Amalgamation and Regimental Numbers/Seniority...

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Walt_Disney, Mar 14, 2006.

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  1. Bit of a boring one for the Regimental History Buffs here! :oops: (Bear with me...)

    Please correct me if i'm worng, but i understand that:

    When two Battalions or Regiments amalgamate, one merges into the other (rather than being completely disbanded), which then may or may not change it's name. i.e, 'new' regiments are rarely actually new, they are simply renamed.

    The order of the bns is based on the pre-1881 Regimental number, corresponding to how old the reg is.
    For units that have already merged, the lowest reg number (i.e. senior) is used (isnt it?).

    So, from the bns forming The Rifles, the RGBWLI/DDLI bn is senior, because the Devons go back to the 11th Regiment of Foot, and will therefore be 1 Rifles. By this logic, the LI (going back to the 13th Somerset LI) are senior to the RGJ (going back to the 43rd Oxfordshire LI).

    Is this right?

    If so, why is the LI becoming 3 & 5 Rifles, and the RGJ 2 & 4?

    And how can 2LI become the 3rd bn and 1 LI the 5th?

    Is the army abandoning these traditions (or maybe I am wrong about them in the first place?), or are there other factors?


    (By the way, I am well aware that I should get out more!)
     
  2. It's all tactics my good friend; an attempt to safeguard the Rifles from any future reductions in manning. 1LI, soon to be 5Rifles is an armoured batallion and therefore least likely to be got rid of.

    As for seniority within the Rifles, things may appear a bit confusing in that DDLI/RGBWLI are accorded the honour of being 1Rifles whereas the LI and RGJ in 2-5Rifles are a bit higgeldy-piggeldy. The concept is that all batallions will carry forward all the heritage of the antecedent regiments. The manpower of each battalion will still be distinctly DDLI/RGBWLI/LI/RGJ until cross-posting and new recruits dilute this in time. Because it was anticipated that amalgamation would be most traumatic for the two redcoat wearing regiments they were invited to form the 1st Bn to make them feel fully welcome within the Rifles and in recognition of the DDLI's seniority.