A Short History of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards

On 1st January 1959 the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards and The Queen’s Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) amalgamated to become 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards. On the 2nd March 1959 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mothers, Their Colonel-in-Chief, presented the new Standard.

1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards spent their first five years in Germany, equipped as a reconnaissance regiment with Saladin armoured cars, followed by a tour of Northern Ireland.

QDG recruiting at Sophia Gardens Cardiff

Lieutenant Colonel Muir assumed command of the regiment on its arrival at Lisanelly Camp, Omagh. Shortly afterwards QDG was ordered to send an air-portable squadron to Cyprus in ten days time. Tradition has it that on Day nine a telephone call from the Ministry of Defence said, ‘Sorry, a terrible mistake. We meant an armoured car squadron, and we meant Borneo and not Cyprus.’ Within six days all the squadron’s vehicles, together with a flight of QDG helicopters, were loaded onto the MV Myrmidon at Belfast and ‘B’ Squadron flew out to Singapore three weeks later, moving on to take up station in the west of Sarawak. The Indonesians, led by their President Sukarno, were attempting to annex a defenceless Sabah (formerly Sarawak and North Borneo), conducting a guerrilla war and committing numerous border violations. The Commonwealth forces were considerably strengthened and infantry company bases were established half a mile to two miles behind the 1,000-mile border, with the difficult task of trying to dominate by patrolling and ambushes. The area consisted of rugged mountains covered by tropical forest, intersected by rivers; there was a single track metalled road, with appalling dirt side tracks. The QDG squadron, commanded by Major Bull, first supported the 1/10th Gurkha Rifles, then the 1st Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and later the 2nd Royal Malay Regiment.

Squadron Headquarters, with two and half troops, was at Engkillili, on the banks of the swiftly flowing Batang Lupar River, 100 miles east of Kuching. The air troop, consisting at first of two Austers and later two Sioux helicopters, was at Simmangang, while two troops were at Sungei Tengang, forty-five miles EAST OF Engkillili, with half a troop at Batu Lintang on the border. The squadron’s tasks consisted of an escort by one troop of the daily convoy of twenty to thirty three-tonners which plied between Simmangang and Kuching; secondly, to dominate the border area by patrolling with the help of Iban trackers, and laying of ambushes; thirdly to gain the support of the local tribesmen and encourage them to assist the security forces; and fourthly for the Saladin armoured cars to give fire support with their 76mm guns and machine guns to the infantry patrols operating in the border area.

‘B’ Sqn being briefed at Engkillili By Sqn Leader (Major) M R Johnston for a border ambush

At the end of May Major Johnston took over command of the squadron whose base was situated on a small knoll around a police post, with sandbagged bashas for everyone, weapon pits and bunkers. The post was surrounded by barbed wire and panjis (sharpened slivers of bamboo). One night an Indonesian patrol of three men reached the perimeter fence, but were driven off. The rainfall in Borneo measured nearly 200 inches a year, falling mainly in a daily deluge around dusk, giving way to clear skies in the morning. Foot patrols visited at least one longhouse en route, and at these villages on stilts were always welcomed. Corporal Hathaway, our ‘doctor’, was immediately surrounded by anxious mothers – paludrine and aspirin were cures for everything! It was fascinating to see in these huge dwellings, where all the villagers and animals sleep under one roof, pictures of the Royal Family, Cary Grant, Liz Taylor, and of course, The Beatles. Other patrols used a long boat fitted with an outboard motor to cruise up and down the rivers.

Squadron Basha with atap roof and kajang walls.

The two Saladins at Batu Lintang were dug in and helped to repel an attack on the 1/10th Gurkhas soon after their arrival. The Air Troop meanwhile flew so successfully on border surveillance and support that Captain Chamberlain was mentioned in despatched. After a six-month tour ‘C’ Squadron relieved ‘B’, which returned to Omagh. On 6 November a ‘C’ Squadron patrol with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers engaged an Indonesian incursion and the squadron base was moved from Engkillili to Wong Padong, halfway to Simmangang. In February 1966 ‘C’ Squadron returned to the regiment in Omagh.

In 1966 and 1967 they were sent to Aden, where they fought in the battle of Sheik Othman and in the clearing of Crater. At the end of July 1966 ‘A’ Squadron left for Sharjah in the Persian Gulf, and at the end of September the rest of the regiment flew to Aden to take over from the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, with regimental headquarters based at Mareth Lines, Falaise Camp, in Little Aden.

Checkpoint Delta Little Aden

The Queen’s Dragoon Guards was widely dispersed throughout the Middle East: RHQ and Headquarter Squadron remained at Little Aden, ‘A’ Squadron spent a quiet time in the Persian Gulf at Sharjah, ‘B’ Squadron operated on the plain of Lahej, based on Little Aden, while ‘C’ Squadron was up in the Radfan based at Habilayn, with detached troops at Dhala and Musaymir. Another detachment was at Beihan on the edge of the Empty Quarter. The QDG Air Squadron was based at Falaise Airfield in Little Aden. Squadrons were moved around every three months or so, partly to give the hard-worked operational squadrons in Aden a change and a rest, and also to give everyone varied experience.

The squadron in Sharjah operated over a huge area, sending patrols to Muscat and Oman, where Nizwa was visited, and then in October 1966 the squadron set the pattern by undertaking a 900-mile drive around the main towns of Muscat to show the flag; first going to the Buraimi Oasis and Ibri, and then returning to Nizwa, Bid Bid and Muscat, and back to Sharjah via Sohar. The squadron gave constant support to the Trucial Oman Scouts.

2nd Troop ‘A’ Sqn on the beach at Sharjah ‘A’ Squadron

The squadron in Little Aden was mainly concerned with internal security, involving guard duties and patrols. A detachment in the native town of Sheikh Othman supported the resident infantry battalion, and came under regular attack: Corporal Brown was injured by a grenade while shopping, Corporal Giles and Trooper Mayo were wounded by grenades out on patrols, Mayo seriously when the grenade was lobbed into the turret of his armoured car. All were from ‘B’ Sqn. Squadron headquarters also came under mortar attack.

In Dhala, which was 4,000 feet up, close to the border with the Yemen, the climate was hot but dry, as opposed to the humidity of Aden. The squadron there was engaged with escort duties and patrolling. Dissidents, known by the soldiers as ‘dizzies’, attacked the camp one night, chipping the paintwork on one armoured car. On another night twelve tents were burnt down (only one belonging to the QDG) but the Yemen radio announced thirty killed and sixty wounded. On one occasion the Musaymir detachment found two mines outside their front gate. Early in January 1967 the dissidents attacked the camp at Habilayn one night: twenty-eight belts of Browning and forty-six rounds of 76mm were fired, and the attack was beaten off. Next morning traces of blood were found. On 12 January the outposts at Musaymir and Dhala were withdrawn, and a few days later the squadron came back to Little Aden.

Dhala Camp

In Aden there was a series of incidents from 10 to 14 February 1967 over Federation Day, during which British troops were attacked sixty-six times. Lieutenant Jenkins was caught in crossfire between the Northumberland Fusiliers and terrorists and on the 13th February a troop with the Royal Anglians in Sheikh Othman had a grenade explode under their Saracen, whereupon a section of the Irish Guards in the Saracen debussed and killing the thrower. On 28 February Sergeant Dakin was supporting a platoon of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who came under heavy rifle and automatic fire. Dakin, covered by his other vehicle, burst through a gate and arrested twelve locals, ‘some of whom were caught with “warm-barrelled” pistols in their hand’ … ‘we soon lost count of the number of near-misses by the grenade throwers of Sheikh Othman’. FLOSY (Front for the Liberation of South Yemen) then called a general strike.

Our busiest days came when strikes were called by NLF (National Liberation Front) or FLOSY. These were no ordinary strikes, but provided a splendid opportunity for supporters of rival gangs to take up arms and shoot at each other, or at us. We did encounter one mine which went off under Lieutenant Hulton’s armoured car. Trooper Farr was extracted with a slight head wound, and Trooper Weatherlake escaped unhurt. Corporal Perks, who was in the scout car a block away, received a large part of the armoured car wing on his head. Another mine, meant for us, exploded under a minibus full of Arab Children with horrifying results.

In order to control the flow of arms and ammunition into Aden, a series of searches and checks were carried out in the desert and on the frontier under Operation Band. The regiment over this period searched 4,883 vehicles, 23,000 and 449 animals; it was long hours with little reward, but a Land Rover containing two pistols, eight grenades, and some explosives was seized by Lieutenant Stephen’s troop, and nine Arabs were arrested.

A United Nations Mission arrived on 2 April and during the five days that it was in Aden The Queen’s Dragoon Guards were involved in more than ninety incidents, including three major street fights, each lasting for more than half an hour. 6,000 rounds of Browning machine gun and 500 rounds of other small arms ammunition was fired to cover the infantry in their searches. On 2 April a jumping jack mine exploded near a troop, luckily causing no damage. On 4 April in Sheikh Othman the 3rd Royal Anglians and Lieutenant Holmes’s troop went to the rescue of the police station, which was besieged by a mob. Holmes’s Saladin was blown up on a mine and wrecked, shaking, but not seriously wounding Corporal Bibey and Trooper Fordham. On 5 April Sergeant Robinson and Corporal Sheppard were having a furious battle with a number of terrorists whilst trying to recover some mortar tubes from the mosque area. Terrorist machine gun fire was so severe that Sergeant Healey was directed to the mosque to help them extricate themselves. Sergeant Robinson was hit in the arm. In Little Aden a crowd of fifty gathered to watch a scout car commander being decapitated by a wire stretched across the street. Fortunately the car’s turret broke the wire. The crowd were enormously amused, and so the car commander arrested the man who was laughing the most. The frustrated United Nations Mission left Aden, but during its visit eighteen servicemen had been wounded and eight terrorist killed. At this time Lieutenant Colonel Powell took over command of the regiment from Lieutenant Colonel Muir.

Sheikh Othman Police Station Mansoura Picket near Sheikh Othman

Security in Sheikh Othman and Al Mansoura had been the responsibility of 3rd Royal Anglians supported by a squadron of the QDG, who in six months had coped with 459 incidents. At the end of May 1967 the 1st Parachute Regiment relieved the Royal Anglians. On 1 June a general strike in Sheikh Othman signalled the start of the battle for the area. This was a day which marked the beginning of a period of greatly increased sniper activity. Early in the morning, a 1 Para soldier was shot dead in an O.P., and from then on throughout the day there was a constant rattle of small arms fire punctuated by grenades and explosions. Our troops were in action all day. Two troops of armoured cars patrolled the streets, exchanging fire with the terrorists.

The battle continued on the following days: Corporal Withycombe had four grenades thrown at his vehicle in ten minutes. Lieutenant Ground’s troop was involved in violent shooting incidents, causing casualties to the enemy. ‘Grounds had a narrow escape while pursuing a suspicious taxi at night. A rocket was fired from a building above him, skimming over one mudguard, flashing across the glacis plate and bouncing off the other mudguard to explode on the road a yard in front of the Saladin. Sergeant Aylott was also just missed by a rocket, and his troop leader, Lieutenant Gates, shot one sniper who had hit the gunner’s periscope of his armoured car. On 23 June Lieutenant Colonel Powell, QDG, wrote:

Tuesday 20th June was a very black day for the Army – we haven’t accepted such casualties since the Korean War in the 50’s. The main trouble has been that we are fighting with one hand tied behind our backs. So much of what is militarily necessary has been ruled to be politically unacceptable. This has directly affected the weapons and tactics used by us, but not those of the enemy. It is still too soon yet to be able to say what really were the causes of the shooting by the Arabian Army and Armed Police. There is no doubt that the dismissal of four of the South Arabian Army Infantry Battalion’s C.O.s was a strong contributory factor – and some semblance of order was only restored when they were publicly reinstated. The trouble first started when South Arabian Army units, angered by the summary dismissal of their C.O.s broke into their armouries and started attacking their British officers.

At 10am on 20 June firing was heard from the direction of Champion Lines in Khormaksar, where the South Arabian Army was based. ‘A’ Squadron led by Major Shewen, was ordered to assist the infantry. Lieutenant Jenkin’s troop went to Champion Lines and came under heavy small-arms fire. A company of The King’s Own Border Regiment drove up to the guardroom and, dismounting from their armoured personnel carriers and supported by fire from the armoured cars, engaged the mutineers, causing casualties. The Troop was under continuous fire and the tyres of Jenkin’s Saladin were damaged. The Border Regiment secured the armoury, losing one killed and eight wounded.

Jenkins reported the sound of unusual firing from the direction of the ranges, and Lieutenant Grandy’s troop went to reconnoitre the road running between Champion Lines and Radfan Camp. They found that a three-tonner of the RCT had been shot up by the mutineers with heavy casualties. An armoured ‘pig’ had punctured tyres, two Aden policemen were wounded, and there was a Land Rover with a dead British civilian, in addition to eight dead and eight wounded RCT. The wounded were evacuated by Sergeant Dove, while Grandy gave them cover; then the bodies of the eight dead RCT soldiers and the civilian guard were removed, by 11am that day

This fighting was interpreted by certain elements within the Armed Police in Crater as the British wilfully attacking their Arab brothers. Without any warning they attacked a Recce party of the 5th Fusiliers, who were showing their successors, the Argylls, round the important spots in Crater. The Armed Police Barracks had until then been used as a Tactical Headquarters by the 5th Fusiliers in times of trouble. This time the Recce party walked head on into a carefully laid ambush in which all, but one, were killed. At the same time in Crater town terrorists attacked the prison, releasing several hundred prisoners. Powell continued: ‘our forces, including ‘A’ Squadron, were forced to withdraw from the Crater area. We hold the main pass and coast road and the lip of the crater and overlook the Armed Police Barracks.

Crater Patrolling Crater with the Northumberland Fusiliers

At midday on 20 June Sergeant Forde – son of Regimental Sgt Major Martin Forde of the King’s DRagoon Guards – was asked to fly in his helicopter to retrieve four Fusiliers who were on picket duty on the heights above the Armed Police Barracks. He flew in and picked up the first pair, landing only for the briefest moment as the area of the picket was under aimed fire. The Fusiliers had jumped into the panniers on each side of the helicopter. He then went back to pick up the second pair, and when they were in the panniers, he lifted off, rose about 50 feet, then was hit in the knee, and was unable to operate the tail rotor. In spite of this he managed to land the machine, but couldn’t get out. One Fusilier had a leg broken and the other severed, so could not move. The other, Fusilier Duffey, leaped off his pannier, released Sergeant Forde, dragged him out, went back for his friend, dragged him away also, then went back for the wireless set – then, and only then, the aircraft caught fire and burned out. All three were picked up by another aircraft, and taken to safety – Fusilier Duffey having used the rescued wireless to summon help. Duffey was awarded the DCM for his gallantry and cool-headedness, and the episode has been captured in a familiar painting by Terence Cuneo.

In the meantime Sergeant Benford of ‘A’ Squadron had cleared some roadblocks on the way into Crater. When the sound of firing was heard, he moved along Queen Arwa Road into Crater towards the scene of the ambush, with some infantry following in an armoured personnel carrier. They soon came under heavy small arms fire, which was returned. The Fusilier officer in the carrier took three of his men into a house to watch the situation, sending Benfold back for reinforcements, the Fusiliers were not seen alive again. Lieutenant Stephens then took his troop back to the scene of the ambush: ‘Fire was so intense my Browning machine gun was knocked out and I couldn’t close the turret lid. Without cover from another Ferret we were pretty helpless. I asked permission to use my 76mm to knock out the Bren gun position on the police roof. The answer was negative, and we were forced to retire. At 2pm an armistice was arranged with the police. Lieutenant Everitt’s troop re-entered Crater, but came again under intense fire and withdrew, though not before Everitt himself and Trooper Dawes had been wounded and the armoured cars variously damaged. Everett’s machine gun had been put out of action and his gun sight smashed. At 8.45pm Squadron Sgt Major Pringle, having taken over command of the wounded Everitt’s troop, moved back into Crater to try to retrieve an abandoned police vehicle, which was thought to contain the bodies of those killed in the earlier ambush. As Pringle got to within fifty yards of the police vehicle he was fired at by an anti-tank rocket from the Aban Mosque. This was the signal for heavy fire to be opened on the whole troop; a second rocket ricocheted off Pringle’s car, whereupon the troop was withdrawn. The British casualties on 20 June 1967 totalled twenty-two killed and thirty-one wounded.

On 21 June ‘A’ Squadron was stationed at the Main Pass and Marine Drive leading into Crater, and was engaged in sporadic exchanges of fire with snipers and machine-gunners operating from the Crater area. At long last the armoured cars were allowed to use their 76mm guns. Crater was now sealed off and there was a period of aggressive night patrolling, with armoured car support, against diminishing opposition. Then, on the night of 3 July, a company of the Argylls, with their pipes playing, together with ‘A’ Squadron QDG, who flew from their aerials the red and white hackle of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, re-entered Crater. By 3am on 4 July it was reoccupied, the only opposition having been a few shots from the Sultan of Lahej’s palace. The Chartered Bank, which commanded all the roads leading into Crater, became ‘Stirling Castle’, the command post of the Argylls. A Signal was sent by Lieutenant Colonel Powell, QDG, to the Northumberland Fusiliers, now back in England, ‘Your hackle flies again in Crater’. Major de Candole was awarded the Military Cross for his leadership of ‘B’ Squadron, and Major Shewen was mentioned in despatches. By 27 July 1967 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards had left Aden, going on a well-earned block leave before reassembling at Knook Camp, Warminster.

The following years were spent in Germany, with a period in between at Catterick North Yorkshire as the Royal Armoured Training Regiment, and with a squadron detached in Berlin, Whilst in Germany two tours of duty in Northern Ireland were carried out.


Lebanon 1983

In 1983 the QDG provided the British element of the peacekeeping force in the Lebanon, and were awarded The Wilkinson Sword of Peace for their work in Beirut. In 1985 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards celebrated the Tercentenary of the Regiment and also in that year they received the Freedom of the City of Cardiff.


Freedom of the City of Cardiff 1985

In 1990 A Squadron QDG were deployed to the Gulf War as the medium Recce element of 7th Armoured Brigade. They were used to reinforce the 16/5th Lancers who were the Division Recce Regiment. Personnel were also deployed from the regiment to the Scots DG, QRH and 14/20th Hussars.


‘A’ Squadron Gulf War 1991

A Sqn arrived at Al Jubail on 17th October and deployed to the desert on the 29th Oct after unloading their vehicles. The next two weeks were spent training and acclimatising based 130 kms north of Al Jubail at Manifa Bay. In December an exercise was devised to ascertain whether the Sqn was fit for Operations they passed with flying colours.

On January 6th the Sqn came under command of 16/5th Lancers. The weather had now turned wet and cold and it was not long before 1(UK) Armd Div was ordered to move to Wadi Al Batin under the command of 7 US Corps. The air war started on 17 Jan and preparations for the Land Offensive began in earnest. From the 24th Jan to the 4th Feb A Sqn provided a reconnaissance screen in front of 4 Armd Brigade. Preparations for the Land Offensive were in their final phase and the Sqn was detached to operate independently with the Artillery Group. On the 24th Feb A Sqn regrouped with the 16/5th Lancers in the staging area south of the beach.
A Sqn moved through the beach head at 0700 hrs on 25th Feb 91 en route to Obj Lead. On the 26th Feb at 0700 1st and 3rd Troops report seeing dug in Armour. MLRS were tasked to destroy a mechanised company of Infantry this was followed by an air attack from 2 A10 Thunderbolts. At 1145 hrs the Sqn withdrew to a hide and were complete by 1400hrs. The Sqn had been in action for over 5 hours with contacts throughout the depth of its position. The pursuit into Kuwait started for A Sqn at 0500hrs on 28th Feb with the lead C/S crossing the start line and advancing for 42 Km in 1hour 20 minutes. They were astride the main highway at 0800 hrs when President Bush declared a cease-fire.


The Queen Mother 1996

What had been achieved was considerable- to participate in the largest armoured confrontation since World War 2, complete the mission and return without a single casualty.

Bosnia 1996

The Regiment deployed to Bosnia between the 16-20 June 1996. The Battle group comprising of BGHQ, Recce Troop and C Sqn, an Armd Inf Coy and a Canadian Mech Inf Coy and would come under command of 2 Canadian Multi National Brigade based in Coralici. B Sqn deployed simultaneously as part of an Armd Infantry Battle group under 1(UK) Mech Brigade centred around Sipovo.


Bosnia 1996

QDG assumed command from QRH BG at 1200 hrs 24 June with BGHQ based in Kljuc. C Sqn deployed with the Echelon to a bus station based at Mine camp, Sanski most with Recce Tp being split between the C Sqn and B Coy locations.

The Regiment arrived in a country at peace, but one whose people and infrastructure were still scared by war. Our part of the Bihac pocket had been fought over twice. Once when the Serbs rose up and drove the Muslims out in 1992 and again when the Muslims retook the area in 1995.

The main task at the time was the integrity of the Inter Entity Boundary Line or IEBL. This was designed to keep the warring factions apart. Gradually this changed and the main effort was then the G5 work or humanitarian aid type projects. Some involved taking aid to remote mountain villages by helicopter, truck and some even by horse (in typical Cavalry style).

C Sqns Guy Fawkes night was notable for bringing together Serbs and Muslims, who met apprehensively and talked to each other. It was a significant local achievement.

Reminders of the war were never far away, with the discoveries of mass graves, and one or two individuals having to bury small children. Not very nice but then war isn’t.

On the lighter side, the Regiment refurbished the football grounds and provided equipment in the form of strips and footballs and took on the locals. Some very hard fought games resulted in the Regiment remaining unbeaten, venues ranged from rock hard pitches to the pitch you couldn’t see for mud and water.

Winter set in and the race to keep people alive was well and truly underway on both sides of the divide. Spartans full of firewood were distributed (at great risk to the crews) to Serbs and Muslims alike. It ‘wood’ give one a lovely warm feeling inside.

The formal handover began on 24 Nov when C Sqn became non-operational. The move to split started on 03 Dec but as with everything at the time, was hampered by heavy snow. D Sqn handed over their camp to Scots DG BG and moved to Split on 06-07. By 12 Dec all QDG troops had left the Theatre.

The Bosnia tour was officially completed on 19 Dec in Athlone BKs, when a short medal parade was held, at which the Div Comdander, Maj Gen Kiszeley and the Colonel of the Regiment presented IFOR medals to those that had just returned.

1998 – Saw the regiment once again in Northern Ireland, followed by a move back to Catterick North Yorkshire where they had served some twenty-seven years previously. This time they were equipped with the main battle tank Challenger 1’s.


Challenger 1 MBT Patrol

The QDG deployed to Kosovo between the 08-14 August 99, and flag change with the KRH BG was on the 16 August. The BG was deployed as part of the MNB (C) or Multi National Brigade (Centre) which was a mainly British Brigade in the middle of Kosovo, included in the area was Pristina, the capital of Kosovo.

BG HQ was centred on the town of Podujevo some 20 miles away to the north of Pristina in the aptly named Spreadeagle Hotel, with A and C Sqns located in the police station and metal factory respectively also both in the town. B Sqn were in the Water filtration plant just a few miles to the south east of Podujevo with Recce troop sited in a troop house to the North of the town, in the village of Kirpimej.

One of the many tasks the BG had to carry out was the maintenance of law and order in a country that had just finished having a war conducted within its boundaries and feelings were still running pretty high. Once the euphoria of being liberated had subsided, the acts of violence (often fatal) started against the remaining Serb population and indeed against their own people they said had collaborated with them. The Regiment with typical humour, while still being firm but fair, had the situation at a controllable level within a short space of time, with this done, the efforts of the BG started to swing to the humanitarian aid that was required by the vast majority of the population before the Balkans winter set in. This task was not easy, but huge inroads were made into the basic requirements needed by so many people. On top of this some local factories and firms were also aided and funded to enable them to work and provide certain things for themselves.

Looking at the bigger picture, the BG was some 632 square Kms in size with a long boundary with Serbia to the North and West to patrol and police. Humanitarian aid, helping the police keep law and order, look after ourselves and a whole host of other tasks, the QDG BG achieved a huge amount in the six months of the tour. Not only a huge amount but practically every bit of it would have made a big difference to the lives having been saved. For that the Regiment can be justifiably proud.

Op Telic

In October 2000 ‘C’ squadron deployed on Op PALATINE to Bosnia where they were replaced by ‘A’ squadron in April 2001.

Back in Catterick the regiment had a change of history once again in 2000 when it reverted from armour back to reconnaissance. From April to June 2001 the regiment less ‘A’ squadron were involved in deploying to Op PENINSULA (The Foot and Mouth disease that was sweeping the United Kingdom).

24 July 2001 saw the regiment exercising its right to march as Freemen of the City of Cardiff with a parade through the city centre followed by a reception at the city hall.


Freedom of the City of Cardiff 2001

In January 2003 the regiment deployed on Op TELIC, Gulf War II IRAQ. ‘A’ Squadron was attached to the 7th Armoured Brigade. ‘B’ Squadron were employed as the Divisional Defence Group, and ‘C’ squadron to 3 Commando Brigade. Headquarters Squadron and the echelons assuming responsibilities of the Prisoner Of War Handling Organisation.

May 2003 the war in Iraq declared over the whole regiment retuned to Catterick for well-earned rest and recuperation before a move to Osnabruck in Germany in September 2003.


Spartan-Striker in Iraq