Explanation of the City of London Rifles Regimental Standard

Under the Childers reforms of 1881 all Volunteer Rifle units were paired off with regular units who became the ‘parent’ Regiment and the 2nd City of London Rifles became part of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC) However, they continued to wear their own cap badge of the City shield on the Maltese cross.

Under the Haldane reforms of 1907 the 2nd City of London rifles became a battalion of the new Territorial Force (TF) known as the 6th (City of London) Battalion the London Regiment (City of London Rifles).

On joining the London Regiment the battalion’s relationship with the KRRC became that of an affiliation only. Never the less they adopted the KRRC badge with City of London Rifles in the roundel and the original Volunteer battle honour ‘South Africa’ mounted above.

This became their Regimental Cap Badge and the old Volunteer badge became the ‘battalion badge’ This was not an unusual practice and most Territorial battalions had their own similar cypher that was used on notepaper and formal documents, notices or anything requiring an immediate recognition of the City of London Rifles as against any other Battalion of the KRRC.

The London Regiment itself although at that time the biggest regiment in the British Army, was a regiment in name only. There was no Regimental HQ and no colours. All of the 26 active battalions were self-governing but looked to their affiliated unit (if in fact they had one) for occasional guidance on regimental matters.

All of the old Volunteer battalions were classed as ‘Rifles’ and adopted the traditions and insignia of a Rifle Regiment. As Rifle Regiments carried no colours the battle honour ‘South Africa’ was worn on the cap badge in common with the other battalions of the London Regiment.

In 1909 all the infantry battalions and Yeomanry Regiments of the TF who were entitled to Colours and Guidon’s had them presented by King Edward the seventh, most but not all at Windsor.

As all the battalions of the London Regiment came from a volunteer background, they were all asked if they wished to keep their Rifle Regiment status, in which case they would not be issued with colours. The 6th LONDONS elected to remain a Rifle Regiment and therefore were not issued with Colours.

The Old Comrades Association in keeping with all such organisations would carry a standard but not Colours. Hence the pike finial instead of the Crown.

In a reorganisation of the system in 1916 the affiliation status ended and 6th LONDONS became part of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps with no change in title.

In 1935, 6th LONDONS became 31st (City of London) Anti – Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers.