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Shoulder flash Royal Sussex Regiment (canvas)

canvas white on red (single)

€ 20,00
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The Royal Sussex Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1966. The regiment was formed as part of the Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot and the 107th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Light Infantry). In 1966 it was amalgamated with the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, the Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment and the Middlesex Regiment to form the Queen's Regiment which was, on 9 September 1992, amalgamated with the Royal Hampshire Regimentto form the present Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.

World War II

The Royal Sussex Regiment raised 14 battalions for the Second World War, although only a few saw active service during the war and most would be used in a home defence role or for training purposes. The regiment was awarded one Victoria Cross during the war, that of Captain Lionel Ernest Queripel.

1st Battalion

The 1st Battalion was based in Egypt at the outbreak of the Second World War, where it was attached to the 7th Indian Infantry Brigade off 4th Indian Infantry Division, with whom it remained for the rest of the war. The battalion took part in the Western Desert Campaign and the Italian Campaign, where it had a terrible time and was involved in the bloody Battle of Monte Cassino. During the battle the elements of the 1st Battalion were ordered into an attack in which they sustained well over 50% casualties. In late 1944 the battalion was shipped across to Greece with Ronald Scobie and his III Corps, remaining there until 1946 to help calm the Greek Civil War after the German withdrawal.

2nd Battalion

The 2nd Battalion was based in Ireland at the outbreak of war. They were joined with the 4th and 5th Battalions of the Regiment in the 133rd (Royal Sussex) Infantry Brigade as part of the 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division. They were sent to France in 1940, taking part in the fighting and rapid retreat to Dunkirk where they were evacuated. The brigade was sent to North Africa in 1942 where they fought in the Battle of Alam Halfa. The 44th Division was reported to have performed badly during that battle and was disbanded afterwards, with the Royal Sussex Brigade being attached to various units after this. They fought at the Battle of El Alamein.

In 1943 the 2nd Battalion and volunteers from the 4th and 5th Battalions were formed into the 10th Parachute Battalion of the Parachute Regiment which was a part of the 4th Parachute Brigade, serving with the 1st Airborne Division. The brigade participated in Operation Slapstick, an amphibious landing on the Italian port of Taranto, as part of the Allied invasion of Italy. They then fought at Arnhem during the disastrousOperation Market Garden in 1944 with the rest of the 1st Airborne Division. Captain Lionel Queripel, from the Royal Sussex was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously, during the Battle of Arnhem. After the battle the battalion and 4th Parachute Brigade were dispersed due to such severe casualties being suffered and were used to bring the battered 1st Parachute Brigade up to strength.

The 2nd Battalion was raised again, after the old one became the 10th Parachute Battalion, and along with the 4th and 5th battalions, which were merged to become the 4th/5th Battalion, was reformed with the 133rd Brigade which was sent to the forgotten theatre of war in Iraq and Persia in 1943 with the 6th Indian Infantry Division where they remained for the rest of the war, the 2nd Battalion joining the 24th Indian Brigade, and the 4/5th Battalion joining 27th Indian Brigade.

Other battalions of the Regiment

The regiment also raised the 6th and 7th Battalions (both 2nd Line Territorial Army duplicates of the 4th and 5th Battalions) which were both in the 37th Infantry Brigade, part of the 12th (Eastern) Infantry Division. They also served in France with the BEF in 1940 but suffered heavy casualties during the fighting and were evacuated from Dunkirk. The 12th Division was disbanded in July 1940 due to the amount of heavy casualties suffered. The main reason for such heavy casualties was because most of the men had had very little training and few had even fired a rifle. After the return to England, the 6th Battalion served as a home defence unit for the rest of the war and was disbanded after the war in 1946. The 7th Battalion defended Amiens against air raids and the German 1st Panzer Division who captured the town on 20 May. Of 581 men with the battalion, 70 survived to be captured and only three escaped back to the battalion HQ. The battalion was disbanded in 1942.

The 9th Battalion was raised in 1940 due to the huge expansion of the Army and spent until 1942 on home defence. In 1942 the battalion was converted to armour as the 160th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps and joined the 267th Indian Tank Brigade, which included other infantry units converted to armour. As with all infantry units converted in this way, they would still have worn their infantry capbadge on the black beret of the RAC.  However, the 9th Battalion returned to the infantry role in 1943 and was sent with the 72nd Infantry Brigade to fight in the Burma Campaign with the 36th British Infantry Division, previously 36th Indian. The battalion saw action in the Arakan, was airlifted into Myitkyina and fought its way to Mandalay by April 1945. The battalion was in Burma when the Japanese surrendered.

The Royal Sussex Regiment raised another five battalions throughout the war, mostly for home defence or as training units used to supply the battalions abroad with trained infantrymen and, as a result, none of them saw active service overseas and remained only in the UK.

Royal Sussex

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