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The 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot) was an infantry regiment of the British Army. It was formed on 2 June 1958 by the amalgamation of the 1st Battalion, The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment and the 1st Battalion, The Essex Regiment.[1]

From its inception, the 3rd East Anglians were based in Dortmund, West Germany, the home of the Essex Regiment prior to amalgamation. In 1959, the regiment was posted to Malaya shortly before the state of emergency there was declared over. The regiment served with 28 Commonwealth Brigade until 1962, when it was posted to Northern Ireland.

The regiment's brief existence came to an end when it amalgamated with three other battalions of the East Anglian Brigade on 1 September 1964, to form the 'large' Royal Anglian Regiment. The 3rd East Anglian Regiment became the 3rd Battalion (16th/44th Foot), which was disbanded in 1992.

Badges and dress distinctions

The regiment's badge consisted of a Napoleonic eagle enclosed within the Garter, combining elements of the insignia of the two merging units. The Garter had formed part of the badge adopted by the then Bedfordshire Regiment in 1898, while the Napoleonic eagle was the collar badge of the Essex Regiment from 1947.[2][3] The eagle of the French 62nd Regiment was captured by one of the regiment's predecessors at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812.[4]

The eagle and garter badge appeared in the centre of the colours presented to the 1st battalion on 30 May 1959.[5]

A common cap badge and buttons were worn by all regular battalions of the East Anglian Brigade from 1958. The 3rd East Anglian Regiment's uniform was distinguished by eagle and garter collar badges and by the wearing of a lanyard of pompadour purple. The purple lanyard had been worn by the Essex Regiment, having originally been the facing colour of the 56th Regiment of Foot.[6] The regiment also had a distinctive stable belt, black with purple stripes edged in amber, a combination of those of the two constituents.[7]

The collar badges and lanyard of the 3rd East Anglians continued to be worn by the 3rd battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment after the 1964 amalgamation. Since 1992, when the battalion was disbanded, all parts of the Royal Anglians wear a gold eagle on a purple backing as an arm badge.[8]

Other information

  • Colonel-in-Chief: HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
  • Alliances:
Preceded by
The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
The Essex Regiment
3rd East Anglian Regiment
Succeeded by
Royal Anglian Regiment


  1. Army Order 35/1958
  2. AL Kipling and HL King, Head-dress badges of the British Army, Volume I, London 1979
  3. Colin Churchill, History of the Britiah Army Infantry Collar Badge, Uckfield, 2001
  4. The Salamanca Eagle, Royal Anglian Regiment Museum
  5. Eric Hamiltion, Bulletin of the Military Historical Society, Special Issue No.1: Colours of the regular army infantry of the line 1 July 1881 to 1958, London, 1968
  6. Symbols and Badges, Royal Anglian Regiment Museum
  7. 3rd East Anglian Regiment (
  8. JSP 336 3rd edition Pamphlet no. 15 - Badges, embellishments and headdress (Ministry of Defence)

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