Tuesday, 28 April 2015


23rd at surrender of Fort St Philip, Minorca, Spain, 1756
In 1755 the 23rd arrived in Minorca. The garrison comprised only four battalions. In April 1756 a force of 16,000 Frenchmen landed on the island. The garrison of 2,800 men withdrew to the fortress of St Philip and waited for relief. Admiral Byng arrived with a small leaky fleet but soon afterwards withdrew. The garrison held out until 27 June when, with barely enough fit men to guard the ramparts, the commander surrendered.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

On this day in RWF history 26th April 1915

Lt-Col Charles Hotham Montagu Doughty-Wylie 
Attached to HQ MEF.

Doughty-Wylie was 46 years old, and a lieutenant colonel in The Royal Welch Fusiliers, British Army when, "owing to his great knowledge of things Turkish" according to Bell-Davies, he was attached to General Sir Ian Hamilton's headquarters staff of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Battle of Gallipoli.
On 26 April 1915, following the landing at Cape Helles on the Gallipoli peninsula of the SS River Clyde, Lieutenant Colonel Doughty-Wylie and another officer (Garth Neville Walford) organized and made an attack through and on both sides of the village of Sedd-el-Bahr on the Old Fort at the top of the hill. The enemy's position was very strongly entrenched and defended, but mainly due to the initiative, skill and great gallantry of the two officers the attack was a complete success. However, both Doughty-Wylie and Walford were killed in the moment of victory. Doughty-Wylie being shot in the face by sniper and died instantly.
Doughty-Wylie is buried close to where he was killed, immediately north of Sedd-el-Bahr, opposite the point at which the 'SS River Clyde' came ashore. His grave is the only solitary British or Commonwealth war grave on the Gallipoli peninsula: The Turkish authorities moved the graves of all other foreign soldiers to the "V Beach" graves except for his.
His Victoria Cross, posthumously awarded for gallantry during a beach landing at Gallipoli in April 1915[8] is displayed at the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum in Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, Wales. Damaged plating from the “River Clyde” can be seen in the Hampshire Regimental Museum in Winchester, England.

A Turkish officer stands by the grave in 1921.

Newspaper cutting of the original grave.

Saturday, 25 April 2015


1 RWF arrived in Cyprus as part of UNFICYP, 1966
In January 1964, because on unrest between Greeks and Turks, Nicosia was divided between 
the two communities. In March the UN established a force — UNFICYP — to observe a 
cease-fire between the factions. It included a British battalion. 1 RWF, which was stationed 
in BAOR, was sent to Cyprus for a successful six-month tour from April to November 1966.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Royal Welsh Regiment

On the 1st March 2006 the two line Welsh Infantry regiments combined to form a new regiment - The Royal Welsh. Between 2006 and 2014 the title of the Royal Welch Fusiliers was retained as 1st Battalion Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers). With further defence cuts in 2014 the 1st and 2nd Battalions were combined to for the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh (23rd/24th/41st of Foot). The values, traditions and heritage of the Royal Welch Fusiliers are now preserved in the regular 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh and the Reserve 3rd Battalion, The Royal Welsh.
The Regiment is proud to announce that The Royal Welsh will be presented new colours (Regimental flags) by a member of the Royal Family this summer. This event will take place on 11 June, in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
For members of the public tickets will cost £5 with all proceeds going to our Regimental charities, Ty Hafan, The Army Benevolence Fund, The Royal British Legion and The Motivation Learning Trust. 
Tickets are available now. If you would like purchase tickets please send the Regiment a private message or a email to rhqroyalwelsh@hotmail.co.uk with your contact details and ticket request included.
Alternatively you can call us between 0800 - 1600hrs on 02920 781 202

Sunday, 19 April 2015

18th March 1916 – ON THIS DAY IN RWF HISTORY

2 Lt David Cuthbert Thomas Killed in Action.
David Cuthbert Thomas, the son of Evan and Ethelinda Thomas, of Llanedy Rectory, Pontardulais Glam, was commissioned 2/Lt (20/5/15) to the Sp Res of Officers, then gazetted (8/1/16) 2/Lt to 3 RWF, then attached to 1st Bn, joining the battalion in France. Was wounded in the front line in the Morlancourt sector, on a night working party, in the enemy shelling and died of wounds shortly after, 18 Mar 1916 age 20. Buried Point 110 New Military Cemy, Fricourt, France.
David Thomas was a close friend of both Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves having served together in the 1st Battalion. His death had a deep impact on both young poets and all his fellow comrades in the Battalion. Graves wrote the poem 'Not Dead' in Thomas's memory and Thomas also appears in Graves' autobiography Good-Bye to All That, Sassoon's 'Sherston trilogy' of fictionalised autobiographies (as "Dick Tiltwood") and several other poems by both men.

Thank you to all who attended our event yesterday

Here are a few photos to give you a flavour of our event.

Friday, 17 April 2015


2nd Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 1917
Following the failure of the first battle in March a second was lost with even larger forces. 
This resulted in the 24th and 25th Battalions joined the Territorial battalions in the line-up.  
After preliminary actions the main battle began on the 19th. It proved to be yet another costly
failure. Following major changes in the high command any further attack was delayed until
later in the year.

16th April 1871 – ON THIS DAY IN RWF HISTORY

The death of the Regimental Goat of 1st Battalion, the Royal Welch Fusiliers
The death of the Regimental Goat of 1 RWF at the Barracks Newport was captured in a naive sketch by Mrs A.T. BoddaM-Whetham of the scene as the goat was nursed in the Officer’s Quarters.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

This Saturday!


1 & 2 RWF met at Gibraltar, 1932
A not very common event which occurred when the 1st Battalion, which was en route home from the Sudan, called at Gibraltar where the 2nd Battalion had been part of the garrison 
since the previous October.
Photo below believed to be of 2 RWF in Gibraltar.

RWF embarked for America, 1773

With the situation deteriorating in the American colonies the Regiment sailed for New York which was reached on 11 June. It remained in America until 1783 and shared in the British defeat. The 23rd performed with distinction. It was present at the final surrender at Yorktown in October 1781 but those who could stand were allowed to march out with the honours of war. The Colours were saved by officers who ‘wore’ them under their tunics.
The attached sketches and text are from the notebook of Sergeant Roger Lamb originally of the 9th of Foot and later joined the 23rd of Foot (The Royal Welch Fusiliers.
Sergeant Roger Lamb, an educated Irishman, who was captured with Burgoyne at Saratoga, later wrote a work entitled Journal of the American War, which was published in Dublin in 1809. He served in a regiment of Welsh Fusileers and after his capture accompanied the British prisoners to Boston and Virginia. He escaped, and joined the troops of Major Andre. In October 1781 he was captured, with the British troops at Yorktown, but he escaped and fled to Frederick, Maryland.

Unfortunately for him, Sergeant Lamb was again captured at Frederick and placed in the prison barracks there for two weeks, before being sent to Winchester, Virginia. "Part of the British troops remained in Winchester until January 1782," wrote Lamb:
...When Congress ordered us to be marched to York, in Pennsylvania. I received information that as soon as I fell into ranks to march off, I should be taken and confined in the Winchester jail, as the Americans were apprehensive that when I got near to York I should again attempt my escape. I was advised by my officers to conceal myself until the troops had marched. I took the hint and hid myself in the hospital among the sick, where I remained until the American guards had been two days on their march with the British prisoners. I then prepared to follow them, but at a safe distance.
The troops arrived at York and were confined in a prison similar to the one at Rutland, Massachusetts, here Burgoyne's prisoners were held in 1778. A great number of trees were ordered to be cut down in the woods; these were sharpened at each end and driven firmly into the earth very close together, enclosing a space of about two to three acres. American sentinels were planted on the outside of the fence, at convenient distances, in order to prevent our getting out. At one angle, a gate was erected and on the outside thereof, stood a guard house, two sentinels were posted at this gate, and no one could get out unless he had a pass from the officers of the guard; but that was a privilege in which very few were indulged.

About two hundred yards from this pen, a small village had been built by prisoners of General Burgoyne's army, who were allowed very great privileges with respect to liberty in the country. When some of my former comrades of the Ninth Regiment were informed that I was a prisoner with Lord Cornwallis' army, and that I was shortly expected at York, they immediately applied to the commanding officer of the Americans for a pass in my name, claiming me as one of their regiment. This was immediately granted, and some off them kindly and attentively placed themselves on the watch for my arrival, lest I should be confined with the rest of Cornwallis' army. When I reached York I was most agreeably surprised at meeting my former companions; and more so when a pass was put in my hands, giving me the privilege of then miles of the country road while I behaved well and orderly.
I was then conducted to a hut, which my poor loving companions had built for me in their village before my arrival. Here I remained some time, visiting my former companions from hut to hut; but I was astonished at the spirit of industry, which prevailed among them. Men, women and children were employed making lace, buckles, spoons, and exercising other mechanical trades, which they had learned during their captivity. They had a very great liberty from the Americans and were allowed to go round the country and sell their goods, while the soldiers of Cornwallis' army were closely confined.
I perceived that they had lost the animation, which ought to possess the breast of the soldier. I strove by every argument to rouse them to their lethargy. I offered to head any number of them, and make a noble effort to escape into New York and join our comrades in arms; but all my efforts proved ineffectual. As for my part, I was determined to make an attempt. I well knew from experience, that a few companions would be highly necessary. Accordingly I sent word of my intention to seven men of the Twenty-third regiment who were confined in the pen. That I was willing to take them with me. I believe in all the British army that these men, three sergeants and four privates, could not have excelled for courage and intrepidity. They rejoined the idea; and by the aid of some of Burgoyne's army, they were enabled under cover of a dark night, to scale their fence and assemble in my hut. I sent word of my intention to my commanding officer, Captain Saumarez, of the Twenty-Third, and likewise the names of the men who I purposed to take with me. As my money was almost expended, I begged of him to advance me as much as convenient. He immediately sent me a supply. It was the first of March 1782 that I set off with my party.
After Sergeant Lamb escaped with his seven companions, he went to New York City, and joined the troops commanded by Sir Guy Charlton. Lamb was able to return to Dublin, where he became a teacher and an author, and died in 1830.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Never Forget Your Welsh Heroes

We have an event on this week to ask the community and further afield to share with us their photographs and documents relating to First World War soldiers. We wish to scan and photograph items for posterity. Also we have reenactments, kids dressing up opportunities and handling artefacts from the Great War. Free entry into Caernarfon Castle if you are bringing in something to show. Come join us - there will be a lot going on!