The Light Infantry

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The Light Infantry
Cap badge of the Light Infantry
Active 10 July 1968-1 February 2007
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Armoured Infantry (one battalion)
Light Role (one battalion)
Size Two battalions
Part of Light Division
Garrison/HQ 1st Battalion - Paderborn, Germany
2nd Battalion - Edinburgh
Motto(s) Aucto Splendore Resurgo, Cede Nullis, Faithful
March Quick - Light Infantry
Double Past - Keel Row
Anniversaries Salamanca (22 July)
Last Colonel-in-Chief HRH Princess Alexandra
Colonel of
the Regiment
Brigadier TJ Gregson MBE
Tactical Recognition Flash Light Infantry TRF.PNG

The Light Infantry was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Light Division.


The regiment was formed on 10 July 1968 as a large regiment by the amalgamation of the four remaining light infantry regiments of the Light Infantry Brigade:[1]

On 31 March 1969 the 4th Battalion The Light Infantry (formerly The Durham Light Infantry) was disbanded leaving three regular battalions.[1]

The regiment was active all through The Troubles in Northern Ireland with eight soldiers from the regiment killed in the Ballygawley bus bombing.[2]

The remaining battalions remained in service until 1993 when they merged to form two battalions renamed 1st and 2nd Battalions.[1]

Territorial Army[edit]

  • The Light Infantry Volunteers was formed in the Territorial Army on 1 April 1967 from the territorial battalions of the four predecessor regiments. On 1 August 1972 it was redesignated the 5th Battalion, The Light Infantry. It lost its Cornish company and its last Durham company in 1981, and in 1987 it lost its Yorkshire companies. On 1 July 1999 it amalgamated to form two companies of the new West Midlands Regiment.[3]
  • The 6th Battalion was formed in Somerset and Cornwall on 1 April 1971. On 1 July 1999 it amalgamated to form two companies of the new Rifle Volunteers.[4]
  • The 7th Battalion was formed in Durham and Yorkshire on 1 April 1975. It began recruiting from Durham only in 1981. On 1 July 1999 it amalgamated to form one company of the new Tyne-Tees Regiment.[5]
  • The 8th Battalion was formed in Yorkshire on 1 January 1987. On 3 August 1996 it was converted to a reconnaissance unit as the King's Own Yorkshire Yeomanry. On 1 July 1999 it amalgamated to form one company of the new East and West Riding Regiment.[6]


In December 2004, it was announced that, as part of the planned Army restructuring published in Delivering Security in a Changing World, the Light Infantry would gain a new battalion through amalgamating with the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and the Gloucestershire elements of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment.[7] However, on 24 November 2005 it was further announced by the Ministry of Defence that, after discussions between the Light Infantry, the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment and the Royal Green Jackets, the four regiments would amalgamate to form a single, large regiment to be named The Rifles. The new regiment was formed on 1 February 2007 with 1st Battalion, The Light Infantry becoming 5th Battalion, The Rifles and 2nd Battalion, The Light Infantry becoming 3rd Battalion, The Rifles.[8]



  1. ^ a b c "The Light Infantry". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "My account of the Ballygawley bus bombing". David Herdy. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "The West Midlands Regiment: Regimental history". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 10 August 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Light Infantry". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Tyne-Tees Regiment". Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "The East and West Riding Regiment". Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "In detail: Army restructuring plans". BBC News. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "History of the Light Infantry". Retrieved 26 April 2014. 

External links[edit]