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P.D. GRIFFIN
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MODERN BRITISH ARMY REGIMENTS

St George's Day (23 April) is celebrated true to the ritual previously associated with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, with red and white roses fitted to badges, drums and colours. Roses were emblazoned on the colours of all the antecedent regiments in one guise or another. The RNF and RWF displayed a united red and white rose 'slipped', that is, with stalk attached as if torn from the main stock, a symbol used by the old regiments in Dutch service to show loyalty to Mother England across the sea. The Tudor rose on the RF badge was taken from the emblem stamped into the guns they used to guard in the seventeenth century. The Red Rose of Lancaster came from the Royal Lancashire Militia via the colours of the Lancashire Fusiliers to the regimental colour today. A drummer's colour of gosling green silk is allowed to be paraded on St George's Day, a privilege given to the 5th (Northumberland) Regiment in 1836 with its unique battle honour 'Wilhelmstahl'. This resolved the regiment's transgression in carrying French standards captured at Wilhelmstahl in 1762 against regulations. Bearskins issued with the regiment's fusilier achievement similarly satisfied its self-imposed right to grenadier caps brought from the battlefield and worn by the 5th to publicise its capture of the Grenadiers de France.

The antelope mascot between kneeling handlers in RRF full dress

The antelope mascot between kneeling handlers in RRF full dress. (MoD)

Albuhera Day (16 May) honours the two battalions of the 7th Fusiliers which withstood shot and shell in the 1811 battle before delivering a resounding charge on their tormentors. The French infantry crumbled before the fusiliers' spirited charge and panic spread along its flanks to save the day for the British line, but at a cost: the 2nd Battalion had been destroyed and its cadre was returned home to recruit back to strength.

Minden Day (1 August) remembers the 20th Foot in Germany in 1759. Their motto Omnia audax (Daring everything) was never more true than at the Battle of Minden, when they were known as 'Kingsley's Stand' after refusing to retire from the firing line when ordered to, in view of their heavy casualties. A laurel wreath awarded to the regiment after the battle in respect of its courage is the origin of the wreath on the RRF badge today. The Lancashire Fusiliers observed Minden Day by wearing red and yellow roses in the tradition of most 'Minden' regiments. LF custom demands that officers new to the mess eat a rose from a silver bowl of champagne.

Gallipoli Day (25 April) commemorates the beach landings on the Dardenelles in 1915, where the Lancashire Fusiliers won 'six VCs before breakfast'. The ship's bell from HMS Euryalus, which delivered the Lancashire battalions to the beaches, was used to sound time in barracks. Gallipoli Day in Bury now remembers all Lancashire Fusiliers who gave their lives in the service of their country.

Normandy Day (6 June) marks the part played by the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in the massive operation of 1944, and the losses sustained in the assault on the German stronghold at Lebissey.

The regiment's foothold in the Wolfe Society comes via the LF. James Wolfe assumed command of the 20th Regiment in 1750 and staved with it until 1756, when the outbreak of war moved him on to higher command.

THE ROYAL ANGLIAN REGIMENT

The first of the Army Council's Marge regiments' was created in 1964 by bringing together old county regiments of East Anglia and the east

Midlands, most of which had a history dating back to the seventeenth century and the reign of James II.

Royal Anglians band and drums

Royal Anglians band and drums, c. 1990. Note the eccentric brass edging on the helmets of the bandsmen behind the drummers

By 1970 battalion titles were giving way to battalion nicknames. The 2nd became known as 'The Poachers' because of its Lincolnshire content and its march of the same name, and the 3rd as 'The Pompadours', an old name of the Essex inherited from the 56th Foot, whose rose purple facings happened to be the favourite colour of Madame de Pompadour. The 1st Battalion, lacking a suitable nickname, chose to be 'The Vikings', a convenient warrior appellation drawn from east coast history.

The Royal Anglian Regiment

Regimental headquarters are at Gibraltar Barracks in Bury St Edmunds, the former depot of the Suffolk Regiment.

Minden roses fixed to the beret on 1 August

Minden roses fixed to the beret on 1 August. The black patch behind the badge is said to commemorate the death of Sir John Moore at Corunna in 1809. He was buried by men of the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment 'darkly and at dead of night'. (Grenadier Publishing)

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