Colombo Town Guard
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|Colombo Town Guard|
|Branch||Ceylon Defence Force|
|Part of||British Army|
|Engagements||World War I
World War II
Colombo Town Guard was regiment attached to the Ceylon Defence Force which was the predecessor to the Sri Lanka Army prior to 1949 when the Ceylon Army was formed. It was a volunteer (reserve) regiment was based in Colombo.
The Town Guard regiment was mobilized only on two occasions, these were during World War I and World War II. Primarily operating as a defensive force for Ceylon's then capital Colombo the regiment was made up of residents of Colombo with both British and Ceylonese Officers. Members of the regiment included many personalities who became important figures in Sri Lankan history.
When formed in both 1914 and 1939 the primary task of the regiment was the defence of Colombo from enemy invasion and had the secondary task of protecting the British control over the colony. In 1915 during the Sinhalese-Moor Riots the Town Guard was called to restore public order with authorization to fire. As a result many people including rioters were killed under the Martial Law proclamations lasting 100 days.
Town Guard Artillery
In 2006 due to the Sri Lankan Civil War the Sri Lankan Government announced a formation of a Home Guard unit made up of residents of Colombo for deployments within the city. This was not a reforming of the town guard as the new unit came under the authority of the Department of Civil Defence (Sri Lanka) unlike the town guard that came under the command of the army. This was the first time a home guard unit was formed within Colombo.
- The Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake - The first Prime Minister of Ceylon.
- Sir Razik Fareed, OBE, JP (29 December 1893 - 23 August 1984), was a Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) lawyer, politician, diplomat and philanthropist. He was the former Cabinet Minister of Trade, Senator, member of parliament and the state council. He had also served as Ceylon's High Commissioner to Pakistan.
- Captain Henry Pedris - A prominent figure executed by the British.
- Sir Oliver Goonetilleke - Governor-General of Ceylon