Welsh Guards in Izel-lez-Hameau (France-Pas de Calais)
Welsh Guards is part of five Regiments of the Foot Guards of the England sovereigns.
Their beautiful uniforms was composed with a red tunic and à black hat in hair of bear, hair of female bear for the officers, it was adopted in 1831.
the uniform is borrowed from the « Foot Grenadier Guards » of the Imperial Guards of Napoléon the first, conquered in Waterloo in 1815 by the first Foot Guards who later took the name of Grenadier Guards.
The Welsh Guards have buttons arranged in group of five. We recognise the Welsh Guards with withe and green plumes and tunic button in five.
"The legend say, probably at the battle of « Crécy » (1346), or, at the battle of « Azincourt » (1415), the Welsh bowmen who constituted the wholesale of the English troops, would have picked up leeks on the battlefield to fix them to their helmet. Uniforms did not exist in this period and the leek became a sign of recognition and to distinguish itself from the ennemy. Le legend said also that St. David ordered his soldiers to wear the leek on their helmets. Victorious, the Welsh adopted the leek as symbol".
It is a part of the Welsh Guards first battalion (Echelon B of this battalion) coming back from Gibraltar wich became etablished in Izel-les-Hameau. At first, the HQ company arrives on november 16 th, 1939 with:
-A part of 2th company
-The 4th company.
They fast got on well with the population of Izel-Lez-Hameau, with which they lived some months. In May 1940, in front of the German advance, they are called to defend Arras and leave Izel-Lez-Hameau on May, 17th,1940. At night from 23 till 24 May, the threat of an encircling of Arras being imminent, numerical superiority and equipment of the Germans making no more doubt, Welsh Guards does not have a very powerful weaponry (Some machines-guns and bren-carriers), are made to leave this city and fall by Bailleul-sire-Berthoult and Hénin.
Welsh Guards returned liberate Arras in 1944.
Source : M. André Coilliot and Alain Triffaux