24th July 1203
The Royal Militia of Jersey is formed
King John decreed that each Channel Island must gather sufficient men and money to defend itself from invasion and, on 24 July, plans were laid for a local militia that could take care of Jersey. After all, it was unlikely a force from the mainland would be able to reach the Channel Islands quicker than an invading army from France.
Although the Militia itself wasn’t formed on that day, it can trace its routes back to King John’s proclamation. It has been through various guises over the years but, in 1337 its existence as a militia was formalised, and it remained as such until 1946, despite leaving the island in 1939 prior to the Occupation. Although suspended after the war, it was re-formed as a Territorial Army regiment in 1987 and, in 2007, incorporated into the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers.
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