• 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Regiments and Corps

The Colours of the Welsh Guards being paraded at Horse Guards, 2015

The Colours of the Welsh Guards being paraded at Horse Guards, 2015
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The regimental system

The regiment or corps is the key administrative component of the British Army. Each has its own long history, traditions and insignia. To its soldiers, the regiment is a military family that provides comradeship and a unique identity.

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Other rank’s cap badge, Coldstream Guards, c1910

The Coldstream Guards

Formed in 1650, this is the oldest continuously serving regiment of the regular British Army. As well as guarding the monarch, its soldiers have served as infantry in almost every major campaign fought by the Army.

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Officers' cap badge, Royal Army Chaplains' Department, c1980

Royal Army Chaplains' Department

Formed in 1796, this corps provides religious and pastoral support to soldiers. Its officers, all ordained priests, have taken part in most British Army deployments.

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Helmet plate, officer, 1st West India Regiment, c1880

The West India Regiments

Raised in the 1790s to defend Britain's Caribbean colonies, the West India Regiments fought as infantry in several campaigns. They remained a part of the British Army until disbandment in 1927.

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Beret badge, The South Lancashire Regiment, c1950

The South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Volunteers)

This infantry regiment was formed during the 1881 Army reforms. It continued in service until 1958, when it was merged into the Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers).

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Shako plate, 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment, c1855

40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot

This infantry unit was formed in 1717. It continued in service until the 1881 British Army reforms, when it became part of The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment).

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Glengarry badge, 82nd Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales's Volunteers), c1874

82nd Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales's Volunteers)

This infantry unit was raised in 1793. It continued in service until the 1881 British Army reforms, when it became part of The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment).

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Cap badge, other ranks, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, c1950

Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps

This medical unit provides nursing services to British Army soldiers. Although formed in 1902, it traces its origins back to Florence Nightingale's pioneering nursing work during the Crimean War.

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Women's Royal Army Corps

Women's Royal Army Corps

Formed in 1949, this corps was the women’s branch of the British Army. Its members undertook a variety of important roles until 1992, when its remaining personnel were integrated into the Adjutant General's Corps.

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Auxiliary Territorial Service

Auxiliary Territorial Service

Formed in 1938, the Auxiliary Territorial Service tasked women with a range of vital roles during the Second World War. It was disbanded in 1949, when the remainder of its troops transferred to the newly formed Women’s Royal Army Corps.

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Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

This unit was formed as the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1917 to free up more men to fight in the First World War. It was the first time women had served in the British Army other than as nurses.

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Cap badge, Royal Engineers, c1940

Corps of Royal Engineers

Formed in 1716, this corps helps keep the British Army in the field by providing engineering and technical support. Known as ‘Sappers’, Royal Engineers have served in all of the Army’s campaigns.

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Cap badge, The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's), c1940 

The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's)

This infantry unit was raised in 1685 and served in many British Army campaigns during its long history. In 1959, it was merged into The Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry.

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