Household Division Merger Plans

#1
Local News
Collins Slams Irish Guards Merger Plans
By David Young

Monday 16th August 2004

The future of Her Majesty's Irish Guards is under threat, according to a leaked Government document.

Ministry of Defence officials are considering a possible merger of the five traditional battalions of the Queen's guards into one larger unit as part of their rationalisation strategy.

The Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Welsh and Irish guards have a collective history that stretches back almost 400 years, but this could be at an end if plans to form the new regiment, to be called the Foot Guards, are approved.

The Irish Guards were founded in 1900 by Queen Victoria to commemorate the bravery of Irish soldiers during the Boer War.

The regiment has since served in both World Wars and the first Gulf War, second Gulf War,as well as undertaking peacekeeping duties in recent years in Sierra Leon, Macedonia and Kosovo.

However, a letter revealed by a Sunday newspaper yesterday, suggests that Chief of Defence Staff Sir Mike Jackson wants to dissolve the Irish Guards and absorb them into the new Foot Guards.

The plan follows proposals outlined by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon last month, in which he called for the streamlining of infantry units and greater focus on technology rather than manpower in the future.

Yesterday, Tim Collins, the Belfast-born former commander of the Royal Irish Regiment, slammed the amalgamation plan as "misguided and potentially damaging", claiming it would erase the distinct regional identity of the five regiments. "Regiments have been the backbone of the British Army since its formation," he told the Mail on Sunday.

"They appeal to the most basic instincts of men to fight for the places and people they love.

"The danger is that the system will be pared down to a point where the regiment has no real meaning and fails to attract the young men of the cities and shires who have peopled our fighting forces for generations."

Ministry of Defence officials were yesterday refusing to comment on future of the Irish Guards, saying no decision had yet been made.

"It is not the policy of the MoD to comment on leaked documents," a spokesman said.

"As announced on July 21st this year, there are plans to restructure the army and this will involve fundamental changes to infantry battalions." "However this process is in a period of consultation, which is ongoing, and no decisions have yet been taken. So at this moment in time the Ministry cannot comment on the future of the Guards regiments."
 
#2
Stage 2 in General "Facelift" Jackson's plans to remake the whole Army in the Para's image...
 
#3
Having previously posted elsewhere that the Household Div should be just as eligiible for review as the rest of us, this is nonetheless sad news. Moreover, if they will retain 5 battalions, what is the purpose of amalgamating? Or Are they looking at cutting to 4?

Either way, the regimental system remains in danger. As a King's Div bloke facing a large/large or large/small reorg, I wouldn't wish our fate on anyone else. The Micks are a lovely bunch, and if they had to lose a
Guards Battalion it should be an English one, as there are two, thereby ensuring the whole of the Union remain represented.

The whole thing sucks, though. Better to set up a live fire OBUA skills lane down Whitehall.

Damn this pestilential government and their dishonour. Anyone read the Out of the Silent Planet trilogy? I think its the last of the three where the world is endangered by mendacious bureaucrats....perfectly represented by New Labour.
 
#4
GROWNUPS_BEWARE said:
Having previously posted elsewhere that the Household Div should be just as eligiible for review as the rest of us, this is nonetheless sad news. Moreover, if they will retain 5 battalions, what is the purpose of amalgamating? Or Are they looking at cutting to 4?

Either way, the regimental system remains in danger. As a King's Div bloke facing a large/large or large/small reorg, I wouldn't wish our fate on anyone else. The Micks are a lovely bunch, and if they had to lose a
Guards Battalion it should be an English one, as there are two, thereby ensuring the whole of the Union remain represented.

The whole thing sucks, though. Better to set up a live fire OBUA skills lane down Whitehall.

Damn this pestilential government and their dishonour. Anyone read the Out of the Silent Planet trilogy? I think its the last of the three where the world is endangered by mendacious bureaucrats....perfectly represented by New Labour.
Its to do with the arms plot ceasing. How else are personnel to rotate?

The Irish Guards are now mainly drawn from Irish descended English citizens I thought (from Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and London mainly), while 1 Royal Irish were actually "Irish".

I take it the bureaucrats are in That Hideous Strength?
 
#5
Too little old me, for years it has seemed that Tone, just wants the Irish link to dissolve.
Can't really have a Brit army with a overseas connection. So bye bye Paddy.
john
My fathers side where Irish.
 
#7
Whoa thats scary, a post almost 2 years to the day from the last post ?


Where on earth or what the f**k where you looking for to unearth this gem ?
 
#8
I disagree with removing an English battalion from the guards for the sake of having Irish representation in the Household Division - the Coldstreamers and the Grenadiers are the oldest of the five and cover, jointly, the areas of highest population. The article claims over 400 years of collective regimental history - more like 1300 years if they care to research properly! As a member of 4 Yorks, but a Green Howard always, I don't believe for a second that there was no other way than to disband three fine regiments like the GH, DWR and PWO and creating the same number of Bn's for the sake of this arms plotting issue. I hated being stuck on that formation parade in York on the 10th June with General Houghton giving it the old 'we know what's good for you' routine - how stupid do these people think we are?!!
 
#9
with the VAST majority of infantry Bn's being shafted its about time the Guards lost a Bn
 
#10
TheSpecialOne said:
with the VAST majority of infantry Bn's being shafted its about time the Guards lost a Bn
Agreed. There is no valid argument that supports leaving the household division alone, when the rest of the Infantry is changing (except that it keeps more Guardsmen doing PD, instead of hiving it off to Line Bns -and, on that subject, it's about time the MoD looked long and hard at the intrinsic military value in PD)
 
#11
Sad to hear,but all the same show's that no one is Untouchable ! We could rant and rave about hundred's of year's of History,Tradition,and Honour all day,but if those Fat Lard Arse B*stard's in the Government who have never held a Rifle and stood a Post want to wipe us out then they will,and there is F*ck All we can do about it :evil: E.g. The RGJ soon to be known as The Rifles...
 
#12
err guys , this thread is 2 years old, I think you can safely say the guards are pretty safe
 
#13
yes - but the subject matter of this post is relevent. Instead of merges and name changes the Guards did in fact receive an extra Bn in the form of the Londons. You might say that it doesn't matter, they are only TA, but it is a dedicated reserve of manpower for an already large pool of men. The Rifles and Scots have merged bn's, the TA was but-f~cked again to reform bn's on regimental lines - but the Guards hardly blinked when SDR was announced.
 
B

benjaminw1

Guest
#14
The-Daddy said:
yes - but the subject matter of this post is relevent. Instead of merges and name changes the Guards did in fact receive an extra Bn in the form of the Londons. You might say that it doesn't matter, they are only TA, but it is a dedicated reserve of manpower for an already large pool of men. The Rifles and Scots have merged bn's, the TA was but-f~cked again to reform bn's on regimental lines - but the Gurads hardly blinked when SDR was announced.
Quell Suprise!
 
#16
wellyhead said:
err guys , this thread is 2 years old, I think you can safely say the guards are pretty safe

Having beaten the Imperial Guard at Waterloo, New Labour, FIS and CGS must have been a breeze!

The Foot Guards almost survived Options without a scratch (3 x Bns reduced to incremental companies) and they have now survived FIS. Good luck to them, my regiment has been stiffed twice.
 
#17
Talk about "back to the future"...I was only a kid when the East Yorks & West Yorks were amalgamated in 1958. But I can remember my dad's disappointment, frustration & indignation at the time. Cutsy, I can sympathise (I was born in Hartlepool, but joined 1 PWO, Dad's battalion). It'll take about 6 or 7 years for the lads to stop thinking of themselves as PWO, Green Howards, or Duke's (some of our mates in the 1960s still spoke wistfully of the York & Lancs). It's nothing new - but it's just as sad as it ever was. Cheers.
Cliff.
 
#18
The household Division are left alone because, by and large, because of the 'calibre' of their Officers and the fact that many of them move into serious positions of power in later life.
That said, there is real reason that they should be left alone to a degree. Whilst first and foremost they are infantry regiments with a long history blah de blah blah, they do serve a huge purpose in the public eye and are as key to tourism in London district as many of the other touristy type facilities available. Because of this they generate a disproportionate amount of revenue for the local population, military charites and the Government.
Above and beyond that, allegiance aside, they are the senior infantry regiments in the British Army ( 1st,2nd,3rd,4th and 5th to foot) and therefore should be left as they are for as long as possible.
OK, that should have annoyed enough people.
Send over!
 
#20
woksmuggler said:
Choff, not quite. The Foot Guards are not included in the numbering of the Regiments; the First of Foot were the recently amalgamated Royal Scots.
Wrong the First regiment of Foot are the Grenadier Guards.
 

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