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The World rejoiced as the Second World War came to an end and fascism collapsed in Europe. However, even in March 1945, the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was saying that ‘an iron curtain has descended across the continent of Europe’. The Inner German Border fence was constructed by the Russians and they began to expand their communist powerbase. 1948 marked the communist take-over of Czechoslovakia and this was closely followed by the Berlin blockade and Russia’s first atomic bomb test.

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The Colonel of the Regiment is an honorary ceremonial position and is an appointment rather than a rank. It is an honour conferred upon a senior officer (active or retired) who has, usually but not necessarily, served with the Regiment in the past, and it requires the approval of the Sovereign and its Colonel-in-Chief. The Colonel is kept informed of all happenings within the Regiment to which he has been appointed and, if so requested by one or more of the battalion commanders, will give advice on matters concerning the overall welfare of the regiment and its institutions.

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These two Colour Belts are worn by the Ensigns who carry The Queen’s Colour and The Regimental Colour on parade. They depict the detail of the Battle Honours which the Regiment has been awarded which are emblazoned on the respective Colour.

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On 7th July 2006 Cpl Caines had returned from a combined stop and search operation in the remote desert region of Maysaan to a forward operating base shared with a unit from the Iraqi Army. His platoon and its company headquarters were the only multinational forces in the area for some 80 kilometres and were totally outnumbered by their Iraqi colleagues. The Iraqi Army unit had not had food or water for 36 hours and were, not unreasonably, becoming anxious that they should receive a re-supply.

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On 9 August 2004, insurgents loyal to the rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr had taken over the Ba'ath Party building in Basra. The mission for B Company, 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment was to rescue nine men lost in downtown Basra with no means of communication other than an Iraqi mobile phone. They were holed up in a house but weren't sure exactly where it was.

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Whilst the Regiment’s forebears were being reorganised during the 1960s, a number of operational counter-insurgency tasks were carried out. The Regiment was represented in Aden, British Guiana and Borneo.

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In 1782 county titles were allotted to Regiments of Foot for recruiting purposes, although they retained their numbers to indicate precedence of formation. The Queen’s were not affected, but the title of ‘East Kent’ was added to The Buffs (3rd Foot), the 31st became the Huntingdonshire Regiment and the 70th The Surrey Regiment. The 35th were initially linked with Dorsetshire until Sussex was substituted in 1804, whilst the 50th were associated with West Kent and the 57th with West Middlesex.

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On the 23rd May 2006 CSgt Harkess's platoon was tasked to an operation in a Mahdi Army stronghold. They were under attack from more than 50 heavily armed Militia. CSgt Harkess moved to secure the extraction route. CSgt Harkess's platoon then came under fire themselves from small arms and rocket propelled grenades from several directions. CSgt Harkess attacked, leading his platoon from the front, under heavy enemy fire. He then held the vital ground despite immense and prolonged pressure from the rapidly reinforcing enemy. The Company safely extracted.

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The Loyal Toast

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The Regiment’s links with Denmark are exceedingly strong, both historically and in the present, with HM Queen Margrethe II our incumbent Colonel-in-Chief. These links began as far back as 1689, with the appointment of Prince George of Denmark as Colonel of The Buffs. There was then a lapse of almost 200 years, but on the 9th of November 1906, the announcement was made of the appointment as Colonel-in-Chief of The Buffs of His Majesty King Frederick VIII of Denmark, KG, GCB, GCVO.