Dates for formation of Blue and Red Marines

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  • #2759
    Lawrie Phillips
    Participant

    I need to define a date on which the Royal Marine Artillery (the Blue Marines) and the Royal Marines Light Infantry (the Red Marines)began their separate histories. From several sources I have two dates:
    30 January 1855: “The Royal Marines designated as a Light Corps and became the RMA and the RMLI”.
    21 March 1862: “The RM divided into two separate corps, the RMA and the RMLI, until 1923 when they amalgamated”.
    Can any member clarify these apparently conflicting dates?

    #2760
    P.S. B
    Participant

    I had understood that the RMA was established by Order in Council of 18th August, 1804, mainly for service in bomb vessels. The initial establishment was three companies with a fourth added in 1805. Source: E Fraser and L G Carr Laughton, Royal Marine Artillery 1804-1923, 2 vols, RUSI 1930.
    There are also many references on the Internet; this one is a good summary [and table of formations of RMA units, from a digital version of An Aide-Memoire to the Military Sciences, vol II, London 1860, pp341-342]:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=bTVFAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA341&dq=Royal+Marine+Artillery+1804&hl=en&ei=dJEaTKj5M4LBcdLDlKIK&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAzge#v=onepage&q=Royal%20Marine%20Artillery%201804&f=false
    I think the dates in the original Query relate to the formation of a Division in 1859 (as
    distinct from the practice of having Companies attached to the various RM divisions), rather than to the foundation of the RMA.

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