The Holy Boys: A History of the Royal Norfolk Regiment and The Royal East Anglian Regiment, 1685-2010, Jon Sutherland and Diane Canwell

The Holy Boys: A History of the Royal Norfolk Regiment and The Royal East Anglian Regiment, 1685-2010, Jon Sutherland and Diane Canwell

This book looks at the long history of the 9th Regiment of Foot, later the Royal Norfolk Regiment and now part of the Anglian Regiment.

Despite the fuss that is made about the county titles of British regiments, the numerical system was in place for longer, from its introduction in 1751 until the Cardwell reforms of 1881. The association with Norfolk began before this, but the Norfolk Regiment as a named independent unit existed for just over 80 years, from 1881 until the mergers that created the East Anglian Regiment in the 1960s.

During its long history the Norfolk Regiment/ 9th Foot repeatedly changed in size and organization. The number of battalions rose and fell, and the mix of regular and amateur battalions also changed. McCue follows all of the different battalions that formed the regiment, which means that we often get accounts of different parts of the same war. During the Second World War battalions served in France in 1940 and 1944-45, in Singapore during the disastrous defence of the city in 1942, and in Burma. The 2nd Battalion was the victim of the Le Paradis massacre, an early atrocities committed by the SS.

It's rather refreshing to read a complete history of a regiment, from its original formation to the present day. We get a very clear idea of the wide ranging activities of the British Army, both during and after the Empire. It is also nice to read the history of a regular army unit which saw action from 1914 to 1918 rather than the more truncated experiences of the 'service' battalions, which entered service late in 1915 and were often disbanded early in 1918.

Chapters
1 - Origins 1685-1750
2 - The 9th Foot 1751-1827
3 - 1827-1914
4 - Mesopotamia and Gallipoli 1914-1917
5 - France 1914 to 1918
6 - France 1939-1940
7 - Far East 1939-1945
8 - Normandy and the Rhineland 1944-1945
9 - Becoming the 1st East Anglian Regiment 1946-1964
10 - Royal Anglians 1964-2010

Author: Jon Sutherland and Diane Canwell
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010


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