Every ACF detachment across the UK is affiliated to a British Army Regiment 136 Detachment is affiliated to and wears the cap badge of The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment (PWRR)
Named in honour of The Princess of Wales and through its ancestry via the Queen’s Regiment to the Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR), part of the Queen’s Division is the most senior English line infantry regiment. Through its forebears the PWRR is the proud inheritor of a history extending back to the very earliest beginnings of the British Army and it holds the oldest battle honour in the British Army (Tangier, 1662).
The PWRR was formed on the 9th September 1992 by the amalgamation of The Queen’s Regimentand The Royal Hampshire Regiment. It is the Infantry County Regiment of London, Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Middlesex, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.
Upon its creation, HRH The Princess of Wales and HM The Queen of Denmark were Allied Colonels-in-Chief of the PWRR. When the Princess divorced HRH The Prince of Wales, she resigned as Colonel-in-chief and the Queen of Denmark has remained its Colonel-in-Chief since.
The regimental headquarters (RHQ) is in Canterbury, whilst the regiment itself comprises three battalions:
- 1st Battalion — Armoured Infantry (20th Armoured Brigade)
- 2nd Battalion — Light Role (British Forces Cyprus)
- 3rd Battalion — Territorial Army Infantry.
There is also a single Territorial Army company, B (Queen’s) Company of the London Regiment.
The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment can trace its history back to 1572 when Queen Elizabeth I reviewed the Trained Bands of London, from which the 3rd of Foot descended. The Regiment’s precedence in the British Army dates from the raising of the 2nd of Foot in 1661 for the defence of Tangier acquired by King Charles II on his marriage to Princess Catherine of Braganza. The nickname “The Tigers” comes from the 67th Foot (South Hampshire Regiment). Having served 21 years unbroken service in India, under active service conditions, King George IV authorised the Tiger sleeve badge in 1826.
The Regiment’s forebears’ names have changed over the centuries and have included
The Queen’s Royal Regiment (2nd Foot),
The Buffs (3rd Foot),
The East Surrey Regiment (31st and 70th Foot),
The Royal Sussex Regiment (35th and 107th Foot),
The Royal Hampshire Regiment (37th and 67th Foot),
The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (50th and 97th Foot)
The Middlesex Regiment (57th and 77th Foot).
The PWRR is one of only two regiments in the British Army that has a foreign monarch as its Colonel-in-Chief (the other is The Light Dragoons). Queen Margrethe II was previously the Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s Regiment, continuing a tradition in her family dating back to the appointment of King Frederick VIII as the Colonel-in-Chief of The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), one of the ancestor regiments of the PWRR, in 1906.
The Regimental holds the oldest battle honour in the British Army (Tangier, 1662).The forebear regiments of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment fought in nearly all the major campaigns and wars in which the British Army was engaged. This has included Blenheim, Quebec, Minden, Albuhera, Sobraon, Sevastopol, Gallipoli, Ypres, Kohima, Salerno and many more. In more recent years, the Regiment has helped bring the Cold War to a successful conclusion and was represented in the campaigns in Korea, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, Aden, Borneo and Northern Ireland. The inherited traditions of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, which include the reputation for courage, endurance, determination, loyalty and good humour, are second to none. They won no less than 56 Victoria Crosses, an outstanding record, and were awarded over 550 Battle Honours including the oldest on any Colour: ‘Tangier 1662-80’
The Regimental Badge is a composition of the badges of the forebear regiments.
The Dragon was awarded to The Buffs, in recognition of their Tudor origin, by Queen Anne, probably in 1707. It was a rare distinction for a Regiment to be honoured like this in those days, and is one of the earliest known Regimental Badges. Below the Tudor Dragon is The Hampshire Rose as worn by the Trained Bands of Hampshire, who fought so gallantly for King Henry V at Agincourt in 1415.
The surrounding device inscribed with the motto: ‘Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense’ (Shame on him who thinks ill of it)
is a garter, as awarded to the Knights of the Order of the Garter. This is England’s oldest Order of Chivalry, founded by King Edward III in 1348. The garter is taken from the badge of the Royal Sussex Regiment and the Officers’ badge of The Royal Hampshire Regiment. The feathers above the Tudor Dragon are the ostrich plumes worn by The Black Prince at the Battle of Crecy in 1346. The 15th Prince of Wales considered the East Middlesex Regiment to be deserving of his plumes for its exploits in India. The award was given the King’s approval in 1810 and was subsequently included in the badge of the Middlesex Regiment.
Recent and future postings
The regiment’s 1st Battalion served a six-month tour of Iraq in 2004 with a second tour following in 2006. Many of the operations carried out by the battalion during the first tour were named after stations on the London Underground.The regiment’s 2nd Battalion is currently stationed in Alexander Barracks, Cyprus, as from March 2008, and was stationed in Iraq from February to September 2005.
With the end of the arms plot in 2009, the regiment’s two regular battalions will be based in Germany (1st Bn) and Cyprus (2nd Bn). The 2nd Bn will rotate this posting with public duties in London returning to Woolwich in August 09. They were the last unit to deploy to Northern Ireland in support of Operation Banner, and closed down bases previously used. Upon leaving, Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly became surplus to requirements.
Elements of the 1st Bn, as part of 20 Armoured Brigade, are currently deployed in Afghanistan, with other elements having overseen the withdrawal of UK Forces from Basra.
Victoria Cross and other decorations
The regiment as a whole has attained fifty six Victoria Cross awards.
A total of thirty seven medals and awards were awarded to the regiments 1st Battalion for their service during operations in Iraq in 2004 including a Victoria Cross, two CGCs, ten Military Crosses, and seventeen Mentioned in Despatches, making them the most highly decorated serving regiment in the British Army.
Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry of the 1st Battalion, PWRR was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during his unit’s deployment to Al-Amarah, near Basrah. This was the first award of the VC since 1982.
Whilst attached to the 1st Battalion, Michelle Norris of the Royal Army Medical Corps became the first woman to be awarded the Military Cross following her actions on June 11, 2006.
(combined battle honours of The Queen’s Regiment, and The Royal Hampshire Regiment, with the following emblazoned:)
The Regimental Colours: Tangier 1662-80, Namur 1695, Gibraltar 1704-5, Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Dettingen, Minden, Louisburg, Guadeloupe 1759, Quebec 1759, Belleisle, Tournay, Barrosa, Martinique 1762, Seringapatam, Maida, Corunna, Talavera, Albuhera, Almaraz, Vittoria, Peninsula, Punniar, Moodkee, Sobraon, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Lucknow, Taku Forts, Pekin 1860, New Zealand, Afghanistan 1879-80, Nile 1884-85, Burma 1885-87, Relief of Ladysmith, Paardeberg, South Africa 1899-1902, Korea 1950-51
The Queen’s Colours: Mons, Retreat from Mons, Aisne 1914, Ypres 1914, Hill 60, Festubert 1915, Somme 1916 , Albert 1916, Arras 1917, Cambrai 1917, Hindenburg Line, Italy 1917-18, Doiran 1917-18, Landing at Helles, Gaza, Jerusalem, Palestine 1917-18, Kut al Amara 1915, Mesopotamia 1915-18, North West Frontier India 1915 1916-17, Dunkirk 1940, Normandy Landing, Caen, Rhine, North-West Europe 1944-45, Abyssinia 1941, El Alamein, Tebourba Gap, Hunt’s Gap, Longstop Hill 1943, North Africa 1940-43, Sicily 1943, Salerno, Anzio, Cassino, Gothic Line, Italy 1943-45, Malta 1940-42, Malaya 1941-42, Hong Kong, Defence of Kohima, Burma 1943-45