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Regiments and Units of the Royal Welsh Army (Welsh History Post Glyndwr)

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The Byddin Frenhiniol Gymreig was formed in 1821 with the Arthurian Charter of that year. The Charter established a standing army and established new Regiments and confirmed older regiments. The BFG had existed since the 1650 Hywel Charter, but the Army had been allowed to stagnate until the 1716 reforms. The English Occupation represented a break in the military traditions of Wales and the Army was re-established by Rhisiart I during the War of Independence. This new Army, however, was an irregular one, made up of some pre-existing regiments, some created during the war. None of them, however, had standing barracks and Parliament had not confirmed the Army's existence.

Following the Treaty of Shrewsbury, the Army continued to exist in this legal no-mans land. It continued to exist, raise men, and fight wars on behalf of the Sovereign, but its legality was questionable. This ambiguity was removed with the 1821 Charter which officially re-established the Army as an organ of the State.

Regiments of the Byddin Frenhiniol Gymreig

Historic Units

  • Y Warchodlu Frenhinol- The Royal Guard (Formed 1427)
  • Brenhinol Gaer Gwarchod- The Royal Fortress Guard (Formed 1427)
  • Y Magnelau Brenhinol - The Royal Artillery (Formed 1600)

All three units exist in the modern Welsh Army. The first two units exist purely as ceremonial units, with the YWF providing ceremonial soldiers in the uniform of the time of Dafydd IV to all state occasions. The BGG is made up of retired soldiers and provides ceremonial protection at key royal locations such as Palas Harlech, Amddiffynfa Amwythig (Shrewsbury Fortress) and at Palas Caerfilli. Again, these soldiers wear the period uniform of Dafydd IV. The YMB continues to exist as a modern military unit in the Welsh Army, but does retain a ceremonial unit, though this unit wears the old ceremonial uniform of the Arthurian Charter YMB.

The Charter Army (1651-1718)

This was the period of the Colonel's Regiments (Milwraid Catrodau) which would later form the core of the regiments formed under Dafydd V and the later kings of Wales.

Infantry

  1. Y Gatrawd 1af o Glwy'r Traed - The 1st Regiment of Foot (1651)
  2. Y Gatrawd 2il o Glwy'r Traed - The 2nd Regiment of Foot (1651)
  3. Y Gatrawd 3ydd o Glwy'r Traed - The 3rd Regiment of Foot (1651)
  4. Y Gatrawd 4ydd o Glwy'r Traed - The 4th Regiment of Foot (1651)
  5. Y Gatrawd 5ed o Glwy'r Traed - The 5th Regiment of Foot (1651)
  6. Y Gatrawd 6ed o Glwy'r Traed - The 6th Regiment of Foot (1651)
  7. Y Gatrawd 7ed o Glwy'r Traed - The 7th Regiment of Foot (1663)
  8. Y Gatrawd 8ed o Glwy'r Traed - The 8th Regiment of Foot (1665)

Horse

  1. Mae Catrawd 1af o Ceffylau - The 1st Regiment of Horse (1651)
  2. Mae Catrawd 2il Ceffylau - The 2nd Regiment of Horse (1651)
  3. Y 3ydd Catrawd y Ceffylau - The 3rd Regiment of Horse (1651)
  4. Mae Catrawd 4ydd Ceffylau - The 4th Regiment of Horse (1651)
  5. Mae Catrawd 5ed Ceffylau - The 5th Regiment of Horse (1651)

Dragoons

  1. Gwarchodlu 1af y Marchfilwyr - The 1st Dragoon Guards (1651)

Guard Regiments

  1. Gwarchodlu'r Ty Frenhinol - The Royal Household Guard (Continuation of Y Warchodlu Frenhiniol)
  2. Brenhinol Gaer Gwarchod - The Royal Fortress Guard (Continuation)
  3. Y Magnelau Brenhinol - The Royal Artillery (Continuation)

The Army Post 1821

Infantry

The Army in 1821 was still operating at around 14,000 Infantryman strength, meaning 12 Regiments of Foot (1200 men per Regiment). As part of the Army re-organisation the regiments were also renumbered in order of precedence at this time also. Regiments formed just before or during the English Occupation were retained in the new regimental lists.

Regular Army Units

  1. Catrawd y Mers - The Regiment of the March (est 1718) Formed from 1st Reg of Foot
  2. Catrawd Ffin Cymru - The Welsh Border Regiment (est 1720)
  3. Hunain Brenhinoedd Reifflau Catrawd - The Kings own Rifles Regiment (est 1761) Formed from 2nd Reg of Foot
  4. Y Cardnal Gwarchodluoedd Catrawd - The Cardinal's Guard Regiment (est 1739)
  5. Tywysog Powys Gatrawd Troedfilwyr Ysgafn - Epil Diawled - The Prince of Powys Light Infantry Regiment - The Devils Offspring - (est 1785)
  6. Y Catrawd Llwyd - The Grey Regiment (est 1786)
  7. Brenhinoedd Cartref Gatrawd Gard - The Kings Household Guard Regiment (est 1821) - A successor regiment to Y Gard Brenhiniol
  8. Iarll Troedfilwyr Ysgafn Gwyr Hun - The Earl of Gower's Own Light Infantry (est 1821) Formed from the 3rd Reg of Foot
  9. Troedfilwyr Brenin ei Hun Trwm Gwynedd - The Kings Own Gwynedd Heavy Infantry (est 1821) Formed from the 4th Reg of Foot
  10. Catrawd Reifflau Henffordd - The Hereford Rifles Regiment (est 1821) Formed from the 5th Reg of Foot
  11. Iarll Brycheiniog's Tan Belenydd - The Earl of Brycheiniog's Grenadiers (est 1821) Formed from the 6th Reg of Foot
  12. Breninesau Hun (Alexandra's) Ffiwsilwyr - The Queens Own (Alexandra's) Fusiliers (est 1821) Formed from the 7th Reg of Foot
  13. Catrawd Frenhiniol Y Wladfa - The Royal Regiment of Patagonia (First raised 1817 officially established by the 1821 Arthurian Charter) Merged with 8th Reg of Foot
  14. Gard Troedfilwyr Brenhinoedd (Llewod Du) - Kings Infantry Guard (Black Lions) (est 1838)
  15. Y Ffiwsilwyr Dyfaint Glan Hafren - The Devon & Severn Shore Fusiliers (est 1845)
  16. Catrawd Ynyswr De Mor - The South Sea Islander Regiment
  17. Catrawd Frenhinol Affricanaidd - The Royal African Regiment
  18. Catrawd Morol Llyngesol - Naval Marine Regiment (est 1821)
  19. Catrawd Gwarchod Llu Awyr - Air force Guard Regiment (est 1941)

Heavy Cavalry

The Cavalry was operating at around the 6000 men mark with 800 men per regiment. The following list is in order of precedence: 

  1. 1af Frenhinol Marchfilwyr Gwarchodlu Dehubarth - 1st Royal Dehubarth Dragoon Guards
  2. Gwarchodlu Marchfilwyr 2il (Dywysoges Olivia) - 2nd (Princess Olivia's) Dragoon Guards
  3. 3ydd (Hun Iarll Iago yn) Gwarchodlu Marchfilwyr - 3rd (Earl Iago's Own) Dragoon Guards

Light Cavalry

  1. 1af (Y Brenhinoedd) Gwaywffyn Brenhinol Sir Benfro - 1st (The King's) Royal Pembrokeshire Lancers
  2. 2ail (Y Brenin) Hwsariaid Morgannwg - 2nd (The King's) Morgannwg Hussars
  3. 3ydd (Brenhinol y Frenhines) Hwsariaid - 3rd (The Queen's Royal) Hussars
  4. 4ydd (Cystennin Tywysog) Gwaywffyn - 4th (Prince Cystennin's) Lancers 

Artillery The Welsh Artillery was a successor unit to both the old Royal Fortress Guard units of the early and mid Welsh period and the Royal Artillery (formed in 1600). Under the 1821 reforms, the Garrison guards, which had always had rights over the artillery units stored in the arsenals were reformed into the Royal Welsh Artillery Regiment.

Unlike the Infantry or the Cavalry, the Artillery did not have different regiments comprising the arm. Instead the artillery divided itself into Batteries, with the number of batteries changing to fit the current political climate. Some have remained as "prestiege postings" however with

  • Rif 1 Batri - No 1 Battery: This is the ceremonial unit
  • Rif 2 Batri - No 2 HQ Battery: This is the unit based at the Army Headquarters in Caerfilli
  • Rif 3 Batri - No 3 Battery: This is the unit based in Caerodor
  • Rif 4 Batri - No 4 Battery: This is the unit based in Conwy

All other batteries are raised or disbanded depending on need

Army Units in the Welsh Civil War

During the Welsh Civil War (1843-49) there were two Welsh Armies. The Goron Fyddin Frenhinol Cymru (Crown Royal Welsh Army) and the Byddin Frenhiniol Eryri - Royal Snowdonia Army (also called the Byddin o Gwynedd - Army of Gwynedd). Prince Rhys of Gwynedd raised units in North Wales specifically for his army, but the Crown also raised new units for the duration of the conflict as well.

Royal Welsh Army - Civil War Units

  • Catrawd Rhodwyr Morgannwg - Glamorgan Rangers Regiment
  • Ffiwsilwyr Gwent Catrawd - Gwent Fusiliers Regiment
  • Abertawe Catrawd Troedfilwyr - Abertawe Infantry
  • Afreolaidd Henffordd - Hereford Irregulars
  • Reifflau Aberperyddon - Bridgewater Rifles
  • Catrawd Gwyr Meirch Caerodor - Bristol Cavalry
  • Troedfilwyr Golau Caerwrangon - Worcester Light Infantry
  • Y Ffiwsilwyr Dyfaint Glan Hafren – The Devon & Severn Shore Fusiliers - Retained post war in the regular Welsh army

Royal Snowdonia Army  (Byddin Frenhiniol Eryri) Units

Infantry

  • 1st Battalion Kings Infantry Guard Regiment
  • The Kings Own Gwynedd Heavy Infantry
  • Gwyr Traed Catrawd Ial (Yale Infantry Regiment)
  • Gwyr Traed Catrawd Maelor (Maelor Infantry)
  • Gwyr Traed Catrawd Tegeingl (Tegeingl Infantry)
  • Gwyr Traed Catrawd Llyn (Llyn Infantry)
  • Gwyr Traed Catrawd Meirionnydd (Meirionnydd Infantry)
  • Gwyr Traed Catrawd Rhufoniog (Rhufoniog Infantry)

Cavalry

  • Catrawd Gwyr Meirch Ynys Mon (Ynys Mon Cavalry Regiment)
  • Catrawd Gwyr Meirch Arfon (Arfon Cavalry)
  • Catrawd Gwyr Meirch Dunoding (Dunoding Cavalry)


Artillery

  • Magnelfa Offer Rhyfel Penllyn (Penllyn Artillery Battery)
  • Magnelfa Offer Rhyfel Rhos (Rhos Artillery Battery)
  • Magnelfa Offer Rhyfel Edeirnion (Edeirnion Artillery Battery)
  • Magnelfa Offer Rhyfel Din Mael (Din Mael Artillery Battery)

Regiments of the BFG Post 1994 Defence Review

Following the extensive Defence Review of 1994 the structure of the Welsh Army changed slightly to reflect the nature of Military Operations in the late 20th Century. With a new Century around the corner the Military needed to change to be more flexible and needed to address the new challenges this new century may bring. Many Regiments amalgamated and others ceased to exist, their colours being laid up in the church at Army Headquarters. The changes mainly affected the infantry regiments with the cavalry regiments being retained but with cuts in the number of battalions.

Infantry Units (Amalgamation List)

  1. Catrawd y Mers - The Regiment of the March (est 1718)
  • Retained as Single Battalion Regiment
  1. Catrawd Ffin Cymru - The Welsh Border Regiment (est 1720)
  • Amalgamated with Kings Own Rifles 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 1st Battalion (Parasiwt) The Border Rifles
  1. Hunain Brenhinoedd Reifflau Catrawd - The Kings own Rifles Regiment (est 1761)
  • Amalgamated with Welsh Border Regiment 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 2nd Battalion (Kings Own) The Border Rifles
  1. Y Cardnal Gwarchodluoedd Catrawd - The Cardinal's Guard Regiment (est 1739)
  • Amalgamated with Earl of Gowers Own Light Infantry 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 1st Battalion (Cardinals Guard) The Royal Western Regiment
  1. Tywysog Powys Gatrawd Troedfilwyr Ysgafn - The Prince of Powys Light Infantry Regiment (est 1785)
  • Amalgamated with Kings own Gwynedd Heavy Infantry 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 1st Battalion (Powys) The North Welsh
  1. Y Catrawd Llwyd - The Grey Regiment (est 1786)
  • Retained as Single Battalion Regiment
  1. Brenhinoedd Cartref Gatrawd Gard - The Kings Household Guard Regiment (est 1821)
  • Amalgamated with the Kings Infantry Guard 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 1st Battalion(Household)Guards Regiment
  1. Iarll Troedfilwyr Ysgafn Gwyr Hun - The Earl of Gower's Own Light Infantry (est 1821)
  • Amalgamated with The Cardinal's Guard Regiment 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 2nd Battalion (Y Gwyr) The Royal Western Regiment
  1. Troedfilwyr Brenin ei Hun Trwm Gwynedd - The Kings Own Gwynedd Heavy Infantry (est 1821)
  • Amalgamated with The Prince of Powys Light Infantry Regiment 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 2nd Battalion (Gwynedd) The North Welsh
  1. Catrawd Reifflau Henffordd - The Hereford Rifles Regiment (est 1821)
  • Amalgamated with The Earl of Brycheiniog's Grenadiers 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 1st Battlion (Rifle) The Eastern Regiment
  1. Iarll Brycheiniog's Tan Belenydd - The Earl of Brycheiniog's Grenadiers (est 1821)
  • Amalgamated with The Hereford Rifles Regiment 01 Mar 1995
  • Became 2nd Battalion (Grenadier) The Eastern Regiment
  1. Breninesau Hun (Alexandra's) Ffiwsilwyr - The Queens Own (Alexandra's) Fusiliers (est 1821)
  • Amalgamated with the Devon & Severn Shore Fusiliers
  • Became the 1st Battalion (Queens Own) Fusiliers
  1. Gard Troedfilwyr Brenhinoedd - Kings Infantry Guard (Black Lions) (est 1838)
  • Amalgamated with the Kings Household Guard Regiment
  • Became 2nd Battalion (Black Lions) Guard Regiment
  1. Y Ffiwsilwyr Dyfaint Glan Hafren - The Devon & Severn Shore Fusiliers (est 1845)
  • Amalgamated with the Queens Own Fusiliers
  • Became the 2nd Battalion (Devon & Severn Shore) Fusiliers

Current Infantry Units in order of Precedence

1. Catrawd y Mers - The Regiment of the March

2. Y Gatrawd Reifflau Ffin

• Bataliwn 1af (parasiwt) Reifflau Ffin – 1st Bttn (Parachute) The Border Rifles  

• 2il Fataliwn (Brenin Hun) Y Reifflwyr Ffin – 2nd Bttn (Kings Own) The Border Rifles

3. Mae Catrawd Frenhinol Gorllewin – The Royal Western Regiment

• Bataliwn Cyntaf (Y Gardinal Gard) - 1st Bttn (The Cardinals Guard)  

• 2il Fataliwn (Y Gwyr) – 2nd Bttn (The Gower)

4. Y Gatrawd Gogledd Cymraeg – The North Welsh Regiment

• Bataliwn 1af (Powys) Y Gogledd Cymraeg – 1st Bttn (Powys) The North Welsh

• 2il Fataliwn (Gwynedd) Y Gogledd Cymraeg – 2nd Bttn (Gwynedd) The North Welsh

5. Y Catrawd Llwyd - The Grey Regiment

6. Y Catrawd Gwarchodlu – The Guards Regiment

• Bataliwn 1af (Cartref) Gwarchodlu Catrawd - 1st Bttn (Household) Guards Regiment

• 2il Fataliwn (Llewod Du) Gwarchodlu Catrawd – 2nd Bttn (Black Lions) Guards Regiment

7. Y Gatrawd Ddwyreiniol – The Eastern Regiment

• 1af Battlion (Reifflau) Catrawd Dwyrain – 1st Bttn (Rifle) The Eastern Regiment

• 2il Fataliwn (Tan Belenydd) Catrawd Dwyrain – 2nd Bttn (Grenadier) The Eastern Regiment

8. Y Ffiwsilwyr Brenhinol - The Royal Fusiliers

  • 1af Bataliwn (Breninesau Hun) Ffiwsilwyr  - 1st Bn (The Queens Own) Fusiliers
  • 2il Fataliwn (Dyfaint Glan Hafren) Ffiwsilwyr – 2nd Bn (Devon & Severn Shore) Fusiliers

9. Catrawd Morol Llyngesol – Naval Marine Regiment

10. Catrawd Gwarchod Llu Awyr - Air force Guard Regiment

Current Armoured and Cavalry Units

Heavy Cavalry

  1. 1st Royal Dehubarth Dragoon Guards - C1 Ariete MBT
  2. 2nd (Princess Olivia's) Dragoon Guards - C1 Ariete MBT
  3. 3rd (Earl Iago's) Dragoon Guards - C1 Ariete MBT
    C1-ariete-2

    C1 Ariete 1st RDDG


Light Cavalry

  1. 1st (The King's) Royal Pembrokeshire Lancers - M1128 Stryker
  2. 2nd (The King's) Morgannwg Hussars - M1128 Stryker
  3. 3rd (The Queen's Royal) Hussars - M1128 Stryker, M998 HMMWV - 1 Div Recon Element
  4. 4th (Prince Cystennin's) Lancers - M1128 Stryker, M998 HMMWV - 2 Div Recon Element

The Reserve Militia Units of the BFG

The Reserve Militia Regiments of the Royal Welsh Army (RMRWA) are not auxiliary units of regular Army regiments, but follow the provincial model providing a unit from each area of Wales. There is no strict order of precedence for the Militia

Infantry

  1. 1st Battalion Gwynedd Infantry
  2. 1st Battalion Prince Alecsander Regiment
  3. 2nd Battalion Duchess Catherin Regiment (Ergyng Regiment)
  4. 1st Battalion (Earl of Cardigan) Deheubarth Regiment
  5. 2nd Battalion (Duke of Dyfed) Deheubarth Regiment
  6. The Earl of Penfro Grenadiers
  7. 7th Gower Rifles Regiment
  8. 9th Battalion Morgannwg Fusiliers
  9. The Forest of Dean Skirmishers
  10. The Henffordd Grenadiers
  11. The North Coast Light Skirmishers


Cavalry

  1. 1st Sqn Ynys Mon Yeomanry
  2. 2nd Sqn (Cantref Mawr Cavalry) Deheubarth Regiment
  3. 3rd Sqn Kidwelly Yeomanry
  4. 4th Sqn Gwent Cavalry


Artillery

  1. The Brycheiniog Artillery
  2. 1st Battery Caer Oder Artillery
  3. 3rd Battery Dewi Sant Artillery

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