List of battalions of the South Wales Borderers

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This is a list of battalions of the South Wales Borderers.

Original Composition[edit]

When the regiment was associated with a number of Welsh counties after it became the South Wales Borderers in 1881, it gained those counties' militia and volunteer battalions. These were:

  • 3rd (Militia) Battalion - formerly the Royal South Wales Borderers Militia (Royal Radnor and Brecknock Rifles)
  • 4th (Militia) Battalion - formerly the (Royal Montgomery and Merioneth Rifles Militia): disbanded in 1908.[1]
  • The 1st Brecknockshire Rifle Volunteer Corps: renamed 1st (Brecknockshire) Volunteer Battalion in 1885.[1] [2]
  • The 1st Monmouthshire Rifle Volunteer Corps: renamed 2nd (Monmouthshire) Volunteer Battalion in 1885.[1]
  • The 2nd Monmouthshire Rifle Volunteer Corps: renamed 3rd (Monmouthshire) Volunteer Battalion in 1885.[1]
  • The 3rd Monmoutshire Rifle Volunteer Corps: renamed 4th (Monmouthshire) Volunteer Battalion in 1885.[1]
  • The 5th (Montgomeryshire) Volunteer Battalion: raised in 1897.[3]

Territorial Force[edit]

In 1908 the Territorial Force was established and the volunteer battalions joined it. These became:

  • The Brecknockshire Battalion - formerly the 1st Volunteers[2]

The three Monmouthshire battalions became The Monmouthshire Regiment, an entirely territorial infantry regiment, although part of the "corps" of the South Wales Borderers.[4]

  • 1st (Rifle) Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formerly the 2nd Volunteer Battalion. It transferred to the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1938.[5]
  • 2nd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formerly the 3rd Volunteer Battalion
  • 3rd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formerly the 4th Volunteer Battalion

The 5th (Montgomeryshire) Volunteer Battalion ceased to be part of the South Wales Borderers, and was transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers to form part of the 7th (Merionethshire and Montgomeryshire) Battalion of that regiment.[4] [3]

First World War[edit]

The regiment, along with its Territorial units, raised nineteen battalions: all these battalions were either disbanded during the war or in the immediate aftermath of it.[6]

  • 2/1st Brecknockshire Battalion - formed in September 1914 at Brecon.[1] [2] [6] The Battalion joined the 68th (2nd Welsh) Division in 1915. It was absorbed by the 2/7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers in November 1916.
  • 3/1st Brecknockshire Battalion - formed in April 1915 at Brecon.[2] [1] [6] The Battalion became the 1st (Reserve) Battalion in April 1916. The following year, in August, it amalgamated with the 1st (Reserve) Battalion, Monmouthshires.
  • 4th (Service) Battalion - formed in August 1914 at Brecon. [6] The Battalion joined the 13th (Western) Division and saw service in Gallipoli and Mesopotamaia.[7]
  • 5th (Service, later Pioneer) Battalion - formed in September 1914 at Brecon. Part of the 19th (Western) Division and saw service on the Western Front.[7] [6]
  • 6th (Service, later Pioneer) - formed in September 1914 at Brecon. Joined the 25th Division and transferred to the 30th Division. It saw service on the Western Front.[7] [6]
  • 7th (Service) Battalion) - formed in September 1914 at Brecon. Joined the 22nd Division and saw service in the Balkans.[7]
  • 8th (Service) Battalion - formed in September 1914 at Brecon. The Battalion was part of the 22nd Division and saw service in the Balkans.[7] [6]
  • 9th (Service, later Reserve) Battalion - formed in October 1914 at Pembroke Dock. Later became the 57th (Training Reserve) Battalion of the 13th Reserve Brigade.[7] [6]
  • 10th (Service) Battalion (1st Gwent) - formed in October 1914 at Brecon. It joined the 43rd Division (later the 38th (Welsh) Division) and saw service on the Western Front.[7] [6]
  • 11th (Service) Battalion (2nd Gwent) - formed in December 1915 at Brecon. Joined the 43rd Division (later the 38th) and saw service on the Western Front. It was disbaded in February 1918 in France.[7] [6]
  • 12th (Service) Battalion (3rd Gwent) - formed in March 1915 as a Bantam battalion of the Welsh Bantam Brigade. The battalion joined the 40th Division in September and saw service on the Western Front, where it was disbanded in February 1918.[7] [6]
  • 13th (Reserve) Battalion - formed in July 1915 at St Asaph as a local reserve battalion. It became the 59th (Training Reserve) Battalion, 13th Reserve Brigade in September 1916. [7] [6]
  • 14th (Reserve) Battalion - formed in September 1915 at Prees Heath as the local reserve battalion. In September 1916 it became the 65th (Training Reserve) Battalion, part of the 14th Reserve Brigade.[7] [6]
  • 15th (Service) Battalion - formed in June 1918 at North Walsham. In July the Battalion absorbed the cadre of the 10th Cheshires.[6]
  • 2/1st Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formed in September 1914 at Newport. Joined the 68th Division and remained in the UK for the duration of the war; it was disbanded in March 1918.[8]
  • 2/2nd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formed in September 1914 at Pontypool. It joined the 68th Division and remained in the UK where it was disbanded in April 1919.[8]
  • 2/3rd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formed in September 1914 at Abergavenny. Joined the 68th Division and remained in the UK until it was disbanded in August 1917.[8]
  • 3/1st Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formed in February 1915. In April 1916 it became a Reserve Battalion. In July 1917 it absorbed the 3/2nd and 3/3rd, Monmouthshires, all of which had identical histories to the 3/1st. It remained in the UK for the duration of the war.[8]
  • 4th Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formed in 1916 as the 48th Provisional Battalion from home service members of the Monmouthshire and Herefordshire Regiments; transferred to the regiment in January 1917, becoming its 4th Battalion. It remained in the UK for the duration of the war.[8]

Inter-War[edit]

  • 3rd Brecknockshire and Monmouthshire Battalion - formed in 1922 when the Breckonshire Battalion was absorbed by the 3rd Battalion, Monmouthshires. The battalion transferred to the Royal Artillery in 1947.

Second World War[edit]

The regiment, along with its Territorial units, raised 5 battalions during the war, all of which were either disbanded during the war or in its immediate aftermath.

  • 5th (Home Defence) Battalion - formed in 1939.
  • 6th Battalion - formed in July 1940 at Brecon. The Battalion transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps as the 158th Regiment in April 1942. It re-roled as an infantry regiment in March 1943. It saw service in the Far East.
  • 30th Battalion - formed in 1941.
  • The Brecknockshire Battalion - reformed in 1939 and transferred to the Royal Artillery in 1947.
  • 4th Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment - formed in June 1939. It was redesignated as 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers in December 1942. The original 1st Battalion SWB had been disbanded in August 1942 in Cyprus, most of the unit having been taken prisoner or becoming casualties in North Africa.[9]

Post-War[edit]

  • Welsh Volunteers - formed in 1967 from the Territorial battalions of the Welsh Brigade. The 2nd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment lineage was maintained by B Company.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Margesson, John (1977). "The Reserve Battalions". A Short History of the Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st foot). Royal Regiment of Wales. pp. 84–86. 
  2. ^ a b c d Mills, T F. "The Brecknockshire Battalion". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Newtown". The Drill Hall Project. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Order in Council dated 19 March 1908 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28121. p. 2158. 20 March 1908.
  5. ^ Mills, T F. "1st Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 27 December 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Baker, Chris. "The South Wales Borderers in 1914–1918". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k A Short History of the Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot). 1977. p. 17. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Baker, Chris. "The Monmouthshire Regiment in 1914–1918". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  9. ^ A Short History of the Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot). 1977. pp. 20, 66.