Regiments and Corps

The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire)

Members of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment with a Milan Anti-tank missile, 1980

Origins

This regiment was formed in September 1959 by merging The Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s) and The Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh’s). It inherited the latter’s colonel-in-chief, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The unit’s first overseas deployment came the following year, when it was sent to Libya on exercise. It then sent a company to the Bahamas (1960) to help with the relief operation after Hurricane ‘Donna’, and then British Guiana (1962) to help ease civil unrest. However, the first full-regiment posting only came in 1961, when it was sent to Canada for training.

In 1962, it began four years on Malta. It also spent several periods on Cyprus from 1964 onwards as part of the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force.

Collar badge, The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment, c1980

Men of the Duke of Edinburgh’s with a Milan Anti-tank missile, 1980

Germany and Ireland

In 1966, the regiment moved to West Germany for the first time. This was followed by its first tour to Northern Ireland in 1971, the first of six over the next 22 years that included service during the 1974 Maze Prison riot.

In 1971, the regiment arrived in West Berlin. Its duties there included guarding Nazi deputy leader Rudolf Hess at Spandau Prison.

Between 1973 and 1983, it alternated between West Germany, England and Northern Ireland, apart from a six-month tour on Cyprus in 1975. Its duties on home service included providing cover during the 1977 firemen’s strike.

In 1984, the regiment re-joined UN forces on Cyprus. Then, in 1988, it became part of the British garrison in Hong Kong for two years, patrolling the Chinese border. It went on its final deployment to Northern Ireland in 1993.

Recruitment poster, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment, 1987

Legacy

In July 1994, it was merged with The Gloucestershire Regiment to form The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment.

The Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum

The National Army Museum works together with Regimental and Corps Museums across the country to help provide a network of military museums for everyone to visit and enjoy.

Explore the history and collections of The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment by visiting The Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum in Salisbury.

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