Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles

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Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles
Civil Service Rifles badge.jpg
Active 1798&nbash;1921
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Rifle regiment
Part of London Regiment
Motto(s) Ich Dien (I Serve)
Engagements Boer War, World War I

The Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles was an infantry regiment of the Volunteer Force and Territorial Force of the British Army from 1798 to 1921; it saw active service in the Boer War and World War I as part of the London Regiment.

Early history[edit]

Originally formed in 1798 as the Bank of England Volunteers it was disbanded at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. On the formation of the Volunteer Force in 1860, it was raised by Viscount Bury, as the 21st Middlesex Middlesex Rifle Volunteers (Civil Service Rifles). Their headquarters were at Somerset House.

Territorial Force[edit]

15th Battalion, London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles), 47th Division, marching past the Lord Mayor of London, Colonel Sir Charles Wakefield, 11th June 1916. (IWM Q633)

On formation of the Territorial Force in 1908 the Civil Service Rifles became part of the newly formed London Regiment and was titled 15th Battalion London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles).

During the First World War it raised three battalions, with the first Battalion arriving in France in March 1915 forming part of the 4th London Brigade, part of the 2nd London Division. The first battalion was deployed solely on the Western front during the First World War.

Following the war the Civil Service Rifles were amalgamated with the 16th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment in 1921.

Battle honours[edit]

Regimental motto[edit]

Ich Dien – (German for "I serve", a contraction of ich diene), the motto of the Prince of Wales.

The Memorial of the 15th London, Somerset House, London

Regimental memorial[edit]

The memorial for the Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles is situated at Somerset House, London. It was designed in 1923 by Sir Edwin Lutyens OM, KCIE, PRA.[1]



  • Ian F.W. Beckett, Riflemen Form: A study of the Rifle Volunteer Movement 1859–1908, Aldershot: Ogilby Trusts, 1982, ISBN 0 85936 271 X.
  • The History of the Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles. London : Wyman & Sons Ltd., 1921.
  • Knight, Jill. The Civil Service Rifles in the Great War : all bloody gentlemen. Barnsley : Pen & Sword Military, 2004. ISBN 1-84415-057-7
  • Osborne, Mike, 2006. Always Ready: The Drill Halls of Britain's Volunteer Forces, Partizan Press, Essex. ISBN 1-85818-509-2
  • 2/15th Battn. County of London Regiment Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles. [London : printed by The Art Reproduction Co. Ltd., 1920?]

External links[edit]