Regiments and Corps

The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment

Soldiers of the Royal Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire Regiment in Kosovo, June 1999

Soldiers of The Royal Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire Regiment on patrol in Kosovo, 1999

Origins

This regiment was formed in 1994 by merging The Gloucestershire Regiment and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire). The new unit’s first deployment came later that year, when it was sent to Bosnia with United Nations (UN) forces.

In March 1995, it joined the UN force on Cyprus for two years, before returning to Britain in 1997. During this period, a company was also detached to garrison the Falkland Islands.

Its first Northern Ireland posting came in late 1997 and lasted two years. In 1999, the regiment sent a company to serve with Nato forces in Kosovo for a year. The regiment returned to Northern Ireland on security duties in April 2000.

From 2002 to 2005, the regiment was on public duties in London, where its tasks included providing the Queen’s Guard. In March 2004, the regiment returned to Kosovo for a month to help ease civil unrest. That same year, a company also deployed to the Falkland Islands for four months. 

Cap badge, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, c1994

Cap badge of The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, c1994

Soldiers of the Royal Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire Regiment preparing to detonate ordnance, Kosovo, June 1999

Soldiers of the Royal Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire Regiment preparing to detonate ordnance, Kosovo, June 1999

Changes

In late 2004, plans were announced to move the regiment from the Prince of Wales’s Division to the Light Division. It was renamed The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry (RGBWLI) in July 2005.

In October of that year, the regiment was sent to Afghanistan for six months, based at Mezar-e-Sharif and Kabul.

Legacy

In November 2005, it was stated that the regiment would merge with The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment (DDR) to become the 1st Battalion of The Light Infantry. The existing battalions of that regiment would then be renumbered accordingly.

However, this amalgamation plan was altered. In February 2007, the merged DDR and RGBWLI became the 1st Battalion of a new enlarged unit called The Rifles. The other battalions of this new regiment were provided by The Royal Green Jackets and The Light Infantry.

Regimental Museums

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 Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment by visiting The Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum in Salisbury and the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum in Gloucester.

The Rifles Museum Soldiers of Gloucestershire

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