First City Regiment
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|First City Regiment|
SANDF First City Regiment emblem
|Active||1875 to present|
|Role||Air Assault and Training|
|Size||One Air Assault battalion & a Training Wing|
|Part of||South African Infantry Formation
Army Conventional Reserve
|Officer Commanding||Lt Col Roger Albert Keeton DWD 2006–|
|Honorary Colonel||Col Cecil Peter Jones-Phillipson SM (Appointed 2010)|
|Tartan||Graham of Montrose|
|Company level Insignia|
|SA Motorised Infantry beret bar circa 1992|
First City (abbreviated to FC) is an air assault infantry regiment of the South African Army. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard unit.
The regiment was formed from the First City Volunteers (FCV) of Grahamstown that were formed in 1875 in Grahamstown and the Queenstown Rifle Volunteers (QVR) that were formed in 1860 (Re-raised 1883) in Queenstown and these regiments were formed due to the unrest on the then frontier.
The QVR and the FCV fought in the Cape Frontier Wars and the 9th Frontier War (1877–1878). The QVR fought in the Morosi Campaign (1879). The FCV fought in the Basutoland Gun War (1880–1881). The QVR and the FCV later fought in the Bechuanaland campaign (1897), and in the Second Boer War (1899–1902).
Union Defence Force
On 1 July 1913, the QVR amalgamated with the FCV and was incorporated into the Citizen Force of the new Union Defence Force as the 4th Infantry (First Eastern Rifles). It served in German South-West Africa 1914–1915.
However, in 1924 the First Eastern Rifles were renamed the 4th Infantry (First City). The numerical part of the title was dropped in 1932, making the regiment simply First City. First City is never called First City "Regiment" . When spoken of it is "The" First City.
World War 2
During World War II, FC served in the Madagascar campaign (1942). On 5 October 1943, First City, South Africa's senior Scottish unit, was temporarily "married up" with the Cape Town Highlanders to form the FC/CTH which was part of the 12th South African Motorised Brigade of the South African 6th Armoured Division. The "marriage" lasted until 8 May 1945. After completing its training in Egypt, the division landed at Taranto, Italy on 20 April 1944 and fought exclusively in Italy during its existence. In 1946, the regiment was reconstituted as a component of the country's part-time forces and reformed First City.
From 1954 to 1956, FC was amalgamated with the Kaffrarian Rifles, known as First City/Kaffrarian Rifles. In 1956 it reverted to being called First City.
Freedom of the City
- Grahamstown 4 September 1962
- Queenstown 25 January 1964
The regiment served in the South African Border War from 1977 to 1986, and was also involved from 1983 until 1994 in Internal Operations.[clarification needed] The regiment was affiliated with 84 Motorised Brigade, part of 8th Armoured Division.
In 2004 it was decided to rebuild First City and by 2006 the regiment was training its own members as well as members of the Prince Alfred's Guard, The Buffalo Volunteer Rifles and Regiment Piet Retief these all being Eastern Cape regiments. Many members have also been trained in Air Assault. The Regiment has also sent members on UN & AU peace keeping missions to the DRC, Burundi and the Sudan.
2008 saw First City winning the trophy for the best reserve force regiment in the SA Army Infantry Formation. The regiment retained this award for 2009.
- Bonny Badge: silver crest of Montrose; directly behind the void areas of the badge on the Montrose tartan the following is worn:
- Scarlet – officers and warrant officers
- Blue – All other members
- Maroon – All Airborne qualified members
- The officers & WOs wear a diamond-shaped tartan backing, while the NCOs and Rfn wear a square tartan backing.
- Cap badge backing (1935– ): Graham of Montrose tartan. 1935 to 1943 pale red hackle also worn.
- 1943 to 1945 only a green and gold hackle was worn during this period. FC/CTH
- Collar badge: albany leopard on a branch
- Shoulder & epaulette title: "First City"
- Officers & WOs wear the gold metal epaulette designation on the red tab.
- NCOs & Rfn wear a gold and green cloth shoulder title
Blue Balmoral bonnet with blue and white dicing, with a red toorie in 1935. The regiment's Highland company wore a Tam o'shanter without the toorie from 1906–1913, while the pipers wore a dark blue Glengarry. The new blue glengarry with blue and white dicing has the Maroon toorie to symbolise the regiment's airborne role. (Worn by officers & WOs) The khaki tam o'shanter when worn by air assault members has a maroon toorie. (Worn by S/Sgt/Rfn) The officers and WOs when in service/combat dress wear the light khaki balmoral.
New motto: "Expecto" (be alert/be prepared/I await)
- Old FCV Motto: Virtute et opera (By Virtue and Deeds)
- Old QVR Motto: Semper Paratus (Always Ready)
Current Dress Insignia
- British: The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (from 1928 to 1958),then renamed The Royal Anglian Regiment (1958 to 1961).
- SA School Cadet Detachments:
|South Africa 1879|
|1935||The Duke of Kent, Maj Gen, HRH Prince George KG MC GCVO||1942|
|1946||His Grace the Duke of Montrose KT CB||1961|
|1989||Brig Gen A C Chemaly SM||2009|
|2009||Col Cecil Peter Jones-Phillipson SM||Present|
|2017||Acting Maj Robin Collins||Present|
|From||Regimental Sergeants Major||To|
|2003||MWO Craig Stuart Brown MMM||2013|