The RGR Cross Belt centre plate is a combination of the Regiment’s heritage from the 10th Madras Infantry (later 10GR) Assaye Elephant and Amboor Rock Fort and the Victorian laurels and Maltese Cross containing the RGR’s Battle honours.
In 1767, only a year after it was raised, the 10th Madras Infantry became the first sepoy unit to achieve a major success on its own. For its stubborn and strategically vital defence of the fort of Amboor against immense odds it was immediately awarded new colours bearing the word AMBOOR and the badge of a Rock Fort, which constituted the first battle honour or honorary distinction ever granted to any unit of the British Indian armies. When the honour ASSAYE and the badge of an Elephant were added in 1803 the Regiment is believed to have become the first in the British Indian Armies to carry honours for two battles.
The 10th Madras was disbanded and its numerical title handed to the newly formed 10th Gurkha Rifles. 10GR maintained the Assaye Elephant and Amboor Rock Fort in honour of the 10th Madras’ proud history and this continues with the RGR today.
The Maltese Cross is another Rifles’ tradition, which was first used by 5/60th Rifles when formed as one of the original rifle units in 1897. It contains the cap badge and Battle Honours of the RGR. The Crown and Laurels denote the Regiment’s Royal status.
The whistle was first used by the Light Infantry or Rifles regiments of the British Army from the early 19th century. The whistle was used to communicate to soldiers in the noise and heat of battle and there were different whistle calls for different orders in the same way that the infantry used different bugle calls, such as Reveille and Last Post. Orders were sent by bugle or whistle instead of drum (since the sound of a bugle carries further and it is difficult to move fast when carrying a drum).