A new Reserve battalion of The Rifles raised its flag in Durham last night (1 November 2017) to mark its official launch.
8th Battalion The Rifles (8 Rifles) which was announced as part of the Army 2020 Refine restructuring in December last year will have its headquarters in Eden Armoury, Bishop Auckland. The reserve battalion will also have companies in Bishop Auckland, Durham, Pontefract and Shrewsbury and detachments in Sunderland, Birmingham and Doncaster.
The flag was raised at the Battalion's D Rifles Company based in Gilesgate, Durham. The resubordination of the Company brings to an end the Company's ten year association with the Fifth Fusiliers.
“County Durham is the heartland of one of our antecedent regiments, The Durham Light Infantry, and so it is fitting that the flag is being raised at the Army Reserve Centre in Gilesgate,” said Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Teale, the Commanding Officer of the new battalion.
The flag which carries the silver bugle emblem common to both The Rifles and the Light Infantry, will be raised in a short ceremony which will see Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Dodds, Commanding Officer of the Fifth Fusiliers formally hand over ‘D’ (Rifles) Company to 8 Rifles.
“The new battalion which will be based across the North East will be paired with our regular sister battalion 2nd Battalion The Rifles supplying them with extra reserve combat support and providing fresh opportunities for those who wish to join the Army’s newest unit,” said Lieutenant Colonel Teale.
“I am extremely privileged to be the first Commanding Officer of 8 RIFLES, a key component of an Army Reserve that is forward looking, agile and modern. Today’s Riflemen are enthusiastic, eager to get on and up for a challenge and we want to hear from those who wish to join us.”