36 Signal Regiment History
The History of 36 Signal Regiment
Our Regiment might appear young at first glance but can actually trace its roots back many centuries into the past. The Regiment originated from three different Signal Regiments that were amalgamated to form our unit.
In 1967 the Reserve Army underwent another major re-organisation. The name 'Territorial Army' was discarded and the new Force was called the 'Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer Reserve' (TAVR). Many battalions and regiments were disbanded and many more were reduced to company strength and incorporated in the TAVR battalions and regiments that were formed.
36th (Eastern) Signal Regiment (Volunteers) was one of ten new TAVR Signal Regiments formed at this time. It was made up of 3 Communication Squadrons formed from three disbanded regiments, 44th (Home Counties) Signal Regiment (Cinque Ports) Territorial Army, 45th (Essex) Signal Regiment Territorial Army, 54th (East Anglian) Signal Regiment Territorial Army and a Headquarter Squadron.
Officers and men from the 'Army Emergency Reserve' (Disbanded at the same time), disbanded TA artillery and infantry units also joined the new regiment. Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron took over the TAVR Centre at Selsdon Road, Wanstead in the Borough of Redbridge, East London. This centre had formerly been the HQ 45th (Essex) Signal Regiment. The 44th Signal Squadron (V) concentrated all their personnel at the TAVR Centre in Watling Street, Gillingham, Kent and gave up all the other centres previously controlled by 44th Signal Regiment TA. 45th (Essex) Signal Squadron (V) located their forces at three centres. Squadron Headquarters and one Troop were located at Brentwood TAVR Centre with two other Troops at TAVR Centres in Circular Road East, Colchester and Gordon Fields, Ilford. 54th (East Anglian) Signal Squadron (V) also deployed to three locations, Squadron HQ and one Troop at the TAVR Centre, Cambridge which had previously been occupied by 54th (East Anglian) Signal Regiment (V) Headquarters. The other two Troops took up residence at Centres in Ashburnham Road, Bedford and Aylsham Road, Norwich. The Light Aid Detachment (LAD) REME was based close to HQ Squadron at Newbury Park in the Borough of Redbridge. So the Regiment had an area stretching from Norfolk to Kent and therefore recruited in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Greater London and Kent.
In 2006 the Regiment changed roles to become part of 2 (NC) Signal Brigade. During the changes 44 (Cinque Ports) Signal Squadron was lost and 60 (RBH) Signal Squadron gained from 71 Signal Regiment.
Initial Role of the Regiment
The new Regiment formed part of 12th Signal Group (Volunteers) whose Headquarters were placed in the Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea. Two other volunteer Regiments, 34 (Northern) and 40 (Ulster), plus sponsored squadron (81 Signal Sqn) completed the Group. 12 Group's task was to provide communications for logistics units in the Rear Combat Zone (RCZ) and Communications Zone (CommZ) British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). The specific task allotted to 36 Regiment was to provide the field communications for the logistics units in the Forward Maintenance Area (FMA), a sub area of the RCZ (the other being Rear Maintenance Area (RMA)), and to link Rear HQ 1 (BR) Corps into the Logistic Communications of the RCZ.
To carry out its task the Communicating Squadrons 44, 45 and 54 Sqn each provided three Control Centre Troops and a Radio Relay Troop. The establishment of the Regiment was for 627 Officers and men. The task of the Control Centre was to support or if necessary replace the static communications between Logistic Units in the RCZ and the various logistic Headquarters or Sub Area Headquarters.
The first year was spent in absorbing the various intakes and moulding the scattered squadrons into an effective Regiment. In 1968 for the first time the Regiment went to West Germany for its annual camp and took part in Exercise FALLEX. It was a successful exercise from the Regiments viewpoint and many valuable lessons were learned. Much information was gained on which to base the training for the next two years. Apart from information on communication problems, defence of comms sites, the relatively new art of Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) Warfare demanded attention, as did road movement and the drills for movement by sea and air.
The next two years training cycle was based in the United Kingdom, including the two annual camps. In 1971 the Regiment went to BAOR for the second time and took part in Exercise PLAIN SAILING. Whilst in West Germany they came under command of 4th Signal Group at JHQ Rheindahlen. This Group, responsible for the static and field communications in the RCZ, was augmented by 12 Signal Group (V), on mobilization.
Although this establishment was a great improvement on the original, which had been written on the 'Brick Troop' establishment's principle, it did not suit the peacetime geographical locations, or administration of Troops and Squadrons.
Due to the geographical spread, regimental training could only take place at Annual Camp and on regimental exercise or about three weekends during the training year. Most of the day to day training had to be carried out at squadron and troop level. To make the training more productive and practical it was found necessary to locate one of the LMCs at Gillingham with the Commcen and reduce 54 Squadron accordingly. It was also decided to form two new troops out of the Radio Relay Detachment Troop at Gillingham and locate one with each 45 and 54 Squadrons.
Despite the establishment amendment which renumbered the Squadrons One, Two and Three the volunteers continued to refer to the Squadrons by their former titles (44, 45 and 54). Loyalty to their old Regiments was and still is very strong. So the former numbers were retained as they were by all other nine volunteer Regiments.
The year 1976 was the first occasion all the Regiments and Squadrons of 12th Signal Group (V) went to BAOR at the same time and took part in a major BAOR Logistics Exercise, 'Ex Jog Trot'. The Regiment together with the regular regiment of 4 Signal Group carried out its full mobilization role and had a very successful exercise.
As a result of the regimental reorganisation to better suit peacetime training requirements, and the successful mobilization role practice on exercise Jog Trot the Regiment sought approval for its peacetime deployment and its composite LMC Radio Relay Troops. So a new establishment was written and approved, appropriately dated 1st January 1977, ten years after the Regiment was formed.
The Regiment was later equipped with Euromux equipment, which it kept until the re-organisation in 2006. From April of that year the Regiment became part of 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade and with it came new equipment.
The History of 44 Signal Squadron
(now amalgamated with 45 Sig Sqn) 44 Signal Squadron has the longest history of the three field squadrons, tracing its origins back to 1692.
The Military history of the Cinque Ports with which this Regiment was associated began in 1692 with the raising of 'Trained bands' of soldiers within the Cinque Ports of Rye, Hastings, Dover, Hythe and Sandwich
The history of 44th Signal Regiment begins in 1908 with the raising of 1st Home Counties Divisional Signal Company at Brighton. In 1915 the Company was taken from its present division and sent to join the British Expeditionary Force in France for service with the 28th Division. At the end of 1916 this Division was sent to Macedonia, where it served for the rest of the war.
In 1920 the Signal unit was reconstituted as 44th (Home Counties) Divisional Signals Territorial Army, following amalgamation at Stamford Brook London, with 10th Middlesex Battalion (Yeomanry), who had been formed from 2nd South Middlesex Volunteer Battalion. With the expansion of the Territorial Army (TA) in 1939, 44 Divisional Signals raised a second regiment (or duplicate) which was titled the 12th Divisional Signals. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, 44th Divisional Signals joined the British Expeditionary Force in France returning to England as part of the evacuation from Dunkirk. In 1942 the Division was sent to the Middle East, but after the battle of El Alemein was disbanded and Signals Unit used to reinforce 30th Corps Signals, 7th Armoured Divisional Signals and No. 4 Lines of Communications (L of C) Signals. 12th Divisional Signals sent elements for France in 1940, mostly for the L of C but was not used as a complete unit. It was disbanded in 1940 and the components were posted as reinforcements to various other units in the United Kingdom and Middle East. Included among the latter were No. 3 L of C Signals and SUDAN Signals.
The title '44' was therefore lost from 1942. However in 1947 during the reformation of the TA, 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Divisional Signal Regiment TA reappeared located in Kent, with elements at Dover and Shorncliffe. At the same time Nos. 1 and 2 AA Groups Signal Regiments were combined to form The Eastern Command (M) Signal Regiment TA. The 'marriage' lasted until 1957 when they were again divided in two Regiments. One of them was titled 'Home Counties District (Mixed) Signal Regiment TA' which set up its RHQ and two Squadrons at Shorncliffe, with another Squadron based at Canterbury. There were also detachments at Tonbridge Wells, Dover, Sandgate and Gillingham. Some of the accommodation taken over by the new Regiment was that of 259 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery TA: which regiment although only reformed in 1947 was disbanded in 1956. A number of gunners from 259 Regiment transferred to the new Signal Regiment and Lt Col. N C Butcher of Hythe , himself a gunner, became the first Commanding Officer of the Home Counties (Mixed) Signal Regiment TA. In 1959 the title of the Regiment was changed to 62nd (Mixed) Signal Regiment TA.
1960 - 2006
In 1960, with the unanimous agreement of the Confederation of the Cinque Ports the War Office re-designated the 62nd (Mixed) Signal Regiment TA as The Cinque Ports Regiment. The last Regiment to bear this title had been 259 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment TA which was disbanded in 1956. The Regiment was very proud to inherit the honoured title Cinque Ports.
On 1st April 1961 62nd (Mixed) Signal Regiment (Cinque Ports) TA was amalgamated with 44 (Home Counties) Signal Regiment TA from Shorncliffe and Dover to form 44th (Home Counties) Signal Regiment (Cinque Ports) TA with its headquarters at Gillingham Kent.
With the formation of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve in 1967 the Regiment as reduced to Squadron strength: became part of 36th (Eastern) Signal Regiment (TAVR). The new Squadron retained the number 44 as well as the 'Cinque Ports' title and continued up until April 2006 when it was disbanded. The Officers and Soldiers continue to serve in the Regiment.
The History of 45 & 54 Signal Squadrons
The history of both 45 and 54 Squadron are closely tied over many hundreds of years.
These two Regiments both sprang from the same source. The older unit is '54', which can be traced back to 1915, although the title 'East Anglia' derives from about 1908. The number 45 as related to a Signal Regiment is as recent as 1959. However the origins of both units dates back to the 16th Century. In compiling the history of these two Regiments, it is convenient to treat it in three separate periods, 1559-1907, 1908-1945 and 1947-1967
In 1559 Queen Elizabeth 1 issued instructions for the muster of a regular City of London Militia as part of the 'Trained Bands'. One of the mustered City Trained Bands was the Tower Hamlets Regiment - an element of which later became Royal Corps of Engineers (RE). In 1660 the Trained Bands, except those in the City of London, were replaced by a new Militia which eventually proved to be ineffective, and in 1794 Militia of the trained bands of London were abolished. However some companies of Volunteers in the Tower Hamlets division were later revived, and in 1798 a dozen Volunteer 'associations' were formed as part of the Tower Hamlets.
In 1858 it appears that the Scientific College at Kensington applied to form the 'Middlesex Corps' of three Engineer battalions - 1st London RE, 1st Middlesex RE and 2nd Tower Hamlets RE. The latter was eventually raised in 1868, and a section of this unit served with 26 Field Company RE in the South African War.
In 1885 Captain Glunike, one of the Masters at Bedford Grammer School, and a retired Engineer Officer of the German Army, formed a Cadet Engineer Corps at the School. This Cadet Corps was attached for administrative purposes to the Tower Hamlets Volunteers, who were the nearest Volunteer Force of the appropriate Arm. The Cadet Corps flourished, and early in 1900 it was proposed to raise an Engineer Corps in the town of Bedford. This happened in the spring of the same year, and the Corps was authorised as '1st Bedfordshire RE (Volunteers)', with an establishment of four Companies. Major Glunike assumed command, and the Cadet Corps was attached to it. The new unit was popular from the first, and in 1902 only one year after its formation, this was increased to six companies.
On the inauguration of the Territorial Army in 1907, the 1st Bedfordshire RE (Volunteers) became the East Anglian Divisional RE, with two Field Companies and a Divisional Telegraph Company. The latter was formed at Bedford on 4th April 1908 under command of Captain R Wilson, and had an establishment of two officers and 38 other ranks. This Company was mobilised in 1914 under the command of Captain H J Randall, and as the 54th Divisional Signal Company was dispatched, as part of that Division, to Gallipoli. As late as 1963, 54th had in its possession a signal office flag which had been flown at the Divisional Headquarters in Simla Bay Lala Baba, and Anstralia Valley, Aghyh Dere Anzaz. The 54th Division and Signal Company - subsequently served in Egypt and Palestine until the end of the war, when the Company was disbanded in 1919.
The History of 60 (Royal Buckingham Hussars) Signal Squadron
60 Signal Squadron (Volunteers) was initially formed in Jul 1999 from A Coy Mortar Platoon 5th Battalion Royal Green Jackets (RGJ), based at Aylesbury, and personnel from 55 Signal Squadron (Volunteers), Liverpool. This amalgamation was as a result of the Ministry of Defence Strategic Review. The Squadron had its headquarters in Aylesbury with a Troop based in Booker, High Wycombe. The Squadron was initially an independent Sqn within 11 Signal Brigade providing Combat Net Radio (CNR) support to the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).
In 2002, the Sqn became part of 71 (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment within 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade and took on the additional role of providing CNR capability for UK operations in support of both military and civilian organisations. The Squadron continued to develop and grow and in 2005 moved to a new TA Centre in Aylesbury, Viney House, which was opened by HRH The Princess Royal, Colonel in Chief of Royal Signals. The Squadron was also proud to adopt the title of the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars which has a long and distinguished history.
As a result of TA Rebalancing in 2006, the Squadron became part of 36 (Eastern) Signal Regiment with the integration of Troops from both Bedford and Cambridge and the existing Troop at Booker transferring to 47 (Middlesex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron.
60 (Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars) Signal Squadron has a unique role within the Royal Corps of Signals, continuing to provide secure radio communications capability for a variety of military formations and civilian organisations, both at home and abroad. In the UK, the Squadron supports UK operations as part of 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade providing CNR capability to military support units, government and emergency services.. Overseas, the Squadron supports NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), providing essential Combat Net Radio communications to ensure that vital information gets passed around the battlefield. This is an exciting and challenging role which provides many opportunities for our highly-skilled soldiers.
The Squadron Headquarters and 2 Troops are based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire with a 2 further Troops based at Bedford and Cambridge. In recent years, the Squadron has exercised in the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic, and soldiers have also been detached to serve on operations in Canada, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.
Our soldiers receive a wide range of military training including map reading, first aid, shooting, cross country driving, weapon training tactics, leadership and adventure training as well as specialist trade training for the signals roles they undertake which include:
Radio Systems Operator
Radio Systems Technician
Technical Supply Specialist
Alternatively soldiers may train in a support role as a Vehicle Mechanic, Chef, Clerk or Medic. They also have the opportunity to undertake extra training beyond their primary trade to become a Physical Training Instructor, Weapon Training Instructor or Heavy Goods Vehicle Driver etc. No previous military or specialist experience is required as full training is given to develop the necessary skills
60(RBH) Sig Sqn is continuing to grow and always seeking new recruits to ensure our development to maintain a full establishment of 157 TA soldiers. The Squadron is supported by a number of staff -regular army Permanent Staff Instructors, Non-Regular Permanent Staff as well as civilian staff.
ROYAL BUCKINGHAMSHIRE HUSSARS HISTORY RBH LINEAGE
1794 Raised as Bucks Armed Yeomanry.
1802 Reorganised to 3 Regiments:
1st - Southern Regiment
2nd - Mid-Bucks Yeomanry Cavalry
3rd - Northern Regiment
Operated to c. 1928-30
1845 Re-designated Buckinghamshire Yeomanry Cavalry (Royal Bucks Hussars) and provided 4 companies for the Imperial Yeomanry 1899-1902.
WW1 served as mounted and dismounted in Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, and following amalgamation with the Berkshire Yeomanry as a Machine Gun Battalion in France.
1920 Bucks Yeomanry converted to Artillery, throughout WW2 and as 99th (Buckinghamshire Yeomanry) Brigade (393 (RBY) Bty, 394(RBY) Bty).
1950 Amalgamated with 387 Fd Regt RA (Oxfordshire Yeomanry) to form 299 (Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regt Royal Artillery (TA).
1956 P (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry) Battery, 299th (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry, Berkshire Yeomanry and Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars) Field Regt RA.
1961 P (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry) Battery, 299th (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry, Own Oxfordshire Hussars and Berkshire) Field Regt RA - Berkshire Yeomanry separated.
1969 The Buckinghamshire Regiment, RA (Territorials) reduced to infantry cadre sponsored by 4th (V) Bn Royal Green Jackets.
1996 1st (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron adopted the RBY title 1 yr after formation.
2005 60 Signal Squadron (V), based at Aylesbury with B Tp at Booker, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, adopted the RBH title to become 60 (Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars) Signal Squadron, as part 71 (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment within 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade.
2006 Following TA Rebalancing, 60 (RBH) Sig Sqn transferred from 71 (Y) Sig Regt to 36 (Eastern) Signal Regiment, with the incorporation of 2 Tps at Bedford, with the existing B Tp - Booker transferring to 47 (Middlesex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron.
2008 Move of RHQ, LAD & 54 Sp Sqn from Ilford, Essex to Coldhams Lane, Cambridge.
2009 The formal opening of RHQ was carried out by Comd 2 (NC) Bde on 21 Jan 09.
RBH BATTLE HONOURS
1900-1901 South Africa
1918 Arras, Scarpe, Ypres, Courtrai, France & Flanders
1915 Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli
1917-1918 Gaza, El-Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Palestine