Lancashire Fusiliers

Last updated
Peyton's Regiment of Foot
20th Regiment of Foot
20th (East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot
Lancashire Fusiliers
Lancashire Fusiliers Badge.jpg
Cap badge of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
Active1688–1968
CountryFlag of England.svg  Kingdom of England (1688–1707)
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg  Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom (1801–1968)
BranchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Type Line infantry
Role Fusilier
Size1–2 Regular battalions
2 Militia and Special Reserve battalions
1–4 Territorial and Volunteer battalions
Up to 24 Hostilities-only battalions
Garrison/HQ Wellington Barracks, Bury
Nickname(s)The Two Tens
The Minden Boys
Kingsley's Stand
Motto(s)Omnia audax
Anniversaries Gallipoli (25 April)
Minden (1 August)
Inkerman (5 November)
Insignia
HacklePrimrose

The Lancashire Fusiliers was a line infantry regiment of the British Army that saw distinguished service through many years and wars, including the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II, and had many different titles throughout its 280 years of existence. In 1968 the regiment was amalgamated with the other regiments of the Fusilier Brigade–the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)–to form the current Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Line infantry type of infantry

Line infantry was the type of infantry that composed the basis of European land armies from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century. For both battle and parade drill, it consisted of two to four ranks of foot soldiers drawn up side by side in rigid alignment, and thereby maximizing the effect of their firepower. By extension, the term came to be applied to the regular regiments "of the line" as opposed to light infantry, skirmishers, militia, support personnel, plus some other special categories of infantry not focused on heavy front line combat.

Regiment Military unit

A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the country and the arm of service.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

Contents

History

17th–19th century

Peyton's Regiment of Foot (1688–1751)

Soldier of 20th Regiment (1742) Soldier of 20th regiment 1742.jpg
Soldier of 20th Regiment (1742)

By a commission dated 20 November 1688, the regiment was formed in Torbay, Devon under Sir Richard Peyton [1] as Peyton's Regiment of Foot. (The regiment's name changed according to the name of the colonel commanding until 1751.) The regiment served in the Glorious Revolution under King William III and at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 and the Battle of Aughrim in 1691. [2] During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), it aided in the capture of Spanish galleons at Battle of Vigo Bay in 1702. [3] The regiment distinguished itself at the Battle of Dettingen in June 1743 [4] and at the Battle of Fontenoy in May 1745. [5] It also served at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 during the Jacobite rising of 1745. [6]

Torbay Borough and unitary authority in England

Torbay is a borough in Devon, England, administered by the unitary authority of Torbay Council. It consists of 62.87 square kilometres (24.27 sq mi) of land, spanning the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, located around an east-facing natural harbour on the English Channel. A popular tourist destination with a tight conurbation of resort towns, Torbay's sandy beaches, mild climate and recreational and leisure attractions have given rise to the nickname of the English Riviera.

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

Glorious Revolution 17th Century British revolution

The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, refers to the November 1688 deposition and subsequent replacement of James II and VII as ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland by his daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William of Orange. The outcome of events in all three kingdoms and Europe, the Revolution was quick and relatively bloodless, though establishing the new regime took much longer and led to significant casualties. The term was first used by John Hampden in late 1689.

20th Regiment of Foot (1751–1782)

In 1751, the regiment became the 20th Regiment of Foot, often written in Roman numerals 'XX Foot', (hence the nickname The Two Tens). During the Seven Years' War the regiment earned honour at the Battle of Minden on 1 August 1759, when, as an infantry formation, they stood fast and broke a French cavalry charge. [7] During the American Revolutionary War, the regiment was sent to Quebec in April 1776 and assisted in the relief of Quebec in May 1776. Serving under General John Burgoyne for the remainder of the Canadian campaign, they later surrendered along with General Burgoyne at Saratoga. [8]

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, South Asia, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: one was led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and included the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and other small German states; while the other was led by the Kingdom of France and included the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal.

Battle of Minden battle

The Battle of Minden—or Tho(r)nhausen—was a decisive engagement during the Seven Years' War, fought on 1 August 1759. An Anglo-German army under the overall command of Field Marshal Ferdinand of Brunswick defeated a French army commanded by Marshal of France, Marquis de Contades. Two years previously, the French had launched a successful invasion of Hanover and attempted to impose an unpopular treaty of peace upon the allied nations of Britain, Hanover and Prussia. After a Prussian victory at Rossbach, and under pressure from Frederick the Great and William Pitt, King George II disavowed the treaty. In 1758, the allies launched a counter-offensive against the French forces and drove them back across the Rhine.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.0 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

20th (East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot (1782–1881)

The 20th Foot at the Battle of Inkerman, by David Rowlands Inkermann.jpg
The 20th Foot at the Battle of Inkerman, by David Rowlands

The 20th Regiment of Foot was designated the 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot in 1782. [9] The regiment embarked for Holland in August 1799 to take part in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland and fought at the Battle of Krabbendam in September 1799 [10] and the Battle of Alkmaar in October 1799. [11] It next departed for Egypt in spring 1801 and saw action at the Battle of Alexandria in March 1801 during the French Revolutionary Wars. [12] After moving to Calabria it took part in the Battle of Maida in July 1806 during the War of the Third Coalition. [13]

Holland Region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands

Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name Holland is also frequently used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. This usage is commonly accepted in other countries, and sometimes employed by the Dutch themselves. However, some in the Netherlands, particularly those from regions outside Holland, may find it undesirable or misrepresentative to use the term for the whole country.

Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland

The Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland was a military campaign from 27 August to 19 November 1799 during the War of the Second Coalition, in which an expeditionary force of British and Russian troops invaded the North Holland peninsula in the Batavian Republic. The campaign had two strategic objectives: to neutralize the Batavian fleet and to promote an uprising by followers of the former stadtholder William V against the Batavian government. The invasion was opposed by a combined Franco-Batavian army slightly smaller. Tactically, the Anglo-Russian forces were successful initially, defeating the defenders in the battles of Callantsoog and the Krabbendam, but subsequent battles went against the Anglo-Russian forces. Following a defeat at Castricum, the Duke of York, the British supreme commander, decided upon a strategic retreat to the original bridgehead in the extreme north of the peninsula. Subsequently, an agreement was negotiated with the supreme commander of the Franco-Batavian forces, General Guillaume Marie Anne Brune, that allowed the Anglo-Russian forces to evacuate this bridgehead unmolested. However, the expedition partly succeeded in its first objective, capturing a significant proportion of the Batavian fleet.

The Battle of Krabbendam of 10 September 1799 was fought during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland between forces of the French Republic and her ally, the Batavian Republic, under the command of French general Guillaume Marie Anne Brune on one side, and a British division under general Sir Ralph Abercromby on the other. The British division had established a bridgehead in the extreme north of the North-Holland peninsula after the Battle of Callantsoog (1799). Brune tried to dislodge them before they could be reinforced by further Anglo-Russian forces, but the British prevailed. This enabled the British and their Russian allies to land their expeditionary force and to break out of the bridgehead during the Battle of Bergen (1799).

The regiment embarked for Portugal in 1808 for service in the Peninsular War. [14] It saw action at the Battle of Vimeiro in August 1808 [14] and the Battle of Corunna in January 1809 before being evacuated home later that month. [15] The regiment returned to the Peninsula and fought at the Battle of Vitoria in June 1813, where it formed part of the "backbone" of the Duke of Wellington's forces. [16] It then pursued the French Army into France at took part in the Battle of the Pyrenees in July 1813, [17] the Battle of Nivelle in November 1813 [18] and the Battle of Orthez in February 1814 [18] as well the Battle of Toulouse in April 1814. [19]

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Peninsular War War by Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom against the French Empire (1807–1814)

The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.

Battle of Vimeiro battle

In the Battle of Vimeiro on 21 August 1808, the British under General Arthur Wellesley defeated the French under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot near the village of Vimeiro, near Lisbon, Portugal during the Peninsular War. This battle put an end to the first French invasion of Portugal.

During the Crimean War, the regiment took part in the Battle of Alma in September 1854 and the Battle of Inkerman in November 1854. [20] The 2nd Battalion was raised in 1858. [9]

Crimean War 1850s military conflict

The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. It has widely been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet they led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery".

Battle of Inkerman battle on 5 November 1854 during the Crimean War

The Battle of Inkerman was fought during the Crimean War on 5 November 1854 between the allied armies of Britain, France and Ottoman Empire against the Imperial Russian Army. The battle broke the will of the Russian Army to defeat the allies in the field, and was followed by the Siege of Sevastopol. The role of troops fighting mostly on their own initiative due to the foggy conditions during the battle has earned the engagement the name "The Soldier's Battle".

Lancashire Fusiliers (1881–1908)

Lancashire Fusiliers Memorial, St. Mary's Church, Madras Lancashire Fusiliers Memorial, St. Mary's Cathedral, Madras.jpg
Lancashire Fusiliers Memorial, St. Mary's Church, Madras

The regiment was not superficially affected by the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s – as it already possessed two battalions, there was no need for it to amalgamate with another regiment. However, in setting its depot at Wellington Barracks in Bury from 1873, it lost its West Country affiliations. This was exacerbated by the Childers reforms of 1881. [21] Under the reforms the regiment became The Lancashire Fusiliers on 1 July 1881. [22] Under the new arrangements each county regiment had two Militia battalions attached to it: these were found by the 7th Royal Lancashire Militia, raised in 1855 and recruited from Bury, Manchester and Salford. This formed the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers. In addition, Rifle Volunteer Corps were attached to their local regiments. In 1883 the 8th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers (raised at Bury on 22 August 1859) became the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, and the 12th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers (originally the 24th, raised at Rochdale in February 1860) became the 2nd Volunteer Battalion. In 1886 the 56th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers (raised at Salford on 5 March 1860) was transferred from the Manchester Regiment to become the 3rd Volunteer Battalion. [23] [24] [25]

In common with other regiments recruited from populous urban areas, the Lancashire Fusiliers raised two further regular battalions, the 3rd in 1898, and the 4th in March 1900. This necessitated adjustments to the numbers of the Militia battalions, which became the 5th and 6th battalions. However, the 3rd and 4th Regular battalions were disbanded in 1906. [9]

The 1st Battalion was stationed in Ireland from 1881 to September 1885, and again from April 1891 to 1897. In 1899 it was posted to Crete, and from 1901 at Malta. [26]

The 2nd Battalion was stationed in British India from 1881 to 1898, when it took part in Kitchener's campaign to reconquer the Sudan and fought at the Battle of Omdurman. [27] After a year at Malta, the battalion was posted to South Africa in December 1899, following the outbreak of the Second Boer War two months earlier. [26]

During the Second Boer War, the 2nd Battalion saw action at the Battle of Spion Kop in January 1900 and took part in the Relief of Ladysmith in February 1900. [28] The battalion served in South Africa throughout the war, which ended with the Peace of Vereeniging in June 1902. About 570 officers and men left Cape Town on the SS Britannic in October that year, and was stationed at Aldershot after their return to the United Kingdom. [29] The 6th (Militia) Battalion also served in the war, leaving for South Africa with 650 men on 10 February 1900. [30] All three Volunteer Battalions also found 'service companies' of volunteers who served alongside the Regulars, and gained the battle honour South Africa 1900–1902 for their battalions. [31]

Haldane Reforms

Under the Haldane Reforms of 1908, the Militia were redesignated Special Reserve, with the dual wartime role of Home Defence and providing drafts for the Regular Battalions. The Lancashire Fusiliers' militia became 3rd (Reserve) Battalion and 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, both based at Bury. The volunteers now became the Territorial Force (TF), with battalions numbered in sequence after the militia. Thus the 1st Volunteer Battalion at Castle Armoury in Bury became 5th Battalion, 2nd Volunteer Battalion at Baron Street in Rochdale became the 6th Battalion, and the 3rd Volunteer Battalion formed the 7th and 8th battalions both based at Cross Lane in Salford. [24] [32] These four battalions formed the Lancashire Fusiliers Brigade, in the East Lancashire Division of the TF, on the eve of the First World War. [33]

First World War

Regular Army

The 1st Battalion, which was based in Karachi in the early months of the war, returned to the United Kingdom in January 1915. [34] It was prominent at the landing at Cape Helles on 25 April 1915 during the Gallipoli Campaign as part of the 86th Brigade in the 29th Division. The shore had been silent but as the first boat landed, Ottoman small-arms fire swept the British and caused many casualties. Six Victoria Crosses were awarded to the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers – 'the six VCs before breakfast'. The landing spot (W Beach) was later known as 'Lancashire Landing'. [34] The battalion were evacuated in January 1916 and landed at Marseille in March 1916 and saw action on the Western Front. [34]

Men of the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers in a communication trench near Beaumont Hamel, in 1916. Photo by Ernest Brooks. Lancashire Fusiliers trench Beaumont Hamel 1916.jpg
Men of the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers in a communication trench near Beaumont Hamel, in 1916. Photo by Ernest Brooks.

The 2nd Battalion landed at Boulogne as part of the 12th Brigade in the 4th Division in August 1914 and also saw action on the Western Front. Between November 1915 and February 1916, the brigade was part of 36th (Ulster) Division before returning to the 4th Division. [34]

Territorial Force

Soon after the outbreak of war, the formation of Reserve or 2nd Line units for each existing TF unit was authorised. These units took the 'prefix '2/' while the parent battalions took '1/'. Eventually, both 1st and 2nd Line battalions went overseas and 3rd Line battalions were raised to supply recruits. [35] [36]

A boat carrying men of the Lancashire Fusiliers, bound for Gallipoli. Photo by Ernest Brooks. Lancashire Fusiliers boat Gallipoli May 1915.jpg
A boat carrying men of the Lancashire Fusiliers, bound for Gallipoli. Photo by Ernest Brooks.

The 1/5th Battalion, 1/6th Battalion, 1/7th Battalion and 1/8th Battalion all landed at Cape Helles, as part of the 125th (Lancashire Fusiliers) Brigade, in early May 1915 and took part in the Second Battle of Krithia (6–8 May) under command of the 29th Division. The brigade later rejoined the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division for the Third Battle of Krithia and Battle of Krithia Vineyard. Evacuated from Gallipoli in December 1915, these four battalions landed on Moudros and proceeded to Egypt from where they transferred to Marseille in February 1917 for service on the Western Front. [33] [34] [37] [38] [39]

5th Battalion Drummer and Bugler. Lancashire Fusiliers 5th Bn (TA) Drummer and Bugler.jpg
5th Battalion Drummer and Bugler.

The 2/5th Battalion landed at Boulogne as part of the 3rd Highland Brigade in the Highland Division in May 1915 for service on the Western Front. [34] [38] The 2/6th Battalion, 2/7th Battalion and 2/8th Battalion all landed at Le Havre as part of the 197th Brigade in the 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division in February 1917 also for service on the Western Front. [34] [38] [40] The 3/5th Battalion landed at Le Havre as part of same brigade in March 1917 also for service on the Western Front. [34] [38] After the losses incurred during the German Spring Offensive in March 1918, the remains of the 2/7th Bn were reduced to a cadre and used to train newly arrived US Army units for trench warfare. The cadre then returned to England and was reconstituted as 24th Battalion. This was a training unit based at Cromer until the end of the war. [34] [38] [40] [41]

New Army Battalions

The 9th (Service) Battalion waded ashore in deep water and darkness at Suvla Bay [42] on the night of 6/7 August 1915, as part of 34th Brigade of 11th (Northern) Division, and were pinned down on the beach losing their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel H. M. Welstead, and a number of officers. [38] [39] [43] Evacuated from Gallipoli in December 1915, it moved to Egypt and was then transferred to France in July 1916 for service on the Western Front. [34] [38]

Serving hot stew to the troops of the Lancashire Fusiliers in the front line trench from a container. Opposite Messines, near Ploegsteert Wood, March 1917. The British Army on the Western Front, 1914-1918 Q4843.jpg
Serving hot stew to the troops of the Lancashire Fusiliers in the front line trench from a container. Opposite Messines, near Ploegsteert Wood, March 1917.

The 10th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne as part of the 52nd Brigade in the 17th (Northern) Division in July 1915 for service on the Western Front. [34] The 11th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne in September 1915 as part of the 74th Brigade of the 25th Division; [34] [38] the famous fantasy author J. R. R. Tolkien served with this battalion until contracting trench fever during the Battle of the Somme in October 1916. [44]

J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from Carpenter's Biography. Tolkien 1916.jpg
J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from Carpenter's Biography.

The 12th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne as part of the 65th Brigade in the 22nd Division in September 1915 but moved with the Division to Salonika, arriving in November 1915 before moving to France for service on the Western Front in July 1918. [34] [38] The 15th (Service) Battalion (1st Salford) and 16th (Service) Battalion (2nd Salford) landed at Boulogne as part of the 96th Brigade in the 32nd Division in November 1915 also for service on the Western Front. [34] [38] The 17th (Service) Battalion (1st South East Lancashire) and 18th (Service) Battalion (2nd South East Lancashire) landed at Le Havre as part of the 104th Brigade in the 35th Division in January 1916 also for service on the Western Front. [34] [38] The 19th (Service) Battalion (3rd Salford) (Pioneers) landed at Le Havre as part of the 96th Brigade in the 32nd Division in November 1915 also for service on the Western Front. [34] [38] The 20th (Service) Battalion (4th Salford) landed at Le Havre as part of the 104th Brigade in the 35th Division in January 1916 also for service on the Western Front. [34] [38]

War memorial

The Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial in Bury. Lancashire Fusiliers memorial, Gallipoli Garden, Bury (5).JPG
The Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial in Bury.

A war memorial to the regiment, commissioned in honour of its First World War casualties, was erected outside Wellington Barracks in Bury, opposite the regimental headquarters. With the demolition of the barracks, the memorial was relocated to Gallipoli Garden in the town. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, famous for the Cenotaph in London, whose father and great uncle served in the Lancashire Fusiliers. After the amalgamation into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the memorial was re-dedicated to all fusiliers killed in service. [45]

Second World War

Regular Army battalions

After recovering its numbers from the First World War, the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers spent the interwar period based in various garrisons around the British Empire. In 1939, upon the outbreak of World War II, the battalion was based in British India. During the Burma Campaign, the 1st Battalion fought with various units until 1943 when it became a Chindits formation with the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade, which was commanded by Brigadier Orde Wingate. The battalion was involved in both major Chindit operations, suffering many casualties before the war ended. [46]

Men of the 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers riding a Sherman tank into battle during the final Italian offensive, April 1945. The British Army in Italy 1945 NA24365.jpg
Men of the 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers riding a Sherman tank into battle during the final Italian offensive, April 1945.

From the outbreak of war in 1939 to 1940, the 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers was deployed with the 11th Infantry Brigade, alongside the 1st East Surreys and 1st Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (later replaced by the 5th Northants). The brigade was part of the 4th Infantry Division and was sent overseas in October 1939 to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The 2nd Battalion fought against the German Army in the battles of Belgium and France, until being forced to retreat to Dunkirk and were evacuated back to the United Kingdom, where they stayed until late 1942, anticipating a German invasion. In June 1942, the 11th Brigade, of whom the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers were a part, was transferred to the newly created 78th Infantry Division. They then served in the final stages of the North African Campaign, the Tunisian Campaign, where the 78th Battleaxe Division gained an excellent reputation, Medjez El Bab, Sicily, and the Italian Campaign (as part of the Gothic Line). During the fighting in Italy, Fusilier Frank Jefferson was awarded the Victoria Cross.

A former member of the battalion, Wallace Jackson, died on Thursday, 12 November 2009 aged 89 years. [47] [48]

Territorial Army battalions

The 1/5th Battalion was a 1st-Line Territorial Army (TA) unit serving in the 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division with the 1/6th and 1/8th battalions in the 125th Infantry brigade. They were sent to France in April 1940 to join the rest of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and fought in the Battle of Dunkirk and were evacuated to Britain. In 1941, the battalion was converted to armour as the 108th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (Lancashire Fusiliers). Units converted in this way continued to wear their infantry cap badge on the black beret of the Royal Armoured Corps. [49]

The 1/6th Battalion served alongside the 1/5th Battalion in France in April–June 1940 and were driven back to Dunkirk. In 1941, this 1st-Line TA Battalion was converted, like the 1/5th Battalion, to armour as 109th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps. [49]

In 1936, the 7th Battalion was converted into 39th (The Lancashire Fusiliers) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers, based in Salford. After mobilising in August 1939 to defend potential targets such as the Manchester Ship Canal and Barton Power Station during the Phoney War, it served in the Orkneys, guarding the Scapa Flow naval base. It returned to Lancashire in early 1941 to defend Liverpool during the May Blitz. [50] In the summer of 1940, while serving in 53 Anti-Aircraft Brigade, covering the North Midlands, it was transferred as a Searchlight Regiment to the Royal Artillery (the day of the actual transfer, 1 August (Minden Day), was considered auspicious by the battalion). [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] In May 1943, the regiment was reduced to a cadre under its old title of 7th Bn LF and took no further part in the war, but several of its batteries continued an independent existence, continuing to wear the Lancashire Fusiliers badge and to celebrate Minden Day. [50] [52] [54] 354th and 357th Searchlight Batteries (the latter converted into 414th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery) defended Southern England against V-1 flying bomb attacks in the summer of 1944 ('Operation Diver'). 356th Searchlight Battery took part in D-Day and was later converted into a 'Moonlight Battery' to provide 'movement light' or 'Monty's moonlight' to assist 21st Army Group's night operations during the campaign in North West Europe. [55]

The 1/8th Battalion began the war in 125th Brigade with the 1/5th and 1/6th Battalions, but while in France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) it exchanged with the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment into the 4th Infantry Brigade part of the 2nd Infantry Division, as part of official BEF policy to mix the Regular and Territorial armies. [56] During the Battle of France, the 1/8th Lancashire Fusiliers, along with the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots and the 2nd Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment, were overrun on 26–27 May 1940 around the village of Locon, 2 kilometres north of Bethune, by advancing German troops. Several massacres of Allied prisoners took place shortly thereafter, such as the Le Paradis massacre, primarily by the German SS Totenkopf Division. Later, the battalion fought in the Burma Campaign and participated in many famous battles, such as the Battle of Kohima, serving in the British Fourteenth Army under Bill Slim. [57]

Men of the 2/5th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers crawl cautiously through a cornfield near St Contest, Normandy, 9 July 1944. Men of the Lancashire Fusiliers crawl cautiously through a cornfield near St Contest, Normandy, 9 July 1944. B6754.jpg
Men of the 2/5th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers crawl cautiously through a cornfield near St Contest, Normandy, 9 July 1944.

The 2/5th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers was formed in 1939 as a duplicate of the 1/5th. It was part of the 197th Infantry Brigade, the 2nd-Line duplicate of the 1st-Line 125th Infantry Brigade. [58] It served with the 66th Infantry Division until 23 June 1940, when the division disbanded. The brigade was then transferred to the 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division. They landed in Normandy as part of Operation Overlord on 29 June 1944 and first saw action in early July at Malon on the North West outskirts of Caen as part of Operation Charnwood, where they suffered 121 casualties. They also took part in Operation Pomegranate and the battles on the Orne River. Of all the companies in this battalion, B Company stood out for the highest number of officers killed (in just two months, B Company lost three commanding officers, and all officers on a company attack just outside Vendes). On 21 August 1944, the divisional commander, Major-General Lewis Lyne, late of the regiment, visited the battalion and informed them that the 59th Division was to be disbanded, due to a severe shortage of infantryman at the time, in order to provide replacements for other infantry units, and most had been battered during the recent heavy fighting. As a result, on 26 August, the battalion was officially disbanded and the companies were dispatched to different British battalions and divisions in the 21st Army Group. A Company was sent to 7th Royal Welch Fusiliers (53rd (Welsh) Division), B Company to 2nd Gordon Highlanders (15th (Scottish) Division), C Company to 2nd Glasgow Highlanders (15th (Scottish) Division) and D Company to 1st East Lancashire Regiment (53rd (Welsh) Division). [59] The 59th Division was considered by General Sir Bernard Montgomery to be one of the best and most reliable divisions in his 21st Army Group; it was only chosen for disbandment because it was the youngest British division in France. The Battalion War Diary claimed it to be "A sad day. 5 years of training for 8 weeks fighting, and unfortunately the break up of the battalion leaves the Regiment without representative in this Theatre of War". [60]

Throughout the spring and summer of 1939, the possibility of war with Nazi Germany was becoming increasingly obvious and so the TA was doubled in size and the 2/6th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers came into being as a 2nd Line duplicate of the 1/6th Battalion. Like the 2/5th Battalion, the 2/6th Battalion was also part of 197th Infantry Brigade in the 66th Infantry Division and was also transferred to 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division after 66th Division disbanded. However, in October 1942, the battalion was transferred elsewhere when it was replaced in the 197th Brigade by the 1/7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The 2/6th Battalion remained in the United Kingdom throughout the war, serving with many different brigades, including the 211th infantry Brigade (part of the 80th Infantry (Reserve) Division) from October 1942 to October 1943. [58] From July 1944, the battalion served with the 203rd Infantry Brigade, part of the 77th Holding Division, and acted in a training role for the rest of the war. [61]

This 2/8th Battalion was formed as a duplicate of the 1/8th Battalion and began the war in the 199th Infantry Brigade, alongside the 6th and 7th Manchester Regiment, part of the 66th Infantry Division and later was transferred to the 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division when the 66th Division was disbanded in July 1940. It did not leave the United Kingdom and was disbanded in October 1944. [62]

Hostilities-only battalions

The 9th (Service) Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers was a hostilities-only battalion raised in June 1940 [9] The battalion, commanded initially by Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Lyne, was very briefly assigned to the 208th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) until December, when it was reassigned to the 125th Infantry Brigade, part of 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division, alongside the 1/5th and 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers. Both the brigade and division had seen active service earlier in the year in Belgium, France and Dunkirk. In late 1941, the 9th Battalion was converted to armour as 143rd Regiment Royal Armoured Corps. [49] However, the regiment was disbanded in 1943. [63]

The 10th (Service) Battalion was also raised in 1940 [9] and served for a year in 208th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home), alongside the 9th Battalion, 13th King's Regiment (Liverpool) and 22nd Royal Fusiliers. [64] In 1942, it was shipped to India and fought in the Arakan Campaign 1942-1943 as part of 7th Indian Infantry Division, with 23rd Indian Infantry Brigade. [65] The battalion was disbanded on 31 October 1945. [66]

The 11th (Service) Battalion was a hostilities-only battalion raised in 1940, originally as the 50th (Holding) Battalion, whose role was to temporarily 'hold' men who were medically unfit, awaiting orders, on courses or returning from abroad. [9] In October 1940, the battalion was redesignated the 11th Battalion. The 11th Battalion served in the garrison of Malta during the Siege with the 233rd Infantry Brigade. [67] In July 1944, it was to be disbanded but instead it was transferred to the 66th Infantry Brigade, serving alongside the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots, a Regular unit, and 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment, a Territorial. The brigade became part of 1st Infantry Division, which was serving in the Italian Campaign, where it took part in the fighting on the Gothic Line, suffering severe casualties. Early in 1945, the 11th Battalion was transferred to Palestine with the rest of the 1st Infantry Division and remained there for the rest of the war. [68]

Post-1945

Regular Battalions

In 1948, all infantry regiments of the British Army were reduced to only a single regular battalion and the 2nd Battalion was disbanded and merged with the 1st Battalion. [69] In 1968, the Regiment was amalgamated with the other regiments of the Fusilier Brigade – the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) – to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. [70]

Territorial Battalions

The 5th Battalion was reformed but disbanded when the TA was reduced into the TAVR in 1967. The battalion's lineage was continued by the Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers on its formation in 1999. [71] The other TA battalions were all reconstituted as anti-aircraft (AA) units in Anti-Aircraft Command:

AA Command was disbanded in 1955, and a number of disbandments and mergers took place among TA air defence units: 633 LAA Regiment was disbanded, [72] [73] while four HAA regiments in the Manchester area, including 574 and 310, formed a new 314 HAA Regiment. By this merger, the 7th and 8th Bns Lancashire Fusiliers, both descended from the 56th Lancashire RVC, were brought back together. They formed Q (Salford) Battery in the new regiment. [75] [77]

On 1 May 1961, Q Battery transferred to 253 Field Regiment (The Bolton Artillery). [78] [79] Since the reduction of the TA in 1967, the Bolton Artillery has existed as a battery of 103 (Lancashire Artillery Volunteers) Regiment RA, but it no longer has a presence in Salford. [80]

Regimental museum

A collection of military memorabilia and educational displays are in the Fusilier Museum in Bury. [81]

Battle honours

The regiment's battle honours were as follows: [9]

Victoria Cross recipients

The following members of the Regiment were awarded the Victoria Cross:

Colonels of the Regiment

Part of the display at the Fusilier Museum Private Andrew Robb Fusiliers Museum 2016.jpg
Part of the display at the Fusilier Museum

Colonels of the regiment were: [9]

The 20th Regiment of Foot

The 20th (East Devon) Regiment of Foot

The Lancashire Fusiliers

Football

The football team of the 1st Battalion was a member of the Irish Football League for the 1891-92 season, while deployed in Victoria Barracks, Belfast, and won the Army Cup in 1896-97 while deployed to Custume Barracks, Athlone. [82] [83] [84]

The Lancashire Fusiliers Acyronym

Acronym meaning (informal)Take Heed Everyone, Let All Now Come And See How IRespect England, For U (You) See ILive In England's Richest Shire! [85]

Notes

  1. "The Army" . Freeman's Journal. 10 December 1830. Retrieved 29 October 2015 via British Newspaper Archive.
  2. Cannon, p. 4
  3. Cannon, p. 6
  4. Cannon, p. 11
  5. Cannon, p. 12
  6. Cannon, p. 13
  7. Cannon, p. 17
  8. Cannon, p. 25
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "The Lancashire Fusiliers [UK]". Archived from the original on 3 January 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  10. Cannon, p. 28
  11. Cannon, p. 29
  12. Cannon, p. 31
  13. Cannon, p. 36
  14. 1 2 Cannon, p. 38
  15. Cannon, p. 40
  16. Cannon, p. 42
  17. Cannon, p. 43
  18. 1 2 Cannon, p. 46
  19. Cannon, p. 48
  20. "XXth Regiment, later the Lancashire Fusiliers Crimean War 1854 The Battle of Inkerman". Lancashire Fusiliers. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  21. "Training Depots 1873–1881". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 10 February 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) The depot was the 17th Brigade Depot from 1873 to 1881, and the 20th Regimental District depot thereafter
  22. "No. 24992". The London Gazette . 1 July 1881. pp. 3300–3301.
  23. Monthly Army List 1881–1908.
  24. 1 2 Westlake, Rifle Volunteers.
  25. Lancashire Record Office, Handlist 72
  26. 1 2 Hart′s Army list, 1903
  27. "2nd Battalion Plus Volunteer Battalions India, Egypt, 2nd Sudan War, Omdurman circa 1891". Lancashire Fusiliers. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  28. "2nd Bn The XX Lancashire Fusiliers Plus Volunteer Battalions of Boer War". Lancashire Fusiliers. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  29. "The Army in South Africa - Troops returning Home". The Times (36899). London. 15 October 1902. p. 8.
  30. "The War - Embarcation of Troops". The Times (36063). London. 12 February 1900. p. 10.
  31. Leslie.
  32. "Lancashire Fusiliers". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  33. 1 2 Becke, Pt 2a, pp. 35–41.
  34. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 "Lancashire Fusiliers". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  35. Becke, Pt 2b, p. 6.
  36. Gibbon, p. 6.
  37. Gibbon.
  38. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Latter.
  39. 1 2 Westlake, Gallipoli.
  40. 1 2 Becke, Pt 2b, pp. 67–74.
  41. "24th Bn Tours & Postings" . Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  42. Latter, Volume I, p. 70
  43. The Lancashire Fusiliers Annual 1914-1915, p. 298
  44. "JRR Tolkien's wartime narrow escape revealed". The Guardian. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  45. Historic England. "War Memorial to the Lancashire Fusiliers, Gallipoli Gardens (1250814)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  46. "1st Bn The XX Lancashire Fusiliers Orde Wingate's Chindits WW 2 - 1939 - 1945". Lancashire Fusiliers. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  47. "2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers: Tours and Postings". The Lancashire Fusiliers. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  48. "Ex Ambleside soldier from historic battalion dies 89". The Westmorland Gazette. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  49. 1 2 3 Forty, pp. 50–1.
  50. 1 2 3 "A new" . Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  51. 1 2 Litchfield, p. 133.
  52. 1 2 "RA 1939-45 39 SL Rgt". Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  53. Farndale, Annex D.
  54. 1 2 3 Farndale, Annex M.
  55. Routledge.
  56. Joslen, pp. 234, 310.
  57. "1st/8th Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers Kohima 1944". Lancashire Fusiliers. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  58. 1 2 Joslen, p. 361.
  59. "2nd / 5th Battalion The XX The Lancashire Fusiliers in Normandy" . Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  60. 2/5th Battalion War Diary
  61. Joslen, p. 366
  62. Joslen, p. 363.
  63. "9th (Service) Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers: Tours and Postings". Lancashire Fusiliers. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  64. Joslen, p. 371.
  65. Joslen, p. 537.
  66. "10th (Service) Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers: Tours and Postings". Lancashire Fusiliers. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  67. Joslen, p. 395.
  68. Joslen, p. 298.
  69. "British Army Units 1945 on" . Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  70. Swinson, Arthur (1972). A Register of the Regiments and Corps of the British Army. London: The Archive Press. ISBN   0-85591-000-3.
  71. "British Army units from 1945 on" . Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  72. 1 2 Litchfield, p. 137.
  73. 1 2 "British Army units from 1945 on" . Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  74. "British Army units from 1945 on". Archived from the original on 10 January 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  75. 1 2 Litchfield, p. 118.
  76. "British Army units from 1945 on" . Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  77. "British Army units from 1945 on" . Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  78. Litchfield, p. 119.
  79. "British Army units from 1945 on" . Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  80. "Bolton Army reservists take part in pioneering training exercise". Bolton News. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  81. "The Duke of Kent performs official opening of Fusilier Museum". Bury Times. 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  82. "Lancashire Fusiliers". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on January 3, 2006. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  83. "Northern Ireland - Final League Tables 1890-1998". The Rec. Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  84. Ireland's Saturday Night, 1 May 1897
  85. Personal Communication My grandfather and Lancashire Fusilier Harry Beirne during World War II, (10 April 1920 - 3 April 2014)

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References