The Castle and Key of Gibraltar, with a scroll above inscribed Gibraltar, within this a circlet inscribed 'Montis Insignia Calpe' which is surmounted by an Imperial crown, the whole of which is within a wreath of oak leaves. Below this is a scroll inscribed 'The Suffolk Regt.'. All in bronze.
Pattern of badge as worn 1901 to 1958, with a change of crown after 1952.
The origins of the Regiment lay with a number of Independent Company raised in 1660 by Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk, which merged in 1685 as his Regiment of Foot. Called after a succession of colonels’ names thereafter, and serving as Marines 1718 – 1720, in 1747 it was ranked as 12th of Foot and formally designated as such in 1751.
In 1782 the Regiment was re-designated 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot. At this time it adopted a helmet plate centre with the figure 12 surrounded by a multi- point star with an inner belt circlet inscribed MONTIS INSIGNIA CALPE (“By the Sign of the Rock” - Note that Calpe was the Roman name for Gibraltar) above and EAST SUFFOLK below, the whole surmounted by a representative of Gibraltar castle with key below, showing three turrets. The Suffolk Regiment was the senior Gibraltar regiment, along with the 56th and 58th Regiments, and the Gibraltar motif derived from the battle honour, GIBRALTAR, granted following the Regiments’ prominent part in the defence during the “Great Siege” of 1779-1783.
In the 1881 Cardwell/Childers reforms the Regiment was re-named the Suffolk Regiment and the badge design simplified, losing the multi-point star, changing the castle to a design with two turrets plus a scroll, GIBRALTAR, all within a circlet inscribed SUFFOLK. In 1901 the design was changed to standardise the design of the castle, reverting to three turrets but retaining the GIBRALTAR scroll above. The 'Castle and the Key' re-design was in accordance with the War Office Instruction of 30th January 1900.
In 1901 a new badge was adopted, retaining the three-turret castle with its scroll, all now within a circlet inscribed MONTIS INSIGNIA CALPE, surmounted by a King’s crown, flanked by an oak wreath, a prominent scroll below all, inscribed THE SUFFOLK REGIMENT. This remained the Regiment’s badge, save for a change to a Queen’s crown after 1952, until 1958/1959.
In 1958/9 the Regiment amalgamated with the Norfolk Regiment, becoming 1st Battalion East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk), in the East Anglian Brigade.
In 1964 The East Anglian Brigade became the Royal Anglian Regiment, incorporating the Beigades constituent units, whose numbers and sub-titles carried forward. The Norfolk/Suffolk amalgamated unit thus became the new Regiment’s 1st Battalion, adopting its badge. The County subtitles were dropped in 1968.
The Suffolk Regt.
Montis Insignia Calpe (The badge of the Rock of Gibraltar)