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I have found very little information  concerning Regimental ribbons or their possible use with Regimental Medals. There are a several references in the OMRS Journals to Regimental Medals but most relate to the numbering systems for medals issued to members of various regiments. There is some mention of Regimental Medals, as such,  mainly from the Napoleonic period but, again, no mention of any associated ribbons except in two instances. Samson refers to a medal issued to the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment for which, “The Waterloo Medal ribbon seems to have been used…”. I have only found one mention of a Regimental Ribbon being used for a Regimental Medal - by the 14/20th Kings Hussars (see Collins).

Steeple states that Regimental ribbons are of no great antiquity, dating from the 1880’s when it was fashionable on sporting occasions to wear blazers, scarves, ties and coloured bands around straw boaters. He goes on to explain that the pattern of the ribbon used was chosen by the Regimental Colonel and was generally inspired by the facings or uniform of the regiment, or even by the Colonel’s racing colours! He argues that the colours and ribbons owed nothing to regulations and, since there was no ‘sealed pattern’ for ribbons, there were many variations of pattern and shade.

We have all seen ribbons of a size suitable for use as ribbon bows on Regimental Christmas Cards, etc. and those which are, generally, about 1¼” (32mm) wide. These latter ribbons, with one or two slightly wider ones, will be the main focus of these Notes.

From the latter half of the 19thC. many regiments on active service wore a distinctive regimental patch somewhere on their uniform for identification purposes, such patches of colour were used on the puggaree of sun helmets in India thus avoiding the sun flashing off a metal cap badge to betray the troops’ position. In WW I the practice of wearing these patches on the uniform tunic became widespread throughout the regular army. Although the designs on these patches may be similar to the ribbon designs shown in the accompanying chart, they are generally outside the scope this work.

The ribbons are broadly set out as follows:
• Brigade of Guards & Household Cavalry
• Cavalry
• Royal Regt of Artillery
• Line Regiments
• Corps

The ribbons in the chart are as per the Gale & Polden chart and, though many ribbons are probably missing, it is nonetheless the most complete and definitive record we have. Additional ribbons from Steeple’s manuscript are shown with the suffix (S) or (MS) from my personal knowledge or collection. It should be noted that the colours are sometimes very dark and it is difficult to distinguish between black, dark blue or dark green except in bright daylight. It also may well be the case that where types I & II ribbons are shown, that these may be the ribbons of different battalions.

As with the Fire Service & Police ribbons, there will inevitably be omissions and errors, if you can correct these please let us know so we can issue an updating supplement for the benefit of all.

Mike Shepherd
© M.J. SHEPHERD, 2006


1. Benn W.H.  Undated manuscript.
2. Collins Maj. H.K.C. ‘The Regimental Medal of the Emperor’s Chambermaids’ (14/20 Kings
      Hussars) in OMRS Journal Vol. 17, pp. 216-217.
3. ‘Regimental Ribbons & Buttons of the British Army’ a coloured wallchart published by Gale &
      Polden, undated but probably published before or during WW I..
4. Sansom Maj. J.L.R. ‘Regimental Medal of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment for the Peninsula’
      in OMRS Journal Vol. 14,  pp. 26-27.
5.   Steeple W.J. ‘Regimental Ribbons’ an undated manuscript.


1 No. 50 - Henry Tilling confirms that this medal was issued to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the Regiment in 1983.
2 Fred Read shows ribbon 147 rather than 75 as the ribbon for the Oxf. & Bucks L.I. No. 75 is  the design on the Gale & Polden chart. I served with the regiment and know that 75 has the same colours as the Regimental tie. It could be that 147 was a ribbon used by  one of the many war-time battalions.


I have just become aware that the Royal Marine Association has issued a silver medal to commemorate its Diamond Jubilee. For simplicity I have appended an illustration here……

As will be seen, the ribbons shows a ‘double version of the R.M. colours as in ribbon #124.

1   Guards & Household Cavalry  (Dk. blue/maroon/dk. blue)
2   Brigade of Guards – Old Comrades Assocn.  (Maroon/white/black/buff/dk. blue)
3   1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards  (Blue/gold/red/gold diagonal stripes)
4   2nd  Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays)  (Red/white/red)
5   3rd (PoW’s) Dragoon Guards  (Red/yellow/red)
6   4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards  (Red/gold/blue)
7   2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys)  (Grey blue/dk. blue/buff/red/dk. blue/grey blue)
8   3rd (King’s Own) Hussars  (Red/yellow/blue/red/yellow<<)
9   4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars  (Blue/white/blue)
10  5th (Royal Irish) Lancers  (Green/white/green)
11  6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons  (Maroon/buff/dk. green<<)
12  7th (Queen’s Own) Hussars  (Blue/yellow/blue)
13  8th (King’s Royal Irish) Hussars  (Dk. blue/buff/dk. blue)
14  9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers  (Yellow/red/yellow<<)
15  10th (PoW’s Own Royal) Hussars  (Black/white/red)
16  11th (Prince Albert’s Own) Hussars  (Maroon/off-white)
17  12th (PoW’s Royal) Lancers  (Red/yellow/red<<)
18  13th Hussars  (Dk. blue/white/dk. green)
12  14th Kings Hussars (Blue/yellow/blue)
19  15th (The King’s) Hussars  (Black/red/yellow/blue)
20  16th (The Queen’s) Lancers  (Red/yellow/dk. blue)
21  17th (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) Hussars  (Dk. blue/white/dk. blue<<)
22  21st Lancers   (Grey/yellow/blue)
23  20th Hussars (S)  (Dk. blue/yellow/maroon)
24  5th Dragoon Guards (S) (Red/green/red)
25  6th Dragoon Guards (S) (Black/white/maroon)
26  Royal Regiment of Artillery (Dk. blue with a red zig-zag stripe)
27  Honourable Artillery Company  (Dk. blue/red/ with a red zig-zag stripe)
28  The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)  (Blue/red/green)
29  Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regt  (Green/red/blue<<)
30  The Buffs (East Kent Regt) (Blue/off white)
31  King’s Own (Royal Lancashire Regt) (Dk. blue/gold)
32  Northumberland Fusiliers  (Maroon/green/maroon)
33  Royal Warwickshire Regt  (Gold/v. dk. blue/gold)
34  Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regt)  (Blue/maroon)
35  The King’s (Liverpool Regt) (Maroon/blue/maroon)
36  Norfolk Regt (Black/yellow/red/black)
37  Lincolnshire Regt  (Blue with a red St Andrews cross)
38  Devonshire Regt  (Maroon/dk. green)
39  Suffolk Regt (Buff/black/maroon/white<<)
40  Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s Own)  (Dk. blue/yellow/green)
41  West Yorkshire Regt (PoW’s Own)  (Maroon & buff diagonal stripes)
42  East Yorkshire Regt   (Maroon/white/black<<)
43  Bedfordshire Regt  (Black & yellow diagonal stripes)
44  Leicestershire Regt  (Red/white/black<<)
45  Leicestershire Regt -Type II (MS) (red/white/black)
46  Royal Irish Regt   (Dk. blue/red/green)
47  Yorkshire Regt (Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own  (Dk. green/white/dk. green<< )
48  Lancashire Fusiliers  (Maroon/yellow/maroon)
49  Royal Scots Fusiliers  (Dk. blue/black/bright blue<<)
50  Royal Scots Fusiliers 350th Anniversary Medal (MS)1  (White/red/blue/red/green/red/green<<)
51  Cheshire Regt (Maroon/buff/maroon)
52  Royal Welsh Fusiliers  (Maroon/blue/maroon)
     53  South Wales Borderers  (Dk. green/white/dk. green)
54  King’s Own Scottish Borderers  (Dk. blue with a central stripe of red/white tartan)
55  Cameronians (S) (Blue/black/dk. green equal)
56  Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (S)  (Green/orange/green)
57 Gloucester Regt (MS) (Dk. blue/red/dk. blue/yellow<<)
58 Gloucester Regt  Type II variation  (Brown/red/brown/yellow<<)
59  Gloucester Regt Tercentenary Medal (MS) (Dk. grey/white/dk. grey/red<<)
60  Worcester Regt (S) (Green/white/green)
61  East Lancs. Regt  (Purple/white/black)
62  East Surrey Regt (Maroon/white/black)
63  Duke of Cornwall’s L.I.  (Green/red/green/white<<)
64  West Riding Regt  (Maroon/white/maroon<<)
65  Border Regt  (Green/yellow/purple<<)
66  Royal Sussex Regt  (Dk. blue/orange/dk. blue)
67  Royal Hampshire Regt  (Black/yellow)
68  South Staffs. Regt  (Green/black/yellow/black/green<<
69  South Staffs Regt Type II (MS) (Green/yellow/green/red with a thin black line separating all
      the  colours)
70  Dorset Regt  (Green/yellow/red)
71  Devon & Dorset Regt (MS)  (Green/orange/green)
72  South Lancs. Regt (Dk. blue/gold/maroon)
72a  Monmouthshire Regt (MS)  (Green/white/green) 73   Welsh Regt  (White/red/green)
74   Black Watch  (Dk. blue/red/
75   Ox & Bucks L.I.  (Blue/red/white/blue)
76   Essex Regt  (Dk. blue/yellow/black<<)
77   Sherwood Foresters  (Dk. green/purple/dk. green)
78   Loyal Regt  (Red/black/white<<)
79   Northants Regt  (Black/white/black/grey blue)
80   Berkshire Regt  (Blue/white/red/dk. green<<)
81   Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regt  (Pale blue white/dk. blue)
82   Kings Own Yorkshire L.I.  (Blue/mid blue/grey/blue)
83   Oxfordshire L.I. (MS)  (Green/yellow/red<<)
84   King’s Shropshire L.I. - Type I (Black/yellow/dk. green/yellow/brown<<)
85   K.S.L.I. Type II (MS)  (Green/red/dk. blue/yellow/green)
86   King’s Royal Rifle Corps  (S)  Type I  (Green/red/green)
87   K.R.R.C. (MS) Type II  (Green/red/green<<)
88   Wiltshire Regt (S)  (Maroon/dk. blue/buff<<)
89   Manchester Regt   (Dk. green/white/dk. green)
90   North Staffs. Regt  (Black/white/red)
91   Middlesex Regt (S)  (Yellow/maroon)
92   Yorks & Lancs Regt  (Maroon/white/black/yellow/maroon)
93   Durham L.I.  (Dk. green/red/dk. green)
94   Highland L.I.  (Blue/green/blue/white<<)
95   Seaforth Highlanders  (Blue/maroon/buff<<)
96   Seaforth Highlanders - 2nd Bn.  (MS)  (Black/grey blue/buff<<)
97   Gordon Highlanders  (Dk. blue/yellow/green/black)
98   Cameron Highlanders  (Dk. green/red/yellow<<)
99   Royal Irish Fusiliers  (Dk. blue/red/green)
100 Royal Irish Rifles  (Black/<<)
101 Connaught Rangers   (Green/yellow/green)
102 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders  (Red/green/cream/blue/red)
103 PoW’s Leinster Regt  (Blue/green/blue)
104 Royal Munster Fusiliers  (Maroon/white/orange/blue)
105 Royal Dublin Fusiliers  (Dk. Blue/green/maroon<<)
106 Rifle Brigade  (Black/green/black)
107 Middlesex Yeomanry (MS) (Green/red/green)
108 Hampshire Yeomanry  (MS)  (Dk. blue/yellow/white<<)
109  Royal Greenjackets (MS)  (Green/red/green/black/green)
110  Light Infantry Regt  (MS) (Red/green/white<<)
12    Yorks. Imperial Yeomanry (MS)  (blue/yellow/blue)
111  City of London Regt - 1/4th Bn Royal Fus (MS)  (Dk. blue/red/buff<<)
112                                    -  5th Bn. Rifle Brigade (MS)  (Dk. green/black/dk. green<<)
113  City of London Regt - 8th Bn Post Office Rifles (MS)  Dk. blue/Dk. green equal)
114                                     - 9th Bn Q.V. Rifles (MS)  (Black/red/green)
115                                     - 14th Bn London Scottish (MS)(Red/dk. blue/grey/yellow/dk. blue<<)
116                                     -  16th Bn Queens Westminster Rifles (MS)  (Grey/red/grey)
117                                     - 18th Bn London Irish Rifles (MS) (Dk. green/black/dk. green)
118                                     - 28th Bn Artists Rifles (MS)  (Black/white/grey<<)
119  Inns of Court Regt  (MS)  (Black/red/buff/green/black)
120  West India Regt (S)  (Red/yellow/black<<)
121  Queen’s Own Ghurka Regt – Type I (MS)  (Dk. green/black/dk. green/red<<)
122  Queen’s Own Ghurka Regt - Type II (MS) (Black/red/dk. green)
123  Ghurka Rifles (MS) (Green with a black & red tartan centre stripe)
124  Royal Marines (S)  (Dk. blue/red/green/yellow/dk. blue
125  R.M. Light Infantry  (Red/white/blue)
126  R.M. Artillery (Blue/gold/maroon)
127  Machine Gun Corps  (Green/red/dk. blue<<)
128  R.A.V.C. – Type I (MS)  (Dk. blue/yellow/maroon<<)
129  R.A.V.C. – Type II (MS)  (Dk. blue/yellow/maroon/yellow/dk. blue<<)
130  R.A.D.C.(MS) (Dk. blue/red/green)
131  R.A.M.C. (MS)  (Red/dk. blue/yellow<<)
132  Royal Flying Corps  (Dk. blue/sky blue/red<<)
133  A.S.C. (MS)  (White/black/yellow)
134  A.O.C. (MS) (Blue with diagonal red stripes)
135  Royal Engineers  (Red/blue/red<<)
136  R.E.M.E. (MS)  (Blue/red/yellow/blue<<)
137  Royal Logistics Corps (MS)  (Yellow/blue/red/blue<<)
138  Royal Tank Corps (S)  (Brown/red/green)
139  Army Pay Dept. (MS)  (Black/white/yellow)
140  9th Hodgson’s Horse (Bengal Lancers) (MS)  (Red/black/yellow)


141  R.M.P. Marches - Chichester (MS)  (Dk. blue/red/dk. blue/red/dk. blue/red<<)
142                             - Colchester (MS)  (Sky blue/red/sky blue/red/sky blue/red<<
143  A.C.F. ‘Walk’ ribbons - Short walk (MS)  (Blue/yellow/blue)
144                                       - Medium walk (MS) (Blue/yellow/blue<<)
145                                       - Long walk (MS)  (Blue/yellow/blue/yellow<<)
146  A.C.F. 125 Anniversary National Walk (MS)  (Blue/yellow/red)

Regimental Ribbons – Supplement No 1=Chart 5

I am very grateful to Fred Reid for supplying the additional information for this first supplement. These additional ribbons are mostly for modern ribbons of the newer regiments.

147  Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire L.I. – alternative ribbon2    (Light blue/white/red/light blue)
148  1st Royal Dragoons  (yellow/dk. blue/red/yellow)
149   Royal Military Academy – pre 1939 (26mm wide)  (yellow/lt. blue/dk. blue)
150   Queen’s Royal Lancers  (Red/white/red<<)
151   W.R.A.C. (27mm wide)  (Dk. green/purple)
152   3rd Bn. Royal Anglian Regt. (36mm wide)  (Dk. blue/gold/dk. blue)
153   Royal Gloucester Hussars ‘El Gubi’ Medal  (Yellow/dk. blue/red<<)
154   Essex Yeomanry (27mm wide)  (Dk. blue/red/gold/dk. blue)
155   Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars  (Green/dk. blue/yellow<<)
156   Army Physical Training Corps  (Red/dk. blue/red/dk. blue<<)
157   Army Air Corps  (Dk. blue/lt. blue/dk. blue)
158   Royal Military Police  (Red/blue/red/blue/red<<)
159   Devon & Dorset Regt.- alternate ribbon – see no. 71  (Green/orange/green<<)
160   Royal Marine Commandoes  (Lt. green)
161   Staffordshire Regt. (Green/white/red/green)
162   Royal Signals  (Lt. blue/dk. blue/green)
163   Light Infantry Division (38mm wide) (Green/red/green/white/green/red/green/white<<)
164   Queen’s Own Hussars  (Blue/red/blue/yellow<<)
165   Princess of Wales Royal Regt. (47mm wide) (Dk. blue/yellow/dk. blue)
166   Chichester March 1978 (38mm wide) (Red)
167   Windsor March 1980 (25mm wide)  (Royal Blue)