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Regiment gets ‘Royal’ name change as gift

Governor George Fergusson with Regimental Sergeant Major Gavin Raynor, front, Major David Curley, the commanding officer designate, back right, and Major Warren Furbert, the second in command, pictured after the Governor announces the formal change of the Bermuda Regiment’s to the “Royal Bermuda Regiment” (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Queen has presented the Bermuda Regiment with a 50th birthday gift: the title “Royal”.

In celebration of its golden anniversary yesterday — and recognising its predecessors’ contributions to two world wars — the organisation will now be known as the Royal Bermuda Regiment.

Speaking at Warwick Camp, Governor George Fergusson said: “This is terrific news. This is a real honour and mark of recognition for the Regiment.

“These things are not at all automatic — it’s a real award, recognising not only the Regiment’s contribution to Bermuda since its formation, but also its support to countries and territories in the Caribbean. It is also very specifically a recognition of the contribution and sacrifices made by its predecessor units, the Bermuda Militia Artillery and the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps in two world wars, and units before that.

“Members of the Regiment, past and present, have every reason to be proud at this award.”

The BMA and BVRC are the two military units that were formally raised by the Act of Parliament in 1895. Both served on the Western Front during the First World War, and in Europe and North Africa during the Second World War.

The Regiment and its forerunners have a long history of dedicated and loyal service to the Crown and Bermuda dating back to 1612.

Since British settlement of the Island, Bermuda has been a key strategic base in the Atlantic.

Commanding Officer Lt Col Michael Foster-Brown said: “I am thrilled and delighted at the honour, which recognises the long and distinguished service of the Regiment.

“This distinction is particularly appropriate on our golden anniversary and is the best birthday present we could have hoped for.”

The new title also means that serving commissioned officers will be able to add the initials RBR after their names.

Changes to badges and uniforms will be gradually introduced as items are replaced.