The depots were territorially organised, and Infantry Depot G at Colchester was the headquarters for the county regiments of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Suffolk. In 1948, the depots adopted names and this depot became the East Anglian Brigade, with all regiments being reduced to a single battalion at the same time.

The East Anglian Brigade was formed on 14 July 1948 at Gibraltar Barracks, Bury St Edmunds as an administrative apparatus for the infantry regiments from East Anglia:

Under the Defence Review announced in July 1957, the infantry of the line was reorganised: In 1958, the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment was transferred from the Forester Brigade, and by 1960 the six individual regiments had amalgamated to form three "East Anglian Regiments":

At the same time East Anglian Brigade cap badges and buttons replaced those of the individual regiments. The cap badge was a silver eight-pointed star bearing the castle and key of Gibraltar, with a scroll inscribed "East Anglia". The key and castle was a badge awarded to predecessors of all three regiments for their part in the Great Siege of Gibraltar from 1779 - 1783.[4] The brigade buttons were identical to those of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, bearing the figure of Brittania.[5]

The three regiments could be distinguished by their collar badges and coloured lanyards:

  • The 1st East Anglian Regiment wore collar badges consisting of Brittania in front of the Castle of Gibraltar and a yellow lanyard
  • The 2nd East Anglian Regiment wore collar badges consisting of a sphinx on a tablet inscribed "Egypt" over a scroll with the battle honour Talavera and a black lanyard
  • The 3rd East Anglian Regiment wore collar badges depicting a Napoleonic eagle enclosed within the Garter and a pompadour purple (claret purple) lanyard

In 1963, The Royal Leicestershire Regiment was transferred from the Forester Brigade. The regiment wore collar badges comprising a royal tiger within an unbroken wreath of laurel and a pearl grey, black and scarlet lanyard.

In 1964, all four were amalgamated to form a new, large regiment called the Royal Anglian Regiment. The new regiment's cap badge was similar to that of the East Anglian Brigade except that the scroll was now inscribed "Royal Anglian" and the cap badge is now smaller..

On 1 July 1968 the East Anglian Brigade was united with the Fusilier Brigade and the Home Counties Brigades, to form the Queen's Division.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Army Order 35/1958
  2. ^ Army Order 40/1959
  3. ^ Army Order 29/1960
  4. ^ A L Kipling and H L King, Head-dress badges of the British Army, Volume II, London 1979
  5. ^ Howard Ripley, Buttons of the British Army 1855 - 1970, London, 1971