Sunday, 15 July 2012

Welsh Regiments?

The BBC reports that...

Hundreds of troops from two Welsh elements of the Army are set to take on Olympic security work.
The Army in Wales confirmed that the Queens Dragoon Guards - known as the Welsh Cavalry - and 1 Rifles were being put forward for security cover for Olympic events across the UK.
The QDGs are based in Germany while 1 Rifles infantry battalion are at Chepstow.

Welsh Elements? What the hell that does that mean?

The 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. Nicknamed The Welsh Cavalry, the regiment recruits from Wales, Herefordshire, and Shropshire, and is the senior cavalry regiment, and therefore senior regiment, of the line of the British Army. The regiment is part of the Royal Armoured Corps

Its HQ is at at Maindy barracks though they are currents based in Germany (a relic of cold war strategy) and it museum at Cardiff Castle so it has a clear connection. The 1st battalion of the Rifles' Garrison is at Beachey Gloucestershire rather than Chepstow as far as I can see.Unless the BBC meant that 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh (Royal Welch Fusiliers ) ( a light infantry battalion based since August 2008 at Dale Barracks Chester and who have a Cardiff HQ

There's often a desperate attempt to Identify various parts of the British Army with Wales . although the connections are not as strong as with  Scot and her regiments  we often see Welsh Politicians  reacting when any are threatened with cuts 

Why we are so proud of our connection to Britain's Imperial past?

Its not so bad as in Scotland where even the SNP cry out in anguish when a Regiment or Battalion are threatened . But every effort ids made to tie in these regiments with a Welsh connection.

The Regimental Goat, Regimental  March eating Leeks on St David's day . Though the QDG uses  the Radenzky March..

Even one of the most popular films Zulu leaves the impression that at it was the South Wales Boarderers whio fought at Roakes Drift  , but was not called the South Wales Borderers until 1881 and was then known as the Regiment of Foot, in 1689and although  I can't deny the heroism of those involved the Battle. The  defence and the 11 Victoria Crosses were  largely a public relation and moral boosting exercise  after the disaster of  Battle of Isandlwana  where the Zulu's had killed 1300 troops.

Of the soldiers present at Roakes Drift , 49 were English, 32 Welsh, 16 Irish and 22 others of indeterminate nationality

 Breakdown of British and colonial casualties:[
1st/24th Foot: 4 killed or mortally wounded in action; 2 wounded
2nd/24th Foot: 9 killed or mortally wounded in action; 9 wounded
Commissariat and Transport Department: 1 killed in action; 1 wounded
Natal Mounted Police: 1 killed in action; 1 wounded
1st/3rd NNC: 1 killed in action
2nd/3rd NNC: 2 wounded

Three hundred and fifty-one Zulu bodies were counted after the battle, Something the film missed.and  it has been estimated that at least 500 wounded and captured Zulus might have been massacred.

Incidental the iconic singing  of Men of Harlech was copied from a film Apache Drums  where a group of Welsh Settlers sing it as a response when trapped in a Barn and surrounded  Apache chanting in the manner of the Zulus by launching into 'The Men of Harlech')."

I saw it once  it's a bloody awful Film .

My father was in the South Wales Boarderers during the Second World war and was badly wounded so i have respect for them . But as someone who believes in an Independent Wales I envisage Free Wales having a small defence force free of the Imperial History . Do any regiment have the Opium Wars on their regimental honours?

I have no interest in preserving the current British Regiments and would much prefer our young men and women remained in Wales and as throughout History be forced by economic reasons to fight in the continuing folly of believing that the best way do defend these Islands is to occupy foreign lands far away.

No comments: