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The Royal Welch Fusiliers was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales' Division. It was founded in 1689 to oppose James II and to take part in the imminent war with France. The regiment was numbered as the 23rd Regiment of Foot, though it was one of the first regiments to be granted the honour of a fusilier title and so was known as The Welsh Regiment of Fusiliers from 1702. The "Royal" accolade was earned fighting in the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713. It was one of the oldest regiments in the regular army, hence the archaic spelling of the word Welch instead of Welsh. In the Boer War and throughout the First World War, the army officially called the regiment "The Royal Welsh Fusiliers" but the archaic "Welch" was officially restored to the regiment's title in 1920 under Army Order No.56. During those decades, the regiment itself unofficially used the "Welch" form. The regiment was amalgamated with the Royal Regiment of Wales (RRW) on 1 March 2006, to become 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh (RRW becoming the 2nd Bn). Several battalions of the regiment saw notable service in France and Belgium during the First World War, in particular the 1st, which became forever associated with the terribly destructive action at Mametz Wood in 1916, and the 2nd, which endured the horrors of the massacre in the mud of Passchendaele (Third Ypres) in 1917.
In 1914 The Royal Welch participated in the legendary Christmas 1914 Football Game with the Germans. During this war, several writers served with various battalions of the regiment in France, including the poets Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, David Jones and Hedd Wyn. Their memoirs, including Graves' Good-Bye to All That and Frank Richards' Old Soldiers Never Die have resulted in the activities of this regiment being vividly recorded for posterity. Captain J. C. Dunn, a medical officer attached to the regiment's 2nd Battalion, compiled a chronicle of that unit's experiences during its more than four years of service in France and Belgium. His epic, The War The Infantry Knew, has become a classic among military historians for its comprehensive treatment of all aspects of daily life and death in the trenches. The best known account by one of the Other Ranks is Old Soldiers Never Die by Frank Richards DCM, MM. Fusilier Richards was a reservist recalled to the colours at the outbreak of the First World War, and served on the Western Front (including being in the front line during the famous Christmas Truce of 1914). During the Second World War, the regiment was deployed in India and Burma and took part in the the Battle of Kohima in 1944.
Please see our other items for more original WW1, WW2 & post war British military shoulder titles for sale including other Royal Welsh Fusiliers Regiment OFFICERS Bronze collar badges.