THE Coldstream Guards look as if they may escape unscathed when the next round of defence cuts are announced in June.
All regiments of the Household Division, which includes the Foot Guard Battalions - The Coldstream, Scots, Grenadier, Irish and Welsh Guards - have been described in a Sunday Telegraph article this week as “untouchable”. The article claims that cuts will be made elsewhere “because of David Cameron’s promise that no infantry cap badges should be lost when the Army is cut from 100,000 troops to 82,000 by 2020.
In the next round of defence cuts in June this year a further 3000 redundancies will be announced, and it is believed that 70 per cent of those are voluntary.
Last July rumours were flying that the Coldstream Guards were facing extinction after 300 years, but those rumours were greeted with a degree of scepticism locally.
Some of the national papers claimed last year to have received information that the executive committee of the Army Board has targeted the regiment, and quoted a senior army source as saying “The feeling is that there can be no more exceptions made for older guards regiments”.
All infantry regiments will learn their fate within weeks but with the Household Division “untouchable, this leaves other units vulnerable and the Sunday Telegraph cite the Royal Regiment of Scotland as being most at risk and likely to lose one or possibly two of its five battalions.
“The Coldstream Guards is one of the most famous and distinguished regiments in the British Army,” said John Lamont MSP.
“With battle honours won at almost every major conflict in the last 300 years, not to mention 13 Victoria Crosses, the regiment has a proud history at the forefront of the British Army. That tradition continues to this day, with the regiment serving bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.”