Gloucestershire Regiment

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The Gloucestershire Regiment
Gloucestershire Regiment Badge.jpg
Cap badge (left) and back badge (right) of the Gloucestershire Regiment
Active 1881–1994
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Role Infantry
Garrison/HQ Custom House, Gloucester
Nickname The Glorious Glosters
Motto By our deeds we are known
March The Kennegad Slashers
Anniversaries Back Badge Day (21 Mar)
Decorations Streamer PUC Army.PNG   United States Army Presidential Unit Citation

The Gloucestershire Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army. Nicknamed "The Glorious Glosters", the regiment carried more battle honours on their regimental colours than any other British Army line regiment. Soldiers of the Gloucestershire Regiment and subsequently the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment wore a cap badge on both the front and the rear of their headdress, a tradition maintained by soldiers in The Rifles when in service dress. The back badge is unique in the British Army and was awarded to the 28th Regiment of Foot for their actions at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801.

Origins and early history[edit]

The origins of the regiment lie in the regiment formed in Portsmouth in 1694 by Colonel John Gibson. This was named the 28th Regiment of Foot in 1751 and renamed the 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot in 1782. After the Childers reforms, the regiment amalgamated with the 61st (South Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot to form the two-battalion Gloucestershire Regiment on 1 July 1881.

Second Boer War[edit]

The regiment saw active service in the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902.

First World War[edit]

1st Gloucestershire Regiment at Bordon, Hampshire 1914

During the course of the war, the regiment raised 25 battalions, seeing service on the Western Front, Gallipoli, Macedonia, the Middle East and Italy.

Second World War[edit]

The 1st Battalion saw active service in Burma against Japanese forces.

The 2nd Battalion was involved in the Battle of France after Germany's invasion of the Low Countries on 8 May 1940, taking part in the defensive screen protecting the Dunkirk evacuation and was later involved in the North-West Europe campaign after taking part in the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944.

The 10th Battalion converted to armour in 1942 as 159th Regiment in the Royal Armoured Corps though retaining is Glosters cap badge on the black beret of the RAC.[1] It re-converted to 10th Glosters the following year in India.[2]

Korean War[edit]

The regiment saw heavy fighting in the Korean War. After their actions at Gloster Hill during the Battle of the Imjin River in 1951, following which the regiment was awarded the United States Distinguished Unit Citation for its heroic last stand against overwhelming Chinese forces. This entitled the 1st Battalion of the regiment to place a blue streamer on the regimental colour and to wear a dark blue watered ribbon in a gold frame on the shoulder of the uniform.[3] [4]

Modern history[edit]

The regiment was one of the British Army's most battle honoured units, and amalgamated with the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment in 1994 to form the 1st Battalion, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment.

In March 2005, it was announced that this regiment would merge with the Light Infantry, The Royal Green Jackets and the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment to form the 1st Battalion, The Rifles. At this time, the RGBW was made a light infantry regiment, becoming the RGBWLI. This served to forge identity within the new Rifles regiment.

Regimental museum[edit]

The regimental archives and memorabilia of The Glosters as well as their antecedents, The 28th and 61st Regiments of Foot are held by The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, which is located within the Historic Docks in Gloucester and available on-line at Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.

Battle honours[edit]

The regiment's colours in Gloucester Cathedral

The regiment was awarded the following battle honours:

  • From 28th Regiment of Foot: Egypt, Corunna, Barrosa, Albuhera, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Waterloo, Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol
  • From 61st Regiment of Foot: Egypt, Maida, Talavera, Salamanca, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Chillianwallah, Goojerat, Punjaub, Delhi 1857
  • Ramillies, Louisburg, Guadaloupe 1759, Quebec 1759, Martinique 1762, Havannah, St Lucia 1778, Busaco, Defence of Ladysmith, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, South Africa 1899–1902
  • The Great War (25 battalions): Mons, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914 '18, Ypres 1914 '15 '17, Langemarck 1914 '17, Gheluvelt, Nonne Bosschen, Givenchy 1914, Gravenstafel, St Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Aubers, Loos, Somme 1916 '18, Albert 1916, '18, Bazentin, Delville Wood, Pozières, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916, Arras 1917 '18, Vimy 1917, Scarpe 1917, Messines 1917 '18, Pilckem, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917 '18, St Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Rosières, Avre, Lys, Estaires, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Béthune, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, Canal du Nord, St Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Selle, Valenciennes, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914–18, Piave, Vittorio Veneto, Italy 1917–18, Struma, Doiran 1917, Macedonia 1915–18, Suvla, Sari Bair, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915–16, Egypt 1916, Tigris 1916, Kut al Amara 1917, Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1916–18, Persia 1918
  • The Second World War: Defence of Escaut, St Omer-La-Bassée, Wormhoudt, Cassel, Villers Bocage, Mont Pincon, Falaise, Risle Crossing, Le Havre, Zetten, North-West Europe 1940 '44–45, Taukyan, Paungde, Monywa 1942, North Arakan, Mayu Tunnels, Pinwe, Shweli, Myitson, Burma 1942 '44–45
  • Korean War: Hill 327, Imjin, Korea 1950–51
  • 4th Battalion (Militia): St. Helena 1901, South Africa 1900–02
    (Under an Army Order issued in October 1910 battle honours awarded to former militia battalions were to cease to be borne: special reserve battalions could continue to carry colours with the old honours "as a temporary measure" if they chose, but only until they were presented with replacement colours.)[5]
  • 4th, 5th Battalions: South Africa 1900–02
    (Following the First World War it was decided that each infantry regiment, including the territorial battalions, should have a single roll of battle honours. Accordingly the territorial battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment adopted the honours of the regular battalions.)[6]

Gloucestershire Regiment Victoria Crosses[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Forty p. 51
  2. ^ Joslen p. 497.
  3. ^ "Heroism of the Gloucesters". The Times. 9 May 195. p. 6. 
  4. ^ "Return of the Gloucesters". The Times. 21 December 1951. p. 6. 
  5. ^ "Colours of the Special Reserve". The Times. 27 February 1911. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "Territorial Army. Pre-War Battle Honours On Colours.". The Times. 7 July 1924. p. 11. 

References[edit]

  • Tim Carew, The Glorious Glosters: A short history of the Gloucestershire Regiment 1945–1970. Leo Cooper, 1970, ISBN 978-0-85052-024-8.
  • David Scott Daniell, Cap of Honour. 2nd Edition 1975, reprinted 2005 ISBN 0-7509-4172-3.
  • George Forty, "British Army Handbook 1939–1945", Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1998, ISBN 0-7509-1403-3.
  • Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, Volume I, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military, 2003, ISBN 1843424746.

External links[edit]