Guards Division

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The Guards Division is an administrative unit of the British Army responsible for the administration of the regiments of Foot Guards and the London Regiment.

Introduction[edit]

The Headquarters of the Guards Division is in London, along with the RHQs of each regiment. It is responsible for providing two public duties battalions to London District (plus three incremental companies); although the guards are most associated with ceremonial, they remain as operational infantry battalions, and as such perform in all the various roles of infantry.

The Guards Division contains a total of six battalions, one from each of the five regiments of Foot Guards and the London Regiment of the Territorial Army. However, before the Options for Change defence review in 1992, there were eight battalions:

The cuts made to the infantry under Options for Change included three battalions of Guards. However, rather than disbanding them, the 2nd Battalions of each of the first three regiments were placed in "suspended animation" - although they would not be active, they would still be listed on the Army Roll, and could be reactivated should they be needed. In order to maintain the traditions of each battalion, and to keep custody of the colours, three companies were kept active, one to represent each battalion:

  • No 2 Company, 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards (renamed Nijmegen Company)
  • No 7 Company, 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards
  • F Company, 2nd Bn Scots Guards

These three units were based permanently at Chelsea Barracks in London on public duties until Chelsea Barracks was sold off by the army. They represent the suspended battalions at significant events, such as Trooping the Colour, and receive the battalion's new colours whenever they are presented. As such, each company is an independent unit of their regiment, separate from the operational battalions.

The five regular battalions have the following roles:

  • Grenadier Guards—Light Infantry
  • Coldstream Guards—Public Duties
  • Scots Guards—Armoured Infantry
  • Irish Guards—Light Infantry
  • Welsh Guards—Public Duties

Note: The two light role battalions and two public duties battalions periodically rotate.

Each regiment maintains its own regimental band (refer to "See Also" section for list of regimental bands).

Current units[edit]

Past units[edit]

Units previously in the Guards Division, but which are no longer in existence (along with the dates at which they came into existence, and at which they were suspended or disbanded):

  • 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards (1656–1994)
  • 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards (1711–1993)
  • 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards (1689–1993)
  • Guards Independent Parachute Company (1948–1975)

Note: The three battalions have technically not been disbanded; instead they are in "suspended animation" and, in theory, can be re-raised if needed. The colours and traditions of each battalion are kept and maintained by the incremental companies. Also the heritage of the Guards Independent Parachute Company has now been continued through the Guards Parachute Platoon that is attached to the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment.

See also[edit]

List of Bands:

External links[edit]