Regimental History

Explore the history of the Fusiliers from their beginnings at the Tower to the present day.

The Royal Fusiliers (City of London) Regiment was raised at the Tower of London in 1685 by George Legge, Lord Dartmouth, at the order of King James II. Originally an Ordnance Regiment, which protected the guns and gunpowder of the Royal Arsenal, Fusiliers were equipped with flintlock fusils, from which The Regiment gained its name.

Upon William III’s triumphant ascension to the throne in 1688, The Regiment was relocated to Yarmouth to welcome William and Mary in 1689. It was while under William’s reign that The Royal Fusiliers ceased to be an Ordnance Regiment and became a regular Infantry Regiment, and consequently did not return to the Tower of London until 1880. They first saw battle in 1688 in order to assist William and the Dutch Army in the war against France, at Walcourt, under Lord Marlborough. This was to be the first of many battles during William’s reign which involved The Royal Fusiliers, who also took part in the siege of Cork (1690), the battle of Steenkerque (1692, under George Hamilton, Earl of Orkney) and the siege of Namur (1695), where The Regiment received its first Battle Honour by heroic action under Colonel Edward Fitzpatrick, appointed by William as Colonel of The Fusiliers in 1692.

The Royal Fusiliers fought in some of the most significant conflicts in history, including the American War of Independence, The Napoleonic Wars, The Crimean War, First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. In 1968, as part of the Army reforms the Regiment was amalgamated with the three other English Fusilier regiments; The Royal Northumberland FusiliersThe Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and The Lancashire Fusiliers, to form The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The Regiment continues to serve across the world, from Afghanistan to Northern Ireland.

For more information on Fusiliers' origins at the Tower of London please click here