R Hampshires, Queens Merger

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by Irish_Gunner, Dec 3, 2007.

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  1. Just a question out of curiosity. How did it come about that the one batn of the Hampshires and the three batns of the Queens were amalgamated to form a single two batn regiment(PWRR)?. The other three batn regiments were reduced to two at the same time but without swalowing any other regiments.
  2. Don’t know now or at the time, it was something that pretty much happened overnight and was not talked about.
    People just accepted it :x
  3. As part of options for change, the PoW and the Queens division had to lose 3 x battalions each. (There were reductions in the other divisions of infantry).

    Battalions had to decide who they would be prepared to amalgamate with. This is because HMG gave the infantry the problem of determining its own amalgamations to avoid all the problems that happened in 1969.

    A Welsh amalgamation was deemed unacceptable (then anyway). Staffords and Cheshires chose to amalgamate. Glosters and DERR chose to amalgamate. That left the D&D, WFR and R HAMPS. As an alternative it was decided that the R HAMPS could go across to the Queens Div to amalgamate with the Queens, who were already slated lose 1 x Bn. The R HAMPS had a mutual boundary with the Queens even though they were in different divisions.

    The RHAMPS Col in Chief was Diana hence the regiment's new name. Once Bosnia kicked off, some of the original amalgamations were cancelled including that of the Staffords and Cheshires.
  4. msr

    msr LE

    This is the understatement of the day....

  5. In 1966 The Queen's Regiment was formed from the four regiments of the Home Counties Brigade - The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, The Queen's Own Buffs (Royal Kent Regiment), The Royal Sussex Regiment and The Middlesex Regiment (DCO).

    With the creation of The Devon and Dorset Regiment in 1958 and The Duke of Edinburghs Royal Regiment in 1959, The Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1966, was surrounded geographically by amalgamated regiments. Attempts to force a cross county merger with the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1969 fell through and the Royal Hampshire Regiment survived as one of few infantry regiments to escape amalgamation.

    The SDR of 1990 earmarked the Royal Hampshires for merger with the Queen's Regiment. Initially the Hampshires suggested that they amalgamate with 3 QUEEN'S to form a new regiment representing the two counties of Sussex and Hampshire. This was rejected out of hand by RHQ QUEEN'S. Within the Queen's Regiment, it was assumed that the Royal Hampshires would join in the same way as the Royal Leicesters had done when they joined the East Anglia Brigade (later the Royal Anglian Regiment) in 1964.

    The subsequent announcement that the single battalion of Royal Hampshires would amalgamate on equal terms with three regular battalions and two and two thirds territorial battalions (5 QUEEN'S, 6/7 QUEEN'S & 8 Queen's Fusiliers) of Queensmen to form a completely new infantry regiment of two regular battalions came as a complete shock.

    Worse was to come - the Hampshires insisted that 'Hampshire' be part of the new regimental title and that 'Queen's' should not!

    Within The Queen's Regiment the preferred titles for the new regiment were were The Queen's Own Royal Regiment or a return to The Queen's Royal Regiment.

    The new title was finally decided by the CGS. At the time Princess Diana was Colonel of the Hampshires and so The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment was named.

    Further hurt came with the loss of the Queen's dark blue facing colours and the adoption of R. Hamps yellow facings. Another minor point was the loss of the (unofficial) title of 'Queen's man' for private soldiers.

    Perhaps the Hampshires felt they had got more than they ever thought possible and did not push the issue of the cap badge - the basic shape and form of the Queen's cap badge was kept although it now included the Hampshire cabbage and new regimental title.

    One could argue that 15 years on the stock of the PWRR has never been higher - the exploits of 1PWRR in Iraq and the award of the VC to Johnson Beharry, but it was by no stretch of the imagination a happy union initially for the reasons listed above.

    Invicta Ich Dien
  6. What Could of been though:

    Linkety link
  7. A Royal Wessex Regiment would have made a lot of sense, at least to me. Some general characteristics of people in Hants, Wilts and Dorset are more similar than those from Kent and Sussex, in my experience.

    It would also have retained some of the geographical links that aren't immediately obvious with The Rifles, BUT the TA got there first, so it was never going to happen. :roll:
  8. Hampshire (and the Isle of Wight) produces roughly as many recruits as the other counties combined. Roughly 1/3rd of PWRR recruits come from the City of Portsmouth alone, and of course Hampshire is a split county for recruiting, with the Rifles (via 2 RGJ) taking Winchester and parts north. Roughly 1 citizen in 33 are from Hants and the IoW (compare with about 1 per 14 for the old Queens or 1 in 12 for the Scots) so I guess a smaller percentage of the home counties either join, or end up in the Inf.
  9. Oh I don't know - Mercians...
  10. DPM

    DPM Old-Salt

    'Don't shoot until you see the whites of their socks'.

  11. We [the glorious Hampshires] was robbed!!!!!!!!!

    Discipline: 'people just accepted it' I think not, it still rankles today!
  12. I think you'll find that the Rifles have no recruiting claim to Winchester and its environs - it was the Rifles Depot where recruits came from London (main recruiting area as well as odds and sods from the rest of the British Isles) to begin their army life. The batallions never used the depot as a home base of the 1st bn's as did many other regiments as they were mostly posted overseas or to other areas of the UK (just like today - R Anglians in Pirbright, 5th Rifles in Edinbrough, etc.).
  13. I was serving near I R Hamps when this was all being discussed and the then CO came up with a good plan that would have seen him taking a QUEENS Bn to form 2 R Hamps. I can't remember the detail but it was based on the strength of recruiting I think.

    As for the RGBW LI what was that particular senior officer thinking of when he came up with that title?
  14. To an outsider, that appears to have been a case of trying to keep everybody happy.

    This is one of those threads which really captures your interest. I appreciate the issues of amalgamation, but you can't help but feel for those who are forced into it.

    Few years ago down at Chichester, the old and bold from the Royal Sussex Regiment were having a bit of a get together (apologies, but I cannot for the life of me recall the anniversary they were celebrating). Listening to them singing 'Sussex by the Sea' was something else.