Royal Anglian Regiment

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The Royal Anglian Regiment
R ANGLIAN Regiment Cap Badge.PNG
Cap Badge of the Royal Anglian Regiment
Active September 1964-
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Line Infantry
Role 1st Battalion - Light Infantry
2nd Battalion - Light Infantry
3rd Battalion - Army Reserve
Size Three battalions
Part of Queen's Division
Garrison/HQ RHQ - Bury St Edmunds
1st Battalion - Bulford
2nd Battalion - Cottesmore
3rd Battalion - Bury St Edmunds
Nickname The Vikings (1st Battalion)
The Poachers (2nd Battalion)
The Steelbacks (3rd Battalion)
March Quick - Rule Britannia/Speed the Plough
Slow - The Northamptonshire
Anniversaries 1 August - Minden
1 September - Formation Day
Colonel in Chief HRH The Duke of Gloucester, KG, GCVO
Colonel of
the Regiment
Major General Phil Jones CBE
Tactical Recognition Flashes 1trf.GIF 2trf.GIF 3trf.GIF
Arm Badge Salamanca Eagle
From Essex Regiment
Abbreviation R ANGLIAN

The Royal Anglian Regiment (R ANGLIAN) is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Queen's Division.

The regiment was formed on 1 September 1964 as the first of the new large infantry regiments, through the amalgamation of the four regiments of the East Anglian Brigade:

The Royal Anglian Regiment serves as the county regiment for the following counties:


Initially formed of seven battalions (four regular and three Territorial Army), the regiment was reduced in 1975 with the loss of the 4th (Leicestershire) Battalion to three regular battalions and three TA. The regiment was reduced again in 1992 to two regular and two TA battalions with the loss of the 3rd (16th/44th Foot) and 5th Battalions. As one of the existing large regiments, the Royal Anglian Regiment was unaffected by the restructuring of the infantry announced in 2004. However, the remaining Territorial battalion of the regiment, the East of England Regiment was re-designated on 1 April 2006 as the 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment as part of the reforms.

The two regular battalions have the nicknames the Vikings (1st Bn) and the Poachers (2nd Bn). The old regular 3rd Battalion was nicknamed the Pompadours, and the fourth the Tigers.

In 1995, each battalion renamed its companies in order to perpetuate its lineage from the old County regiments:

All regular battalions of the regiment have carried out tours-of-duty throughout "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland. The regiment was involved in the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry in 1972, when 14 unarmed civuilians were killed. The most costly time for the regiment in NI occurred in the 1970s and 1980s when they lost eighteen soldiers, the last in 1989. Despite violence in Northern Ireland having largely subsided, the regiment continues to be posted there. When in Northern Ireland, the Royal Anglian Regiment, like the rest of the Army, is primarily used to provide support to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Throughout the 1960s, the regiment served in Aden, where they operated against guerrillas fighting against the British presence such as in the Radfan. They also garrisoned Malta, the Persian Gulf, and Cyprus. The regiment has continued to carry out tours of Cyprus into recent times; the last was carried out by 2 R ANGLIAN in 1998.

The 1st battalion also served in Northern Ireland between 89 Aug to 90 Jan (South Armagh), Apr to 91 Oct (Fermanargh) and Dec 93 to 94 June (Co Tyrone). They also did short tours of Cyprus (1992) and the U.S. (Fort Lewis) in 1995. Also in 1995 the 1st Battalion was sent to Croatia during the time UN soldiers were being taken hostage by local militia. As part of 24 Airmobile Brigade they were sent there between July and October of that year.

During the crisis in the Balkans in the early 1990s, 2 R ANGLIAN was deployed to Bosnia in April 1994 as part of the UN peacekeeping force UNPROFOR.[2] During the tour, Corporal Andrew Rainey became one of the first ever other ranks to win the Military Cross, for his actions during a heavy contact between 3 Platoon, A Company and a Bosnian Serb military unit on the confrontation line in the north of the Maglaj Finger. The battalion left later in the year, having suffered a single loss by a land mine. Shortly after British forces intervened in Sierra Leone during its civil war, the 2nd Battalion briefly joined the IMATT force in June 2000 to help train the Sierra Leonean armed forces.

In 1996 C Company (1st Bn) was sent with the Parachute Brigade that was taking part in the biggest Airborne exercise since the Second World War in South Carolina, U.S. During this exercise WOII "Boogie" Boulton was killed in a traffic accident.

In March 2002, 1 R ANGLIAN was sent to Afghanistan, where it was based in the capital Kabul as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The battalion often patrolled the more dangerous parts of the capital to maintain order in a city under constant fear of attack by Al Qaida and the Taliban. The ISAF force at that time was commanded by Major-General John McColl, a former officer with both 1st and 2nd Battalions; he commanded the latter between 1992–1994. The battalion left in June, having suffered a single loss due to an accident. The following February, A company of 2 R ANGLIAN was posted to Kabul in June 2003. They were replaced by C Company in June.

In 2005 1 R ANGLIAN had a successful tour in Iraq as part of Operation TELIC 6 where the battle group was responsible for the Basra Rural South area of operations. C (Essex) Company was detached to act as a Brigade Operations Company and was involved in several high profile arrest operations including the arrest in Basra of 14 insurgents.

In Spring 2006 2 R ANGLIAN deployed to Iraq as part of Op TELIC 8 and formed Basra City South Battlegroup. C (Northamptonshire) company was detached to operate as part of Force Reserve and was involved in many high profile arrest and strike operations. During the tour the Regiment mourned the loss of two soldiers; on 13 May 2006 Private Joseva Lewaicei and Adam Morris died as a result of injuries sustained from a roadside bomb attack in Basra. A third soldier was badly injured.

From March to September 2007 as part of 12th Mechanised Brigade 1 R ANGLIAN was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick 6. This deployment was the subject of the Sky One documentary Ross Kemp in Afghanistan, broadcast in January/February 2008. A book has also been written by a former commanding officer about the battalion on this tour, Attack State Red, published by Penguin. They were stationed in the infamous Helmand Province and faced some of the fiercest fighting since the Korean War. The fighting attracted much media attention due to the ferocity of the combat with soldiers often having to resort to using bayonets. The battalion suffered 9 casualties during its tour, 5 hostile and 4 accidental.[3][4]

23 August 2007 friendly fire incident[edit]

In a reported friendly fire incident, on 23 August 2007, one of a pair United States Air Force F-15E fighter aircraft called in to support a patrol of the 1st Battalion in Afghanistan dropped a bomb on the same patrol, killing three men, and severely injured two others. It was later revealed that the British forward air controller who called in the strike had not been issued a noise-cancelling headset, and in the confusion and stress of the battle incorrectly confirmed one wrong digit of the co-ordinates mistakenly repeated by the pilot, and the bomb landed on the British position 1,000 metres away from the enemy. The coroner at the soldiers' inquest stated that the incident was due to "flawed application of procedures" rather than individual errors or "recklessness".[5]


1 R ANGLIAN is part of 12th Mechanised Brigade, based in Picton Barracks, Bulford. The battalion now operates in the light infantry role.

2 R ANGLIAN is TRB and was based in Dhekelia, Cyprus. The battalion operates in the light infantry role. The 2nd Battalion moved to Kendrew Barracks in Rutland in 2012.[6]

The Bermuda Regiment[edit]

A Permanent Staff Instructor (PSI), seconded from the Royal Anglians, with senior Non-Commissioned Officers of the Bermuda Regiment. The PSI wear a Bermuda Regiment cap badge on an R ANGLIAN khaki beret. The RAR provides a PSI to each of the Bermuda Regiment's companies, as well as to the companies of its own Territorial Army battalions.

The Royal Anglian Regiment has a unique relationship with the Bermuda Regiment, a Territorial battalion of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. Although the Bermuda Regiment is usually described as an affiliated regiment, its relationship to the Regiment is more akin to that of one of Royal Anglian's own TA battalions. The Bermuda Regiment is an amalgamation of the old Bermuda Militia Artillery and Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC, which had been renamed the Bermuda Rifles). During the Great War, the latter unit had sent two drafts to serve as part of the 1 Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment, one of Royal Anglian Regiment's predecessors, on the Western Front. The affiliation of the Lincolns and the BVRC was made official after the War, with the Lincolns adopting the same role it fulfilled to its own TA battalions: providing seconded Permanent Staff Instructors and officers. The BVRC sent two more drafts to the Lincolns during the Second World War. When the BVRC was amalgamated into the Bermuda Regiment in 1965, the Royal Anglian Regiment, as successor to the Royal Lincolns, continued the paternal relationship. In addition to providing a PSI to each of the Bermuda Regiment's companies, many other Royal Anglian Regiment personnel have been seconded or loaned to the Bermuda Regiment over the years. The Staff Officer is normally seconded from the R ANGLIANS. The Bermuda Regiment's first nine Adjutants (from 1965 to 1984) were all R ANGLIAN officers. Three of its past Regimental Sergeant Majors were seconded from the Royal Anglian Regiment. In 1992, the Bermuda Regiment had two serving Lieutenant-Colonels, as its Staff Officer, a Royal Anglian Major, was promoted to the same rank as its Commanding Officer (CO). In 1996, the Bermuda Regiment's Second-In-Command, Staff Officer, and Adjutant were all on secondment from the Royal Anglians. Additionally, senior NCOs are loaned to the Bermuda Regiment for the duration of its annual Recruit Camps, with one attached to each platoon of its Training Company.

The Junior NCOs (Corporals and Lance-Corporals) of the Bermuda Regiment attend Skill-At-Arms courses at the Royal Anglian Regiment depot, and many Bermuda Regiment officers and NCOs have served on attachment with the Royal Anglians. During the 1980s, the entire cadre of officers, warrant officers, and NCOs of the Bermuda Regiment was briefly attached to a battalion of Royal Anglians deployed to Belize.

Future Army Structure[edit]

Under Army 2020, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalion will be under 7th Infantry Brigade.1st Battalion will be mounted on Foxhounds while 2nd will remain as a light infantry battalion. Both of these will rotate as resident units in British Forces Cyprus.[7]


March past in Bedford
  • Regimental Quick March: "Rule Britannia and Speed the Plough"
  • Regimental Slow March: "The Northamptonshire"

Regimental Days

  • 1 August - Minden Day
  • 1 September - The Royal Anglian Regiment Formation Day

Celebrated by the individual battalions (in date order)

  • 2nd Battalion: 10 February - Sobraon Day
  • 1st Battalion: 17 March - St Patrick's Day
  • 1st Battalion: 25 April - Almanza Day
  • 2nd Battalion: 25 June - Hindoostan Day
  • 1st Battalion: 27 June - Dettingen Day
  • 1st Battalion: 22 July - Salamanca Day
  • 2nd Battalion: 27 July - Talavera Day
  • 2nd Battalion: 13 August - Blenheim Day

Order of precedence[edit]

Preceded by
Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Infantry Order of Precedence Succeeded by
The Yorkshire Regiment


The Royal Anglian Regiment The 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk) The Royal Norfolk Regiment
The Suffolk Regiment
The 2nd East Anglian Regiment (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment
The Northamptonshire Regiment The 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot
The 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot
The 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot) The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
The Essex Regiment The 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot
The 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot
The Royal Leicestershire Regiment


Popular culture[edit]

In 1989, the Band and fifty members of the old 3rd Battalion were featured in the opening and closing sequences of BBC historical sitcom Blackadder Goes Forth with the band, men and actors Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Tony Robinson and Tim McInnerny dressed in World War I period uniforms marching to The British Grenadiers and the Blackadder theme song. It was shot on location at the former Colchester Cavalry Barracks.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]