Cambridgeshire Regiment traces its history to the formation of the
Cambridgeshire Rifle Volunteer Corps in the year 1860. The County
was one of the first to raise its own Volunteer Force and, in fact,
a volunteer semi-military body had already been formed in the previous
year under the guise of the Cambridge Rifle Club, which was later
assimilated en bloc into the 1st Cambridgeshire Rifle Volunteer
Corps - the RVC. In all, ten separate RVCs were raised in Cambridgeshire
and the Isle of Ely during 1860, each having their own uniform,
some grey and others green. The first combined ceremonial parade
of these RVCs took place at Wisbech in 1863 on the occasion of the
visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales.
time, the various Corps were amalgamated and became the 1st Cambridgeshire
RVC. A standard uniform was adopted, consisting of a scarlet tunic
and dark blue facings and silver lace. Usually, such facings are
only permitted to a Royal Regiment and it is probable that their
adoption was due to the influence of the Duke of Clarence, who took
a close interest in the unit.
Regiment's long association with The Suffolk Regiment began in 1887
when the 1st Cambridgeshire RVC became the 3rd (Cambridgeshire)
Volunteer Battalion The Suffolk Regiment. Since that time the regular
army Permanent Staff have been provided by The Suffolk Regiment,
with the exception of the post-war period 1947-1956 when The Regiment
was part of the Royal Artillery. (Since 1959 the Permanent Staff
have come progressively from the East Anglian and the Royal Anglian
the South African War, in response to an appeal for members of the
Volunteer Force to offer themselves for active service, a
contingent of 3 officers (including the Padre) and 43 Other Ranks
joined the Volunteer Service Company, The Suffolk Regiment.
The party saw much heavy fighting in its service and earned the
Regiment's first Battle Honour 'South Africa 1900-1901".
group of Cambridgeshire Regiment Soldiers during World War
Cambridgeshire Rifle Volunteer Corps:
Cambridgeshire; 2nd, Wisbech; 3rd, Cambridge Univeristy; 4th,
5th, March; 6th, Ely; 7th. Upwell (disbanded 1872); 8th, Cambridge;
9th, Newmarket; 10th, Soham (disbanded 1865)
Administrative Battalion Cambridgeshire Rifle Volunteers
Cambridgeshire Battalion Rifle Volunteer Corps
(Cambridgeshire) Volunteer Battalion The Suffolk Regiment
Battalion The Cambridgeshire Regiment (TF)
Cambridgeshire Regiment (TF):
Battalion; 2/1st Battalion (disbanded 1918); 3/1st Battalion
- 1915-1917; 4/1st Battalion - 1915-1917; The Depot
Cambridgeshire Regiment (TA)
2nd Battalion - raised 1939
(The Cambridgeshire Regiment) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA
(The Cambridgeshire Regiment) Parachute Light Regiment RA (TA)
Battalion The Cambridgeshire Regiment (TA)
Suffolk & Cambridgeshire Regiment (TF)
(Cambridgeshire) Company, 6th (Volunteer) Battalion The Royal
(Cambridgeshire) Company, 5th (Volunteer) Battalion The Royal
- March 19999
(Cambridgeshire) Company, 6th (Volunteer) Battalion The Royal
The forerunner of The Cambridgeshire Regiment (TA), the 30th
Foot (Cambridgeshire) had its origin in 1702 and served with
distinction in most campaigns of the 18th and 19th centuries until
1881 when it became 1st Battalion The East Lancashire Regiment,
now the Queen's Lancashire Regiment. There were also Volunteer Corps
in the County during the Napoleonic Wars. Not withstanding these
points, the continuous history of the Regiment begins in 1860.
War - South Africa
is a site that
provides information on all formations - battalions, brigades,
divisions etc, including the Cambs Rgt, who were in the 27th, 39th
and 12th Divs in the First World War.
commanding: Major-General M B Beckworth-Smith.
Artillery: 88th, 118th, 135th & 148th Field Rgts, 85th
& 125th Anti-Tank Rgts.
Engineers: 287, 288 & 560 Field Coys, 251 Field Park Coy.
Army Service Corps: Headquarters, 53rd, 54th, & 55th Brigade
Group Coys; 18th Division Troops Coy, 16th Mobile Bath Unit.
Army Ordance Corps: 18th Division Ordnance Workshops, 18th
Division Field Park.
Army Medical Corps: 186th, 197th & 198th Field Ambulances.
Infantry Brigade: Brigadier C L Duke
5th Royal Norfolk Rgt, 6th Royal Norfolk Rgt, 2nd Cambridgeshire
Infantry Brigade: Brigadier E H W Backhouse
4th Royal Norfolk Rgt, 4th Suffolk Rgt, 5th Suffolk Rgt.
Infantry Brigade: Brigadier T H Massey-Beresford
5th Beds and Herts Rgt, 1/5th Sherwood Foresters, 1st Cambridgeshire
Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.
Corps (5th Loyals).
18th Infantry Division
3 September 1939.
105th (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Army Field Rgt, RA (TA)
HQ, 417th (Bedford) Bty, at Bedford.
418th (Bedford) Bty, at Biggleswade.
135th Field Regiment, RA (TA)
HQ, 344th (Hitchin) Bty, at Hitchin.
336th (Northampton) Bty, at Peterborough.
148th Field Regiment, RA (TA)
HQ, 420th (Bedford) Bty, at Luton.
419th (Bedford) Bty, at Dunstable.
65th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA (TA)
HQ, 257th-260th Btys, at Bury St. Edmunds.
HQ Royal Engineers at Cambridge.
287th Field Coy, RE, at Cambridge.
288th Field Coy, RE, at Norwich.
251st (East Anglia) Field Park Coy, RE, at Norwich.
18th Divisional Signals.
Infantry Brigade (Embodied by 161st Infantry Brigade)
54th Infantry Brigade
4th Royal Norfolk Regiment: at Norwich
4th Suffolk Regiment: at Ipswich
5th Suffolk Regiment: at Bury St. Edmunds
5th Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment: at Bedford.
1st Cambridgeshire Regiment: at Cambridge.
2nd Cambridgeshire Regiment: at Wisbech.
Regiment's Collection of its treasures has never been comprehensively
displayed, principally through a lack of suitable secure space.
It is now on show in the Land Warfare Hall of the Imperial
War Museum at Duxford airfield, through the generosity of the
Trustees of the IWM, alongside the Royal
Anglian Regiment Museum. The Collection also has a display in
the Suffolk Regiment Museum at Bury St Edmunds. There are items
of Regimental interest in the Fly Museum hut, generally, they are
not part of the Collection.
Regiment's Archives are with Cambridgeshire Heritage at the County
Record Office at Shire Hall, Cambridge. Would-be researchers should
telephone the County Archivist on 01223 717281 for an appointment.
Collection, although well-established at Duxford, has a continuing
need for funds, to maintain standards and to be able to acquire
further memorabilia which may become available on the open market.
Visitor wishing to make a donation towards the costs of the Collection
may do so in one of two ways:
hand to the Royal Anglian Regiment's Museum Attendant.
post to the Collection at the Headquarters, Denny End Road, Cambridge,
should be made payable to:
Royal Anglian Regiment Museum Trust (Cambridgeshire)'
- or for brevity:
'R Anglian Museum Trust (Cambs)'.
Guide to the Cambridgeshire Regiment' is available ISBN 0
9531942 1 3 © The Cambridgeshire Regiment Collection, 1998.
DIED IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-19 - The Cambridgeshire Regiment'
is available ISBN 1 871505 77 1 © J. B. Hayward & Son