Home of the Infantry Regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire

From Our Records - December 2015

1st Battalion Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment - Last Regiment to be trooped by ship from the Uk to Malta.

On the 3rd December 1962, 53 years ago the 1st Battalion Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment embarked at Southampton in the aging troopship, HMT Oxfordshire, for service in Malta. This was an historic occasion as it was the last unit to leave the United Kingdom in a Troopship for service overseas. The journey lasted a week; including in the journey was a stop at Gibraltar to replenish the ship's beer stocks! Before leaving England a set of tiger and panther skins for the Corps of Drums was presented by the High Commissioner for India. This gift was in recognition of The Royal Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiments’ past connections with India. On arrival in Malta the battalion took up its quarters in St Patrick Barracks and settled down immediately to training on the island.  Due to the small size of the island the battalion was required to train elsewhere, primarily Libya in North Africa. They also trained in Sardinia and in addition carried out many ceremonial parades. They were also required to deploy operationally on the island of Cyprus several times due to the ongoing conflict on the Island at the time.

Our photograhp shows the SS Oxfordshire on its arrival in Malta with the battalion in 1962. [The last British Regiment to be trooped by ship from England]