The 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment has been based in Cyprus twice. The Tigers are currently the Regional Standby Battalion on Very High Readiness for potential deployments in the Middle East and North Africa. However, the Battalion has had significant operational commitments in Afghanistan. Cyprus has also been the venue for regular and reserve exercises, but in addition, there is a long standing United Nations peace-keeping commitment.
The Coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003 heralded The Tigers involvement in the next significant British military deployment overseas. This was to become an enduring operation with infantry battalions rotating through an established schedule. Combat operations officially ended in 2009. The 1st Battalion was the most affected. A few individuals, including Captain Bob Wallace and members of the battalion’s Mortar Platoon were there at the start, helping to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Northern Ireland featured significantly in the Regiment’s first fifteen years, as it did in the Queen’s Regiment and Royal Hampshire Regiment before amalgamation. The Regiment’s deployments to the Province were as follows:
|1993 to 1995||Omagh.|
|1996||Two short deployments as the UK Standby Battalion, including West Belfast and Armagh.|
|1997 to 1998||West Belfast, followed by one composite company deployed with 1st Battalion The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons).|
The British Army has a policy of deploying troops to work alongside the armed forces of other countries. This helps train them in the global fight against terrorism. The 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment has been given Defence Engagement operational tasks, which has included providing a Short Term Training Team to Uganda in both 2010 and 2012 with a thirty-man team. These type of deployments help improve foreign army capabilities in their fight against terrorism and again illustrate the new flexibility within the Army Reserve.
The origin of the Regiment can be traced to the 1st May 1572, when 3,000 men of the Trained Bands of London paraded before Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich. Three hundred of them volunteered to go to the aid of the Dutch in their revolt against Spain, as a formed company under the command of Captain Thomas Morgan. The force expanded to four English regiments and in 1665, half of them returned to England, rather than swear allegiance to the then liberated Dutch and formed Our Holland Regiment. Despite their Tudor origin, they were numbered the 4th Foot, raised to the 3rd Foot in 1689.
The "pace stick" is issued to Company Sergeant Majors and the Regimental Sergeant Major and Colour Sergeants and Sergeants while undergoing instruction. For those serving with the Tigers, they are required to have a highly polished black stick with highly polished brass fixtures. When opened to the correct pace length, the pace stick can be held alongside the holder's body by the hinge, with one leg of the stick vertical to the ground, and the other leg pointing forward.
The Winning of the Victoria Cross
by Major H.W. Le Patourel at Tebourba Gap Tunisia 1942.
The painting by Terence Cuneo was commissioned by The Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1980; it is oil on canvas and measures 98 x 135cms.
Terence Cuneo CVO, OBE, RGI, FGRA had served in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War but was famous for his portraits, scenes of railways, horses and military action; he was the official artist for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Burton's military career began in the 2nd Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, where he rose to the rank of major, serving under George Augustus Eliott, the defender of Gibraltar. In 1754, Burton was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 48th Foot, which was involved in the captures of Quebec in 1759 and Martinique and Havanna in 1762. In 1760, General Jeffery Amherst, Governor General of British North America, appointed him lieutenant governor of the Trois-Rivières district while New France remained under British military rule.
On 23rd December 1947 came the welcome announcement of the appointment of His Majesty, King Frederick IX of Denmark as Colonel-in-Chief of The Buffs, in succession to his father. Following in his father’s footsteps, King Frederick maintained a very close relationship with the Regiment. On Wednesday March 1st, 1961, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) were amalgamated with The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment to form 1st Battalion The Queen’s Own Buffs (The Royal Kent Regiment). King Frederick was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the new regiment.