What a fine Regiment! Highly trained professional fighting warriors!
The Regiment - The Bill Browns
The 1st Battalion - The Dandies
The 2nd Battalion - The Models
The 3rd Battalion - The Ribs
1656: King Charles II was in exile, and England lay under the military dictatorship of Cromwell, the Lord Protector. In May of that year the King formed his Royal Regiment of Guards at Bruges, under the Colonelcy of Lord Wentworth. The Regiment was first recruited from the loyal men who had followed their King into exile rather than live under tyranny, and their reward came in 1660 when the King was restored to his throne. After the Restoration, a second Royal Regiment of Guards was formed in England under the Colonelcy of Colonel John Russell. In 1665, following Lord Wentworth's death, both Regiments were incorporated into a single Regiment with twenty-four Companies, whose royal badges or devices, given by King Charles II, are still emblazoned on its Colours.
The Regiment, later known as "The First Regiment of Foot Guards" and later as "The First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards", has fought in almost all the major campaigns of the British Army since that time. Under the last two Stuart Kings the regiment fought the Moors and Tangiers, and in America. They even fought as Marines in the naval war against the Dutch.
1815-The Battle of Waterloo- On The evening of Sunday 18th June the Second and Third Battalions were in position behind the ridge that was giving shelter to the Army. It was at this point that Napoleon directed his final assault with fresh troops - The Imperial Guard which had been kept in reserve up to this point. The assault was totally defeated, and, in honour of the defeat of the Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard the 1st Guards were made a Regiment of Grenadiers and given the title of "The First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards". The Grenade Fired Proper was adopted as a badge and the Bearskin cap was worn after Waterloo.
1854-The Battle of Inkerman- The 3rd Battalion (Which formed part of the Brigade of Guards) lost half its Officers and Men but not a single prisoner or an inch of ground.
1914-1918 They fought in nearly all the principal battles of the Western front. At First Ypres all but 4 officers and 200 men of the 1st Battalion and 4 officers and 140 men of the 2nd fell in action. The regiment won the battle honour 'Ypres' twice; firstly in 1914 and then again in 1917.
1919 The rank of Guardsman replaced that of Private in all the Guards Regiments, an honour award by the King in recognition of their great effort during the war.
1939 The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions again returned to the Continent, forming part of the British Expeditionary Force under Lord Gort, himself a Grenadier. During the retreat of 1940, the traditional discipline of the Regiment stood the test as it had done at First Ypres, Corunna and Waterloo. Two of its Battalions fought in the Division then commanded by Major General, later Field Marshal, Montgomery and another in that commanded by Major General, later Field Marshal, Alexander. At Dunkirk, which the Regiment had garrisoned under Charles II, it took part in the defences of the perimeter, under cover of which the embarkation of the Army was made. In the course of that year the 4th Battalion was re-formed, and in 1941 two further Battalions, the 5th and 6th, were raised.
The Regiment was represented in the Eighth Army's famous advance to Tunisia, taking part in the battle of Mareth, where the 6th Battalion, the first to meet the enemy after the evacuation of Dunkirk, suffered heavy casualties but won the respect of friend and foe alike. The 3rd and 5th Battalions shared in the invasion of North Africa; all three Battalions were engaged in the invasion of Italy and the Italian campaign, the 5th Battalion forming part of the force that landed at Anzio.
Meanwhile, in England, the 2nd and 4th Battalions had been converted to armour, and the 2nd Battalion, with the 1st Battalion, which had become a Motor Battalion, served in the Guards Armoured Division under the command of Major General Allan Adair, another Grenadier, and later to become Colonel of the Regiment. The 4th Battalion formed part of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade. These three Battalions fought in the battles of Normandy and across France and Germany. In September 1944 the 1st and 2nd Battalions entered Brussels. On September 20th, tanks of the 2nd Battalion and troops of the 1st Battalion crossed the Nijmegen Bridge.
1991 The 1st Battalion went from the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) - Germany - to fight in their Warrior armoured personnel carriers. They then returned to London to Troop their Colour on the Queen's Birthday Parade in 1992, before going to South Armagh for a six-month operational tour in Northern Ireland. They then carried out operational tours in the Falkland Isles and a two-year operational tour in Northern Ireland.
1994 The 2nd Battalion was placed in suspended animation, but the traditions and the Colours of the Battalion are carried by the Nijmegen Company, the incremental Company, which carries the name of the battle honour won by the 2nd Battalion in 1944.
2004-2005 The Battalion deployed to Bosnia on Op Occulus and also Op Althea when control of Bosnia was tranferred to EUFOR. This resulted in a two for one tour which initially caused some confusion about whether you could wear both the Non-Article 5 and the Op Althea medals. The confusion ended when Her Majesty The Queen decided that you could wear both.
2006 The Battalion deployed on a 4 month tour of Iraq. The Battalion was responsible for providing protection for Shaiba Logistics base. The Queens Company, The Inkerman Company and the Corp of Drums also spent time in Baghdad. Some members of the Mortar Platoon and the Sniper Platoon were also sent to Al Amaraha when one member of the Battalion won a Military Cross.
2007 The Battalion deployed on Op Herrick 6. The majority of the Battalion formed the OMLT teams and worked training the Afghan National Army. The Battalion also briefly reformed Number 3 Company which was part of Battle Group South. Grenadiers also formed the nucleus of the 12 Brigade Recce Force. A platoon of Grenadiers was also attached to Somme Company of the London Regiment there also members of the Battalion attached to the 1st Bn Royal Anglian.
13 members of the Regiemnt have been awarded Victoria Crosses
The Crimea - 4
The First World War - 7
The Second World War - 2
The correct title for "Battle Honours" is Honorary Distinctions. The Regiment has been awarded seventy-nine Honorary Distinctions of which forty-six appear on the Colours of the Regiment. These are in chronilogical order, by Year and Date:-
1680 Tangier 1899-1901 South Africa 1695 Namur 1914 - 4 Aug France & Flanders 1914-1918 1704-05 Gibralter 1914 - 8 Sep Marne 1704 - 11 Aug Blenheim 1914 - 14 Sep Aisne 1706 - 23 Apr Ramillies 1915 -27 Sep Loos 1708 - 11 Jul Oudenarde 1916-1918 Somme 1916-1918 1709 - 11 Sep Malplaquet 1917-31 Jul Ypres 1914-1917 1743 - 16 Jun Dettingen 1918 - 12 Apr Hazebrouck 1793 - 18 Aug Lincelles 1918 - 27 Aug Arras (Scarpe) 1799 - 2 Oct Egmont-op-Zee 1918 - 12 Sep Hindenburg Line (Havrincourt) 1809 - 16 Jan Corunna 1918 - 8 Oct Cambrai 1808-09 Penninsular 1940 - 3 Jun Dunkirk 1811 - 5 Mar Barrosa 1943 - 16 Mar Mareth 1813 - 13 Dec Nive 1943 - 23 Apr Medjez Plain 1815 - 18 Jun Waterloo 1943 - 10 Sep Salerno 1854 - 20 Sep Alma 1943 - 6 Nov Monte Camino 1854 - 5 Nov Inkerman 1944 - 22 Jan Anzio 1855 - 9 Sep Sevastopol 1944 - 30 Jul Mont Pincon 1882 - 13 Sep Tel-el-Kebir 1944 - 25 Aug Gothic Line 1882 Egypt 1944 - 19 Sep Nijmegen 1885 Suakin 1945 - 30 Mar Rhine 1898 - 2 Sep Khartoum 1991 - 28 Feb Gulf 1991 1899 - 28 Nov Modder River 1991 - 28 Feb Wadi-al-Batin