The Regiment's London links date from the formal foundation of 'Our Royal Regiment of Fusiliers' by Royal Warrant of James II on June 11th 1685. The Royal Fusiliers were formed as the Ordnance Regiment by George Legge, Lord Dartmouth, the Governor of the Tower and Master General of the Ordnance, to secure and protect the Royal Arsenal. The Regiment was constituted from two old independent companies that had long garrisoned the Tower, together with ten additional companies that were raised from the City, largely men of the Trained Bands - particularly the Tower Hamlets Regiment. To fit them for their specific role each man was to be armed with a 'fusil', a new French design of musket, safer for use near carts of open gunpowder due to its covered flash-pan. The Fusiliers were the first regiment of foot to be titled Royal and to be formed upon English soil, rather than by renaming private or mercenary regiments brought home from European service. The United Red and White Rose within the Garter with Crown over it, the traditional Royal emblem marked upon all the King's ordnance of war, was adopted as the Regiment's badge.

After the Glorious Revolution of 1688-9 the Fusilers departed the Tower to fight on many foreign shores. Except for brief visits, they did not return to be permanently stationed in London until the 1st Battalion again made its home in the Tower in 1880. Under the Cardwell Reforms, in which all infantry regiments were given a territorial title, the Royal Fusiliers were designated the 'City of London Regiment'. The Royal Fusiliers were granted the Freedom of the City on October 13th 1924.

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Links

There are close ties with:
The Mercers Company ranked No. 1 in order of precedence.
The Cordwainers Company ranked No. 27 in order of precedence.
The Merchant Taylors Company ranked at 6 or 7 in order of precedence.
The Fletchers Company ranked No. 39 in order of precedence.

Links with the Lord Mayor

Over the years many Lords Mayor have been entertained by the military in the Tower, some like Sir Richard Gurney and Sir Abraham Reynardson not so willingly - both were imprisoned here by the Army during the Civil War. However, for many years the Fusilier Officers have, by tradition, entertained the Lord Mayor at the 'City Luncheon' towards the end of his mayoralty by way of thanks for the City's support for its Regiment.

The Regiment have the Right to march through the City of London with bayonets fixed, drums beating and Colours flying. This privilege was granted to the Royal Fusiliers in a document signed by the Lord Mayor of London on 13th October 1924 and it is exercised on special occasions. The Regiment marched through the City of London on 29 April 1994 and, most recently, 2RRF exercised their privilege of marching through the City of London, Colours flying, drums beating, bayonets fixed on 23rd September 2008.


The Regiment normally provide a detachment to take part each year in the Lord Mayors procession following his installation. The Fusiliers were particularly pleased to take part in 1994, the year that one of their officers, Colonel Sir Paul Newall, was installed as Lord Mayor.

Seventy-four Royal Fusiliers Battalions

During the Great War the Regiment expanded. Sixty five battalions wore the uniform of the Royal Fusiliers - 45 of which served overseas. There were 235,476 Royal Fusiliers, mainly Londoners, serving in every theatre of operations from North Russia to East Africa. They included 17 'pals' battalions, some drawn from particular City professions such as the 10th (Stockbrokers) Battalion. The Regiment won 13 VCs, including the first two awarded in 1914 to Pte Godley and Lt Dease at Mons. The cost was high; the Regimental War Memorial in High Holborn is dedicated to 21,941 Fusiliers who gave their lives.

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Seventeen Royal Fusiliers Battalions

In the Second World War the Regiment provided 17 Battalions. With the end of National Service the Royal Fusiliers Depot in the Tower closed in 1960 and the reduction in the TA saw the departure of Tower Company, City of London Battalion Royal Fusiliers in 1967. The Regimental Headquarters, Mess and Museum remain, becoming an amalgamation of the Fusilier Brigade in 1968, the Regimental Headquarters of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.