Where Did That Regiment Go?

Author Rating:
  • Author:
    Gerry Murphy
    The concept and content of this book is surprisingly simple for the topic it describes, whilst at the same time being an enthralling read. That topic is "The lineage of British Infantry and Cavalry regiments at a glance."

    Truth be told, the object of the book could have been contained in two tables at the back, one for the infantry, one for the cavalry. However there is much more to the book. The bulk of the book comprises one historical summary of the infantry from 17th to 21st century, and another for the cavalry. These are an excellent read, giving clear accounts of battles and campaigns around the world without getting weighed down in logistics, politics, etc (except in the case where politics affected the lineage of regiments, the raison d'être for the book).

    The book steers clear of the two world wars of the 20th Century, simply because they have been comprehensively covered so many times.

    One note of interest arising from the parallel histories is that some battles are described twice, from the infantry and that cavalry viewpoints.

    The first main table alluded to lists infantry regiments and battalions down the centuries, describing how they were raised, numbered, disbanded, renumbered, assigned to counties etc, given royal patronage and so on, before getting to the 20th and 21st Century restructurings and amalgamations to arrive at the pitiful size of the modern army.

    The second table does likewise for the cavalry.

    There are a number of further appendixes describing battle honours, order of precedence and so on.

    An excellent read that I cannot commend enough. The only sad thing about the book is the depressingly small size of the army we're left with. It's right up to date including the amalgamation of 9/12L and Queen's Royal Lancers to create the Royal Lancers in 2015.

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  1. gam47
    To say that I was gobsmacked when I read this review is to put it mildly, and I had to go back to ensure that it was the one and same book. By no stretch of the imagination can this book be considered authoritive nor well written. I bought it sight unseen, following the dealers information that it was the second edition, first published in 2009, thinking that all problems would be sorted out. I first opened page 216, which tells us that a rifle company has 5 platoons, with SGTs as section commanders. 2 pages on, officers wear "pips" not the Bath Star, and generals wear crossed sabre and scroll case (?) instead of marmaluke sword and baton! The Honourable Artillery Company is not a company but a regiment, while the formation 77th Brigade is actually not part of the regimental precedence! There is no comprehension that the reduction in battalions within the 'new' regiments in this century, mean that the battalions remaining were 'merged' units of all the battalions, not direct descendants! To merge and amalgamate have a different meaning in relations to these matters. The reading shows a lot of errors, many caused by the author not knowing his subject, and great slabs of entries from Hansard placed in the book, but, without finding subsequent amendments later published. A good indication of a books quality is the bibliography, for instance no mention of the best item published on British Army insignia in the past 10 years, HODGES Lieutenant Colonel Robin. British Army Badges. It annoys me, having written in 2008 "A Moment In Time. A Look at the British Army at A Moment In Time", I stated in its foreword, that all the content was taken from publically accessed sources, and anyone could copy my work! A waste of 18 pounds, and I threw the book into the recycling bin, it having no residual value.