It is great news that despite the re-development of the military barracks, a couple of miles to the north of the city of Chichester, links to its illustrious past are to be retained. The Roussillon Barracks, so named in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Quebec, will in future be known as Roussillon Park. The plaque shown here is the original one unveiled in 1959 by the Duke of Norfolk, who served in the Territorial Division of the Royal Sussex Regiment. I probably should take another photo when it is not so sunny, but I do rather like the reflection of the trees in the brass. I wonder how long it will remain that shiny!
The regiment was first created in 1701 to counter the fear of rising Catholicism and linked to that – the ever present fear of invasion from France. It used to be called the 35th Regiment of Foot, but in 1804 the name was changed to the Sussex Regiment by Major General Charles Lennox, who two years later became the 4th Duke of Richmond. The original barracks on the Broyle were built in that same year. More of this in a later post. In 1832 in recognition of services to the Crown, King William IV added the ‘Royal’ appellation to the title.
The Regiment played its part in General Wolfe’s great victory over the French on the Heights of Abraham, Quebec with the defeat of the French Roussillon Regiment on the 13th September 1759. In recognition of its success, the Regiment was given permission to adopt the white plume of the Rousillon Regiment and this was eventually incorporated into the badge worn by the Regiment until 1966 when the Queen’s Regiment was formed from the Home Counties Brigade of which the Royal Sussex Regiment was a part. It now forms part of the Princess of Wales Regiment.
The spiritual home of the Royal Sussex Regiment is St George’s Chapel in the Cathedral and despite the Regiment now only existing as a memory, the annual gathering of Old Comrades still takes place every St George’s Day when a rousing rendition of Sussex by the Sea stirs the soul.