Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Queen's Division. Currently, the regiment has two battalions: the 1st battalion, part of the Regular Army, is an armoured infantry battalion based in Tidworth, Wiltshire, and the fifth battalion, part of the Army Reserve, is based across the northeast of England. There are also a number of independent Reservist Fusilier sub-units based across England. Whilst the Fusiliers traditionally recruited in specific counties, today, as an English regiment, the Fusiliers recruit nationally. The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was largely unaffected by the infantry reforms that were announced in December 2004, but under the Army 2020 reduction in the size of the Army, its second battalion was merged into the first in 2014.
|The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers|
The Capbadge of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
|Active||23 April 1968 – Present|
|Role||1st Battalion - Armoured Infantry|
5th Battalion - Army Reserve
|Part of||Queen's Division|
|Nickname(s)||The Fighting Fifth|
The Old and the Bold
Lord Wellington's Bodyguards
|Motto(s)||"Honi soit qui mal y pense" (French) "Evil be to him who evil thinks"|
|March||Quick - The British Grenadiers|
Slow - Rule Britannia
|Mascot(s)||Traditional - Black Buck - Bobby|
Substitute - Otterhound - George
|Anniversaries||St. George's Day (23 April)|
Gallipoli Day (25 April)
Albuhera Day (16 May)
Normandy Day (06 June)
Minden Day (1 August)
|Colonel in Chief||The Duke of Kent, KG, GCMG, GCVO|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
|Hackle||Red over White|
From Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was formed on 23 April 1968 as part of the reforms of the British Army that saw the creation of 'large infantry regiments', by the amalgamation of the four English Fusilier regiments:
- Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
- Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers
- Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
- Lancashire Fusiliers
In 2003, the 1 Fusiliers battlegroup were at the forefront of the coalition invasion of Iraq, ultimately occupying the city of Basra. Over the next decade, the regiment carried out multiple operational tours of Iraq.
In 2006, elements of the second battalion were deployed to Afghanistan to support the International Security Assistance Force. Deployed to the town of Now Zad in Helmand Province, they rapidly found themselves fighting off a sustained Taliban attack that lasted for 107 days - the longest siege of British troops since World War II. Over the following years, elements of the regiment deployed on several occasions to Afghanistan and saw heavy fighting. Most recently, the entire first battalion deployed to Nahri Saraj District in Helmand in 2013, where they took part in mounted and dismounted infantry operations.
The regiment received a reserve battalion, the 5th battalion, through the redesignation of the Tyne-Tees Regiment, on 1 April 2006.
The first battalion is an armoured infantry battalion based in Tidworth Camp, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Equipped with the Warrior IFV, the battalion is part of the army's 3rd Division and is held at high readiness as part of the army's armoured war-fighting reserve. In 2016, the battalion was the army's Lead Armoured Battlegroup and was held at extremely high readiness in case it was required to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice. The battalion is highly experienced with multiple deployments in the last two decades to Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. Many soldiers from the second battalion with more experience joined the first battalion on the merger, increasing the operational experience within the ranks. More recently, the first battalion deployed around the world on exercise in places as diverse as Brunei, Kenya, the Baltic States and Canada.
The first battalion also regularly works in support of the civil powers in the UK. In 2013, large elements of the battalion were deployed to Wraysbury and the surrounding area to support the flood relief efforts.
The battalion won the Army Boxing Championships in 2016, beating the second battalion of the Parachute Regiment in the final.
The fifth battalion is a Reserve battalion with its Regimental Headquarters in the northeast of England. As a battalion within the 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, the fifth battalion specialises in armoured infantry operations and has deployed all over the world on operations and on exercise both as a formed unit and as individual augmentees to the first battalion. The fifth battalion is now paired with the first battalion and continues to support them in operations and on exercise.
Fifth Fusiliers maintains subunits at the following locations:
As a Fusilier regiment, the Fusiliers wear a hackle – the red-over-white hackle of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. This distinction was originally a white plume which His Majesty's Fifth Regiment of Foot had taken from the headdress of fallen French troops at St. Lucia in December 1778. In 1829, King George IV ordered the white plume to be worn by all infantry regiments, and in order not to take away from the Fifth (Northumberland) Regiment of Foot's peculiar distinction and reflecting that they had won it in battle (according to legend the original plumes were stained red with the blood of their foes), their plume was differentiated by being made "half red and half white, the red uppermost, instead of the plain white feather worn by the rest of the army per the 1829 order, as a peculiar mark of honour."
The combined Victoria Crosses of the Fusiliers and its ancestor regiments total fifty five. Of particular note are the first and last Victoria Crosses of the First World War - won by Lt Dease and Pte Godley at Mons in 1914 and Sgt Pearse in North Russia in 1919 - and the famous "Six VCs Before Breakfast" won at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.
The regiment's traditional mascot is an Indian Blackbuck Antelope called Bobby, inherited from the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers. However, Indian Blackbuck Antelopes are now protected under animal welfare rules and the Regiment has not been allowed one for several years. As a substitute, the Regiment uses an Otterhound called George, who holds the rank of Fusilier and attends all the major parades in which the Regiment is involved.
To mark certain Regimental Days, the Fusiliers wear roses in their headdress and bedeck the Battalion Colours with garlands. The tradition comes from their victory at the Battle of Minden, where, according to legend, soldiers marched at dawn to battle through rose fields and so went into action with the roses adorning their headdress. On St Georges Day, they wear red and white roses. On Minden Day, they wear red and yellow roses. New Fusilier Officers also must eat a rose at their first Minden Dinner on joining the Regiment.
The Queen’s Colour of each battalion of the regiment is identical except for the battalion numeral. The field of this Colour is blue which is the same as the facing colour of the Regiment. The Regimental title is in gold in a crimson circle within a Union Wreath of roses, thistles and shamrocks. The Regimental title is in gold in a crimson circle within a Union Wreath of roses, thistles and shamrocks. St George within the Garter, which is the centre badge, is on a crimson ground within the circle. The whole is ensigned with St Edward’s Crown. Forty battle honours, 20 in respect of World War I and 20 in respect of World War II, are borne on scrolls in gold in three groups of six honours on each horizontal arm of St George’s Cross and one group of four honours on the lower vertical arm of the Cross. Honours are emblazoned in chronological order by theatres across the horizontal arm of the Cross and vertically on the lower arm of the Cross. The fringe is of crimson and gold alternate strands. Honorary distinction badges of the four former regiments are borne in each canton of the Colour:
- The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers - The United red and white rose slipped ensigned with the Royal Crest, in the upper canton nearer the pike.
- Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers - On a mount vert an Antelope statant argent, attired, tufted, ducally gorged and rope reflexed over the back, in the upper canton further from the pike.
- Royal Fusiliers - On a mount vert the White Horse of Hanover, in the lower canton nearer the pike.
- Lancashire Fusiliers - The red rose of Lancaster with two petals uppermost, in the lower canton further from the pike and The Sphinx, superscribed on a scroll ‘Egypt’, immediately below the tie of the large laurel wreath bearing the Battle Honour scrolls.
Finally, thirty-eight battle honours, which were borne on the Regimental Colours of the four former regiments, are emblazoned on gold scrolls placed on the branches of a large laurel wreath outside the Union Wreath.
The Drummer’s Colour (or Wilhelmstahl Colour) is of gosling green silk edged with gold, embroidered with St George and the Dragon in the centre, with red scrolls edged with gold, above and below. The motto of the Northumberland Fusiliers ‘QUO FATA VOCANT’ is, on the upper scroll, and the word ‘NORTHUMBERLAND’ between V REGT, also in gold, on the lower scroll. A wreath of green laurel with red berries and the ‘slipped’ red and white rose surmounted by a crown in the four corners, makes up the design. This unusual third colour is traditionally carried by the youngest drummer on the annual St George's Day parade.
Lineage of the regiment
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers carries the combined battle honours of its four antecendent regiments, as well as two honours obtained during the years of the regiment's own existence. There are a total of 40 representative honours each emblazoned on the Queen's Colour and Regimental Colour.
- 1968–1974: Gen. Sir Kenneth Thomas Darling, GBE, KCB, DSO
- 1974–1977: Lt-Gen. Sir George Harris Lea, KCB, DSO, MBE
- 1977–1982: Lt-Gen. Sir Alexander James Wilson, KBE, MC
- 1982–1986: Maj-Gen. David Milner Woodford, CBE
- 1986–1996: Maj-Gen. Jeremy Calcott Reilly, DSO
- 1996–2001: Brig. David Arnold Kellett Biggart, OBE
- 2001–2007: Brig. Roy Maddox Wilde, CBE
- 2007–2012: Brig. Trevor J. Minter OBE DL
- 2012–2015: Brig. David J. Paterson, OBE
- 2015–: Maj-Gen. Paul Anthony Edward Nanson, CBE
Order of Seniority Within the Line of Battle
Duke of Lancaster's Regiment
|Infantry Order of Precedence||Succeeded by|
Royal Anglian Regiment
Royal Navy - HMS Diamond Royal Navy - HMS Northumberland RAF - No. 13 Squadron RAF Canada - The Royal Canadian Regiment Canada - The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) Canada - 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins) Canada - The Royal Westminster Regiment Canada - Les Fusiliers du St-Laurent Australia - The Royal Victoria Regiment New Zealand - The Hauraki Regiment
- The Worshipful Company of Mercers
- The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers
- The Worshipful Company of Fletchers
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