R Hampshires, Queens Merger

#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
Richard_Hannay said:
Glosters and DERR chose to amalgamate.
This is the understatement of the day....

msr
 
#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:

Sapukay said:
stickybomb said:
The fact of the matter is there is little difference between the Royal Anglians and the late Royal Green Jackets (both of whom are or were known as 'Large' Regiments, not 'Super') or the PWRR and the late RGBWLI.
Aye, before 3 Mercian was saved, the plan for the PoW Div included a R Wessex, an amalgamation of the RGBW, D&D and the R Hants (deamalgamating from the Queens). Hence some of the weird frippery announced with the Gloucester, Devon and Dorset (at one point to be 1 R Wessex) going one way and the Berkshire and Wiltshire joining the PWRR (originally to have been 2 R Wessex w/ the R Hampshires).

In the end the Bn that got the shaft was 2 R Wessex, and 1 R Wessex was orphaned and ended up becoming a 3rd LI Bn due to being geographically close to Cornwall, Somerset and Shropshire.

However, the Foot Guards (even if they don't go to a super regiment) will be treated as such:

The Grenadier and Welsh Guards will be treated as a 2 Bn Regiment (one PD, one Light Role)
The Coldstream and Irish Guards will also be treated as a 2 Bn Regiment (one PD, one LR)
The Scots Guards will remain in the armoured role, and pax posted to them from the other 4 Bns.

They might bite the bullet and form a Regiment of Foot Guards, which would probably long term be a good thing for them.
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.
 
B

benjaminw1

Guest
#9
angular said:
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:
Oh I don't know - Mercians...
 
#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.).
 
#14
Sapukay said:
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.
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?
 
#15
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.
 
#16
The Goon,

that map is currant and shows the old LI areas as well - the old RB and KRRC only used Winchester as a home and it didn't effect the recruiting of the Royal Hampsters.

More recently it was the home of the RGJ (as well as the LI of course) but even then the only local recruiting area would have been Ox & Bucks.

So as Sapukay tried to insinuate that the Hampsters only had half a county and a small Island to recruit from he is incorrect - they had a whole county plus three small islands (IoW, + Channel Islands).
 
#17
Sorry, mate, picked up on this:

TheSpecialOne said:
I think you'll find that the Rifles have no recruiting claim to Winchester and its environs
And thought I'd just point out that the Rifles recruit nationally and from the units that they're made up of those are traditional recruiting areas.

Not specifically Royal Hamps related, apologies.
 
#18
TheSpecialOne said:
The Goon,

that map is currant and shows the old LI areas as well - the old RB and KRRC only used Winchester as a home and it didn't effect the recruiting of the Royal Hampsters.

More recently it was the home of the RGJ (as well as the LI of course) but even then the only local recruiting area would have been Ox & Bucks.

So as Sapukay tried to insinuate that the Hampsters only had half a county and a small Island to recruit from he is incorrect - they had a whole county plus three small islands (IoW, + Channel Islands).
RGJ recruited nationally, but they had designated areas of recruiting rights (where RGJ was the local regiment). One of those was Winchester and central Hants, probably for historical reasons.

editted for use of present tense
 
#19
Historically at the time when the R Hamps were a regiment in their own right the RGJ never had a right t0 recruit from central or northern Hants. The RGJ recruited mainly from London, Ox & Bucks, but did recruit nationally as the Rifle Brigade had done so previously (including Ireland).

As I mentioned before, Winchester was the home of the Rifle Depot - a place where they did their basic training and where RHQ was located.

Mind you, I wouldn't be surprised that local Hampsters would want to join as you would be close to home during basic (altogether now - aaaaaaaw)
 
#20
The_Goon said:
I think you'll find this map rather revealing as to traditional Rifles recruiting grounds: http://www.army.mod.uk/img/infantry...s/where_to_find_us/riflesrecruitingposter.gif

But it's all much of a muchness now, as the Rifles are a national regiment and as such recruit nationally.
One odd thing about that map is that it shows all of the Rifles recruiting areas are in England, yet only one regular Bn is based there. The others being in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Germany.

Sorry about wandering off the thread.
 
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