Monday, January 29, 2007

The British Infantry

The cathedral hosted the final concert performance of the Band and Bugles of The Light Division on Saturday which was tremendous although the strategy of getting seats near the front was not so good as our eardrums caught the full blast of the bugles. The Light Division originally incorporated The Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets but more recently amalgamated The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment. As if these changes weren't enough, the whole Light Division will cease to exist at midnight on 31 January and will be replaced by The Rifles Regiment. The Rifles, with 14,000 men, will be the largest Regiment in the Infantry and will identify itself with each city, county and town in the UK. Its motto will be "Swift and bold". I suppose this is another step towards "Britishness".


Blogger King Lear said...

One of the reasons for the problems with recruitment are exactly this - by effectively breaking the link between regiment and location, the feeling of belonging is going and will end in a serious serious problem within a very short time. Recruitment in Scotland being down was quoted as the reason for amalgamating here. But what was NOT said was that there had been no advertising, no longer any recruitment centres open, no more stands at shows, and no effort made at TA level to bring more people in. Result? Still proportionately more recruits than from the South - but poor enough to be able to trot out an excuse. I don't know about you and your readers, but I could do with objective truth, and people who say " I got it wrong "

9:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not being a military man, I am a tad confused by this. I seem to recall that the 'Glorious Glosters' [?] marched in Bristol at least 5, and possibly 7, years ago to commemorate their 'demise' as they were going to merge with another regiment. From what is being said here, it rather appears as though several other mergers have taken place, which seems rather odd.

I am not sure what the reference to 'Britishness' means either. Surely we should be proud to be British ? After all, the war was won with co-operation from the Scots and Welsh regiments as well ? Maybe I've missed the point.

12:40 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Many local regiments have been merged because of Government cuts. Of course as a nation we are proud to be British and to have the British Army. Historically, however, each regiment had local pride and that is what is being removed.

2:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I misunderstood your sentence; 'The Rifles...will identify itself with each city, county and town in the UK.'

I didn't appreciate that this meant a 'general' approach, without any specific links.

Hmmm.... Well, I suppose an old sceptic [sounds better than cynic] might say that if one tries to identify with every town, one will end up not identifying with any town..

At a tangent, the film 'Zulu' will soon appear totally baffling to a generation of young people once the 'old system' is forgotten...

7:52 pm  

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