MEMBERS of the 1st Battalion King’s Own Royal Border Regiment will honour their forebears on Thursday when they visit 44 of the 59 battle honour sites borne on their regimental colours.
Code-named Exercise Global Dragon, the soldiers will travel as far away as Cuba, South Africa, Ethiopia, the Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, India and China, as well as to the more commonly-known battlefield sites of both the First and Second World War.
The exercise will celebrate the heritage of 1KORBR as it amalgamates with the King’s Regiment and the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment to form the North West’s new infantry regiment the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (King’s, Lancashire and Border) on 1st July.
The commanding officer of the regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Dennis, said: “The regimental colours are the outward sign of the inward strength of our regiment, and as we look forward to the future and the formation of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, we thought it timely to look back at our heritage and honour our predecessors’ professional service, commitment and sacrifice.”
He continued: “Our regiment has a proud history of embracing change; we need to change with the times to meet the demands of the future. A sense of continuity and community are at the heart of the regimental system. It is these strengths that we will seek to call upon as we look forward to the future and new opportunities that will come from the formation of our new regiment.”
All the visits will take place concurrently on Thursday (15th June) and will see the teams take part in a service of remembrance and complete a battlefield tour. Four-man teams will be at 42 of the sites, while Arnhem and Arroyo Dos Molinos will see teams of 12 representing the regiment.
The Battle of Arroyo took place in the Spanish village of Arroyo Dos Molinos on 28th October, 1811, and saw the British 34th of Foot, nicknamed “The Cumberland Gentlemen”, charge against and defeat the French 34ieme Regiment de Ligne. The battle was so successful that the 34th of Foot managed to capture the drums and drum major’s mace from the French army.
The 34th of Foot and 55th of Foot amalgamated to become the Border Regiment in 1881. On 31st October, 1959, the Border Regiment amalgamated with the King’s Own Royal Regiment to become the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment.
Thursday will see Lieutenant Colonel Dennis join his fellow soldiers in the remembrance service and battlefield tour in Arroyo Dos Molinos. Also at the service will be a drummer from the regiment dressed in period uniform of the 1811 drummers of the 34th of Foot.
One of the most famous battle honours carried on the colours of the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment is Arnhem. This battle honour was granted to the Border Regiment.
The 15th June will see members of the regiment remember Lance Sergeant Edward Hartley, of the Border Regiment, in a rededication ceremony to be held at Oosterbeek war cemetery. The Leeds soldier was reported missing, killed in action on 20th September, 1944, aged 31. He was buried as an unknown soldier in Oosterbeek cemetery and was identified by the Dutch army recovery team in 2005, using regimental dental records. The service will be attended by Lance Sergeant Hartley’s daughter and her family. 1KORBR will be the honour guard and accord Lance Sergeant Hartley full military honours.
SITES OF VISITS
The full list of battle honour sites to be visited on Exercise Global Dragon are: Namur 1695, Gibraltar 1704, Guadalope 1759, Havannah 1762, St. Lucia 1778, Corunna 1809, Albuhera 1811, Arroyo dos Molinos, Badajoz, 1812, Salamanca 1812, Vittoria, St. Sebastian, Nivelle 1813, Nive 1813, Orthes 1814, Bladensburg, Waterloo 1815.
China 1841, Crimea, Abyssinia, Relief of Ladysmith, Afghanistan, Marne 1914, Ypres 1914-18, Langemarck , Somme 1916-18, Arras 1917-18, Messines 1917, Cambrai, Lys 1918, Vittoria Veneto, Macedonia, Gallipoli, Dunkirk 1940, Arnhem 1944, Defence Habbaniya, Merjayun 1941, Tobruk 1941, Landing in Sicily, Montone, Lamone Bridgehead, Malta 1941-42, Chindits 1944, Burma 1943-45.