Royal Anglian Regiment
The Royal Anglian Regiment (R ANGLIAN) is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It consists of two Regular battalions and one Reserve battalion. The modern regiment was formed in 1964, making it the oldest of the Line Regiments now operating in the British Army, and can trace its history back to 1685. The regiment was the first of the large infantry regiments and is one of the four regiments of the Queen's Division.
|The Royal Anglian Regiment|
|Role||1st Battalion - Light Infantry|
2nd Battalion - Light Infantry
3rd Battalion - Army Reserve
|Part of||Queen's Division|
|Garrison/HQ||Regimental Headquarters - Bury St Edmunds|
1st Battalion - Woolwich
2nd Battalion - Dhekelia, Cyprus
3rd Battalion - Bury St Edmunds
|Nickname(s)||The Vikings (1st Battalion)|
The Poachers (2nd Battalion)
The Steelbacks (3rd Battalion)
|March||Quick - Rule Britannia/Speed the Plough|
Slow - The Northamptonshire
|Anniversaries||1 August - Minden Day |
1 September - Regimental Formation Day
|Colonel in Chief||The Duke of Gloucester, KG, GCVO|
|Maj Gen Ralph Wooddisse CBE MC|
|Tactical Recognition Flashes|
|Arm Badge||Salamanca Eagle|
From the Essex Regiment
- 1st (Norfolk and Suffolk) Battalion from the 1st Battalion of the 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk)
- 2nd (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) Battalion - 1st Battalion, 2nd East Anglian Regiment (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire)
- 3rd (16th/44th Foot) Battalion - 1st Battalion, 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot)
- 4th (Leicestershire) Battalion - 1st Battalion, Royal Leicestershire Regiment.
The Royal Anglian Regiment was established to serve as the county regiment for the following counties:
Initially formed of seven battalions (four regular and three Territorial Army), the regiment was reduced in 1975 with the loss of the 4th (Leicestershire) Battalion to three regular battalions and three TA. The regiment was reduced again in 1992 to two regular and two TA battalions with the loss of the 3rd (16th/44th Foot) and 5th Battalions.
Early operational historyEdit
During the Yugoslav Wars, the 2nd Battalion was deployed to Bosnia in April 1994 as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force UNPROFOR. During the tour, Corporal Andrew Rainey became one of the first ever non-officers to win the Military Cross, for his actions during a heavy contact between 3 Platoon, A Company and a Bosnian Serb Army unit on the confrontation line in the north of the Maglaj Finger.
In 1995 the 1st Battalion was sent to Croatia as part of 24 Airmobile Brigade between July and October of that year. The Vikings returned to the UK having suffered no casualties.
Recent operational historyEdit
In March 2002, 1st Battalion was sent to Afghanistan, where it was based in the capital Kabul as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The following February, 2nd Battalion's A Company was posted to Kabul. They were replaced by C Company in June.
In 2005, 1st Battalion undertook a tour in Iraq as part of Operation Telic 6 where the battle group was responsible for the Basra Rural South area of operations. C (Essex) Company was detached to act as a Brigade Operations Company and was involved in several high-profile arrest operations.
From March to September 2007, as part of 12th Mechanised Brigade, 1st Battalion was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick 6. This deployment was the subject of the Sky One documentary Ross Kemp in Afghanistan, broadcast in January/February 2008. A book has also been written by a former commanding officer about the battalion on this tour, Attack State Red, published by Penguin. They were stationed in Helmand Province. The fighting attracted much media attention due to the ferocity of the combat, with soldiers often having to resort to using bayonets. The battalion suffered nine casualties during its tour, five from attacks and four accidental.
In a reported friendly fire incident, on 23 August 2007, one of a pair United States Air Force F-15E fighter aircraft called in to support a patrol of the 1st Battalion in Afghanistan dropped a bomb on the same patrol, killing three men, and severely injured two others. It was later revealed that the British forward air controller who called in the strike had not been issued a noise-cancelling headset, and in the confusion and stress of the battle incorrectly confirmed one wrong digit of the co-ordinates mistakenly repeated by the pilot, and the bomb landed on the British position 1,000 metres away from the enemy. The coroner at the soldiers' inquest stated that the incident was due to "flawed application of procedures" rather than individual errors or "recklessness".
Elements of 3rd Battalion deployed to Afghanistan as part of 11 Light Brigade in October 2009 as part of Operation Herrick 11. Soldiers from 1st Battalion also saw action guarding checkpoints in the Nad-e-Ali area, in central Helmand province later in the year.
1st Battalion and elements of 3rd Battalion also deployed to Afghanistan as part of 12th Mechanised Brigade in March 2012 as part of Operation Herrick 16 in the closing stages of the conflict.
In Spring 2006, 2nd Battalion deployed to Iraq as part of Op Telic 8 and formed Basra City South Battlegroup. C (Northamptonshire) company was detached to operate as part of Force Reserve and was involved in many high-profile arrest and strike operations. During the tour the regiment mourned the loss of two soldiers; on 13 May 2006 Privates Joseva Lewaicei and Adam Morris died as a result of injuries sustained from a roadside bomb attack in Basra. A third soldier was badly injured.
The regimental ethos is as follows:
We are a county based Regiment bound together by a closely-knit family spirit. Our approach is classless, based on mutual respect and trust, where developing and believing in our soldiers is paramount. We are a forward looking, self-starting and welcoming team for whom the mission remains key.
1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment 'The Vikings'
2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment 'The Poachers'
- A (Royal Lincolnshire) Company
- B (Royal Leicestershire) Company
- C (Northamptonshire) Company
- D (Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire) Company
3rd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment 'The Steelbacks'
- 1 (Norfolk) Company
- 2 (Leicester) Company
- 3 (Essex & Northamptonshire) Company
- 4 (Lincolnshire) Company
- HQ (Suffolk & Cambridgeshire) Company
Both the 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion rotate as resident units in British Forces Cyprus.
The battalion nicknames are as follows:
The Vikings - 1st Battalion
The nickname stems from the late 1960s when the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The 1st East Anglian Regiment Lt Col A F Campbell, MC said it described the Nordic influence on the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. The nickname stuck, was adopted by the 1st Battalion on formation, and is still widely used today.
The Poachers - 2nd Battalion
This stems from the Regimental March, The Lincolnshire Poacher, of one of their predecessors, the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment.
The Steelbacks - 3rd Battalion
This was the nickname of the 58th Regiment of Foot, later the 2nd Battalion the Northamptonshire Regiment. It stems from Private Hovenden of the 58th being described as a 'Steelback' after a flogging in 1813.
The regimental marches are as follows:
- Regimental quick march: Rule Britannia and Speed the Plough
- Regimental slow march: The Northamptonshire
The regimental days are as follows:
- 1 September - The Royal Anglian Regiment Formation Day
The 1st Battalion
- 1 August - Minden Day
The 2nd Battalion
- 27 July - Talavera Day
Celebrated by the individual battalions (in date order)
- 2nd Battalion: 10 February - Sobraon Day
- 1st Battalion: 17 March - St Patrick's Day
- 1st Battalion: 25 April - Almanza Day
- 2nd Battalion: 25 June - Hindoostan Day
- 1st Battalion: 27 June - Dettingen Day
- 1st Battalion: 22 July - Salamanca Day
- 2nd Battalion: 27 July - Talavera Day
- 1st Battalion: 1 August - Minden Day
- 2nd Battalion: 13 August - Blenheim Day
Uniforms are as follows:
The Cap badge: The Cap badge consists of a silver star of eight points, upon which is the castle of Gibraltar with a scroll inscribed 'ROYAL ANGLIAN' in gold. The Suffolks, Essex and Northamptonshire Regiments served at the Great Siege of Gibraltar from 1779 to 1783.
Beret: The 1st Battalion the Royal Norfolk Regiment joined 24th Guards Independent Brigade Group in 1942; the Guards Officers wore a khaki beret and the Norfolks adopted it at the time. The beret went out of use after the war but was re-adopted in 1960, and has continued in use. It was adopted by the rest of the Royal Anglian Regiment in 1970 and the wearing of it extended to Warrant Officers. The Regiment complete went to khaki berets in 1976.
The Black Patch:The black patch behind the cap badge commemorates the burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna in 1809 by officers and men of the 9th of Foot, the rearguard of the withdrawing British Expeditionary Force.
Tactical Recognition Flashes (TRFs): The 1st Battalion wear the red and yellow Minden Flash. It originates from the Suffolk Regiment who adopted it after Dunkirk; it symbolises the red and yellow of the roses at the Battle of Minden. The 2nd Battalion wear the black, yellow, black of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. The 3rd Battalion wear the Regimental colours, blue, red and yellow.
Eagle: The Salamanca Eagle is worn on the left sleeve on No. 1 and No 2 dress tunics. It is a replica of the French 62nd Regiment's Eagle which was captured by the 2/44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Salamanca during the Peninsular War. The British Army captured a total of six of Napoleon's Eagles, four of which were taken with bayonet. The original Eagle is still held in the Essex Regiment Museum and is displayed in the 1st Battalion on Salamanca Day.
Collar Badges: The 1st Battalion wear a figure of Britannia superimposed on a Castle and Key. Britannia was awarded to the Royal Norfolk Regiment for service at the Battle of Almansa and the castle was the cap badge of the Suffolk Regiment, commemorating the siege of Gibraltar. The 2nd Battalion wear the Sphinx with underneath a scroll inscribed 'TALAVERA'. The Sphinx is from the Royal Lincolnshire Regiments for service in Egypt, 'TALAVERA' is from the Northamptons' famous victory at that battle. The 3rd Battalion wear the cap badge as their collar badge.
Lanyards: The lanyard of the 1st Battalion is yellow from the Royal Norfolk Regiment. The 2nd Battalion wear black to commemorate the Northamptonshire Regiment. The 3rd Battalion wears the black and primrose lanyard of the former Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment.
Buttons: All ranks wear the Royal Leicestershire Regiment buttons, a tiger surrounded by an unbroken laurel wreath. The Tiger is in memory of the Regiments distinguished campaign service in India, the wreath commemorates the Battle of Princeton in the American War of Independence.
Order of precedenceEdit
The Royal Bermuda RegimentEdit
The Royal Anglian Regiment has a unique relationship with the Royal Bermuda Regiment (RBR), a Territorial battalion of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. Although the Royal Bermuda Regiment is usually described as an affiliated regiment, its relationship to the Regiment is more akin to that of one of Royal Anglian's own TA battalions. The Royal Bermuda Regiment is an amalgamation of the old Bermuda Militia Artillery and Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC, which had been renamed the Bermuda Rifles). The 2nd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment, one of Royal Anglian Regiment's predecessors, was serving in the Bermuda Garrison when the First World War began in 1914 and its Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel George Bunbury McAndrew, found himself acting Governor and Commander-In-Chief of Bermuda, in the absence of the Governor Lieutenant-General Sir George Bullock, and oversaw the colony's placement onto a war footing. The battalion left Bermuda for France in October, 1914. The BVRC formed an overseas contingent, composed of Captain Richard Tucker and 88 other ranks, in December, which was intended to join the 2nd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment on the Western Front, but which was instead attached to the 1 Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment in June, 1915, as it had greater need for reinforcements. A second BVRC contingent, of one officer and 36 other ranks, arrived from Bermuda the following year and merged with the dozen survivors of the first contingent. The BVRC contingent served with 1 Lincolns in France, Belgium and Ireland until 1919. The affiliation of the Lincolns and the BVRC was made official after the War, with the Lincolns adopting the same role it fulfilled to its own TA battalions: providing seconded Permanent Staff Instructors and officers. The BVRC sent two more drafts to the Lincolns during the Second World War. When the BVRC was amalgamated into the Bermuda Regiment in 1965 (the Royal Bermuda Regiment from 2015), the Royal Anglian Regiment, as successor to the Royal Lincolns, continued the paternal relationship. In addition to providing a PSI to each of the Royal Bermuda Regiment's rifle companies, many other Royal Anglian Regiment personnel have been seconded or loaned to the Royal Bermuda Regiment over the years. The staff officer is normally seconded from the Royal Anglians. The Bermuda Regiment's first nine adjutants (from 1965 to 1984) were all Royal Anglian officers. Three of its past regimental sergeant majors were seconded from the Royal Anglian Regiment. In 1992, the Royal Bermuda Regiment had two serving lieutenant-colonels, as its staff officer, a Royal Anglian major, was promoted to the same rank as its commanding officer (CO). In 1996, the Royal Bermuda Regiment's second-in-command, staff officer, and adjutant were all on secondment from the Royal Anglians. Additionally, senior NCOs are loaned to the Royal Bermuda Regiment for the duration of its annual recruit camps, with one attached to each platoon of its training company.
The regiment's alliances are as follows:
- Canada - The Lincoln and Welland Regiment
- Canada - The Essex and Kent Scottish
- Canada - The Lake Superior Scottish Regiment
- Canada - Sherbrooke Hussars
- Australia - Royal Tasmania Regiment
- New Zealand - Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly's Own) and Northland Regiment
- Pakistan - 5th Battalion, The Frontier Force Regiment
- Malaysia - 1st Battalion, The Royal Malay Regiment
- Barbados - The Barbados Regiment
- South Africa - First City Regiment
- South Africa - Regiment de la Rey
- Bermuda - The Royal Bermuda Regiment
- Gibraltar - The Royal Gibraltar Regiment
- Belize - The Belize Defence Force
- Royal Navy – HMS St Albans
In 1989, the Band and fifty members of the old 3rd Battalion were featured in the opening and closing sequences of BBC historical sitcom Blackadder Goes Forth with the band, men and actors Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Tony Robinson and Tim McInnerny dressed in World War I period uniforms marching to "The British Grenadiers" and the Blackadder theme song. It was shot on location at the former Colchester Cavalry Barracks.
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