Number Two Company
Number Two Company, or as they are known within the Regiment: “The Men of the Island of the Mighty – Gwyr Ynys Y Cedyrn”, have been tasked with a vital role during WG100. The focus of the Company’s effort will be concentrated around three locations – Normandy, Arras and Arnhem, where the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Welsh Guards were deployed during the Second World War. Number Two Company will begin their WG100 leg with a battlefield tour on the Normandy Beaches, followed by a series of cycling stages and marathons in the vicinity of the sites of our Battle Honours Cagny, Mont Pincon and Bourguebus. The next stage will see the Company deploy to the area of Arras. Not only were the Welsh Guards key to the heroic defence of the town (which enabled the British Expeditionary Force to escape from Dunkirk), they also were the first unit to liberate the town during the invasion of Northern Europe. The final leg will follow the advance of the Guards Armoured Divison during Operation Market Garden, through Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem. The last marathon will be conducted in Lingen, the Regiment’s last action of WW2.
The 1st and 2nd Battalion Welsh Guards did not take part in the D Day landings but fought in a number of actions in Normandy, particularly around Caen. Number Two Company will start their WG100 leg with a tour of the Normandy Beaches, followed by a series of cycling stages and marathons in Normandy in the vicinity of our Battle Honours of Cagny, Mont Pincon and Bourguebus.
The next stint of marathon running will take place around Dunkirk and Arras. The Welsh Guards were part of the heroic defence of the town (which allowed the BEF to escape from Dunkirk), and Lt The Hon Furness posthumously won the Regiment’s second VC.
ST OMER-LA BASSEE
There will also be a marathon run in Brussels, which the Welsh Guards also liberated in 1944.
Number Two Company will retrace the steps of the Guards Armoured Division’s advance to Arnhem during operation Market Garden, starting with a marathon and battlefield tour in the hard fought Battle Honour of Hechtel. The team will cycle through Eindhoven and Nijmegen ending up with another battlefield tour in Arnhem.
LIngen is that last Battle Honour that the Welsh Guards won in WW2 and a marathon in town will mark the end of the Number Two Company Leg.
The tour is a unique opportunity for the Guardsmen to learn about the incredible history that has been vital in forging the Regiment as it stands today. Being able to take part in such a special event that will give all ranks an opportunity to seize this valuable chance to understand our roots and the achievements of our forebears.
Within the fast and furious pace of Battalion life, Number Two Company have deployed on exercise to the Falkland Islands and, more recently, to Kenya on Exercise ASKARI STORM; a challenging environment in which the Company thrived. Preparations for WG100 are well underway and, without question, all involved are extremely excited about the opportunities for travel, adventure, memories and learning about what the Welsh Guards stands for.