1st Welsh Infantry Battalion

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David W
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1st Welsh Infantry Battalion

Post by David W » 25 Nov 2006 01:11

The first Welsh Infantry Battalion spent some time Garrisoning Mersa Matruh. But can anyone tell me of it's movements from the start of WWII?

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Post by Andy H » 25 Nov 2006 06:49

Hi David

I posted my thoughts over on your Feldgrau thread. I just don't see it as being Welsh, but Welch

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David W
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Post by David W » 26 Nov 2006 01:24

Not seen it spelt 'Welch' before. Same pronounciation?

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Post by RichTO90 » 26 Nov 2006 04:19

David W wrote:Not seen it spelt 'Welch' before. Same pronounciation?


David, see "Goodbye to All That', Graves gives a pretty good explanation of Welch versus Welsh. The Royal Welch Fusiliers were at least in theory recruited from Welshmen, but by tradition the regiment is "Welch." It is a spelling convention, just as they were at one time "fuzileers" instead of "fusiliers". :D

At least so long as that is the regiment being referred to, the former 23rd Foot. The 1881 amalgamation of the 41st and 69th Foot created the Royal Welsh Regiment, which was different, and also part of the reason the Fusiliers were picky about the spelling, they didn't want to be confused with Johnny-come-latelies. 8-) :lol: But of course just to confuse things, the Royal Welsh sometime in the 20th Century tried to get themselves re-spellt as the Royal "Welch" but I'm not sure it ever took?

Who says the British Army isn't rational? 8O

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Post by Andy H » 26 Nov 2006 16:58

Who says the British Army isn't rational?


Its all part of a cunning plan. We confuse ourselves so much, that the enemy has chance of identifying our formations in the line. :lol:

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Post by jon prince » 07 Dec 2006 01:32

RichTO90 wrote:
David W wrote:Not seen it spelt 'Welch' before. Same pronounciation?


David, see "Goodbye to All That', Graves gives a pretty good explanation of Welch versus Welsh. The Royal Welch Fusiliers were at least in theory recruited from Welshmen, but by tradition the regiment is "Welch." It is a spelling convention, just as they were at one time "fuzileers" instead of "fusiliers". :D

At least so long as that is the regiment being referred to, the former 23rd Foot. The 1881 amalgamation of the 41st and 69th Foot created the Royal Welsh Regiment, which was different, and also part of the reason the Fusiliers were picky about the spelling, they didn't want to be confused with Johnny-come-latelies. 8-) :lol: But of course just to confuse things, the Royal Welsh sometime in the 20th Century tried to get themselves re-spellt as the Royal "Welch" but I'm not sure it ever took?

Who says the British Army isn't rational? 8O


The Welsh Regiment did infact gain permission to revert to the old English spelling of 'Welch' in 1920, it didn't have the 'Royal' prefix though, it was simply 'The Welch Regiment' until amalgamated with the 'South Wales Borderers' to form the new (24th/41st Foot) 'Royal Regiment of Wales', which has since been amalgamated in March 2006 with the Royal Welch Fusiliers to form the 3 Battalion 'The Royal Welsh' Regiment, again with the 'new English' spelling for Welsh, though hopefully they will evevntually get permission to revert to the old English and honour the many hundreds of years of history whiped out by red tape and buerocracy.

As to the original question, it was probably 1st Bn. 'The Welch Regiment' that you mean, they were in Matruh during 1940. They later fought on Crete, were reformed in Egypt then served in Sudan, Libya, Sicily and Italy as an infantry Battalion of the line. By September 44 it had taken such heavy casualties that it was reduced to basic cadre strength for 2 months before being rebuilt, stayed in Italy until 1947 then returned to the U.K.

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David W
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Post by David W » 07 Dec 2006 01:42

Thanks Jon.

I think you've got it!

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Post by jon prince » 07 Dec 2006 01:55

Your welcome, I'm a welsh boy so am always glad to see people taking an interest in our little part of the war. I don't have much more info to hand on the Bn., except their listed as being in Matruh from at least 'Spring 1940', the regimental museum in Cardiff would probably be able to give you more details on what they did before that. I imagine it was The Welch and not 1st Bn. S.W.B or R.W.F. and the former didn't arrive in n. Africa until 1942 and the latter were part of the B.E.F. at the start of the war.

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Post by edward_n_kelly » 07 Dec 2006 08:03

From Regiments.org

The Royal Welch Fusiliers

1689.03.16 Lord Herbert's Regiment of Foot
also known until 1751 by the names of other colonels
1702 The Welch Regiment of Fuzileers
converted to fusiliers for protection of artillery (variously spelled "Fuzileers" during 18th cent.)
1713 The Royal Regiment of Welch Fuzileers
(royal accolade granted for service in war of the Spanish Succession)
1714 The Prince of Wales's Own Royal Regiment of Welch Fuzileers
(named for the future King George II)
1723.04 The Royal Regiment of Welch Fuzileers
1747 ranked as 23rd Foot
1751.07.01 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fuzileers)
1881.07.01 The Royal Welsh Fusiliers
reorganised as the county regiment of Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Merionethshire and Anglesey, encompassing also its Militia and Volunteer infantry [see below]
1921.01.01 The Royal Welch Fusiliers
(ancient spelling of "Welch" officially restored, but regiment had always unofficially retained that style)
2006.03.01 united with The Royal Regiment of Wales, to form The Royal Welsh

The Welch Regiment
1881.07.01 The Welsh Regiment
organised as the county regiment of Carmarthenshire, Glamorganshire and Pembrokeshire, encompassing its Militia and Volunteer infantry and uniting two regular battalions:


* 1st Battalion, redesignation of 41st (The Welsh) Regiment of Foot
* 2nd Battalion, redesignation of 69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot

1921.01.01 The Welch Regiment
1969.06.11 amalgamated with The South Wales Borderers, to form The Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot)

From Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot)

The Welch Regiment Museum: Fact sheets

Fact Sheet No. C3
1st Battalion The Welch Regiment - Locations 1881-1969
(extract)

3 May 1939 - 15 October 1939 Haifa, Palestine
15 October 1939 - 27 November 1939 Samaria
27 November 1939 - 1 July 1940 Mersa Matruh, Western Desert
1 July 1940 Mustapha Barracks, Alexandria, Egypt
16 February 1941 - 31 May 1941 Crete
1 July 1941 Sidi Bashir, Alexandria; The Citadel, Cairo
29 November 1941 - Spring 1942 Western Desert as part 4th Indian Infantry Division
Spring 1942 - 14 March 1943 Alexandria; South Barracks, Khartoum
March 1943 - 29 June 1943 Palestine, Gaza, Gulf of Akaba
10 June 1943 Landing at Sicily
13 July 1943 Syracuse
3 September 1943 Landing at Reggio, Italy
5 September 1943 Pellaro
19 September 1943 Rotundella
October 1943 Taranto
November 1943 Mena Camp, Alexandria, Egypt
1 January 1944 MECTC Kabrit
20 January 1944 Ataga
14 February 1944 Beni Yusef camp, Gizeh
10 March 1944 Kabrit
2 April 1944 Mustapha Barracks, Alexandria
9 April 1944 Amiriya
24 April 1944 Mustapha Barracks, Alexandria
Sidi Bishr camp
12 July 1944 Embarked from Alexandria
17 July 1944 Arrived Taranto
28 July 1944 Tivoli, Rome
3 September 1944 South of River Foglia
6 September 1944 Morciano
8 September 1944 Croce
13 September 1944 San Marco and Casiccio
17 September 1944 Mulazzano and Cortellini
19 September 1944 Rinaldi and Falciano
20 September 1944 Il Palazzo
21 September 1944 Forni Francini
23 September 1944 Reduced to cadre strength
30 September 1944 Forni Francini
27 December 1944 Ancona and Senigallia
28 December 1944 Santerno
18 January 1945 Casa Rasponi
6 February 1945 Ravenna
9 March 1945 Grottamare
20 April 1945 Traghetto
25 April 1945 Crossed the River Po
26 April 1945 Saguedo
1 May 1945 Cividale
3 May 1945 Plezzo
7 May 1945 Tarvisio, Italy as part of 1st Guards Armoured Division
9 May 1945 Carinthia, Austria
25 May 1945 Klagenfurt, Austria
6 September 1945 Verona
24 February 1946 - Summer 1946 Sirmione
Summer 1946 - Spring 1947 Opicina Barracks, Trieste
Spring 1947 - 24 October 1947 Cavalry Barracks, Udine
October 1947 - February 1948 Woodfarm Camp, Malvern (with 2nd Battalion)

Edward

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David W
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Post by David W » 07 Dec 2006 11:13

Thanks Edward. That's great.

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Post by edward_n_kelly » 08 Dec 2006 01:25

Suggest any query of that sort start at that excellent site Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth - that is where I picked up the links from.

Edward

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David W
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Post by David W » 08 Dec 2006 09:04

Any navigation tips? It's a firkin nightmare :?

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Re: 1st Welsh Infantry Battalion

Post by mattob » 05 Mar 2018 20:20

Hello,
My grandfather was in the Kings African Rifles and then the SAS in the North Africa Conflict.
On his PoW report it says 1st Battalion Welch Regiment, but in the PoW documentation he is SAS..
My father and my uncle know him as KAR -> SAS and we have him pictured in uniform as SAS.
Can someone help with this for me please..? I'm confused..

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Re: 1st Welsh Infantry Battalion

Post by Urmel » 06 Mar 2018 04:39

When and where was he captured, and what was his name?

In any case, SAS were volunteers at the time, drawn from various regiments.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: 1st Welsh Infantry Battalion

Post by mattob » 09 Aug 2018 13:42

Sgt ATK O'Brien SAS (sometimes also mentioned at Pte Welch Regiment, in PoW lists - same service number throughout) He was captured in North Africa, suspected PoW - 30/12/42, confirmed PoW - 30/12/1942 (same date) Mentions him as Welch Regiment here.
All other documentation shows him as SAS after his court-martial from Kings African Rifles. Apologies about the delay!! easier to email me at wheretofindmatt@gmail.com
I've uncovered a lot since then - but this Welch regiment is a mystery link.

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