Some technical help


So what has started as a bleak and boring winter has started to pick up. There are a number of projects coming up in the near, middle and far term. Pretty cool stuff.

I need some technical help from my UK and Commonwealth readers.

Specifically, how Commonwealth/Empire Regiments are/were named.

I can’t be specific without letting a cat out of the bag, but I need to know how a Commonwealth/BE unit would be named when it had distinguished itself, for example the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

For instance, would the title change to “Queen’s Own Rifles” when by means of example Queen Victoria would ascend the throne? Or would they still be named after King George regardless of who was on the throne at the time?

Curious how this works.

The US system is quite different, where there is a number assigned and then a nickname. For example, the 28th Infantry Division, “The Bloody Bucket.”

Alright, if anyone can clue me in on this, I’d appreciate it!




4 thoughts on “Some technical help

  1. Well, if you look at the “King’s Own Royal Regiment(Lancaster)”, they changed to that name from the “4th (King’s Own) Regiment of Foot” in the middle of Queen Victoria’s reign, if it helps.

    There was a Queen Victoria’s Rifles, which was a territorial unit (think National Guard) associated several times with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. They were based on older volunteer units, and didn’t get that name until 1908 – seven years after she died.

    Also, British regiments went through many re-organisations over the years, with various regiments growing, shrinking, merging, changing name, etc. Finally, if you’re looking at troops raised from commonwealth (or at that time colonies), things can change again, depending on the date and status of the place in question.


    • Hey, thanks for the info! So what you’re saying is that there was no real hard and fast rule for these things, it all depended on a unit’s heritage and lineage. This does help, as it’s a bit difficult for this Yank to make sense of it. BTW, this has direct bearing on a project I’m looking at right now.


      • Yep pretty much. There were some rules that applied at different times – but if you already had a name, they might or might not apply to you.

        To start with, regiments were often named after their Colonel,and might change names fairly often. However, ones that were named after a title (not a person) usually kept the name, even if nobody actually had that title at the time.

        Then, for a while regiments were numbered, in the order they became an army regiment. But they usually had another name as well – the numbering was seniority type thing. Then later, they decided to tie regiments to districts, where they were supposed to raise there men from. Hence the change from the “4th (King’s Own) Regiment of Foot” to the “Kings Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)” for example.

        In the late 1800’s they re-organised to bigger units, so a lot of them were joined up and became one battalion in a bigger regiment. Usually the regiment had a name, and each battalion had it’s old name as the battalion name. A few of them got a new name that was made up of parts of the older names.


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