Origins of the Regiment

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The origin of the Regiment can be traced to the 1st May 1572, when 3,000 men of the Trained Bands of London paraded before Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich. Three hundred of them volunteered to go to the aid of the Dutch in their revolt against Spain, as a formed company under the command of Captain Thomas Morgan. The force expanded to four English regiments and in 1665, half of them returned to England, rather than swear allegiance to the then liberated Dutch and formed Our Holland Regiment. Despite their Tudor origin, they were numbered the 4th Foot, raised to the 3rd Foot in 1689. By 1751, they were known as the Buffs, due to their buff uniform facings. Two centuries before, in 1415, the origin of one of the Regiment’s badges, the Hampshire rose, was established. Henry V awarded this badge to the Trained Bands of archers from Hampshire following their feats during the Battle of Agincourt.

The 2nd or Tangier Regiment of Foot had its first muster on Putney Heath on the 14th October 1661. It was raised in order to garrison the Port of Tangier, which King Charles II had acquired as part of the dowry, when he married Catherine of Braganza, the Infanta of Portugal. The Queen’s, named after Queen Catherine, remained in Tangier for twenty-three years until the port was evacuated. The Regiment’s first battle honour, ‘Tangier 1662–1680’ is the oldest in the British Army and is displayed on the Regimental Colour together with Catherine’s cypher. In 1685, The Queen’s took part in the last battle fought on English soil, at Sedgemoor, against the protestant Duke of Monmouth’s rebel force. There they gained the nickname of ‘Kirke’s Lambs’ after their cap badge and the manner in which their Colonel put down the rebellion. Four years later, having fought for King James II at Sedgemoor, The Queen’s fought against him at The Battle of The Boyne in Ireland and helped to relieve the Siege of Londonderry. Both The Queen’s and The Buffs continued to fight for King William in Flanders in ‘King William’s War’ of 1689–1697 against His Most Catholic Majesty Louis XIV of France and fought side-by-side at the battle of Landen in 1693.