Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Royal Foot Guards: Senior Battalions

Let's now look at the two most senior Battalions of the Royal Foot Guards. There are two Battalions in the Royal Foot Guards, (each of 600 men); and a Regimental HQ of another 120.
Royal Foot Guard (Grenadiers and Carabiners Battalions)
Date Raised: 16 September 1729
MOTTO: Grenadiers: "Facta Non Verba" (Deeds not words)
MOTTO: Carabiners: "Hosti Acie Nomonati" (Named by Our Enemies)
Unofficial Motto: "Soldier On"! (Both Battalions)
Nicknames:"Die Hards" (Both Battalions)
"Snowflakes" (Grenadiers).
"Jolly Green Giants" (Carabiniers)
Battle Honours: "Fort Clairmont", "Van Demon's Land Campaign" and "Vinegar Hill1738" .
Brief History: By Royal decree King Micheal I ordered the raising of a Regiment of Foot Guards. He chose the birthday of his eldest son (Prince Peter) to be the date the Regiment was to be raised. He also decreed that the Regiment would consist of initially two Battalion, one of Grenadiers, and the other a "Light" Battalion. The 1st battalion became the Royal Foot Grenadiers, and the 2nd battalion was the Royal Light Infantry. Both battalions were to wear the distinctive "Koala Bearskin Bonnets" and new "Bicorn Hats", ( the Koala Bearskins with silver front plates bearing a "Grenade" badge). Oddly, both Battalions have "Grenadier" and "Rifle" (Light Infantry) Company's. The Grenadier's wear the Koala Bearskins and the "Lights" wear Bicorn hats. The "Lights" in each battalion also replace the "Grenade" badges on their coat-tails with "Hunting Horn" badges. The "Lights" are called Rifle Company's in both Battalions.
So, in summary in the the GRENADIER battalion you have 300 Grenadiers and 300 Rifles. In the CARABINER battalion you have 300 Carabiners and 300 Rifles. Each battalion has six company's, with 100 men in each company, (obviously).
The Battalions are made up with veterans from other Regiments, and are paid 50% more than any other soldier. They have a rank system "one higher" than the rest of the Royal Army: for example, a Corporal in the Royal Foot Guard is equivalent to a Sergeant in any other Regiment.
To qualify for selection in the Royal Foot Guards a candidate must have served in at least two campaigns with another regiment of the Royal Army, (note: NOT Militia); and must have a letter of recommendation from their original Regiments Commanding Officer. Even then, only 20% of applicants are excepted into the Guard. This is due to a stringent selection course all applicants must go through. Officers cannot purchase a commission into the Royal Foot Guard. Officers are "invited" to apply for entry into the Guard by either the Minister For War, or the King!
They must be six (6') feet tall for the Grenadier Battalion, or five foot eight inches (5.8') for the Light Battalion. The Light Battalion was renamed "The Royal Foot Guard Carabiners" in 1739.

Regimental anecdotes and traditions:
The Carabiners were named thus after an incident during the Battle of Fort Clairmont. When the "Light" Battalion attacked the French line by charging from the woods on the enemy's left flank a cry came up from the enemy ranks, "Look France, The Mormoan's attack with Carabiners"! This also explains the Carabiners Motto, "Named by Our Enemies".
At the completion of the Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1738 the Battalions had taken frightful losses from enemy artillery fire as they held the right flank. The Battery Sergeant Major of the Guard Artillery who was posted just in front of the Foot Guards yelled to the Guardsmen behind him to "Die Hard the Guard"! After the battle King Micheal inspected both Battalions on the battlefield. Looking at their depleted ranks he calmly turned to the Guardsmen and said "Soldier On my Guard; Soldier on,...".
Of the 1200 Guardsmen from both battalions, over 350 lay dead or wounded.


  1. Magnificent units. The Reich Duchy of Beerstein does not have any guard units. Our Grenadiers, both foot and horse, are elites selected from heroes of our line units. A Guard is definitely something to think about!

  2. Hi
    A hell-of-a-lotta Koalas were trapped to make the Bonnets. The King now has the Koala as a protected animal.