History of the Foot Guards

Peace Keeping

Image: Guardsmen patrol in the hills around Aden

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In 1947 the First King’s Birthday Parade after the war was held with the Guards in khaki. After the war the Guards were reduced to their pre-war establishment of 10 Foot Guards battalions. The British Empire started to break up with countries wanting their own independence. This brought is own problems with internal strife often exploited by external powers in particular the Communist nations most notably in, Malaya and Korea. The Guards did not take part in the Korean War but they did in Palestine 1945-1948, Malaya 1948-1951, Egypt 1945-1956, Suez 1956.

Peace Keeping Duties

The Foot Guards saw their fair share of peace keeping duties with either NATO or the UN. They were involved in four major counter insurgency campaigns: Cyprus 1955-1964, Aden 1964-1967, Borneo 1964-1966 and Northern Ireland from 1969 onwards. The Guards were also involved in smaller operations in British Guiana, Kuwait, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the Cameroons, Jordan, Oman, Mauritius, Zanzibar and Hong Kong. In addition was their commitments to the British Army of the Rhine.


On the 1st July 1968 the Guards Division and the Household Brigade became the Household Division. Due to peace time the army was reduced in numbers and on 1st April 1972 the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards was reduced to just one company. Shortly after more battalions were need in Northern Ireland and after just 200 days the 2nd Battalion was reformed and sent to Ulster.