London Regiment

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London Regiment
LONDONS 150dpi.gif
Regimental crest of the London Regiment
Active 20 April 1993–
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Role Army Reserve
Size Battalion
Part of Guards Division
Garrison/HQ St John's Hill drill hall[1]
March Londons return
Commanders
Royal Honorary Colonel HRH The Earl of Wessex[2]
Insignia
Tactical Recognition Flash GuardsTRF.svg
Tartan Hodden Grey (A Company)
Saffron (D Company pipers kilts)

The London Regiment is an infantry regiment in the British Army, part of the Army Reserve. The regiment saw distinguished service in World War I and was disbanded in 1938, shortly before World War II, when most of its battalions were converted to other roles or transferred elsewhere. However, the regiment was raised again in 1993 and continues an existence in the present day.

History[edit]

Battalions of the London Regiment early 1900s by Richard Caton Woodville (1856–1927)

First raising[edit]

The regiment was first formed in 1908 in order to regiment the 26 Volunteer Force battalions in the newly formed County of London, each battalion having a distinctive uniform.[3] The London battalions formed the London District, which consisted principally of the 1st and 2nd London Divisions.[4]

Unit Formerly Headquarters
1st London Division
1st London Brigade
1st (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 1st Volunteer Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (late 10th Middlesex RVC) Bloomsbury (Handel Street)
2nd (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (late 23rd Middlesex RVC) Westminster (Tufton Street)
3rd (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 3rd Volunteer Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (late 11th Middlesex RVC) St Pancras (Edward Street)[a]
4th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 4th Volunteer Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (late 1st Tower Hamlets RVC) Shoreditch (Shaftesbury Street)[b]
2nd London Brigade
5th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) 1st London VRC (City of London Volunteer Rifle Brigade) [9th Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] Finsbury (Bunhill Row)[b]
6th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (City of London Rifles) 2nd London VRC [10th Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] Finsbury (Farringdon Road)
7th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment 3rd London VRC [11th Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] Finsbury (Sun Street)[b]
8th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) 24th Middlesex VRC [7th Volunteer Battalion, Rifle Brigade] Finsbury (Bunhill Row)[b]
3rd London Brigade
9th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Queen Victoria's), Berkeley Square 1st Middlesex (Victoria and St. George's) VRC [4th Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] and 19th Middlesex (St. Giles's and St. George's, Bloomsbury) VRC [6th Volunteer Battalion, Rifle Brigade] Westminster (Davies Street)
10th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Paddington Rifles); disbanded 1912 18th Middlesex VRC [4th Volunteer Battalion, Rifle Brigade] Paddington (Harrow Road)[b]
10th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Hackney) formed in 1912 to replace the Paddington Rifles Hackney (The Grove)[b]
11th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles) 21st Middlesex (Finsbury) VRC [7th Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] Pentonville (Penton Street)[b]
12th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (The Rangers) 22nd Middlesex VRC (Central London Rangers) [8th Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] Holborn (Chenies Street)
2nd London Division
4th London Brigade
13th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Kensington) 4th (Kensington) Middlesex VRC [3rd Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] Kensington (Iverna Gardens)
14th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (London Scottish) 7th (London Scottish) Middlesex VRC [1st Volunteer Battalion, Rifle Brigade] Westminster (Buckingham Gate)[b]
15th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles) The Prince of Wales's Own 12th Middlesex (Civil Service) VRC [5th Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] Westminster (Somerset House)
16th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles) 13th Middlesex (Queen's Westminster) VRC [6th Volunteer Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps] Kensington (Buckingham Gate)
5th London Brigade
17th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Poplar and Stepney Rifles) 2nd Tower Hamlets VRC [9th Volunteer Battalion, Rifle Brigade] Bow (Tredegar Road)[b]
18th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) 16th Middlesex (London Irish) VRC [3rd Volunteer Battalion, Rifle Brigade] Chelsea (Duke of York's Headquarters)
19th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (St. Pancras) 17th Middlesex ((North Middlesex) VRC [3rd Volunteer Battalion, Middlesex Regiment] Camden Town (High Street)[b]
20th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Blackheath and Woolwich) 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) [ex 3rd Kent VRC] Blackheath (Holly Hedge House)
6th London Brigade
21st (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (First Surrey Rifles) 1st Surrey (South London) VRC [1st Volunteer Battalion, East Surrey Regiment] Camberwell (Flodden Road)[c]
22nd (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Queen's) 3rd Volunteer Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) [ex 6th Surrey RVC] Bermondsey (Jamaica Road)[b]
23rd (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment 4th Volunteer Battalion, East Surrey Regiment [ex 7th Surrey RVC] Battersea (St John's Hill)
24th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Queen's) 4th Volunteer Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regt) [ex 8th Surrey RVC] Southwark (New Street)
Others
25th (County of London) Cyclist Battalion, London Regiment. 26th (Cyclist) Middlesex VRC [Rifle Brigade] Fulham (Fulham House)
26th (County of London) Battalion Title allotted to Infantry Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company but never used
27th (County of London) Battalion Title allotted to the Inns of Court Regiment but never used
28th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Artists Rifles) 20th Middlesex (Artists) VRC [6th Volunteer Battalion, Rifle Brigade] St Pancras (Dukes Road)

First World War[edit]

A 1915 recruitment poster for 2nd City of London Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.

Now part of the Territorial Force, the London Regiment expanded to 88 battalions in the First World War. Of these, 49 battalions saw action in the trenches of the Western Front in France and Flanders, six saw action in the Gallipoli Campaign, 12 saw action at Salonika, 14 saw action against the Turks in Palestine, and one saw action in Waziristan and Afghanistan.[6]

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, the formation of Reserve or 2nd-Line units for each existing Territorial Force unit was authorised. They were distinguished by a '2/' prefix from their parent unit (prefixed '1/'). Initially these were formed from men who had not volunteered for overseas service, and the recruits who were flooding in. Later they were mobilised for overseas service in their own right and new 3rd Line units were created to supply drafts to the two service battalions. Unusually, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th London Battalions each sent three battalions overseas and formed 4th Line reserve units. Thus the 26 pre-war battalions of the London regiment became 82 battalions.[7][8]

In June 1915, men of TF units who had only volunteered for Home service were formed into composite Provisional Battalions for coast defence. In 1916 the Military Service Act swept away the Home/Overseas service distinction and the provisional battalions took on the dual role of home defence and physical conditioning to render men fit for drafting overseas. For example, the 100th Provisional Battalion was formed from Home Service men of 173rd (3/1st London) Brigade (3/1st, 3/2nd, 3/3rd and 3/4th Bns London Regiment). Nine provisional battalions (100th–108th) were associated with the London Regiment and Honourable Artillery Company.[9][10][11]

On 1 January 1917, these provisional battalions were constituted as battalions of the London Regiment:[8][11][12]

  • 29th (City of London) Battalion (from 100th and 102nd Provisional Battalions)[9][10]
  • 30th (City of London) Battalion (from 101st and probably 103rd Provisional Battalions)
  • 31st (County of London) Battalion (from 107th Provisional Battalion)
  • 32nd (County of London) Battalion (from 106th and 108th Provisional Battalions)

None of these 2nd-Line units battalions saw active service. However, two further battalions were formed in June 1918, and these went to the Western Front in the last months of the war:[8]

Inter-war[edit]

The London Regiment was reformed in the Territorial Army in the 1920s but ceased to exist in 1938 and the battalions were all transferred to regular infantry regiments, the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers.[6] For example, the 10th London Regiment (Hackney) was transferred to the corps of the Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales's), becoming the 5th (Hackney) Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment.[14]

Second raising[edit]

Pipes & drums of A (London Scottish) Company and D (London Irish Rifles) Company and the Corps of Drums of C (City of London Fusiliers) Company at the Lord Mayor's Show, together with the pipes & drums of the Toronto Scottish (an affiliated regiment).

The London Regiment was reformed in 1992 through the regimentation of most of the remaining successors of the original regiment (except the Artists Rifles). It is the only reserve infantry battalion in London District and consists of an HQ and four rifle companies. They are:[15]

Two companies of the Royal Green Jackets, F Company and G Company, formed part of the regiment between 1998 and 2004.[17]

In May 2004 Messines company, which was made up from an HQ and two platoons from across the London Regiment deployed to Iraq.[18]

Following the restructuring of the British Army in 2004, it was announced that the Guards Division would gain a TA battalion. This saw the London Regiment retaining its name and multi-badge structure, while transferring from the Queen's Division to the Guards Division. The two RGJ companies were transferred to the Royal Rifle Volunteers in preparation for the formation of The Rifles in 2007.[19]

Battle honours[edit]

Battle honours for the First World War were awarded to the individual battalions in 1924.[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Edward Street drill hall was damaged during the blitz and demolished after the war; the street is now known as Varndell Street[5]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Drill hall demolished and the site redeveloped[5]
  3. ^ The Flodden Road drill hall was demolished and replaced with a modern structure in 1986[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "West of St John’s Road" (PDF). English Heritage. p. 27. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "No. 59772". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 May 2011. p. 8211. 
  3. ^ "1st (City of London) Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)". Battlefields. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "The London Regiment". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Osborne, Mike (2012). Defending London: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War. History Press. ISBN 978-0752479316. 
  6. ^ a b "London Regiment". Queen's Royal Surreys. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Becke, Pt 2b, p. 6.
  8. ^ a b c d e London Regiment at the Long, Long Trail.
  9. ^ a b Grimwade, p. 117.
  10. ^ a b Grey, pp. 87–8.
  11. ^ a b David Porter's research on Provisional Battalions at the Great War Forum
  12. ^ Becke, Pt 2b, pp. 101–5.
  13. ^ Becke, Pt 3a, pp. 45–52.
  14. ^ "The Hackney Battalion". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "History of the Regiment". The London Scottish Regiment. Archived from the original on June 12, 2003. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "News of Regimental growth in the Colonel’s Christmas Message". The Fusiliers. Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  17. ^ "London Regiment". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "A (London Scottish) Company, the London Regiment in Iraq". The London Scottish Regiment. Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "The Rifles". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Battle Honours. London and Scottish Regiments". The Times. p. 11. 

Sources[edit]

  • Becke, Major A.F., (2007) History of the Great War: Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 2b: The 2nd-Line Territorial Force Divisions (57th–69th), with the Home-Service Divisions (71st–73rd) and 74th and 75th Divisions, London: HM Stationery Office, 1937/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, ISBN 1-847347-39-8.
  • Becke, Major A.F., (2007) History of the Great War: Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 3a: New Army Divisions (9–26), London: HM Stationery Office, 1938/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, ISBN 1-847347-41-X.
  • Grey, Major W.E., (2002) 2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) in the Great War 1914–19, Westminster: Regimental Headquarters, 1929/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, ISBN 978-1-843423-69-0
  • Grimwade, Captain F. Clive, (2002) The War History of the 4th Battalion The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 1914–1919, London: Regimental Headquarters, 1922/Uckfield, Naval & Military Press, ISBN 978-1-843423-63-8.
  • Osborne, Mike (2012). Defending London: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War. History Press. ISBN 978-0752479316. 

External links[edit]