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History of the Regiment

1992 - 1999
The reorganisation of the Armed Forces deriving from the "Options For Change" policy that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of East and West Germany, dictated that the London Scottish could not continue as part of the 51st Highland Volunteers on grounds of distance and cost. The same principle applied to the other far flung sub-units - The Liverpool Scottish, also in respect of 51st Highland Volunteers, and the London Irish Rifles in respect of 4th Battalion, The Royal Irish Rangers, based in Northern Ireland.

In London a solution was found in the formation of the only four company multi-capbadged infantry regiment in the Army. Taking the name of the 1908 London Regiment of which the London Scottish had been the 14th Battalion, this new London Regiment comprised:
  • A (The London Scottish) Company
  • B (Queen's Regiment) Company
  • C (City of London Fusiliers) Company
  • D (London Irish Rifles) Company
  • HQ (Anzio) Company
The London Regiment was created by the merger of the 8th Battalion, The Queen's Fusiliers with G (The London Scottish) Company, 1st Battalion 51st Highland Volunteers and D (London Irish Rifles) Company, 4th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Irish Rangers (North Irish Militia). 8th Queen's Fusiliers had itself only been formed in 1988, with Queen's Regiment Companies derived from 6/7th Battalion, The Queen's Regiment and a Fusilier Company that had been C Company of 5th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The merger with the Scottish and Irish to form the London Regiment resulted in the loss of one Queen's Regiment badged Company.
Regimental Headquarters, 95 Horseferry Road.

The mixed cap-badge HQ (Gazala) Company of 8th Queen's Fusiliers became HQ (Anzio) Company of the London Regiment and initially continued to be dominated by Queen's and Fusilier-badged personnel. "Anzio" was chosen as the title for HQ Company as it was a battle honour shared by all the constituent parts of the London Regiment.

The unique position of the London Regiment being the only regiment in the Army with four rifle companies only lasted a couple of years. The ink hadn’t dried on "Options for Change” when there was a defence "mini-review” by Sir Malcolm Rifkind in 1993 (1993 Statement on the Defence Estimates, "Defending Our Future”) and a "major review” announced in the Budget Statement on 30th November 1993, which became known as "Front Line First”. Both reviews involved budget cut-backs for the armed forces. The results of the Territorial Army review under "Front Line First” were announced on 6th December 1994 and saw a further reduction in the number of TA infantry companies from 109 to 87. With these cut-backs, standardisation of the London Regiment was an obvious first move and infinitely preferable to more severe solutions – the Regiment had to reduce its paper strength to that of a standard infantry battalion, which consisted of just three rifle companies. In 1995, rather than lose one of its four historic identities, the London Regiment decided to reduce each of its four rifle companies to only two platoons each. The ninth platoon was then established as a "Boot Troop” at HQ Company. Predominently PWRR and Fusilier cap-badged, it was nevertheless a multi-cap-badged platoon. On exercises, the weakest two companies were amalgamated and the "Boot Troop” was added to the mix to create three rifle company groups.

The Strategic Defence Review (SDR) of 1998 reduced the TA infantry from 30 Battalions to 15 Battalions. In London, this resulted in the merger between the London Regiment and 4th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets. The resulting regiment continued with the name London Regiment and it consisted of six rifle companies.

The London Regiment
The official inauguration of the London Regiment, short title "The Londons", with its own place in the Army List, was on 20th April 1993 with the issue of a Royal Warrant. An inauguration parade was held at the Duke of York's HQ on 1st August 1993. With the final demise of the Women's Royal Army Corps on the formation of the Adjutant General's Corps on 1st April 1992, women soldiers served as members of the London Regiment's various sub-units for the first time since AVR III. Army policy on women in "teeth arm" combat units has since been restated and women can no longer serve in TA infantry units except as attached members of Corps (such as the AGC, RAMC and RLC).

The Garter King of Arms at the College of Arms, as Inspector of Regimental Colours, designed a device to represent the London Regiment to mark its inauguration. It consisted of four swords in a circlet and surrounded by a garland. It was never considered to be a "badge" in the sense of a cap-badge, although the issue of a single cap-badge (and by implication, a single form of head-dress and even uniform) has continued to surface every now and again at Regimental HQ. The London Regiment tie consisted of a repeating pattern of four equal width stripes of blue (for the Queen's Regiment Company), red (for the Fusilier Company), green (for the London Irish) and silver/grey (for the London Scottish). These same four-coloured stripes were used around the red (infantry) unit signage, including that outside its TA Centres.

As part of 1st Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers, G (The London Scottish) Company had also had responsibility for one of the Battalion's Support Weapons Platoons and had had at various times the Anti-Tank Platoon, the Mortar Platoon and the Reconnaisance Platoon. It took the Recce Platoon with it into the London Regiment. Sometimes solely located at the outlying platoon location (in turn Eltham / St Mary Cray / Bromley / Catford) and sometimes split between there and the Horseferry Road TA Centre, manning problems lead to the Recce Platoon being placed administratively under HQ Company in 1997 and located at Camberwell as a multi-cap-badged platoon.

The London Regiment Sign
In 1998, the Recce Platoon was transferred from the administrative control of HQ Company to the London Irish Company, which had placed an outlying platoon at Camberwell in advance of the impending loss of the Duke of York's HQ as its TA Centre. The whole Company had moved to Camberwell by 1999 and that TAC became a single cap-badge location for cohesiveness, resulting in the Recce Platoon changing from a multi-cap-badged platoon to a London Irish one. At the same time, the London Scottish Company was tasked to establish a Machine Gun Platoon at Catford, which it retained until 2006.

The unique position of the London Regiment being the only regiment in the Army with four rifle companies only lasted a couple of years and was the victim of standardisation - the Regiment had to reduce its paper strength to that of a standard infantry battalion, which consisted of just three rifle companies. From circa 1995, rather than lose one of its four historic identities, the London Regiment decided to reduce each of its four rifle companies to only two platoons each. The ninth platoon was then established as a "Boot Troop" at HQ Company. Predominently PWRR and Fusilier cap-badged, it was nevertheless a multi-cap-badged platoon. On exercises, the weakest two companies were amalgamated and the "Boot Troop" was added to the mix to create three rifle company groups.

The Strategic Defence Review (SDR) of 1998 reduced the TA infantry from 40 Battalions to 15 Battalions. In London, this resulted in the merger between the London Regiment and 4th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets. The resulting regiment continued with the name London Regiment and it consisted of six rifle companies.

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