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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Profile: Queen's Lancashire Regiment
Queen's Lancashire Regiment
The Queen's Lancashire Regiment has a 300-year history
Three soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment have been charged with war crimes allegedly committed during their time in Iraq.

Some 620 soldiers from the regiment were stationed in Basra from June to November 2003.

The troops carried out operations that would normally be the preserve of SAS, the regiment said.

Daily events included riots, looting, kidnapping, bombings and "general terrorist activity".

Among the regiment's duties, it had to carry out foot patrols, hostage rescue, police training and capture "former regime personalities".

'Successful tour'

The regiment's website says the 1st Battalion the Queen's Lancashire Regiment began a two-year posting at Dhekelia, Cyprus, on 1 March, 2004.

"It moved there from its previous base at Catterick, North Yorkshire, just four months after completing a highly successful operational tour of duty in central Basra, Southern Iraq," the site says.

The regiment's time in Iraq came under the spotlight when photos of abuse were published in the Daily Mirror.

The photos, allegedly showing a QLR soldier urinating on an Iraqi prisoner, were fakes and the newspaper apologised with its editor Piers Morgan being sacked.

A Territorial Army soldier was charged with misusing military equipment in relation to the photos, but his court martial was dropped by the Army.

The 300-year-old regiment is based at Fulwood Barracks in Preston, Lancashire, and 97% of its soldiers come from the regiment's traditional recruiting area in Lancashire and the Isle of Man.

Battle honours

It has won more battle honours than any other infantry regiment.

The QLR can trace its history back to the Castleton Regiment of 1689, based in York, and lays claim to 203 recognised honours.

Its predecessors fought in the American War of Independence, the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of Waterloo, the Crimea War, the siege of Sevastopol, the Battle of Inkerman and the Indian Mutiny.

During World War I, the three Lancashire regiments - south, east and north - won a total of 112 battle honours and 19 Victoria Crosses.

In World War II, they took part in the retreat to Dunkirk and later fought in Burma, the invasion of Italy and in the D-Day landings.

In 1958, the south and east regiments were amalgamated and in 1970 the north joined to create the QLR.

It was one of several regiments which could be merged, under plans announced by the then defence secretary Geoff Hoon last year.

It could lose its name when merged with two other North West regiments - the King's and King's Own Royal Border - a move fought by former soldiers.

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