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1st Battalion (28th/61st)

1948 - 1994

1948 - Jamaica. 18th Sept. a party from the 28th, bringing the Regimental Colours, arrived at Kingston on the SS Orbita. The Colour Escort was commanded by Major A.H. Knight, MBE, and the Colours carried by Capt. T.A.K. Dillon and Capt. W.A. Wood. The party was inspected by the Area Commander, Brigadier E.K. Page, DSO, OBE, MC. On arrival at Up Park, the Colours were marched to the Officers Mess, with the whole of 2nd Battalion lining the route. 21st September 1948, a parade held to mark the amalgamation of the 1st and 2nd Battalions.

Small detachments still in Belize and Bermuda.
November 1948, the Home Fleet visited the West Indies. The Battalion provided a Guard of Honour to meet the C-in-C, Home Fleet, Admiral Sir Roderick McGrigor, KCB, DSO on his visit to Kingston.

1949 - 21st November, at 0245 hrs Sailed from Jamaica in November on the Empress of Australia. Reached Southampton on 5th December. Destination Roman Way Camp, Colchester. Lt-Col. H.L.W. Bird, OBE left the Battalion and was replaced by Lt-Col. J.P. Carne.

1950 - During a dock strike, the battalion was employed unloading merchant ships at King George V Dock. Then in May "B" Coy. were called out to help at Smithfield Meat Market during a strike.

In August reservists began to arrive, called-up due to the situation in Korea. The Glosters would be going to Korea.

1951 -

Battalion arrived back in the UK, at Southampton aboard the Empire Fowey, on 20th December 1951 - 

1952 - Battalion based in Warminster, School of Infantry, as a demonstration battalion.
Battalion selected to line the funeral route on the death of King George VI.
500 men went to Woolwich on 14th February, to Shrapnel Barracks. 15th February they lined the route in Piccadilly.
24 April - New Colours presented to the Battalion at Gloucester.
3rd May - Detachment to Portsmouth for Exercise "Runaground III" with the Royal Marines and Royal Navy.
8th June - Battalion went to Rollestone Camp for Exercise "Straight Left"
Late June-July - Battalion went to Bisley.

1953 - The Regimental Band was selected to lead the Coronation Procession for HRH Queen Elizabeth II back from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.
11th June, Glosters Band, Drums, Colour Party and 2 Guards of 3 officers and 79 men each, attended the Queen's Birthday Parade in Warminster.
POW's returned from Korea.

1954 - Moved to Barnard Castle, Durham.
Lt-Col. C.E.B. Walwyn, DSO assumed command of the Battalion.

1955 - Battalion at Barnard Castle, then training in the Catterick area.
Battalion moved to
Kenya.

1956 - 25th January Major-General C.H. Colquoon, CB, OBE (GOC Northumbrian District) presented the BEM to No. 22530240 Corporal K. Goodwin (POW Korea)
6th Feb. HRH Duke of Gloucester presented the MSM to Bandmaster Plummer and LSGC to RQMS Morton.
Battalion moved to
Aden and Bahrain.

1957 - Battalion moved to Cyprus.

1958 - Battalion sailed to UK from Limassol. After a period of leave, the Battalion moved to Wuppertal, Germany as part of the B.A.O.R. They then marched to Osnabruck; The Battalion marched the 65 miles in 4 days, instead of using transports.
17th May, in a parade at Osnabruck, representatives of all ranks of the Regiment removed their old Gloster Front Badge and were presented with the Wessex Brigade Front Badge by the CO. It had been decided that all Regiments of the Wessex Brigade would wear the Wessex Wyvern badge.

The Wyvern Badge
by R.M. Grazebrook
(Back Badge 1957)

The Colonels of the Regiments of the Wessex Brigade have agreed that the most suitable cap badge for their 1st Battalions would be the Wyvern, and the central device shown above has now been authorised. Officers will wear the badge in white metal and other ranks in gilt. The Wessex Wyvern is often referred to as the Wessex Dragon, but those depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry are clearly Wyverns having only two legs instead of the four of the "normal" dragon. Mr. John Walker, Lancaster Herald and Deputy Inspector of Regimental Colours, has informed that he thinks the Wyvern was an emblem common to the Saxons and that the West Saxons adopted a gold dragon for their device. It was under the standard of the Wessex Wyvern that King Harold's men made their last stand at Hastings in 1066. The 43rd Wessex Division (TA) adopted the Wyvern as their formation sign and now it again becomes the device under which the Regular soldiers of Wessex will now serve.

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1959 - Lt-Col. P.C.S. Heidenstam posted to the War Office. Succeeded by Lieut-Col. A.L.W. Soames.
Training in the Canadian Sector, at Arnsberg; then at Saltau and then Achmer.
Live field firing exercises at Sennelager.
Battalion left Osnabruck by train and travelled to the troopship, Empire Parkeston and sailed to Dover (the first troopship into Dover since 1940).
Battalion based in Connaught Barracks, Dover.

1960 - Battalion becomes part of 19th Infantry Brigade Group, part of the Strategic Reserve.
A detachment of 235 men went to Gloucestershire to parade in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Dursley, Stow-on-the-Wold, Lydney, Coleford, Cindeford, Morton-in-Marsh, and Winchcombe.
Majors D.B. Metclafe and A.E. Strange retired.

1961 - 6th-8th March the Battalion flew from Lyneham, Wiltshire for El Adem in Libya, where exercises were to take place. Base camp was set up 4 miles west of Derna. 17th March the Battalion began the return to Dover; except for 38 men who flew home via Cyprus. In August the Battalion moved to Lee-Metford Camp, Lydd, 26 miles west of Dover.

1962 - January, Lt-Col. A.L.W. Soames handed over command to Lt-Col. Varwell.
7th March, the Battalion embarked at Southampton and sailed on the Nevasa for Cyprus. The last National Servicemen were left behind and the Regiment was back to all-regulars.
Battalion arrived in Cyprus on 16th March and went to Polemidhia Camp, 3 miles west of Limassol. The camp was made up of aluminium huts. Battalion was now part of 3 Infantry Brigade Group.
Groups of men sent on training exercises in Libya, Kenya, and Turkey.

1963 - February, the Battalion moved to Salamanca Barracks, Episkopi Sovereign Base Area, 20 miles west of Polemidhia.
More training parties to Libya and Turkey.

Fighting erupted in Nicosia between the two factions over the Christmas period. On 26th Dec. the Regiment was sent to Nicosia Airfield and began patrols into Nicosia. 28th Dec. "B" Coy. moved into Nicosia and were based in the Ledra Palace Hotel and Nicosia Club. "A" and "D" Coys. moved into the walled city and occupied the Mason-Dixon Line. Tac. HQ moved into the Ledra Palace Hotel.

1964 - 4th Jan. reinforcements were moved into Nicosia and the Glosters were withdrawn to RAF Nicosia until the 11th Jan. when they were sent to the north coast towns of Xeros and Lefka. An explosive situation was developing between the two communities and so "A" and "D" Coys. moved to Lefka and "B" Coy. to Xeros. Battalion HQ was set up on the golf course at Pendayia. By the 19th the situation had been calmed, without a single shot being fired by the Battalion (even though several were fired at them). The Recce Platoon and Drums remained in Lefka to keep an eye on the situation.

Trouble had again flared up in Nicosia. "D" Coy. moved to reinforce the RAF Regiment on the Kyrenia Road area of Nicosia and the Battalion took over the Northern suburb of Trakhonas on the 21st Jan. On the 16th February "A" Coy. was based at Polemidhia Camp, "B" Coy. at Ktima; "D" Coy. at Troodos. Then "A" Coy. moved to Episkopi village, Mallia and Kaandou. "D" Coy. went to Polemidhia and "B" to Troodos. A very nasty incident was quelled at Mallia soon after.

Throughout the situation the Regiment had refused to fire a single shot, despite extreme provocation from both sides of the divide and several shots being fired at the Regiment. On the arrival of United Nations troops in April, the Regiment returned to Barracks; the Glosters would not be wearing the UN blue beret, much to their satisfaction!

The Regiment's next role was security of the Sovereign Base Area and protection of the service families.
For more detailed reports
click here

23873831 Private G. Wheadon - Died 21st February 1964
Awards for Cyprus: Major H.R.A. Streather - MBE
B.E.M's to WOII W.J. Russell. Colour Sergeant D. Roberts. Drum-Major R. Norsworthy. Corporal P. Hannam.
M.I.D. to Staff Sergeant L.A. Ramsden.

In March 1964 the Glosters returned to England and Saighton Camp in Chester. The next move saw the Battalion spread around in detachments. Some men stayed at Chester, 'B' Company went to Mauritius and then to Aden. Some Companies went to Bechuanaland and Basutoland. The rest of the Battalion went to Swaziland and the new barracks at Matsapa.

1965 - In January Privates Hanson and Yabsley ("B" Company) were killed when their car crashed on the road between Nicosia and Limassol.
10th March the Battalion began a phased move to the UK. The next base would be Saighton Camp, Chester.
"B" Company was then sent to Mauritius to relieve a Company of Coldstream Guards.
The rest of the Battalion flew from Manchester to Salisbury, Rhodesia, via Idris and Lagos. From Salisbury they flew down to Matsapa in Swaziland. There they were based at St. Georges Barracks. The Battalion was to keep the peace and security while the Zwaziland Police were being trained and strengthened. After UDI was declared in Rhodesia, No. 1 Platoon, "A" Company, was sent to guard a new BBC relay station in Francistown, Bechuanaland.

"B" Company were flown to Mauritius, via Cyprus, Bahrein and Aden, in 36 hours. Arrived at Plaisance airport and based at the Naval leave centre, Le Chaland. No. 6 Platoon was employed as a guard for HMS Mauritius, a communications centre 20 miles from Le Chaland. On 26th July the Company moved to Line Barracks in Port Louis, the capital.
12th December "B" Company moved to Aden on internal security duties. Two Platoons were sent to guard the Mansoura Detention Centre. Duties were rotated with the 1st Bn Coldstream Guards:

Internal Security Duty: Security in North Aden State - about 25 square miles, including the urban areas of Sheikh Othman and Mansoura, and the European quarter of Khormaksar. The extensive desert areas and Saltpans were patrolled by a mobile platoon in Land-Rovers.

Road Blocks: Road block duties were at either two large ones (15 men each) called "Bravo" and "Golf", or two smaller ones called "Charlie" and "Juliet".

Static Guards: Guarding the British Forces Broadcasting Station, Special Branch HQ and the Singapore Lines.
A Platoon was employed as Garrison Platoon at Mukeiras training camp.

During these duties there were attacks: 36 grenades were thrown, a small bomb was detonated at Standby Platoon HQ, and numerous rounds of small arms fire. All of the above did not inflict any casualties.

1966 - Battalion returned to Chester, UK.
October, training at Stamford Training Area. Battalion based at Bodney Camp, Norfolk.
November, back to Chester. Further training at Okehampton; then back to Chester.

1967 - January 15th Battalion moved to Aberystwyth to assist in the hunt for an escaped dangerous convict named Peter Parkes. When searching in the hills of Plynlymon he was spotted and captured by Private Fisher.
1st March Lt-Col. Henry Radice was succeeded by Lt-Col. Tony Streather.
4th April the whole Battalion flew to Cyprus for 3 weeks at Episkopi, and then back to Chester on 28th April.
5th Battalion (TA) disbanded.
In October they moved to Berlin and settled at Brook Barracks, Spandau area of Berlin. Guards provided for freight and military trains through the Berlin corridor and formal guards at Brigade HQ and Government buildings. Guards also provided for Rudolph Hess at Spandau Prison.

1968 - Training and large-scale excercises were undertaken at Sennelager in March.
Training in Soltau in October.

In July 1968 it was announced that the Gloucestershire Regiment was to amalgamate with the Royal Hampshire Regiment. The new Regiment was to be called the Royal Regiment of Gloucestershire and Hampshire, and would be formed in September 1970.

1969 - Battalion provided Guard of Honour for the visit of the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, to Berlin in February.
Summer training at Winterberg.

The Glosters moved to Honiton in Devon in October 1969.

In December the Battalion was ordered to relieve the 1st Bn The Queen's Regiment in Northern Ireland. By 15th Dec. the regiment was deployed on the streets of Londonderry.

Battalion HQ and "A" Echelon was based in HMS Sea Eagle (a Naval shore Establishment). "B" Echelon was based at Caw Camp (a T&AVR Centre). Tac HQ was in Victoria police station. "A" Company was based in Duncreggan TA Camp, one company occupied the derelict City Prison, another was spread around various factories and a warehouse. A third company was at Waterloo Place, with the platoons in a nearby hotel, car park and library. The fourth company was in reserve at HMS Sea Eagle.

From the bases the companies mounted patrols and manned checkpoints and observations posts. The Reconnaissnce Platoon also patrolled the border with Eire.

See Company Reports

1970

April 1970 the Battalion returned to Honiton. The Bn then made a 'farewell' tour to Gloucestershire.
30 April Lt-Col. Tony Streather left the Battalion. In his place arrived Lt-Col. Richard Freeman-Wallace, who was to command the Bn through its amalgamation with the Royal Hampshire Regiment.

30th June "A" Coy. returned to Belfast to help cover the Orange Parades. Placed under command of the Royal Scots and posted north of the Falls Road, patrolling the area. Saturday 3rd July the Royal Scots were searching for arms in the Catholic Falls area. A hostile crowd gathered and rioting started, which soon spread through the Lower Falls area. At 1600 "A" Coy. was deployed to the junction of Albert Street and Raglan Road, where a DERR Company was being heavily stoned. As soon as "A" Coy. arrived they were also subjected to heavy stoning. Gas was fired and the crowd responded with home-made grenades. L/Cpl. Pritchard and Pte Pound sustained shrapnel wounds. The crowds tried to surge forward and split the Company positions. Two armoured Humber APCs were rushed into the gap and a rioter who ran into their path was killed instantly. At 2200 hrs a sniper fired on the soldiers and Lieut. Ongley and Ptes Stout and Attwell were hit. Clearing and search operations began and at 0430 hrs the Coy. retired for a meal. The rest of the days were quiet and on 19th July "A" Coy. left Belfast on LSL Sir Gerrant and arrived at Honiton the next day. All of the wounded men returned with the Company.

Winter 1970. Amalagamation with the Royal Hampshire Regt. cancelled. The old Gloucestershire Regiment cap badge was also to replace the Wyvern badge.

Dec. 1970 advance party left for Minden to prepare for the battalion's move to Germany. Regiment trained with APCs for service in Germany with the BAOR.

1971

5th March, Bn moved to Soltau.
Bn took part in Excercise Eternal Triangle in October.
November several men went ahead to Northern Ireland to prepare for the Bn arrival.
9th December Bn arrived in Northern Ireland.

1972

See Northern Ireland 1972 report.

Bn returned to Minden, Germany.

1973

Bn to return to Belfast in April.

See Northern Ireland 1973 report.

Returned to Minden, Germany by September.
More training and courses.
Back Badge Lodge, No. 9888 R.A.O.B. formed in the regiment to raise money for charities.

1974

In March 300 men returned to Gloucestershire for marches through Cirencester, Bristol, Cheltenham, Gloucester, and Tewkesbury. In late-April training began for a return to Northern Ireland.
Moved to Northern Ireland in August.

See Northern Ireland 1974 report.

Left Belfast in December.

1975

Returned to Minden, Germany.
April - an advance team left for Weeton Camp, near Blackpool. The Bn followed in May.
Lt-Col. C.J. Waters comanding the Bn.

Wire Guided Missile Platoon (15 men) formed, equipped with the 'Vigilant' missile. Training held at the Guided Weapons Wing at Netheravon.

26th August Bn (except 'B' Coy.) took over from 2nd Bn Scots Guards in Belize for a tour as Resident Infantry Battalion, British Forces Belize. 'B' Coy. were preparing for a visit to Canada in October.
See
Belize report.

October, 'B' Coy. left Brize Norton on a VC10 with 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and 88 (Arakan) Battery, RA for a 2 week Battle Group training exercise Suffield, Canada. 2nd Nov. flew back to the UK. About 3 weeks later 'B' Coy. flew to Belize to relieve 'A' Coy. However, due to potential problems with Guatamala, 'A' Coy. remained in Belize to the end of the tour.

1976

February the Bn flew back to Weeton Camp, UK.
Training and trials with the new Clansman range of radios.

June, Bn flew to Canada for training exercises. Based at Camp Wainwright, 150 miles southwest of Calgary.

1977

'A' and 'C' Companies on exercises testing the new Clansman radio system. 'C' Coy. then flew to Cyprus for 3 weeks to test the radios among the Cypriot hills.
'B' and 'D' Companies to carry out public duties in London from 30th Jan. to 17th March. This included mounting guards at Buckingham Palace, St. James' Palace and The Tower of London. Based at the cavalry barracks in Hounslow.
'D' Coy. mounted the first guard on 4th Feb.

As a result of the 1974 Defence Review, infantry battalions reduced from 710 men to 650. The Reconnaissance Platoon and Assault Pioneer Platoon were disbanded. The Admin., Command and Support Coys. were combined into the HQ Coy. and a 4th Rifle Coy. formed. The Milan anti-tank guided weapon to be introduced, replacing the Vigilant.

June, training began for another tour of Ulster. 15th July Lt-Col. Waters left the regiment. 8th August 'D' Coy. provided a Royal Guard of Honour when the Queen visited Bristol.
4 Oct. advanced party left for Ballykelly. Rest of Bn deployed by 5th October. For the first time their families accompanied the Regiment on a
Northern Ireland tour. See Report.

1978

Ballykelly tour continued. See report above.

1979

Early in new year Bn left Ulster for leave.
Bn assembled Waterloo Barracks, Munster, West Germany in March-April 1979.
Bn to act as Nuclear Convoy Escort Battalion. Companies operating in APC's, trucks and Landrovers.

1980

Based in Munster. In May the Clansman radios were issued to regiment.

1981

July 'A' Coy. went to Berlin for FIBUA training ('fighting in built-up areas').
November, regiment returned to Tidworth, UK.

1982

May, Bn to Cyprus. Half the Battalion to serve with the British Garrison and half with UNFICYP (UN Peace-Keeping forces).
'A' Coy. manned the British Sector of the Buffer Zone between the Turks and Greeks; Eastern Company, Sector Two.
'B' Coy. based in the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA) in the Garrison town of Dhekelia.
'C' Coy. also at Dhekelia.

1983

29th October, Bn deployed to guard RAF Greenham Common. Companies based in tented camps around the airfield. Provided perimiter security when Galaxy aircraft landed bring in Cruise Missiles. A second inner security fence constructed.
10th Dec. around 20,000 demonstrators converged on Greenham Common.

1984

16th Jan.-Feb. 'B' Coy. deployed to Edinburgh Castle and carried out guard duties.
5th March 'B' Coy. provided a guard of honour for visit of the Egyptian defence minister to London.
7-23rd September, Bn involved in Exercise Bold Gannet in Denmark. Visited by the Queen of Denmark. Based in tented camp near Karup airfield.

1985

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1986

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1987

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1988

Battalion served in Northern Ireland.
See Report

1989

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1990

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1991

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1992

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1993

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1994

Regiment celebrated 300 years of service.
Regiment
amalgamated with the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire) to form
The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment.