The Welsh Guards

On February 26th, 1915, His Majesty King George V authorised by Royal Warrant the creation of the Welsh Guards. Lord Kitchener was Secretary of State for War, and set about the task with characteristic energy.

General Sir Francis Lloyd, commanding the London District, and the senior serving Welsh soldier of the day, was given power to proceed with the formation.

The order to raise the regiment was given by Lord Kitchener to Sir Francis Lloyd on February 6th.

The actual conversation is so typical of both men that we give the note, made at the time by Sir Francis Lloyd:

Lord Kitchener, very abruptly: “You have got raise a regiment of Welsh Guards.”

Sir Francis Lloyd: “Sir, there are a great many difficulties in the way which I should like to point out first.”

Lord Kitchener, very rudely: “If you do not like to do it some one else will.”

Sir Francis Lloyd: “ Sir, when do you want them?”

Lord Kitchener: “Immediately.”

Sir Francis Lloyd: “Very well, sir; they shall go on guard on St David’s Day.

It is not hard to imagine that the order to raise the Welsh Guards hit Sir Francis from two opposite directions, As a Welshman he was delighted, as a Grenadier he thought at once of the many fine men his regiment recruited fromCardiff.

To fill the more important warrant and non commissioned ranks, it was decided to call for volunteers from the Grenadier, Coldstream, and Scots Regiment of Guards, And also permission was obtained from Sir Henry Streatfeild, commanding the Grenadier Guards to appeal to Welshmen who had joined the Grenadier Guards and were at the recruits at Caterham. In answer to this appeal made by Sir Francis Lloyd 303 men, including 40 non-commissioned officers, transferred. A similar appeal to recruits at Caterham produced 200 Welshmen.

The first Regimental Sergt.- Major W Stevenson (from the Scots Guards), Regimental number became No 1.

On March 1st St David’s Day the Welsh Guards mounted guard over the King at Buckingham Palace.

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