About the Kings Regiment

The regiment was formed as The King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool), the name reflecting the precedence of the King's Regiment (Liverpool). The first Colonel-in-Chief was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who had been Colonel-in-Chief of the Manchesters since 1947.

The regiment's first overseas service was to Kenya in 1959. Initially based in Gilgil, near Nakuru, the regiment later moved to Muthaiga Camp, near the capital Nairobi. In 1961, while still based in Kenya, the regiment was alerted for a possible deployment to the Persian Gulf. When the president of Iraq threatened to annex Kuwait, declaring it rightfully part of his country, the small state appealed to the United Kingdom for assistance. The British government responded by deploying a considerable force, composed principally of naval assets. The threat of invasion had subsided by the time the King's arrived to relieve 42 Commando Royal Marines in July.

When the emergency ended, the King's returned to Kenya, and in early 1962 proceeded to Britain. By July, the regiment was based in West Berlin. While there, the regiment frequently observed Soviet positions in East Berlin. Returning to Britain in 1964, the regiment became part of the UK Strategic Reserve. A company from the regiment deployed to British Honduras later that year. A change to the regiment's title in 1968 omitted its city affiliations, it becoming simply The King's Regiment.

A deployment to Belfast followed in 1972. During an intense firefight with the PIRA, a Corporal Buckley of the King's was mortally wounded. Though attempts to rescue him were made, the corporal died almost immediately. A week later, on 23 May, Kingsman Hanley was shot dead by a PIRA sniper whilst guarding a party of Royal Engineers, who were removing barricades in the Ballymurphy sector. The regiment headquarters was bombed on 30 May, killing Kingsman Doglay and another soldier. Four more Kingsmen - Jones, Thomas, Christopher, and Layfield - were killed between July and August.

The regiment returned to Belfast in 1979. Three kingsmen died: Kingsman Shanley and Lance Corporal Rumble were killed in the same vehicle by a PIRA sniper, while Lance Corporal Webster was killed by a remote-controlled bomb.

back to top


In their tercentenary year in 1985, the 1st King's returned to Britain, based in Chester. The regiment celebrated its 300 years of existence with a parade attended by their Colonel-in-Chief, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Shortly afterwards, the regiment was posted to the Falkland Islands on a four-week deployment.

In their tour-of-duty to Northern Ireland in 1990, five Kingsmen were killed in a single day. The attack on the regiment was one of a series of proxy car bomb attacks on multiple targets. The drivers had been hostages kidnapped by the IRA, who also held the families of the drivers. The powerful car bomb that targeted the King's killed Lance Corporal Burrows and Kingsmen Beecham, Scott, Sweeney, and Worral.

While the regiment was based in West London in 1992, two companies were posted to the Falkland Islands for four months. Another tour-of-duty to Northern Ireland occurred in 1995. The following year, the regiment was stationed in the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus. Brief deployments to Northern Ireland followed in 1998 and 1999.

back to top


Prior to the firefighters' strikes of 2003, the regiment received basic firefighting training to provide emergency cover. The regiment operated in the Greater Manchester area during the strikes as part of Operation Fresco.

Two months after the Iraq War was officially declared over, the King's and a company of the territorial King's and Cheshire Regiment deployed to Iraq with 19 Mechanised Brigade. Operational duties were similar to those the regiment undertook in Northern Ireland. The regiment returned to Catterick in November 2003, where they remain as of early 2006.

In December 2004, it was announced that the King's Regiment, along with the King's Own Royal Border Regiment and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, would be amalgamated to form the The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's Lancashire and Border) as part of the restructuring of the infantry. This will be a complete merging into a two battalion regiment - thus it is impossible to maintain the old regimental titles as part of the new battalions, since that would involve one regiment disappearing completely.

back to top