The Royal Green Jackets antecedent regiments
The Royal Green Jackets were formed from 3 regiments, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (43rd & 52nd) the King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th) and the Rifle Brigade (95th).
The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Two 18th Century regiments, the 43rd Regiment of Foot and the 52nd Regiment of Foot, went through several name changes. By coincidence, they often served together, both being founder regiments of the Light Division in 1803, then serving side by side throughout the Peninsular War. In 1881 they were united into the county regiment, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. It then had two battalions, the 1st Battalion being known as the 43rd, the 2nd as the 52nd, together often known as the "43rd and 52nd".
This single regiment served with distinction all over the world until in 1958 they joined the Green Jackets Brigade, a few years later becoming the 1st Bn The Royal Green Jackets. Recently, in 2007, The Royal Green Jackets were in turn absorbed, with three other regiments, into The Rifles.
Many of the traditions of the 43rd and 52nd became firm habits of The Royal Green Jackets and can still be seen in The Rifles.
To read more, visit the excellent museum website devoted to all the soldiers of Oxfordshire. The website can be viewed here.
The King's Royal Rifle Corps
An Act of Parliament provided for the raising of the 62nd (Royal American Regiment) Foot on Christmas Day 1755. Due to renumbering of the British Army, the 62nd became altered to the 60th (Royal AmericanRegiment) Foot in 1757. Though its title was changed, first to The Duke of York’s Own Rifle Corps and finally, in 1830, to The King’s Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC), throughout its life the Regiment was known familiarly as the 60th Rifles.
The Regiment introduced new tactics, new weapons, and new uniforms. Many characteristics connected with these innovations took root in the 60th Rifles and are to this day cherished by the successors of the Regiment. Their green dress uniforms with trousers so cut as to force a quick-step, the way they stand at ease, the fact that they have no flags, or colours, the use of the word “Rifleman” rather than “Private” for the men in the ranks, above all their sharpshooting, distinguish the officers and men of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps from the rest of the British Army.
The leadership of the distinguished officers generated a succession of advanced ideas later to be adopted as ideals by the rest of the Army: open-order tactics and mobility in place of rigid drills and ponderous movement, camouflage and concealment in place of serried ranks and red coats, individual marksmanship in place of musket fire, and intelligence and self-reliance in place of blind obedience instilled by the fear of brutal punishment.
From the victory at Louisbourg in 1758 to the wars and armed conflicts in the world until the Regiment ceased to be independent in 1965, the 60th Rifles remained the same in fighting quality.
The Regiment was given the motto “Celer et Audax” (Swift and Bold) by General Wolfe at Quebec in 1759. The Royal Green Jackets adopted “Swift and Bold” as its motto on its formation in 1966. In February 2007, the Motto was inherited by the newly formed The Rifles.
Click here to read more.
The Rifle Brigade
The history of The Rifle Brigade is second to none, making it extremely difficult to cover every aspect of it. What has been achieved in the web site that follows is an indication of how involved the 95th/RB were in fighting in engagements and keeping the peace during the time of its 165 years of service to the crown. When looking at the Battle Honours in the Addendum these clearly show the involvement of the Regiment world-wide, what they do not do is illustrate the many Campaigns it has also been involved in. These are covered in the Time Lines or in Campaign stories such as Borneo.
Click here for website.