The Royal Welch Fusiliers is a British army regiment, which was founded in Ludlow on 16 March 1689 as the 23rd Regiment of Foot or Royal Welch Fusiliers. It is one of the oldest Regiments in the regular army. Since its formation it has seen continuous military service.
Soldiers of the regiment wear the unique 'Flash' which consists of five black ribbons seven inches long on the neck at the back of the jacket. The 'Flash' is a legacy from the time that soldiers wore pigtails. When this practice was discontinued the King granted the Fusiliers a special concession to retain the ribbons with which the pigtails were tied.
During World War 1, the 42 Battalions of the Royal Welch served in France, Flanders, Gallipoli, Palestine, Mesopotamia and Italy. Among the most famous members of the Royal Welch Fusiliers are the war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves. The two men met when Sassoon joined the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers on 24 November 1915. Groves had transferred to the 1st Battalion from the 2nd Battalion in November 1915. Their memoirs have resulted in the activities of the Royal Welch Fusiliers being vividly recorded for posterity.