Hereford City Heritage

The Mayor’s Chain

The Rifles is a relatively new regiment, forged in 2007 when several others amalgamated including the Hererfordshire Light Infantry. It traces its history back to the Peninsula Wars, when the boldest infantrymen were trained as rifle sharpshooters and headed the advancing armies. Because of their exposed and dangerous positions, the concept of caring for their comrades - and their families - was established among Riflemen early on  and is an ethos that pervades all of the Rifles’ operations today.

The regigiment is made up of five regular battalions and two from the TA and it is recognised as Herfordshire’s County Regiment. The Freedom to march through the City was first given, by the City Council, to the original Herefordshire Regiment; It was then extended to the Herefordshire Light Infantry and, in 2007, to the Rifles.In five years the Rifles has suffered 62 fatal casualties - three of them from Herefordshire - while 30 soldiers have undergone amputations. Sir John Foley - a Lieutenant General and holder of the Military Cross - and Cpl Mattyew Wilson (an amputee who lost a leg and seriously damaged his arm while on patrol in Helmand Province in Afgahanistan in 2009, are ex-Rifles - together with County Colonel of the Rifles, James Hereford, are setting up a charity Care 4 Casualties, in the county in 2012.