Nigeria Regiment

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The Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force, was formed by the amalgamation of the Northern Nigeria Regiment and the Southern Nigeria Regiment on January 1 1914. At that time, the regiment consisted of five battalions:

The regiment served throughout the First World War in West Africa, and in East Africa. It saw service as part of the chindits in Asia during the Second World War and formed the infantry element of the 1st (West Africa) Infantry Brigade. In 1956, at the time of the visit of Queen Elizabeth II, the regiment was renamed as The Queen's Own Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force.

There was eventually a Nigeria Regiment Training Centre at Zaria, a field company of engineers, and a field battery of artillery. In its last years the battalions were stationed in Kaduna (two battalions), Enugu, Ibadan, and Abeokuta (one each); these rotated stations.

Until shortly before independence in 1960 there was still a majority of British officers, and some specialist British NCOs. Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was commissioned as early as 1949 (with the result that he later became the first Nigerian head of the army and the first military president), but the number of African officers rose only slowly during the 1950s.