Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Fictional British Army Regiments, part II

For the sake of completeness, I've compiled most of the other British Regiments from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_British_regiments into a list (part I of this list, known or presumed regiments from before 1800 to 1900, is in my listing for November and can also be found listed under 'British forces' to the left). Some or all of these may have existed in fictional Victorian times; if so, their early histories remain to be discovered, perhaps by intrepid chaps with large moustachios. Again, the format will be, under the date of the earliest reference, the name and number, if known; where they saw action, if known; and any pertinent info about them.

Fictional Regiments 1900-1920:
The Loamshire Regiment - saw service in WWI: Bulldog Drummond's regiment: in WWII - 1st Battalion the Loamshires in 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp'; 5th Battalion the Loamshires in 'Men At Arms'
Weald Light Infantry - still in existence after WWI?
12th Gurkha Rifles (Colonel Arbuthnott's regiment in 'Murder on the Orient Express')

EDIT: apparently the 43rd 'Prince Rupert's' Regiment of Horse, also known as 'The Fighting 43rd', was not involved in the Boer Wars, at least according to the Captain Cadman website listed on the left. However, the regiment's postings include both France and East Africa during WWI.

Caledonian Highlanders - served in NW Frontier province c1935 (Laurel & Hardy film, 'Bonnie Scotland')
Walmington-on-Sea Local Defence Volunteers (fictional Kent or Sussex town of Walmington-on-Sea in 'Dad's Army' - not included on wiki list)

Bombadier Guards (first mentioned c1848) - 'Put Out More Flags'
Duke of Glendon's Light Infantry, 'The Dogs'- North Africa, 1941
Royal Corps of Halberdiers (early history goes back to Elizabethan era) - Fall of Crete, 1941: 'Sword of Honour' trilogy; Guy Crouchback's regiment
Loamshire Regiment (1st Battalion; 5th Battalion) - Loamshires first mentioned in WWI; 1st Battalion in WWII in 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp'; 5th Battalion in WWII in 'Men at Arms'
4th Musketeers (surmised to exist before 1800) - North Africa 1941, Italy 1942, France 1944
Wessex Guards
Wessex Fusiliers
12th Indian Lancers

1st King's Lancers (must preeceed 1952; first mention 1964)
King's Own Fusiliers (must preceed 1952; first mention 1990s)
Queen's Own Scottish (Infantry) Regiment
Queen's Own West Mercian Lowlanders (Major Harry Kitchener Wellington Truscott's regiment)

Light Armoured Brigade
Royal Wessex Rangers - N Ireland, 1979, Germany 1980, Hong Kong 1981
Wessex Light Tank Armoured Brigade

New addition to 1970-90, not from the wiki article:
North Wessex Fusiliers - Falklands War, 1982: from 'Ashes to Ashes', series 3 episode 3

Bedford Light Infantry
The Cumbrians (Duke of Rutland's Own)
The Derbyshire Regiment
King's Own Fusiliers (must preceed 1952; first mention 1990s)
The Malvern Regiment
The Northdale Rifles - Iraq
Royal Cambrian Fusiliers
The Wessex Regiment
The West Yorkshire Fusiliers

I haven't placed 'special forces' in this list, nor the regiments from the 'Carry On' films or the 'Goon Show'. The world is not ready for the 56th Heavy Underwater Artillery I feel.

And for those who like that sort of thing, a Beyesian analysis of the locations of various fictional British place-names (I found this looking for Walmington: http://keithbriggs.info/Bayes_placenames-2.html#Walmington-on-Sea)

Later additions to this list after the original posting have been italicised.


  1. Any idea about the uniforms, or at least the distinguishing features, of at least some of these units?
    Conrad of 'Joy and Forgetfulness' built the '46nd Regiment of Foot (The Royal Corps Of Halberdiers, West Essex Regiment)' (aka the 'King's Royal Halberdiers') for Napoleonic wargames; he gave the regimental history but not any source of inspiration.


  2. Hi Jean-Louis, I'm afraid I don't know most of the sources. Further information about many of these regiments is available from wiki though. Some, like the South Essex Regiment from 'Sharpe' are pretty well documnted; others, less so.

    I'm rather fond of the Royal Corps of Halberdiers myself, it was watching the TV movie of 'Sword of Honour' recently that persuaded me to look again at the fictional regiments.

    I plan on building some Halberdiers, for my VSF gaming - like Conrad's version of the theme, my Halberdiers will have occasional halberds; my idea was that Colour Sergeants rather than the Ensigns would carry them, all the better to protect the company colours. But I haven't sourced the minis yet.