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  #16  
Old 11-09-18, 12:25 PM
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What a cracking bit of old footage, thanks for the link, great example of the battalions trying to keep their heritage alive and of course 'wishing to be different'! Regards
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  #17  
Old 13-09-18, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh kitchen View Post
...Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry... 1st Bn... after they became the 1st Green Jackets (Regiment) within the Green Jackets Brigade...
This is a very interesting thread, and it brings to mind a question I've had about the formation of the Green Jackets Brigade for some time. I've asked it on other forums but no one seems to know why.

What was the reason for including the Ox and Bucks LI in the Green Jackets Brigade when it was formed? Back in the day, didn't they wear scarlet tunics and green caps like the other LI regiments? Was there an historical or other reason, other than just balancing out the battalion numbers between the Green Jackets and LI brigades?

Any ideas or speculation would be welcome.

Cheers,
Dan.
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  #18  
Old 14-09-18, 06:23 AM
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The Oxf & Bucks LI became 1st Green Jackets as "balancing out".
Unfortunately I can't remember why this "honour" fell to them (original unit converted to LI, special relationship with Sir John Moore?)
Now all I've got to do is find the reference for what I've stated.
In 1803 the 43rd and 52nd, the component regiments of the Oxf & Bucks and the 95th, the future Rifle Brigade, formed what became the original Light Division, a link / excuse for the Oxf & Bucks LI's inclusion in the Green Jacket Brigade.

Last edited by leigh kitchen; 14-09-18 at 07:48 AM.
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  #19  
Old 14-09-18, 07:57 AM
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Yes, according to Gaylor in 1958 the Light Infantry Brigade took five regiments and linked two of them (Somerset LI and DCLI) to leave four. SCLI, KOYLI, KSLI and DLI.

In 1958 the Green Jackets Brigade had only the KRRC and RB so 'received' the Ox & Bucks LI as it was 'found necessary to put that regiment (although the oldest LI regiment) into the Green Jackets Brigade to ensure adequate numbers.

They retained distinctive 43rd/52nd shoulder titles until 1966 when they became the 1st Battalion of the 'large regiment' the Royal Green Jackets and adopted a standard RGJ shoulder title and cap badge.

I doubt the move from LI to Green Jackets was taken with good grace but subsequent 'mergers and amalgamations' were equally unpopular at the time. The 1992 'options for change' regiments are now more than 25 years old while the Brigade system existed for only 12 years (only 8 for the large regiments)!

Tim
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  #20  
Old 14-09-18, 11:10 AM
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From the excellent "Light Bobs" website www.lightbobs.com
1958 Regimental Chronicle 1st Bn Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry - Transcribed by Steve Berridge
Summary of the 43rd and 52nd Diary 1958 while stationed in Cyprus:

November 7th - The Regiment became 1st Green Jackets, 43rd and 52nd.
New cap badges were taken into use. Private soldiers were styled Rifleman.

http://www.lightbobs.com/1-oxf--bucks-li---1958.html

From 1957:

July 25th - The Regiment learned of its future after the Reorganisation of the Army; it is to become part of the Green Jackets Brigade.

August 6th - A letter was received from the Colonel of the Regiment on the future transfer of the Regiment to the Green Jackets.

October 5th - The Commanding Officer spoke to all officers, warrant officers, and regular N.C.O.s on the possible future of the Regiment, and gave details of the new proposals for dress.

From a letter in the diary:

"The biggest change in the Infantry since 1881 has been more kind to us than to many other regiments. Far from being upset by any major upheaval, we rejoin associates of Peninsular days, though not without regret at leaving the Light Infantry Brigade. Several messages occasioned by this change are reproduced elsewhere in this Chronicle. Many points still remain to be settled, and it would be premature to make any comment on what changes are likely to affect the title, dress, or custom of the Regiment. However, we shall retain our Colours, and are in the process of arranging to get the ten new Battle Honours placed on the Queen's Colour "


Tim
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Last edited by grey_green_acorn; 14-09-18 at 07:26 PM. Reason: add info from 1957
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  #21  
Old 14-09-18, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh kitchen View Post
The Oxf & Bucks LI became 1st Green Jackets as "balancing out". Unfortunately I can't remember why this "honour" fell to them (original unit converted to LI, special relationship with Sir John Moore?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_green_acorn View Post
In 1958 the Green Jackets Brigade had only the KRRC and RB so 'received' the Ox & Bucks LI as it was found necessary to put that regiment (although the oldest LI regiment) into the Green Jackets Brigade to ensure adequate numbers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_green_acorn View Post
Private soldiers were styled Rifleman.

"However, we shall retain our Colours, and are in the process of arranging to get the ten new Battle Honours placed on the Queen's Colour "
Leigh and Tim,

Thank you for the excellent replies. It seems to me, the answer is simply that someone had to move from the LI to GJ brigade, and the powers that be selected the oldest or senior LI regiment (and the only true LI regiment as the five others opted for the title well after all the infantry regiments became infantry of the line) because of the historical connection from the Napoleonic wars. Reforming the Light Division, as it were.

Interesting that the 1st Green Jackets kept their Colours after redesignation. Maybe they didn't consider themselves a Rifle regiment per se, even though the privates became riflemen.

Perhaps there was the eternal hope that one day, all this change would be reversed, and the Ox and Bucks would emerge again.

Cheers,
Dan.
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  #22  
Old 15-09-18, 05:56 AM
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An interesting thought Dan. When the RGJ went from 3 to 2 Btns ,it was 1RGJ that went and 2 and 3 were redesignated 1 and 2.
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  #23  
Old 15-09-18, 08:33 AM
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Presumably the 1st Bn were deemed to be the least efficient of the three battalions and so they were disbanded hence the renumbering.
I don't know if that was the approach early on in the amalgamations processes of the 50's - 60's when, say, four regiments would combine to form one and the 4th Bns would be disbanded - was it always the actual 4th Battalion that "went" or was it a case of losing the least efficient of the four and renumbering?
I suspect that it was a case of the junior regiments in the new amalgamations being run down in the run up to amalgamation with their disbandment scheduled within a couple of years.
I may be wrong.
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  #24  
Old 15-09-18, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh kitchen View Post
...was it always the actual 4th Battalion that "went"?
It appears that of the large regiments, only the RGJ disbanded a battalion other than the fourth, or junior, one.

The Royal Anglian Regiment was formed with four battalions, but lost its fourth battalion 11 years later.

The Queens Regiment was formed with four battalions, but lost its fourth battalion 7 years later.

The Light Infantry was formed with four battalions, but lots its fourth battalion after one year.

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was formed with four battalions, but lost its fourth battalion after a year.

The Royal Irish Rangers was formed with three battalions, but lost its third battalion almost immediately.

It could've been that 1RGJ was the least efficient battalion of the regiment, but they were stationed at Mercer Barracks, Osnabruck, at the time, a part of 12 Armoured Brigade. I don't see how inefficient it could've been in that role. 2RGJ, which became 1RGJ, was in Omagh, and 3RGJ was in Armagh. Doesn't look like there was any room for inefficiency with any of the battalions.

To be fair, they lost a battalion 25 years after the other regiments did, and the NATO role was being cut back. (Remember the Peace dividend? I wonder what happened to that.) Maybe it was nothing more than being stationed in Germany at a time when Germany no longer mattered.

Another decision made behind closed doors.

Cheers,
Dan.
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  #25  
Old 15-09-18, 08:07 PM
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By "least efficient"I don't mean that disbanded battalions were useless and deserved the chop.
I can understand that when there's a choice of 3 or 4 battalions to choose from when the axe is going to fall then it makes sense to compare them and keep those that are judged to be the best performing by whatever criteria are applied.
4 R Anglian were disbanded in 1973, I met members of its rump Tiger Company passing through Depot Queens Div. en route to the other battalions.
When RRF lost their 3rd Bn during the 90's it was the 1st Bn that was run down, the 3rd Bn effectively becoming the 1st. Much as it pains me to say it as an ex-member of 1RRF, that was presumably because the 3rd Bn were deemed to be better than the first when it came to fitness for role.
There was certainly a lot going on behind closed doors when it came to the amalgamations of the 50's, 60's era, I didn't realise how close the LF came to disbandment rather than amalgamation until I read up on it a few years back.
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