The Rifles History

The Rifles
 The Rifles was created as a result of the Future Army
Structure. Under the original announcement, the
Light Division would have remained essentially
unchanged, with the exception of the Light Infantry
gaining a new battalion through the amalgamation of
two other regiments, and both gaining a TA battalion.
However, on 24 November 2005, the MOD announced
that the four regiments would amalgamate into a
single five-battalion regiment. The Rifles was formed
on 1 February 2007 by the amalgamation of the four
Light Infantry and Rifle Regiments of the Light
 The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry
 The Light Infantry
 The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire
Light Infantry
 The Royal Green Jackets
 The two existing battalions each of the Light Infantry
and the Royal Green Jackets were renamed, while the
single battalions of the DDLI and the RGBWLI were
merged into one battalion. This brought the whole of
the Light Division under a single cap badge.
A Proud History
 As a rifle regiment, a private soldier in
The Rifles is known as a Rifleman and
Serjeant is spelt in the archaic fashion;
the regiment wears a Rifle Green beret.
 A number of golden threads have been
brought into the new regiment from
each of its founder regiments:
 Croix de Guerre- the French Croix de Guerre ribbon
awarded to the Devonshire Regimen in World War I,
and subsequently worn by the Devonshire and Dorset
Light Infantry, it
is worn on both sleeves of No. 1 and No. 2 dress
 .
 Back Badge - the badge worn on the
back of headdress reads Egypt. This
was awarded as an honour to the 28th
Foot, and subsequently worn by the
Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and
Wiltshire Light Infantry is worn on the
forage cap and side hat, and on the
Shako of the regimental band and
 Bugle Horn - the bugle horn badge of the
Light Infantry, now surmounted by St
Edwards Crown, is the regiment's cap badge.
 .
 Maltese Cross - the Maltase Cross of
the Royal Green Jackets is worn as a
buckle on the cross belt, and will
contain the regiment's representative
battle honours; currently one space is
kept free for future honours. In
accordance with the tradition of rifle
regiments, the regiment does not carry
 Black Buttons - the traditional black buttons
of a rifle regiment are worn on all forms of
dress with the exception of combat dress.
 In addition, the new regiment's "Double
Past" march (the music used when
marching past at the double) is an amalgam
of the Light Infantry's (Keel Row) and the
Royal Green Jackets' (Road to the Isles).
 In 1800, an "Experimental Corps of Riflemen", was
raised by Colonel Coote Manningham and LieutenantColonel the Hon. William Stewart, drawn from officers
and other ranks from drafts of a variety of British
regiments. these were known as The chosen men
 The Corps differed in several regards from the Line
infantry of the British Army. Most significantly, the
Rifles were armed with the formidable Baker rifle,
which was more accurate and of longer range than the
musket, although it took longer to load. As the rifle
was shorter than the musket, it was issued with a 21inch sword bayonet.
 The Baker rifle could not usually be reloaded as fast as
a musket, as the slightly undersized lead balls had to
be wrapped in patches of greased leather
 3 aimed Shots a minute
 Accuracy was of more importance than rate of fire
when skirmishing. The rifleman's main battlefield role
was to utilise cover and skirmish
 Riflemen wore dark green jackets rather
than the bright red coats of the British line
infantry regiments of that time; close-fitting
pantaloons, rather than breeches; black
facings and black belts rather than white; a
green plume on their "stovepipe shakoes"
which the light infantry also wore, as well as
other accoutrements unique to Rifles
 The riflemen were trained to work in
open order and to be able to think for
themselves. They were to operate in
pairs ahead of the main infantry, which
were bunched in close formations.
They were taught to make best use of
natural cover and to harass the enemy
with aimed shots
. These
tactics, which had originated in
campaigns in North America, were
unorthodox for the time. It was
considered too impractical for individual
soldiers to aim at specific targets and
conventional tactics favoured the mass
volley from a close formation and the
 The treatment of soldiers in the new Rifle Corps
was markedly different from the line infantry.
Although flogging existed as a means of enforcing
military discipline, it was seldom used.
 The unit held regular shooting and sporting
competitions, and men were rewarded for their
 Officers would regularly dine with their men and
so became familiar with each man in their
respective companies, an unusual practice at the
 The 95th Regiment
 In 1802 the Rifle Corps was brought into the line of
the British Army as the 95th Regiment of Foot, the
95th Rifles. In 1803 the 95th moved to Shornclife,
Kent, where it underwent training, along with the
light infantry regiment the 43rd and 52nd
Regiments of Foot, under the tutelage of Colonel
Coote-Manningham and Sir John Moore, the
latter, like the 95th, would gain fame during the
Peninsular War.
 2nd Battalion
 In 1805 a 2nd Battalion was raised at Canterbury, Kent
 The 95th fought in numerous major battles and
skirmishes during the campaign as part of the elite
Light Division
 The 95th, having seen distinguished service in the
Napoleonic Wars, became the "Rifle Brigade“
 the 95th was reassigned in 1823 to the newly formed
county regiment of the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of
 Battle honours
 The following battle honours are a representation of the
total honours awarded to the regiments which formed The
Rifles. These are inscribed on the regiment's belt badge:
Gibraltar, Copenhagen, Plassey, Dettingen, Minden,
Quebec, Martinique, Marabout, Peninsula, Waterloo,
Afghanistan, Jellalabad, Ferozeshah, Delhi, Lucknow, New
Zealand, Pekin, South Africa, Inkerman
Great War: Nonne Boschen, Ypres, Somme, Vittorio
Veneto, Megiddo
Second World War: Calais, El Alamein, Kohima, Pegasus
Bridge, Normandy, Italy 1943-45, Anzio
Imjin, Korea, Iraq 2003
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