Royal Gibraltar Regiment

If it’s not the re-enactment society, it’s the real thing marching down Main Street on Saturday at 12 noon to change the guard, which they do four times a year.

The Royal Gibraltar Regiment was formed in 1958. It’s currently the responsibility of the Queen’s Division in the British Army, whatever that means.

It’s known locally as Dad’s Army, because the origins of the current regiment basically date back to a defence force in the second world war, engagements according to wiki are described as 1940–1945.

The regiment recruits from the UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth. Some years back, we had Gurkhas on guard outside the governor’s residence when they were here for a posting.

Other strong links are with the Royal Anglians, the Royal Artillery, and the Royal Engineers. Many of the ex-mil people we know and have known were ex RE. My blog post about REs from some years back seems to be an unofficial meeting point for people trying to catch up with each other, or Giblife generally.

But if it’s jokingly referred to as Dad’s Army for home defence, the regiment is also the British Army’s expert on tunnel warfare. There are far more miles of tunnels in Gibraltar (some thirty-odd) than there are normal roads on our tiny bit of space.

The regiment has formed close ties with Morocco, our pal in Gib Reg regularly spent six weeks or longer over there. And, as part of the British Army, Gib Reg has sent serving members to Afghanistan and Iraq.

It has an extremely nice motto.

Nulli expugnabilis hosti: Conquered by no enemy.

In honour of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, celebrating its regimental day on 28 April.

And the regimental march is that of the British Grenadiers.

67 comments on “Royal Gibraltar Regiment

  1. Sadly, Kate, your video would not play.

    Something about an error and try again later,,,!

    Some good lads in the G/ Regt. around the ‘ 60 – ’63 period. I distinctly recall one by the name of ” Cabellero” who gave a boxing demo up at the garrison gym against ‘ our ‘ lightweight champ. Many years later I welcomed his son into the Royal School of Military Engineering in Chatham, to teach him the rudiments of his chosen trade… ” Combat Engineering”. As his name suggested he proved to be a proper gentleman!


    • Sunny…. We, that is the Corps of Royal Engineers, ( Sappers) have been tunnelling virtually constantly in the Rock for around 300 years and there’s still less than one per cent of the total volume been removed! From the ancient Galleries which broke the Spaniards’ umpteen sieges ( That old clever clogs Sergeant Major Ince, found he could fire his cannons from the heights of North Face by poking them out of the holes drilled by his tunnellers who only wanted to ventilate their workings) You can still see the double line of these ‘port holes if you look at the North Face of the Rock.

      in Early 1940 the spoil taken from one tunnel, ( a pedestrian tunnel, which links the Dockyard with Sandy bay) was used to lay the foundations of the Airstrip.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I do enjoy good pipe marches. Only police forces here in the States use them. Sadly, the military blares Sousa.

    As a fan of history, I really do like this post. I’ll be humming that tune all day today.


    • I like Sousa! No idea why Gibreg uses bagpipes though. We sometimes get a visiting band from Scotland that is totally pipes. Very impressive. Pix back somewhere in blog archives :D

      Gib has a load of history, for me, it’s one of its prime attractions. That and the cultural melting pot. And the macaques.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As soon as I saw the first photograph it reminded me of my old Scout Band forming up in the road outside the scout hut before Church Parade and the march to St Mary’s just down the road.


  4. We have a similar regiment here called The Royal Company of Archers. Don’t know what they get up to when they’re regimenting – firing arrows at illegal immigrants?


  5. I think I’ve said it before in response to one of your previous posts but: no one does pomp and circumstance like the British. I just love military music and marching (probably because I was brought up on it).

    When you mentioned 30 miles of tunnels, I was thinking from Gib to the mainland. But just winding around under the island? Why?

    And finally: Nulli expugnabilis hosti. I think I’m going to put it at the end of all of my office memos. A bit of secret defiance.


    • Yeah. We are good at it. I went to an RAF band concert here and ended up in tears. Probably a bit too soon after my mother’s death, her favourite older brother was RAF (killed in war), her younger one was career RAF.

      Tunnels? Originally sieges. I think. I actually don’t know Gib’s history well emough. Started learning and stopped. C18 has always been my weak point!

      It’s good isn’t it :) Still can’t work out the declension of expugnabilis but no matter. And every time we have a parade it’s a fine gesture to those who want to take us.


  6. Ah — there is some connection between my family and Gib apparently. My great-grandfather was a Royal Engineer (or at least seconded to them) and arrived early in the life of British Columbia to set up roads and such. I didn’t realize they were still active. I really enjoyed the marching band, and am only sorry they changed directions (albeit quite impressively!).


    • I think that’s a bit tangential! REs were all over the place in the world as a basic resource for the British army. REs have been very significant in Gib history. You must have seen the marchy thingy before. I love watching them march through each other. Soooo clever.


      • Tangential? Not really. Just making connections between what you posted and my own prior knowledge (i.e. pracitising what I teach). And admitting that your post revealed a lack of knowledge on my part. I never hear about RE’s any more — have almost never heard about them outside of family and BC history, actually. Perhaps it’s because I’ve learned/heard a fair bit about British imperialism over the years, but almost nothing about which particular branch of the army (or non-army) is/was involved in any of it. As for seeing this band in action before, I may have, but not with a conscious awareness of who/where they are. I like marching bands — and changing of the guards — especially if they do such wonderful precision movements. I can never figure out how anyone can play music at the same time as march with any coordination. Your guys do both well, and I am impressed. Sounds like you have a great vantage point for enjoying them.

        And, just so you know, my knowledge of Gibraltar, in general — other than it’s physical location in the world — is based pretty much what I’ve read in your posts, so there are still great gaps. You can probably expect other seemingly unconnected responses in future

        oh — and a correction to my original response: the RE in my family was my great-great grandfather, not my great. I mention this in case anyone reading tries to calculate my age (not that this is likely, but I like to correct when I can).


        • I’m no expert on the REs, just know a few here in Gib, and Eddie who commented above has far more knowledge than I do about them. Because of what they do, Gib was obviously a prime place for REs to be stationed.
          I doubt the Gibreg band gets exposure elsewhere although the reg has done some changing of the guard at Buck House.
          I think it’s easy to get complacent about where one lives, and not appreciate the good things, so it’s always nice to take time out to enjoy them.
          I’m not sure I’m a good official spokesperson for Gib these days! I’ve donecfactual posts in the past, perhaps I should reblog them.
          Gosh. I know zilch about me great grandfathers, let alone great great!


  7. Wow, you did a post! I thought you’d dropped off the end of the earth, or the rock lol. Anway, love the post… I remember Dad’s Army!!! :D Those uniforms are so sharp and a really nice red colour. I enjoyed the vid… nice music display, it’s just a shame they didn’t record them marching forwards and a little closer. :)


    • I’m not actually up on the history, but see Eddie’s reply to Sunny above. AFAIK it started in the C18 when Spain continued to try (unsuccessfully) to retake Gib, and laid siege to Gib, hence the ‘Siege Tunnels’. And more up to date, there were plans to withdraw into the tunnels in WW2, including having a hospital in there. It is truly fascinating. The tunnels themselves are high and light, well the ones I visited are, with lots of separate rooms off.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I got rid of it a long time ago. Still shows up on reader. Too many people liking for the sake of it without reading. Imagine one of your posts with 50 mill photos and someone clicks like two seconds after you have posted. I think not.


    • Hmm . . . I don’t use the reader, but the button did show up on a couple of your posts as I was going through them. Odd, that.

      As for the “like” issue . . . yup. My lengthy posts often garner likes almost simultaneously to me putting it up. A pet peeve of mine, but one I’ve come to terms with.

      Unless I know the person, I ignore “likes”. I also ignore subscription notices unless the person regularly interacts. More so if it’s obviously someone selling stuff.


  8. Tunnel warfare sounds complex and simple all at once. Maybe like the Alamo, depends on positioning. However, I’m not an expert by any means.


  9. That was cool and the tunnels sound brilliant, if a little scary – I’m not at my most courageous underground. I’m not that courageous anywhere.




    • The tunnels are OK because they are so high and wide. There is lots of space so they can drive big army vehicles through! My photos of my tunnel trip are lost on a secret blog and a fried motherboard, I should at least try to find the one set.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I haven’t learned. Still don’t back up to a hard drive. Make the occasional cursory gesture with a memory stick. My secret blog is called my secret blog :D but the password? … something totally off the wall :( and definitely unhackable.


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