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Royal Rifle Volunteers
7th Battalion, The Rifles
Rifles cap badge.PNG RGBWback.PNG
Cap and Back badges of The Rifles
Active 1999–Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Armoured Infantry
Size Battalion
Part of 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade
Battalion HQ Iverna Gardens drill hall, Kensington
Nickname(s) 7 RIFLES
Colours Rifle Green
Equipment Warrior IFV
Engagements KFOR
SFOR
Operation Palliser
Operation Telic
Operation Banner
Operation Herrick
Website 7 RIFLES
Insignia
Royal Rifle Volunteers TRF RRV TRF.svg
Rifles TRF Rifles TRF.svg
Rifles Arm Badge Ruban de la Croix de guerre 1914-1918.png
Croix de Guerre
From Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry

The 7th Battalion, The Rifles (7 RIFLES) is an Army Reserve battalion of the British Army originally formed in 1999 as an independent regiment, however later became part of The Rifles following the Future Army Structure programme, and remains an integral part of the regiment.

Royal Rifle Volunteers[]

Formation[]

In 1999, the Territorial Army (TA) was reorganised, in what became part of the Strategic Defence Review, with an emphasis on the reduction of the infantry and expansion of the armoured (yeomanry) and royal artillery (air defence elements). On 1 July 1999, the Royal Rifle Volunteers (RRV) was formed through the amalgamation of the following battalions: 6th/7th (Volunteer) Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (part), 2nd (Volunteer) Battalion, Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (part), and 5th (Volunteer) Battalion, Royal Green Jackets. The new regiment becoming the TA infantry regiment for the South Central area.[1][2][3]

The new regiment's structure on formation was as follows:[1][4]

  • Regimental Headquarters, at Brock Barracks, Reading
  • A (Royal Green Jackets) Company, in Oxford – from amalgamation of HQ & A Coys, 5th (V) Bn, Royal Green Jackets
    • Anti-Tank Platoon, in High Wycombe (later moved to E Coy)
    • Waterloo Band and Bugles, at Slade Park Barracks, Headington[5] – inherited by 5 RGR
  • (B) Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire, and Wiltshire Company, at Brock Barracks, Reading – from HQ & C Coys, 2nd (V) Bn, Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire, and Wiltshire Regiment
    • Rifle Platoon, in Swindon
  • C (Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment) Company, in Portsmouth – from C Coy, 6th/7th (V) Bn, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
  • E (Royal Green Jackets) Company, in Milton Keynes – from E Coy, 5th (V) Bn, Royal Green Jackets

The new regiment was placed under command of the 145th (South) Brigade, which in 2000, was redesignation as the 145th (Home Counties) Brigade. The regiment was, and would remain the only infantry unit in the brigade, sitting alongside it's University Officer Training Corps counterparts.[6][7]

Future Army Structure[]

On 1 April 2000 9 (PBIWR) Platoon was redesignated as 9 (Isle of Wight) Platoon, losing its connection with Princess Beatrice's Isle of Wight Rifles.[1]

In 2003, the Future Army Structure programme was announced, which would see the infantry of the army reorganised into new "Large Regiments". On 22 July 2005, the RGBW Company was redesignated as B (RGBW) Company and consolidated in Reading, and on 1 April 2006, the battalion was reorganised in preparation for its integration into the Rifles[8] into the following:[1]

  • Battalion Headquarters, at Brock Barracks, Reading
  • Headquarters Company, at Brock Barracks, Reading – from amalgamation of HQ & B Coy
    • Waterloo Band and Bugles, at Slade Park Barracks, Headington[5] – inherited by 5 RGR
  • A (Royal Green Jackets) Company, at Edward Brooks Barracks, Abingdon-on-Thames[9]
    • Platoon, in Marlow[10]
  • E (Royal Green Jackets) Company, at John Howard Barracks, Blakelands[9]
  • F (Royal Green Jackets) Company, at Davies Street drill hall, Mayfair, London (transferred from the London Regiment)[2]
  • G (Royal Green Jackets) Company, in West Ham, London (from the London Regiment)[2]

In addition the above structure changes, C (PWRR) Coy was transferred to the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.[1][2]

Roebuck Company, Royal Rifle Volunteers group photo on Operation Telic VI.

Deployments[]

Roebuck Company, RRV memorial

In March 2004, a composite platoon was formed with personnel from across the regiment and deployed to Iraq on Operation Telic VI. In November the platoon joined the 20th Armoured Brigade and deployed in Basra. In May 2005, it returned to the United Kingdom and was demobilised shortly thereafter.[1][11][12]

In February 2005, Roebuck Company was formed and mobilised with personnel from across the regiment. In June 2005, the company arrived in Iraq providing force protection under 12th Mechanised Brigade. On 31 October the company was relieved and arrived at Robertson Barracks, Swanton Morley where they remained till January 2006, where it was demobilised. Elements of the regiment also served in Northern Ireland (Operation Banner), Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR), Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (KFOR), and Sierra Leone (Operation Palliser).[1][12][13]

On 26 January 2006, Secretary of State for Defence John Reid announced members of the regiment would deploy alongside HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps to provide force protection at, what would later become, Camp Bastion. 30 Soldiers of the regiment then formed Salamanca Platoon, which deployed with Task Force Helmand from April to September 2006.[14]

7th Battalion, The Rifles[]

Formation[]

On 1 February 2007,[12] regimental headquarters was reduced to a battalion headquarters and renamed as the 7th Battalion, The Rifles (7 RIFLES).[8][15][16] Following the regiment's integration into The Rifles, the Waterloo Band became the Waterloo Band of the Rifles.[1] After its redesignation, the regiment remained under 145th Bde and remained as a light infantry battalion.[17][18][9]

Army 2020[]

In 2013, a restructuring the Army was announced, Army 2020, which would help the army become more deployable and quicker-reacting. Part of this reform was the redesignation of Support Command, with its subordinate divisions disbanding and most brigades being disbanded. 145th Bde merged with 11th Light Brigade in Lisburn, and 2nd (South East) Brigade at Folkestone to form the 11th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters South East at Aldershot Garrison forming the new regional HQ.[19][20] Under this reform the 7 RIFLES joined 38th (Irish) Brigade and was paired with 2 RIFLES based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.[20][21]

Under this reorganisation, the battalion itself was reorganised with the following changes occurring: Aylesbury Platoon, A Coy disbanded, and the company consolidated in Abingdon-on-Thames. E (RGR) Coy converted and redesignated as No. 678 (The Rifles) Squadron, Army Air Corps[22] with Marlow Platoon becoming Marlow Troop, 871 Postal & Courier Squadron RLC.[23] F & G Companies remained unchanged. In addition, all company subtitles were removed.[24]

Army 2020 Refine[]

In 2015, a further supplement was published to the previous Army 2020 plan, entitled "Army 2020", which saw the battalion expand, change role, and move formation. As part of this refine, the battalion was moved under the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade, equipped with Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles (thereby becoming 'Armoured Infantry'), de-linked with 2 RIFLES from the formation of 8 RIFLES in 2018, and paired with 5 RIFLES.[12][25][26]

Under the reforms, A Coy moved to High Wycombe and formed two new platoons in Aylesbury and Marlow, a new B Coy formed in Swindon and Bulford, a new C Company formed in Reading, and F Company was moved to the London Regiment, and a new Headquarters Company formed in Abingdon-on-Thames.

The battalion's new, and current, structure is as follows as of April 2021:[12][27]

  • Battalion Headquarters, at Iverna Gardens drill hall, Kensington[28]
  • Headquarters Company, at Brock Barracks, Reading[29]
    • Waterloo Band and Bugles of the Rifles, at Edward Brooks Barracks, Abingdon-on-Thames[12][30][31]
  • A Company, at Edward Brooks Barracks, Abingdon-on-Thames[31]
    • 2 Platoon, at Youens House, High Wycombe[23][32]
    • Javelin Platoon, at Viney House, Aylesbury[33][34]
  • B Company, in Swindon[35]
  • C Company, at Brock Barracks, Reading[29]
  • G Company, in West Ham, London[37]
    • Platoon, in Mile End, London[38]

Waterloo Band and Bugles[]

Until Army 2020 the band was based at Slade Park Barracks, Oxford,[30] but has since moved to Edward Brooks Barracks in Abingdon-on-Thames[39] under Headquarters Company.[12][30][31]

Colonels[]

Royal Colonel[1]

  • February 2007–Present: Her Royal Highness Birgitte Henriksen, Duchess of Gloucester

Honorary Colonels[1]

From 1999, Honorary Colonels of the companies are also 'Deputy Honorary Colonels' of the regiment.

Deputy Honorary Colonels[1]

  • (1) 1 July 1999–????: Brigadier J. N. B. Mogg
  • (2) 1 July 1999–1 September 2006: Colonel R. P. Bateman, TD
  • (2) 1 September 2006–: xxxx
  • (3) 1 July 1999–????: Brigadier R. M. Koe
  • (4) 1 July 1999–1 January 2003: Colonel T. B. Dutton, OBE
  • (4) 1 January 2003–????: Colonel S. J. Oxlade, MBE

Footnotes[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 "The Royal Rifle Volunteers [UK"]. 2007-12-17. https://web.archive.org/web/20071217114222/http://regiments.org/regiments/uk/volmil-england/vinf-so/99RoyRf.htm. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "About Us". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060611142538/http://www.army.mod.uk/royalriflevolunteers/about_us/index.htm. 
  3. "The History of RGJ Territorial Units". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060611153930/http://www.army.mod.uk/royalriflevolunteers/regimental_history/history_of_rgj_territorial_army.htm. 
  4. Heyman 2003, p. 214.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Waterloo Band and Bugles". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060611153925/http://www.army.mod.uk/royalriflevolunteers/about_us/waterloo_band_bugles.htm. 
  6. Heyman 2003, p. 44.
  7. Tanner, p. 26.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Future Army Structure". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060611142528/http://www.army.mod.uk/royalriflevolunteers/future_army_structure.htm. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 The British Army, land-mediacomms-webcontent@land mod uk (2008-11-05). "The British Army - 7 RIFLES". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20081106025741/http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regiments/5980.aspx. 
  10. "Welcome to TA Day". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20050201060309/http://www.army.mod.uk/ta_day/units/south_east.htm. 
  11. "Iraq". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060611153925/http://www.army.mod.uk/royalriflevolunteers/training_operations/iraq.htm. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 "7 RIFLES" (in en-GB). https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corps-regiments-and-units/infantry/rifles/7-rifles/. 
  13. "Royal Rifle Volunteers (RRV)". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060611140010/http://www.army.mod.uk/royalriflevolunteers/index.htm. 
  14. "Training & Operations". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060611142529/http://www.army.mod.uk/royalriflevolunteers/training_operations/index.htm. 
  15. "RIFLES History (first video)" (in en). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gumMEsW4-lU. 
  16. Heyman 2007, p. 64.
  17. "145 (South) Brigade". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20080107230130/http://www.army.mod.uk/145bde/index.htm. 
  18. "7 RIFLES". https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20081105201529/http://www2.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/the_rifles/regiment_today/battalions_locations/7rifles/index.htm. 
  19. "Regular Army Basing Matrix by Formation and Unit". http://www.aff.org.uk/linkedfiles/aff/latest_news_information/cregulararmybasingannouncementgridunclas.pdf. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Regular Army Basing Plan Sorted by Unit". 5 March 2013. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136406/regular_army_basing_plan.pdf. 
  21. Ministry, of Defence (July 2013). "Transforming the British Army an Update". http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2014-0042/20140110-PQ01968B-SOames-A2020-Update-Glossy-U.pdf. 
  22. "South East RFCA > Reserves > Army Reserve > Army Air Corps > 678 (RIFLES) Squadron AAC, 6 Regt AAC". https://www.serfca.org/Reserves/Army-Reserve/Army-Air-Corps/678-RIFLES-Squadron-AAC-6-Regt-AAC. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Army Reserve Centre, Youens House, Old Horns Lane, High Wycombe SL7 3DU". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-east/high-wycombe-youens-house. 
  24. "Summary of Army 2020 Reserve Structure and Basing Changes". p. 24. http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/20130703-SUMMARY_OF_ARMY_2020_RESERVE_STRUCTURE_AND_BASING.pdf. 
  25. "South East RFCA > Reserves > Army Reserve > Infantry > 7th Battalion The Rifles". https://www.serfca.org/Reserves/Army-Reserve/Infantry/BHQ-7th-Battalion-the-Rifles. 
  26. "Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise". 10 March 2017. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/632554/2017-02130.pdf. 
  27. "Information regarding locations of Army Reserve units". 6 July 2020. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/664382/response/1596315/attach/3/20200706%20FOI05506%20Arbeely%20Response%20Letter%20ArmySec.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1. 
  28. "Army Reserve Centre, 14 Iverna Gardens, Kensington, London W8 6TN". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-east/london-1a-iverna-gardens. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Brock Barracks, Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1HW". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-east/reading-oxford-road. 
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 "South East RFCA > Reserves > Army Reserve > Reserve Band > Waterloo Band & Bugles of the Rifles". https://www.serfca.org/Reserves/Army-Reserve/Reserve-Band/Waterloo-Band-of-the-Rifles. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 "Edward Brooks Barracks, Cholswell Road, Shippon, Abingdon OX13 6HW". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-east/abingdon-cholswell-road. 
  32. "On tour with Army Reservist Riflemen Ben Eden 7RIFLES". 12 February 2015. https://serfca.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/on-tour-with-7-rifles/. Retrieved 23 February 2021. 
  33. "7 RIFLES RSM March Blog: Is it spring yet????". https://theriflesnetwork.co.uk/news/43204. Retrieved 23 February 2021. 
  34. "Army Reserve Centre, Viney House, Oxford Road, Aylesbury HP19 8RN". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-east/aylesbury-viney-house. 
  35. "Army Reserve Centre, Church Place, Swindon SN1 5EH". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-west/swindon-church-place. 
  36. "Training Wing, Building 32, Ward Barracks, Bulford SP4 9NA". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-west/bulford-building-32. 
  37. "Army Reserve Centre, The Cedars Portway, West Ham, London E15 3QN". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-east/london-the-cedars. 
  38. "Army Reserve Centre, 405 Mile End Road, Mile End, London E3 4PB". https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/army-reserve-centres/south-east/london-405-mile-end-road. 
  39. "7 RIFLES The Waterloo Band and Bugles of the Rifles" (in en-GB). https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corps-regiments-and-units/infantry/rifles/7-rifles/the-waterloo-band-and-bugles-of-the-rifles/. 

References[]

  • Heyman, Charles (2004). The British Army a pocket guide 2002–2003. Barnsley, United Kingdom: Pen & Sword Books. ISBN 978-1783378968. OCLC 1100891090. 
  • Heyman, Charles (2007). The British Army a pocket guide 2008–2009. Barnsley, United Kingdom: Pen & Sword. ISBN 978-1783408115. OCLC 854974645. 
  • Tanner, Jim (2014). The British Army since 2000. Oxford, United Kingdom: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1782005933. OCLC 944154544. 
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