|The Grenadier Guards|
Cap Badge of The Grenadier Guards
|Role||1st Battalion – Light Infantry/Public Duties |
Nijmegen Company – Public Duties
|Size||One battalion |
One independent company
|Part of||Guards Division|
|Garrison/HQ||Regimental Headquarters – London |
1st Battalion – Aldershot
Nijmegen Company – London
No.14 Company – Catterick
|Nickname(s)||The Bill Browns|
|Motto(s)|| French: Honi soit qui mal y pense |
"Evil be to him who evil thinks"
|March||Quick: "The British Grenadiers"|
|Colonel in Chief||The Queen|
|Colonel of the Regiment||The Duke of York KG, GCVO, CD, ADC(P)|
|Lieutenant Colonel Piers Ashfield DSO|
|Tactical recognition flash|
Left side of bearskin cap
|Shoulder badge||Royal Cipher|
The Grenadier Guards (GREN GDS) is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It can trace its lineage back to 1656 when Lord Wentworth's Regiment was raised in Bruges to protect the exiled Charles II. In 1665, this regiment was combined with John Russell's Regiment of Guards to form the current regiment, known as the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards. Since then, the regiment has filled both a ceremonial and protective role as well as an operational one. In 1900, the regiment provided a cadre of personnel to form the Irish Guards; while later, in 1915 it also provided the basis of the Welsh Guards upon their formation.
Infantry is a military specialization that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and tank forces. Also known as foot soldiers or infanteers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may also use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, and typically bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress.
A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the country and the arm of service.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
The regiment's early history saw it take part in numerous conflicts including the War of Spanish Succession, the War of Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War, and the Napoleonic Wars; at the end of this period the regiment was granted the "Grenadier" designation by a Royal Proclamation. During the Victorian Era, the regiment took part in the Crimean War, the Anglo-Egyptian War, the Mahdist War, and the Second Boer War.
The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, South Asia, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: one was led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and included the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and other small German states; while the other was led by the Kingdom of France and included the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal.
The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).
The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. It has widely been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet they led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery".
During the First World War, the Grenadier Guards was expanded from three battalions to five, of which four served on the Western Front, while later during the Second World War, six battalions were raised, and several were converted to an armoured role as part of the Guards Armoured Division. These units fought in France, North-West Europe, North Africa and Italy.
A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by nationality and branch of service. Typically a battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry.
The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.
The Guards Armoured Division was an armoured division of the British Army during the Second World War. The division was created in the United Kingdom on 17 June 1941 during World War II from elements of the Guards units, the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards. and Welsh Guards.
After the Second World War the regiment was reduced first to three battalions, then to two, and finally to one battalion in the mid-1990s. Major deployments during this time have included operations in Palestine, Malaya, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The 1947–1948 civil war in Mandatory Palestine was the first phase of the 1948 Palestine war. It broke out after the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on 29 November 1947 recommending the adoption of the Partition Plan for Palestine.
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought in pre- and post-independence Federation of Malaya, from 1948 until 1960. The belligerents were the Commonwealth armed forces against the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).
The Cyprus Emergency was a period of violent unrest in British Cyprus between 1955 and 1959. It was characterised by a confrontation between the British and the ethnic Greek National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) which sought the end of colonial rule and the unification of Cyprus and Greece (enosis). This was also opposed by Turkish Cypriots who formed the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT). The period of conflict ended in 1959 with the signature of the London-Zürich Agreements which established Cyprus as an independent state separate from Greece.
The Grenadier Guards trace their lineage back to 1656,when Lord Wentworth's Regiment was raised from gentlemen of the Honourable Artillery Company by the then heir to the throne, Prince Charles (later King Charles II), in Bruges, in the Spanish Netherlands (present-day Belgium), where it formed a part of exiled King's bodyguard. A few years later, a similar regiment known as John Russell's Regiment of Guards was formed. In 1665, these two regiments were combined to form the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, consisting of 24 companies of men. Since then the Grenadier Guards have served ten Kings and four Queens, including the current Queen Elizabeth II. Throughout the 18th century, the regiment took part in a number of campaigns including the War of Spanish Succession, the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the regiment gained the name "Grenadier" in July 1815 following a Royal Proclamation.
Lord Wentworth's Regiment was a regiment of infantry raised during the exile of King Charles II during the Interregnum. Formed as the Royal Regiment of Guards in 1656 at Bruges under the command of the Earl of Rochester, it was made up of men who remained loyal to the King and had followed him into exile. When Rochester died in February 1658 command passed to Thomas Wentworth, 5th Baron Wentworth. The regiment served as part of the Spanish Army during the Franco-Spanish War and the concurrent Anglo-Spanish War in the Spanish Netherlands and saw action at the Battle of the Dunes (1658) under the command of Wentworth, before accompanying the King back to England to reclaim the throne at the Restoration in 1660. In 1665, the regiment was amalgamated with John Russell's Regiment of Guards to form the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards.
The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII and is considered the second oldest military corps in the world. Today, it is a registered charity whose purpose is to attend to the "better defence of the realm". This purpose is primarily achieved by the support of the HAC Regiment and a detachment of City of London Special Constabulary. The word "artillery" in "Honourable Artillery Company" does not have the current meaning that is generally associated with it, but dates from a time when in the English language that word meant any projectile, including for example arrows shot from a bow. The equivalent form of words in modern English would be either "Honourable Infantry Company" or "Honourable Military Company".
Charles II was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, and king of England, Scotland and Ireland from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 until his death.
During the Victorian era, the regiment took part in the Crimean War, participating in the fighting at the Alma river, Inkerman, and Sevastopol.For their involvement in the Crimean War, four members of the 3rd Battalion received the Victoria Cross. Later the regiment fought at Battle of Tel el-Kebir during the Anglo-Egyptian War in 1882, and then the Mahdist War in Sudan, both during the 1885 Suakin Expedition and in 1898, at the Battle of Omdurman. During the Second Boer War, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were deployed to South Africa, where they took part in a number of battles including the Battle of Modder River and the Battle of Belmont, as well as a number of smaller actions. In 1900, seventy-five men from the regiment were used to raise a fourth Guards regiment, known as the Irish Guards in honour of the role that Irish regiments had played in the fighting in South Africa.
The Battle of the Alma was a battle in the Crimean War between an allied expeditionary force and Russian forces defending the Crimean Peninsula on 20 September 1854. The allies had made a surprise landing in Crimea on 14 September. The allied commanders, Maréchal Jacques Leroy de Saint-Arnaud and Lord FitzRoy Somerset Raglan, then marched toward the strategically important port city of Sevastapol, 45 km (28 mi) away. Russian commander Prince Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov rushed his available forces to the last natural defensive position before the city, the Alma Heights, south of the Alma River.
The Battle of Inkerman was fought during the Crimean War on 5 November 1854 between the allied armies of Britain, France and Ottoman Empire against the Imperial Russian Army. The battle broke the will of the Russian Army to defeat the allies in the field, and was followed by the Siege of Sevastopol. The role of troops fighting mostly on their own initiative due to the foggy conditions during the battle has earned the engagement the name "The Soldier's Battle".
The Siege of Sevastopol lasted from October 1854 until September 1855, during the Crimean War. The allies landed at Eupatoria on 14 September 1854, intending to make a triumphal march to Sevastopol, the capital of the Crimea, with 50,000 men. The 56-kilometre (35 mi) traverse took a year of fighting against the Russians. Major battles along the way were Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, Tchernaya, Redan, and, finally, Sevastopol. During the siege, the allied navy undertook six bombardments of the capital, on 17 October 1854; and on 9 April, 6 June, 17 June, 17 August, and 5 September 1855.
At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the regiment consisted of three battalions.With the commencement of hostilities, the regiment raised a service battalion, the 4th Battalion, and a reserve battalion, known as the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, which was used to carry out ceremonial duties in London and Windsor during the war. The 2nd Battalion of the regiment was sent to France in August, and the 1st Battalion followed to Belgium in October. They took part in the early stages of the fighting during the period known as "Race to the Sea", during which time they were involved significantly at the First Battle of Ypres. In February 1915, a fifth Guards regiment was raised, known as The Welsh Guards. In recognition of the significant contribution Welshmen had made to The Grenadier Guards, the regiment transferred five officers and 634 other ranks to the newly formed unit. A short time later, permission was received for the formation of the Guards Division, the brainchild of Lord Kitchener, and on 18 August 1915, the division came into existence, consisting of three brigades, each with four battalions. Following this the four service battalions of the regiment fought in a number of significant battles including Loos, the Somme, Cambrai, Arras and the Hindenburg Line. Seven members of the regiment received the Victoria Cross during the war.
Following the Armistice with Germany in November 1918, the regiment returned to just three battalions, which were used in a variety of roles, serving at home in the United Kingdom, as well as in France, Turkey and Egypt.
During the Second World War, the regiment was expanded to six service battalions, with the re-raising of the 4th Battalion, and the establishment of the 5th and 6th Battalions.The Grenadier Guards' first involvement in the war came in the early stages of the fighting when all three regular battalions were sent to France in late 1939 as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The 1st and 2nd Battalions were serving in the 7th Guards Brigade, which also included the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, and were part of the 3rd Infantry Division, led by Major General Bernard Montgomery. The 3rd Battalion was in the 1st Guards Brigade attached to the 1st Infantry Division, commanded by Major General Harold Alexander. As the BEF was pushed back by the German blitzkrieg during the battles of France and Dunkirk, these battalions played a considerable role in maintaining the British Army's reputation during the withdrawal phase of the campaign before being themselves evacuated from Dunkirk. After this, they returned to the United Kingdom, where they undertook defensive duties in anticipation of a possible German invasion. Between October 1940 and October 1941, the regiment raised the 4th, 5th, and 6th Battalions. Later, in the summer of 1941, there was a need to increase the number of armoured and motorised units in the British Army and as a result many infantry battalions were converted into armoured regiments; the 2nd and 4th Battalions were re-equipped with tanks, while the 1st Battalion was motorised. The 1st and 2nd (Armoured) Battalions were part of the 5th Guards Armoured Brigade, attached to the Guards Armoured Division, and the 4th Battalion was part of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade Group. They subsequently served in the North West Europe Campaign of 1944–45, taking part in several actions, including the Battle for Caen, particularly in Operation Goodwood, as well as Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and Operation Veritable.
The 3rd, 5th and 6th Battalions served in the North African Campaign and in the final stages of the Tunisia Campaign, under command of the British First Army, where they fought significant battles in the Medjez-el-Bab and along the Mareth Line. The battalions took part in the Italian Campaign at Salerno, Monte Camino, Anzio, Monte Cassino, and along the Gothic Line.The 3rd Battalion, still with the 1st Guards Brigade, was attached to the 78th Battleaxe Infantry Division for two months in Tunisia until it was exchanged for the 38th (Irish) Brigade and became part of the 6th Armoured Division, where it would remain for the rest of the war. The 5th Battalion was part of 24th Guards Brigade and served with the 1st Division during the Battle of Anzio. After suffering devastating casualties, the brigade was relieved in March 1944 . The 6th Battalion served with the 22nd Guards Brigade, later redesignated 201st Guards Motor Brigade, until late 1944 when the battalion was disbanded due to an acute shortage of Guards replacements. During the course of the conflict, two men of the regiment were awarded the Victoria Cross. They were Lance Corporal Harry Nicholls of the 3rd Battalion, during the Battle of Dunkirk, and Major William Sidney of the 5th Battalion during the Battle of Anzio in March 1944.
In June 1945, following the end of hostilities, the 2nd and 4th Battalions gave up their tanks and returned to an infantry role.The regiment returned to three battalions at this time, with the 4th and 5th Battalions being disbanded along with the 6th, which had been removed from the order of battle before the end of the war. Initially, the regiment was employed on occupation duties in Germany; however, the 3rd Battalion was deployed shortly afterwards to Palestine, where it attempted to keep the peace until May 1948, when it was replaced by the 1st Battalion. Further deployments came to Malaya in 1949, Tripoli in 1951 and Cyprus in 1956. In 1960, shortly after returning from Cyprus, the 3rd Battalion paraded for the last time and was subsequently placed in suspended animation. In order to maintain the battalion's customs and traditions, one of its companies, the Inkerman Company, was incorporated into the 1st Battalion.
Since the mid-1960s, the 1st and 2nd Battalions have been deployed to Africa, South America and Northern Ireland where they undertook peacekeeping duties. They also undertook duties as part of the NATO force stationed in Germany during the Cold War.In 1991, the 1st Battalion, which had been serving in Germany, was deployed to the Middle East, where it took part in the Persian Gulf War mounted in Warrior armoured personnel carriers, before returning for a six-month tour of Northern Ireland.
In 1994, under the Options for Change reforms, The Grenadier Guards was reduced to a single battalion. The 2nd Battalion was put into 'suspended animation', and its colours passed for safekeeping to a newly formed independent company, which was named "The Nijmegen Company".As a result of this, the regiment was reduced to its current composition: one full battalion, the 1st Battalion, consisting of three rifle companies (The Queen's Company, Number Two Company and Inkerman Company), a support company and a headquarters company, based at Wellington Barracks, London, and one independent company, The Nijmegen Company. The Queen, as Colonel-in-Chief, presented new colours to the Nijmegen Company in 2013.
In recent years, the 1st Battalion has deployed as part of Operation Telic in Iraq, and Operation Herrick in Afghanistan.
The Queen's Company of The Grenadier Guards traditionally provides the pallbearers for all deceased monarchs.
The Grenadier Guards and other Guards regiments have a long-standing connection to The Parachute Regiment. Guardsmen who have completed P Company are transferred into the Guards Parachute Platoon, which is currently attached to the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. The Guards Parachute Platoon maintains the tradition established by No 1 (Guards) Independent Parachute Company that was part of the original Pathfinder Group of 16th Parachute Brigade, which has since been designated as the 16th Air Assault Brigade.
Under Army 2020 Refine, the 1st Battalion was moved from Aldershot to Windsor and moved into London District.
The 1st Foot Guards has received 79 battle honours,gained for its involvement in a number of conflicts including:
Recruits to the Guards Division go through a gruelling thirty-week training programme at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC). The training is two weeks longer than the training for the Regular line infantry regiments of the British Army; the extra training, carried out throughout the course, is devoted to drill and ceremonies.
The Grenadier Guards' various colonels-in-chief have generally been the British monarchs, including Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI, and currently Elizabeth II.
The following is a list of individuals who have served in the role of colonel of the regiment:
The Regimental Slow March is the march Scipio,from the opera of the same name by George Frideric Handel, inspired by the exploits of the Roman General Scipio Africanus. The first performance of Scipio was in 1726. Handel actually composed the eponymous slow march for the First Guards, presenting it to the regiment before he added it to the score of the opera. The Quick March is The British Grenadiers .
Both the 2nd Grenadier Guards F.C. and the 3rd Grenadier Guards F.C. enjoyed considerable success in the London League.
|1st Regiment of Foot Guards|
(later Grenadier Guards)
|The Royal Regiment of Guards|
|John Russell's Regiment of Guards|
The Grenadier Guards is the most senior regiment of the Infantry in the British Army
First in Order of Precedence
|Infantry Order of Precedence||Succeeded by|
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