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Royal ceremony is another milestone in family's proud military history.

Byline: Ruth Mosalski Reporter ruth.mosalski@walesonline.co.uk

THE Royal Welsh will be presented with their new colours by the Queen at a special ceremony in Cardiff on Thursday. The event is an important one in the history of the regiment, but it will be a proud day for one family in particular.

The Napier family have a unique and distinguished history with Welsh regiments.

Since 1859, five generations - and six family members - have served with Welsh regiments and the pattern continues to this day.

On June 11, 1969 Lieutenant Colonel Lennox Napier was involved in Prince Charles' visit to Cardiff Castle for the amalgamation parade of the Royal Regiment of Wales where he presented the regiment's new colours.

A painting of that event by renowned military artist Terence Cuneo remains on show at Maindy barracks.

This Thursday, 46 years to the day, his only son Philip, as Colonel of the Royal Welsh, will receive the new colours from the Queen.

Major General Lennox Napier said: "In my view, the best, toughest and most generous soldiers in the British army come from Wales. It has been my privilege and those of my ancestors and successors to have served with them."

The Napier connection with Wales started when Lt Sir Joseph Napier Bart arrived from Dublin to join the Royal Welch Fusiliers on March 14, 1859.

He served with the regiment in Canada but died of cancer at a young age, while captain.

His son, Lt Col Sir Lennox Napier, was a barrister on the Welsh Circuit but as a keen volunteer soldier, he commanded the 5th Battalion South Wales Borderers and the 7th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers between 1908 and 1912.

At the outbreak of World War One, he joined the 4th Battalion South Wales Borderers as major.

He was killed in action by a Turkish sniper at Gallipoli on August 13, 1915.

His son, Joseph Napier, was serving in the same battalion and saw his father killed.

Sir Joseph Napier continued to serve in Gallipoli before going to Mesopotamia.

He was wounded three times in the 1917 Battle for Baghdad in 1917 and was eventually captured by the Turks.

Sir Joseph became Lieutenant Colonel and in World War Two served on the staff of the South Wales Borderers.

He was awarded the OBE for his work on the detailed planning for the invasion of Europe in 1944.

His brother Jack had joined the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers during World War One.

That battalion suffered heavier casualties than any other unit in the Regiment and Jack Napier won the Military Cross for gallantry.

He was wounded on Armistice Day but continued to serve and in 1941 he was given command of the 1st Battalion Welch Regiment in North Africa.

He was captured at Benghazi and remained a prisoner until 1945. He commanded the 7th Battalion Royal Welch Fusi-liers after the war and retired in the rank of Brigadier.

Jack Napier's nephew, Lennox Napier, joined the South Wales Borderers in 1946 and served for 37 years in places as far apart as Sudan, Eritrea, Germany, Malaya, Hong Kong, Singapore, Aden and Northern Ireland.

He was the last commanding officer of the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers and first commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Wales.

He went on to become Colonel Royal Regiment of Wales, Colonel Commandant Prince of Wales' Division and General Officer Commanding Wales.

He now lives in retirement with his wife Jennifer in Monmouth.

Brigadier Philip Napier, who is Colonel of the Regiment, The Royal Welsh, is his only son.

Philip served in the Gulf in 1992 and has also seen service in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Bosnia.

| A parade is planned to |lead the troops from Cardiff Castle to the Millennium Stadium as part of Thursday's ceremony. Tickets for the presentation of the colours are PS5, with money going to the regiment's charities. Tickets are available via www.wru.co.uk/tickets and at www.ticketlineuk.com/event/charityevents or by calling 02920 230 130. Tickets can also be bought from the WRU ticket office on Westgate Street just outside the stadium.

CAPTION(S):

Brigadier Philip Napier is following in the footsteps of his father Lieutenant Colonel Lennox Napier by receiving new |regimental colours from the Queen on Thursday Brigadier Philip Napier is following in the footsteps of his father Lieutenant Colonel Lennox Napier by receiving new |regimental colours from the Queen on Thursday MATTHEW HORWOOD

Terence Cuneo's painting of Prince Charles' visit to Cardiff Castle for the amalgamation parade of the Royal Regiment of Wales where he |presented the regiments new colours, on June 11, 1969

Lieutenant Colo-|nel Sir Lennox Napier

Lt VJL Napier |

2Lt Sir Joseph |Napier

Captain Sir |Joseph Napier
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 9, 2015
Words:792
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