Berkshire Brochure Final(4) - Flipbook - Page 6
IN RIFLES HISTORY
Most infantry regiments carry
their battle honours on Colours
(ceremonial flags). RIFLES Battalions
do not have Colours, but all Riflemen
carry 34 representative battle
honours (of 913 awarded) on their
belt badge. Some honours were for
Peninsula War (1808-1814) - The 2nd Battalion saw heavy fighting, receiving eight battle
honours for individual actions and a general Peninsula honour. The bloodiest battle of the
Peninsular War for the 66th was Albuera, which saw the battalion reduced to just 181 men.
Copenhagen (1801) - The 49th, acting as marines, fought alongside the Experimental
Corps of Riflemen at the First Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. During the battle,
some men of the 49th helped to man the guns, after the gunners were killed or
wounded, while others engaged floating batteries with musket fire. This naval battle
saw the Royal Navy defeat a Danish and Norwegian fleet at Copenhagen in what is
considered Nelson’s hardest fought battle.
great battles of national significance,
like Waterloo, the Somme, El
Alamein and Normandy. Others
are unique to The Rifles, such as
Marabout and Pegasus Bridge. One
scroll on the belt badge is left blank
for a battle honour yet to be won.
Vittorio Veneto (1918) - 1/4th R BERKS fought its way across the Piave River. The
battle was decisive victory, knocking the Austro-Hungarian Empire out of the War.
South Africa (1899-1902) - Private William House won a Victoria Cross
during an engagement at Mosilikatse Nek, which saw him rush forward over
open ground to rescue an injured serjeant, during which he was himself
Afghanistan (1878-80) - Two notable survivors from the 66th were
Bobby, the unofficial battalion dog mascot, and Surgeon-Major
Preston, possibly the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Doctor
Inkerman (1854) - Serjeant George Walters won a Victoria Cross,
when he saw that Brigadier-General Adams had been unhorsed
and was surrounded by Russian troops. Singlehandedly, he
charged forward and routed them, killing many with his bayonet.
He then carried the wounded Adams to safety.
Kohima (1944) - After the hilltop village was initially besieged
by the Japanese, 1/R BERKS, broke through and reinforced
defenders. The battalion then endured a further month of
ceaseless battle, until the Japanese retreat.
Ypres (1914, 1917) - 1/R BERKS were among the first British
troops to arrive in France in 1914. They fought at the First
Battle of Ypres. In 1917, 2, 1/4th, 2/4th and 6/R BERKS saw
action in the Third Battle of Ypres
Nonne Boschen (1914) - Nonne Bosschen was one of the last
major engagements of the First Battle of Ypres. 1/R BERKS took
part in the defence, which saw British troops hold back and
defeat German troops, including the elite Prussian Guard.
Italy (1943-45) - 10/R BERKS took part in the invasion of Sicily,
before being deployed to the Italian mainland. They went on to
fight at Monte Camino, Calabritto, Damiano, Anzio and Carroceto.
Normandy (1944) - 5/R BERKS took part in D-Day, landing on Juno
Beach alongside Canadian forces. They fought a hard battle at the
village of Bernières-sur-Mer, which had been fortified with trenches,
barbed wire, bunkers and gun emplacements.
Anzio (1944) - 10/R BERKS endured incredibly heavy casualties, but
would not break. On the 9th of February, the Germans called off the
attack and withdrew. The battalion had been reduced to just 40 men.
Abridged timeline of historical names and amalgamations of Berkshire regiments from 1744 to the formation in 2007
49th Princess Charlotte of
The Royal Berkshire The Duke of Edinburgh's The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire The Rifles
Regiment of Foot Regiment of Foot (66th) Wales’s Regiment of Foot (49th) Regiment (R BERKS) Royal Regiment (DERR)
& Wiltshire Regiment (RGBW)