In Collaboration With Charles Griffin



Brief History
After the Zulu War the Cardwell reforms came into effect and regimental numbers disappeared from the titles so that the 24th became The South Wales Borderers. Also at this time many infantry regiments were amalgamated but this only happened to the regiments numbered 27th and beyond so the 24th remained intact under its new title until 1969.

The title was chosen because the regiment was based in Brecon and the recruitment area was in the counties bordering England. The reforms also included the affiliation of volunteer and militia units to regular regiments so that the volunteer battalions of Monmouthshire, Brecknock and Radnor became feeder battalions for the regulars.

Overseas Service
South Wales Borderers
Maxim Gun Detachment
The two battalions of the 24th had served in the Zulu War of 1879, after which the 1st Battalion returned home where it remained until 1892. They then went to Egypt and after that India until the early 20th century. The 2nd battalion went to Gibraltar briefly, before going on to Madras. Whilst in India they were moved to Burmah in 1886 and then went to Aden until 1893 in which year they returned to the UK.
Boer War
During the Boer War of 1900 to 1902 the volunteer battalions saw overseas service in South Africa and subsequently formed The Monmouthshire Regiment. The 2nd battalion of the SWB also served in the war, partially as mounted infantry.
First World War
South Wales Borderers
Tientsin 1914
During World War 1 the South Wales Borderers lost 7,679 soldiers and the Monmouthshire Regiment 2,430. There were 18 battalions at that time some fighting on the Somme in the 38th (Welsh) Division. The battles were many and the stories of individual bravery too numerous to detail here. The regiment gained no less than 74 battle honours in this war, and six VCs. The action was not just confined to France and Flanders. The 2nd Battalion helped capture Tsingtao in 1914 and the 7th battalion were awarded the Croix de Guerre for their attack on the Grand Gouronne in Mesopotamia. The 2nd Monmouths were the only Territorial regiment to march into Germany at the end of the War.
Inter-War Years
When peace came the wartime battalions were reduced but by 1929 they were officially recognised as the Corps of The South Wales Borderers, incorporating two regular battalions and the three battalions of the Monmouthshire Regiment. The 1st battalion served in Egypt, Hong Kong and the North-West Frontier of India while the 2nd spent the inter-war years in India, Malta, Palestine and Northern Ireland.
Second World War
South Wales Borderers
Europe 1944
The 2nd battalion were the only Welsh battalion to take part in the D-day landings and spent the rest of the Second World War fighting in Europe with the 2nd and 3rd Monmouths. The 6th battalion earned fame fighting the Japanese in Burma.
Post War
After the War they were recognised as being the best regiment to serve in Malaya. They also saw service in Palestine until 1948, Cyprus, Eritrea and Aden. In 1969, the South Wales Borderers amalgamated with the Welch Regiment to form The Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot).
Traditions
The regiment celebrated 22nd January as Rorke's Drift Day and after the First World War, Gheluvelt Day on 31st October.

The 1st battalion purchased a highly expensive set of silver drums in 1908 which are still prized possessions in the regiment. They originally had 19 emblazoned battle honours but had to have 10 more put on after the First World War.

The regimental march was Men of Harlech.

A unique feature for many years was the style of rank badge worn by officers of the regiment. Generally known as a pip or star worn on the shoulder (or sleeve in WW1), the distinctive pattern of the Eversleigh Star was used. This was adopted unofficially in 1890 and not recognised officially until 1956.

Badges
Badge
Colonels
1881 - 1969
Commanding Officers
1881 - 1969
Soldiers
1881 - 1969
Uniforms
1881 - 1969
Mascot
1881 - 1969
Corps of Drums
1881 - 1969
Colours
1881 - 1969
March
Quick: Men of Harlech
Battle Honours
Emblazoned
BLENHEIM
RAMILLIES
OUDENARDE
MALPLAQUET
EGYPT 1801
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE 1806
TALAVERA
BUSACO
FUENTES D'ONOR
SALAMANCA
VITTORIA
PYRENEES
NIVELLE
ORTHES
PENINSULAR
CHILLIANWALLAH
GOOJERAT
PUNJAB
SOUTH AFRICA 1877-79
BURMA 1885-7
SOUTH AFRICA 1900-1902
MONS
MARNE 1914
YPRES 1914, 1917, 1918
GHELUVELT
SOMME 1916, 1918
CAMBRAI 1917, 1918
DOIRAN 1917, 1918
LANDING AT HELLES
BAGHDAD
TSINGTAO
NORWAY 1940
NORMANDY LANDING
SULLY
CAEN
LE HAVRE
NORTH-WEST EUROPE 1944-5
NORTH AFRICA 1942
MAYU TUNNELS
PINWE
BURMA 1944-5
Battle Honours
Not Emblazoned
RETREAT FROM MONS
AISNE 1914, 1918
LANGEMARCK 1914, 1917
NONNE BOSSCHEN
GIVENCHY 1914
AUBERS
LOOS
ALBERT 1916, 1918
BAZENTIN
POZIERES
FLERS-COURCELETTE
MORVAL
ANCRE HEIGHTS
ANCRE 1916
ARRAS 1917, 1918
SCARPE 1917
MESSINES 1917, 1918
PILCKEM
MENIN ROAD
POLYGON WOOD
BROODSEINDE
POELCAPELLE
PASSCHENDAELE
ST QUENTIN
BAPAUME 1918
LYS
ESTAIRES
HAZEBROUCK
BAILLEUL
KEMMEL
BETHUNE
SCHERPENBERG
DROCOURT-QUEANT
HINDENBERG LINE
HAVRINCOURT
EPEHY
ST QUENTIN CANAL
BEAUREVOIR
COURTRAI
SELLE
VALENCIENNES
SAMBRE
FRANCE AND FLANDERS 1914-18
MACEDONIA 1915-18
HELLES
KRITHIA
SUVLA
SARI BAIR
SCIMITAR HILL
GALLIPOLI 1915-16
EGYPT 1916
TIGRIS 1916
KUT AL AMARA 1917
MESOPOTAMIA 1916-18
FALAISE
RISLE CROSSING
ANTWERP-TURNHOUDT CANAL
SCHELDT
ZETTEN
ARNHEM 1945
GAZALA
NORTH ARAKAN
SCHWELI
MYITSON
Predecessor Unit
24th Foot
Successor Units
The Royal Regiment of Wales
(Amalgamated in 1969 with The Welch Regiment)
Museum
The Barracks,
Brecon,
Powys
tel: 0874 3111 ext 2310
Suggested Reading
'The South Wales Borderers'
by J Adams (Hamish Hamilton 1968)

'History of the South Wales Borderers and the Monmouthshire Regiment'
Part 1 by G A Brett 1953
Part 2 by J T Boon 1955
Part 3 by G A Brett 1953
Part 4 by J J How 1954
Part 5 by G A Brett 1955

'The South Wales Borderers, 24th Foot 1689-1937'
(OUP 1937)



| Uniforms | Campaigns | Armaments | Units |




Share



by Stephen Luscombe