This expression has been used for many years by people with no connection with the Regiment, but who assume that it originated in some desperate battle. The truth is less exciting. In August 1857 a 2nd Battalion was raised in Limerick and moved to Malta where it shared a barracks with the Royal Scots Fusiliers. The Adjutant of the 2nd Buffs, named Cotter, had been a sergeant-major in The Royal Scots Fusiliers and, to encourage recruits on drill parades, was wont to shout ‘Steady, The Buffs! The Fusiliers are watching you!’
The 11th Battalion’s War Diaries give little information as to what was actually happening in Russia. Daily occurrences are reported but are very repetitive and generally only refer to “carrying out the usual work or duties”. There are little or no reports of any operational commitments, but this might be because such duties seem to have been carried out by a company on detachment, and thus away from Battalion Headquarters, where the war diary was compiled.
The 2012 Olympics provided an opportunity for the Armed Forces to display their professionalism and capabilities. All three battalions provided assets in support. The 2nd Battalion was key as their normal Woolwich ceremonial role was replaced by a new task as the Military Contingency Force or reserve in support of security for the games, comprising ten sub units under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Adam Crawley.
The Victoria Cross is the nation’s highest award for conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy.
The PWRR and its forebears have won a total of 57 Victoria Crosses, including that of Sergeant Johnson Beharry who was awarded a VC for his actions in Iraq in 2004. He is one of only two serving VC holders in the British Army today.
The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment’s fifty-seven past recipients are listed below.
The Albuhera Memorial
This silver centrepiece with oak base was commissioned by the officers of the 1st Battalion The Middlesex Regiment in 1925/6. In 1924, the same officers had purchased the Army Gold Medal awarded to Lieutenant William Mann, the Adjutant of the 57th Regiment, for his actions at the battle of Albuhera. It is recorded in the Die-Hards Journal Volume 2-4 p195 of 1926 that the medal was hung in the centre of the Memorial. The design is based on the Albuera Memorial at La Albuera in Spain.
The Regimental Badge is a composition of the badges of the forebear regiments. The centrepiece is the Elizabethan Dragon, awarded to The Buffs, in recognition of their Tudor origin, by Queen Anne, probably in 1707.
Below the Tudor Dragon is the Hampshire Rose, as worn by the Trained Bands of Hampshire, who fought so gallantly for King Henry V at Agincourt in 1415.
The Army Cadet Force traces its origins to the Volunteer movement of 1859-60. Cadet units for boys, aged 12 and upwards, in schools and in the community, began in 1860. As an example, 40 cadets from the 1st Surrey Rifle Volunteer Corps were in a parade of 1000 cadets at Crystal Palace in 1861. The Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) was established in 1908 and cadets in schools transferred to the OTC, which later became the Combined Cadet Forces. In 1910 a new Cadet Force was started under the County Territorial Force Associations, forerunners of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations.
The Horse is the badge of Kent, dating from the 6th century and ascribed to Horsa, the Saxon. It was the main badge of The Kent Militia, The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment and The Queen’s Own Buffs. The remaining star is from the Order of The Garter, as explained earlier, when describing the Cap Badge. Both the Star and the Roussillon Plume come from The Royal Sussex Regiment. The plume commemorates the defeat of the French Roussillon Regiment by the 35th of Foot at the Battle of Quebec in 1759.
Each Battalion holds two Colours - The Queen's Colour and the Regimental Colour. The Colours of The 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment are as illustrated below. The other Battalion’s Colours are identical, apart from the numeral. The Queen’s Colour, the senior Colour, displays forty-two battle honours from the First and Second World Wars. The Regimental Colour displays forty other battle honours, which include ‘Tangier 1662-80’, the oldest battle honour in the British Army, and ‘Korea 1950-51’, which is the Regiment’s most recent battle honour.
Parachuting has been required as a military skill for some soldiers and has been both a sport and an adventure training activity. Many soldiers from the Regular battalions had the opportunity to parachute because of their experience of being with 5 Airborne Brigade and earned their ‘wings’. Others have jumped during adventure training in Canada, whilst the Regimental Free-Fall Team, ‘The Tigers’, has given some soldiers the opportunity to help recruit and become semiprofessional at the sport, during their busy display programme each year.