Welch Regiment
The Welch Regiment was an infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 from 1881 to 1969.


It was formed as the Welsh Regiment during the Childers Reforms
Childers Reforms
The Childers Reforms restructured the infantry regiments of the British army. The reforms were undertaken by Secretary of State for War Hugh Childers in 1881, and were a continuation of the earlier Cardwell reforms....

 of 1881, by the amalgamation of the 41st (Welsh) Regiment of Foot
41st (Welsh) Regiment of Foot
The 41st Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1719 and amalgamated into The Welch Regiment in 1881....

 and the 69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot
69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot
The 69th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1758 and amalgamated into The Welsh Regiment in 1881....

. It was the county regiment of Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in the south west of Wales and one of thirteen historic counties. It is the 3rd largest in Wales. Its three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford...

, Glamorganshire and Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire is a county in the south west of Wales. It borders Carmarthenshire to the east and Ceredigion to the north east. The county town is Haverfordwest where Pembrokeshire County Council is headquartered....

 and recruited from South
South Wales
South Wales is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the south-west of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.1 million people and includes the capital city of...

 and West Wales
West Wales
West Wales is the western area of Wales.Some definitions of West Wales include only Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, an area which historically comprised the Welsh principality of Deheubarth., an area called "South West Wales" in the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics....

 throughout its existence. It should not be confused with the Royal Welch Fusiliers
Royal Welch Fusiliers
The Royal Welch Fusiliers was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales' Division. It was founded in 1689 to oppose James II and the imminent war with France...

 (23rd Foot), which recruited generally from Mid Wales
Mid Wales
Mid Wales is the name given to the central region of Wales. The Mid Wales Regional Committee of the National Assembly for Wales covered the counties of Ceredigion and Powys and the area of Gwynedd that had previously been the district of Meirionydd. A similar definition is used by the BBC...

 and North Wales
North Wales
North Wales is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales. It is bordered to the south by the counties of Ceredigion and Powys in Mid Wales and to the east by the counties of Shropshire in the West Midlands and Cheshire in North West England...


On 1st January 1921, the name of the regiment was officially changed to the Welch Regiment, reflecting the 'Old English' spelling.

It originally consisted of two regular battalions (the 41st Foot and 69th Foot becoming the 1st and 2nd battalions respectively), one Militia battalion (the Royal Glamorgan Light Infantry) and four Volunteer battalions (1st (Pembrokeshire), 2nd (Glamorgan) and 3rd (Glamorgan) Volunteer Battalions and the 3rd Glamorganshire Volunteer Rifle Corps). A further 44 battalions were raised at various points in time for Territorial, Volunteer and War service.

1960 to 1963

The 1st Battalion was stationed in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 at Brook Barracks in Spandau
Spandau is the fifth of the twelve boroughs of Berlin. It is the fourth largest and westernmost borough, situated at the confluence of the Havel and Spree rivers and along the western bank of the Havel, but the least populated.-Overview:...

. This was at the height of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and in 1961 came the erection of the infamous Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

. The Battalion incurred numerous duties within the defence parameters of the City such as the Ice Keller duties of an armoured escort to a 8 year old boy from his home on the Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989...

 border to his school in Spandau and return. The Corps of Drums
Corps of Drums
A Corps of Drums is a type of military band, which originated in European armies in the 16th century. The main instruments of a Corps of Drums are the drum and the flute or fife. Unlike 'full' military marching bands, Corps of Drums exist within an infantry battalion. A Drum major is the leader of...

 were trained to become a Mines and Explosives response team (EOD
Bomb disposal
Bomb disposal is the process by which hazardous explosive devices are rendered safe. Bomb disposal is an all encompassing term to describe the separate, but interrelated functions in the following fields:*Military:...

) to help the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

 in time of trouble. After the shooting of Peter Fechter
Peter Fechter
Peter Fechter was a German bricklayer from Berlin in what became East Germany in 1945. He was aged just 18, one of the first victims of the Berlin Wall's border guards while trying to cross over to what was then West Berlin.-Background:After World War II, Germany was governed jointly by an Allied...

 who was left to die on the wall, the allied forces arranged for a military ambulance to be stationed on Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War....

 in the American Zone. This was crewed by members of the Corps of Drums together with the RAMC staff and they would have to enter East Berlin
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

 and risk their lives to rescue any persons shot on the east side of the wall by the East German guards {VOPOS - Volkspolizei
The Volkspolizei , or VP, were the national police of the German Democratic Republic . The Volkspolizei were responsible for most law enforcement in East Germany, but its organisation and structure were such that it could be considered a paramilitary force as well...

} and take them to an East Berlin hospital. Also the Battalion contributed to the guarding of the famous Berlin Train, that operated through East Germany to Berlin.

1963 to 1965

The 1st Battalion became the Demonstration Battalion stationed first at Netheravon and then Warminster in Wiltshire.

1965 to 1968

The 1st Battalion took up their last overseas posting to Hong Kong and were stationed at Stanley Fort. Here they carried out internal security duties, Border patrol and ceremonial duties.


The 1st Battalion The Welch Regiment amalgamated with The 1st Battalion The South Wales Borderers to form the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Wales 24th/41st. The traditions of both Regiments were handed to the Royal Regiment of Wales and the battle honours carried into the new Regiment.

Regimental holders of The Victoria Cross

(Prior to 1881)
  • Lieutenant Ambrose MADDEN
    Ambrose Madden
    Ambrose Madden VC was born in Cork and was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Details:...

    Victoria Cross
    The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

     (Sergeant-Major in 41st (the Welsh) Regiment of Foot)
  • General Sir Hugh ROWLANDS
    Hugh Rowlands
    General Sir Hugh Rowlands VC, KCB was a Welsh recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Details:...

     VC KCB (Captain in 41st (the Welsh) Regiment of Foot)

(Post 1881)
  • Sergeant William Charles FULLER
    William Charles Fuller
    William Charles Fuller VC was a Welsh recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Early life:...

     VC (Lance-Corporal in 2nd Bn)
  • Private Hubert William LEWIS
    Hubert William Lewis
    Hubert William Lewis VC was a Welsh recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Details:...

     VC (Private in 11th Bn)
  • Captain Edgar Kinghorn MYLES
    Edgar Kinghorn Myles
    Edgar Kinghorn Myles VC DSO was a British recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces....

     VC DSO
    Distinguished Service Order
    The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

     (Second Lieutenant in 8th Bn)
  • Major Sir Tasker WATKINS
    Tasker Watkins
    The Rt Hon Sir Tasker Watkins VC GBE PC was a Lord Justice of Appeal and deputy Lord Chief Justice...

     VC GBE
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

     PC (Lieutenant in 1/5th Battalion)

Battle honours

The Regiment was awarded the following battle honours
Battle honours of the British and Imperial Armies
The following battle honours were awarded to units of the British Army and the armies of British India and the Dominions of the British Empire. From their institution until the end of the Second World War, awards were made by, or in consultation with, the British government, but, since 1945, the...

  • From the 41st Regiment of Foot: Detroit, Queenstown, Miami, Niagara, Ava, Candahar 1842, Ghuznee 1842, Cabool 1842, Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol

  • From the 69th Regiment of Foot: Bourbon, Java, Waterloo, India

  • Belleisle1, Martinique 17621, The Saints
    Battle of the Saintes
    The Battle of the Saintes took place over 4 days, 9 April 1782 – 12 April 1782, during the American War of Independence, and was a victory of a British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney over a French fleet under the Comte de Grasse forcing the French and Spanish to abandon a planned...

    2, St Vincent1, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, South Africa 1899-1902

  • The Great War: Mons
    Battle of Mons
    The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War. It was a subsidiary action of the Battle of the Frontiers, in which the Allies clashed with Germany on the French borders. At Mons, the British army attempted to hold the line of the...

    , Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914 '18
    Third Battle of the Aisne
    The Third Battle of the Aisne was a battle of the German Spring Offensive during World War I that focused on capturing the Chemin des Dames Ridge before the American Expeditionary Force could arrive completely in France. It was one of a series of desperate offensives, known as the Kaiserschlacht,...

    , Ypres 1914
    First Battle of Ypres
    The First Battle of Ypres, also called the First Battle of Flanders , was a First World War battle fought for the strategic town of Ypres in western Belgium...

    Second Battle of Ypres
    The Second Battle of Ypres was the first time Germany used poison gas on a large scale on the Western Front in the First World War and the first time a former colonial force pushed back a major European power on European soil, which occurred in the battle of St...

     '17, Langemarck 1914
    First Battle of Ypres
    The First Battle of Ypres, also called the First Battle of Flanders , was a First World War battle fought for the strategic town of Ypres in western Belgium...

     '17, Gheluvelt
    First Battle of Ypres
    The First Battle of Ypres, also called the First Battle of Flanders , was a First World War battle fought for the strategic town of Ypres in western Belgium...

    , Nonne Bosschen
    First Battle of Ypres
    The First Battle of Ypres, also called the First Battle of Flanders , was a First World War battle fought for the strategic town of Ypres in western Belgium...

    , Givenchy 1914, Gravenstafel, Saint-Julien
    -Belgium:*Saint Julien Memorial, a memorial to the Canadian Corps participation in the early phases in the Second Battle of Ypres of the Great War-France:*Saint-Julien, Côte-d'Or, in the Côte-d'Or department...

    , Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Aubers, Loos, Somme 1916 '18, Albert 1916 '18, Bazentin, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916 '18, Messines 1917 '18, Pilckem, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917 '18, St. Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Lys, Estaires, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Béthune, Scherpenberg, Arras 1918, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, St. Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Selle, Valenciennes, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914-18, Struma, Doiran 1917 '18, Macedonia 1915-18, Suvla
    Suvla is a bay on the Aegean coast of the Gallipoli peninsula in European Turkey, south of the Gulf of Saros.On 6 August 1915 it was the site for the Landing at Suvla Bay by the British IX Corps as part of the August Offensive during the Battle of Gallipoli...

    , Sari Bair, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1915-17, Gaza, El Mughar, Jerusalem, Jericho, Tell 'Asur, Megiddo
    Battle of Megiddo (1918)
    The Battle of Megiddo took place between 19 September and 1 October 1918, in what was then the northern part of Ottoman Palestine and parts of present-day Syria and Jordan...

    , Nablus, Palestine 1917-18, Tigris 1916, Kut al Amara 1917, Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1916-18

  • The Second World War: Falaise
    Falaise pocket
    The battle of the Falaise Pocket, fought during the Second World War from 12 to 21 August 1944, was the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy...

    , Lower Maas, Reichswald
    A Reichswald designates a historic woodland under imperial protection and usage in the lands of the former Holy Roman Empire. It may refer to:* Nürnberger Reichswald — an old cultivated forest with near Nuremberg, which is today a nature reserve....

    , North-West Europe 1944-45, Benghazi
    Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, the main city of the Cyrenaica region , and the former provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. The wider metropolitan area is also a district of Libya...

    , North Africa 1940-42, Sicily 1943, Coriano
    Coriano is a comune in the province of Rimini. This town is known for being the city of the Motorcycle World Champion, in 250cc class, Marco Simoncelli.- History :Coriano's origins are ancient: it was an Umbrian, Etruscan and Roman colony...

    , Croce
    Croce is the Italian word for Cross, may refer to* Adrian James Croce , self-titled album by A. J. Croce* Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze, church in Florence, Italy* Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, basilica in Rome, ItalyPlace...

    , Rimini Line, Ceriano Ridge, Argenta Gap, Italy 1943-45, Crete
    Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

    , Canea, Withdrawal to Sphakia, Middle East 1941, Kyaukmyaung Bridgehead, Maymyo, Rangoon Road, Sittang 1945, Burma 1944-45

  • Post-War: Korean War 1951-52
    Korean War
    The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

1. Awarded for the services of the 69th Foot.

2. Awarded in 1909 for the services of the 69th Foot, with the badge of a Naval Crown superscribed 12th April 1782.

External links

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