East Anglian Brigade
After the Second World War the British Army had fourteen infantry depots, each bearing a letter. The depots were territorially organised, and Infantry Depot G at Colchester was the headquarters for the county regiments of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Suffolk.
In 1948, the depots adopted names and this depot became the East Anglian Brigade, with all regiments being reduced to a single battalion at the same time. The East Anglian Brigade was formed on 14 July 1948 at Gibraltar Barracks, Bury St Edmunds as an administrative apparatus for the infantry regiments from East Anglia:
- The Royal Norfolk Regiment (until 1959)
- The Suffolk Regiment (until 1959)
- The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (until 1958)
- The Essex Regiment (until 1958)
- The Northamptonshire Regiment (until 1960)
Under the Defence Review announced in July 1957, the infantry of the line was reorganised: In 1958, the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment was transferred from the Forester Brigade, and by 1960 the six individual regiments had amalgamated to form three "East Anglian Regiments":
- Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment and Essex Regiment - 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot) on 2 June 1958
- Royal Norfolk Regiment and Suffolk Regiment - 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk) on 29 August 1959
- Royal Lincolnshire Regiment and Northamptonshire Regiment - 2nd East Anglian Regiment (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) on 1 June 1960
At the same time East Anglian Brigade cap badges and buttons replaced those of the individual regiments. The cap badge was a silver eight-pointed star bearing the castle and key of Gibraltar, with a scroll inscribed "East Anglia". The key and castle was a badge awarded to predecessors of all three regiments for their part in the Great Siege of Gibraltar from 1779 - 1783. The brigade buttons were identical to those of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, bearing the figure of Brittania.
The three regiments could be distinguished by their collar badges and coloured lanyards:
- The 1st East Anglian Regiment wore collar badges consisting of Brittania in front of the Castle of Gibraltar and a yellow lanyard
- The 2nd East Anglian Regiment wore collar badges consisting of a sphinx on a tablet inscribed "Egypt" over a scroll with the battle honour Talavera and a black lanyard
- The 3rd East Anglian Regiment wore collar badges depicting a Napoleonic eagle enclosed within the Garter and a pompadour purple (claret purple) lanyard
In 1963, the Royal Leicestershire Regiment was transferred from the Forester Brigade. The regiment wore collar badges comprising a royal tiger within an unbroken wreath of laurel and a pearl grey, black and scarlet lanyard.
In 1964, all four were amalgamated to form a new, large regiment called the Royal Anglian Regiment. The new regiment's cap badge was similar to that of the East Anglian Brigade except that the scroll was now inscribed "Royal Anglian" and the cap badge is now smaller..
- Messenger, Charles. "A History of British Infantry: For Love of Regiment, Volume 2, 1915-1994". p. 156.
- Whitaker's Almanack 1956, p. 471
- Army Order 35/1958
- Army Order 40/1959
- Army Order 29/1960
- A L Kipling and H L King, Head-dress badges of the British Army, Volume II, London 1979
- Howard Ripley, Buttons of the British Army 1855 - 1970, London, 1971
- Whitaker's Almanack 1969, p. 473