The Light Infantry was formed in 1968 by the merger of four smaller regiments, The Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, The King’s Own Yorkshire Light infantry, The Shropshire Light Infantry and The Durham Light Infantry. The new regiment drew on its predecessors when developing its dress distinctions and adopted a dark green beret for its men:
The cap badge used the traditional Light Infantry bugle without a crown, backed with red felt as its antecedent the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry had done before it:
The beret itself is a very small size, a 53, and was manufactured by Compton and Webb:
The creation of the new regiment in 1968 aroused much emotion, but pragmatism prevailed as in this letter from a Lieutenant Colonel of the Durham Light Infantry to The Times on the eve of its merger to create the Light Infantry:
Sir,- You have received many letters from past and present members of Scottish regiments. From these letters it might appear that it is only in Scottish regiment that soldiers feel strongly about their history and traditions. This is not so. As I command a battalion that is in its last week as a unit serving under its old name I feel I can possibly speak for many English battalions who have been in a similar position. We do not like losing our names or individual traditions any more than any Scottish regiment. We do, however, realise that the organisation of the infantry that was created in 1884 is perhaps not ideally suited for 1968.
My own regiment I venture to say have a tradition and fighting spirit which has earned us a reputation which is perhaps second to none, but we realise that what must be must be and true to our name “the Faithful Durhams” we will serve on faithfully in the new regiment, The Light Infantry, although we must with our intense pride in our traditions and county in many ways regret the change.