“Over 600 years of Welsh military tradition has come to an end on St David’s Day with the merger of two famous Welsh regiments.” The rest of this BBC article is here. I happen to be a member of the RWF in America, the re-created regiment on American service from 1775-1783. Until the merger we were the only Revolutionary War re-enactment unit with an official relationship to the its parent organization. However, with the amalgamation, that has come to an end. Also, the RWF, a.k.a., the 23rd Regiment, was the only regiment that had fought at the Battle of Minden (1759) that had not been amalgamated. The Royal Welch Fusiliers too was one of the five longest serving unamalgamated Regiments of the British Army, having been formed by Royal Warrant in 1689 by Henry, 4th Lord Herbert of Cherbury at Ludlow, for service in Ireland. the Regiment’s 1st battle was at the Boyne. The RWF’a official site is here.
See also an article entitled “St David’s Day brings formation of new Regiment in Wales”, an official army account of this sad but probably inevitible day.
The Scots have also just had this happen to them as well. The new Royal Regiment of Scotland is an amalgamation of the Black Watch and 5 other Scots units, a move that angered many vets, especially vets of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Read more here.
Since the regional nature of American units went out for the most part awhile ago, witht he exception of regional divisions in WWII (the 80th, for ex.), this uproar may strike folks as odd, or anachronistic. Indeed, about 1 year ago, Margaret Thatcher made an impassioned call to save Scotland’s six historic regiments. However, the BBC has a pice called “Why do regiments matter?” that may enlighten us.
Aside from the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, the other Scottish regiments merged include the Royal Scots (formerly the 1st Regt. of Foot, the oldest Regiment in the British Army), the Black Watch (42nd), the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the Royal Highland Fusiliers and the Highlanders.