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The Hampshire Regiment 

Formation of the North and South Hampshire Militia, 1757

The roots of the militia go back to Anglo Saxon days when all able-bodied freemen were required to take part in the defence of the country – defence of the realm.

A convenient marker point to positively identify the county’s (Southampton) Militia was the Militia Act of Charles II in 1661 which acknowledged emphatically the King’s sole right to control the Militia – this act provided for the levying of the Militia by the Lords Lieutenant and for its organisation by Companies and Regiments.

During the Monmouth Rebellion the Hampshire Militia actually took to the field. During the 7 Years War in August 1757 a bill for the re-organisation of the Militia received Royal Assent for the raising of 60,000 men by ballot for service within Great Britain only.

Hampshire’s contingent was to be two Regiments: North Hants and the South Hants: Headquarters and embodiment taking place at Winchester and Southampton respectively. A Major Gibbon and his son Captain Gibbon were appointed in 1759 to the South Hants Militia – Captain Gibbon later becoming the famous Roman historian of ‘The Decline and fall of the Roman Empire’.

For a Sergeants clothing £2 4s 7d was allocated per annum, for other men £1 0s 5d, fresh clothing being issued every three years in peace. In war time the Militia were liable to permanent embodiment, in peace they were called out annually for one month’s training. During the 7 Years war both Regiments were embodied for the period 1759-1762.

During the Napoleonic Wars the Hampshire Militia were again embodied, this time for nearly 11 years – 1792-1802.

In June 1811 the South Hants became Light Infantry. In 1853 the North and South Hants Militia amalgamated – Winchester becoming their focal point for annual training.
In 1881 the Hampshire Militia was re-designated the 3rd (Militia Battalion the Hampshire Regiment.

The North Hants Militia – 1757

The South Hants Militia – 1757

The Isle of Wight Militia

The South West Hants Militia Regiment 1808-1816

The South East Hants Militia Regiment 1808-1816

The Hampshire Militia – 1853

3rd (Militia) Battalion The Hampshire Regiment – 1881

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion The Hampshire Regiment – 1908-1914-18

The Duke of Connaught’s Own Hampshire and IOW Artillery

The Hampshire Militia Regiment

The Isle of Wight Militia Regiment.

The Hampshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, created as part of the Childers Reforms in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot and the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot. The regiment existed continuously for 111 years and served in the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II. In 1946, due to distinguished service in World War II, the regiment was retitled as the Royal Hampshire Regiment.

On 9 September 1992, after over 111 years of service, the Royal Hampshire Regiment was amalgamated with the Queen’s Regiment to form a new large regiment, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, which continues the traditions of the Royal Hampshires.

Formation and antecedents

The Hampshire Regiment was formed on 1 July 1881 under the Childers reforms from the merger of the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot and the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot along with the militia and rifle volunteers of the county of Hampshire. As part of the formation of the regiment, the following Volunteer Force and Militia units were placed under command of the regiment:

3rd (Hampshire Militia) Battalion based in Winchester

(4th)1st Volunteer Battalion based in Winchester, former 1st Hampshire Rifle Volunteers

(5th)2nd Volunteer Battalion based in Southampton, former 2nd Hampshire Rifle Volunteers

(6th) 3rd Volunteer Battalion based in Portsmouth, former 3rd Hampshire Rifle Volunteers

(7th) 4th Volunteer Battalion based in Newport, former 1st Isle of Wight Rifle Volunteers

Second Boer War

At the turn of the 20th century, there were two regular battalions of the regiment. The 1st battalion was stationed at Malta from 1884, then transferred to British India where it had various postings. In early 1903 the battalion transferred from Lucknow to Aden. In April 2004 three companies were attached to the Royal Navy and saw service in the Somaliland Campaign. Landing on the Somali coast, they served alongside a naval detachment that stormed and captured the forts at Illig.

The 2nd Battalion was deployed to South Africa as reinforcement for the British Army during the Second Boer War in January 1900, and took part in an action at Karee Siding on 29 March 1900, when one officer and 11 troops died. The battalion served in South Africa throughout the war, which ended in June 1902 with the Peace of Vereeniging. They returned home three months later, arriving in late September 1902, and a few days after their return was entertained to a large celebratory banquet by the Mayor of Portsmouth.

A third militia battalion was formed from the former Hampshire Militia, with headquarters in Winchester. The battalion was embodied in January 1900 for service in South Africa, and disembodied in December the same year. A Volunteer battalion was also formed to serve in South Africa. Men from this battalion were involved in the worst train accident during the war, near Barberton, on 30 March 1902. Following the accident, the battalion returned to the United Kingdom, arriving at Southampton in May 1902.

In 1908, the Volunteers and Militia were reorganised nationally, with the former becoming the Territorial Force and the latter the Special Reserve; the regiment now had one Reserve battalion and five Territorial battalions.

First World War

During the First World War, the regiment expanded to 34 battalions. By the end of the First World War, the Hampshire Regiment had lost 7,580 officers and men killed in action.

Regular Army

The 1st Battalion was a Regular Army unit stationed in Colchester on the outbreak of war in August 1914. The battalion was assigned to the 11th Brigade, 4th Division. With the division, the battalion joined the British Expeditionary Force and was sent overseas to France in August 1914, landing at Le Havre on 23 August. The 1st Battalion saw its first combat against the German Army at Le Cateau. The battalion served on the Western Front for the rest of the war, participating in many battles in 1914 alone such as the First Battle of the Marne, the First Battle of the Aisne, and the Battle of Messines. In 1914, on Christmas Day, men of the 1st Battalion participated in the legendary Christmas Truce of 1914 where British and German soldiers fraternised in No man’s land. In 1915, the battalion took part in the Second Battle of Ypres, famous for its use of poison gas. In 1916 it fought at Albert and Le Transloy, which was part of the larger Somme offensive.

The 2nd Battalion was also a Regular Army battalion that was serving in India at the outbreak of war and arrived in England on 22 December 1914. In early 1915, the battalion became part of the 88th Brigade, assigned to the 29th Division. The 2nd Battalion took part in the Battle of Gallipoli when engaged in the fatal Landing at Cape Helles in April 1915 and fought in the Battle of Krithia. In 1916, the 2nd Battalion was evacuated to Alexandria due to a mixture of heavy casualties from combat, disease and the terrible weather conditions. In March 1916, the battalion was sent to France and would serve on the Western Front for the rest of the war, participating in the battle of Albert and Le Transloy rides, alongside the 1st Battalion.

Territorial Force

The 1/4th Battalion landed at Karachi in India in November 1914 as part of the 4th (Rawalpindi) Brigade in the 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division before moving to Basra in March 1915: it remained in Mesopotamia and Persia for the rest of the war. The 1/5th Battalion landed at Karachi in India in November 1914: it remained in India for the rest of the war. The 1/6th (Duke of Connaught’s Own) Battalion landed at Karachi in India in November 1914: it remained in India for the rest of the war. The 1/7th Battalion landed at Karachi in India in November 1914: it remained in India until January 1918 when it moved to Aden. The 1/8th (Isle of Wight Rifles, Princess Beatrice’s) Battalion landed at Suvla Bay in Gallipoli as part of the 163rd Brigade in the 54th (East Anglian) Division on 9 August 1915 and, having been evacuated from Gallipoli in December 1915, moved to Egypt and then to Palestine. The 1/9th (Cyclist) Battalion sailed for India in February 1916 and then to Vladivostok in October 1918 The 2/4th Battalion sailed for India in December 1914 as part of 2/1st Hampshire Brigade in the 2nd Wessex Division and then sailed for Egypt in April 1917 and to France in May 1918. The 2/5th Battalion sailed for India in December 1914 as part of 2/1st Hampshire Brigade in the 2nd Wessex Division and then sailed for Egypt in April 1917 before being disbanded in Palestine in August 1918. The 2/7th Battalion sailed for India in December 1914 as part of 2/1st Hampshire Brigade in the 2nd Wessex Division and then moved to Mesopotamia in September 1917.

New Armies

The 10th (Service) Battalion landed at Gallipoli in August 1915 and was then transferred to Salonika in October 1915. The 11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) landed at Le Havre in December 1915. The 12th (Service) Battalion landed in France in September 1915, but moved to Salonika in November 1915. The 14th (Service) Battalion (1st Portsmouth) landed at Le Havre in March 1916. The 15th (Service) Battalion (2nd Portsmouth) landed in France in May 1916.

Irish War of Independence

The 2nd Battalion was sent to Ireland to fight the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence. On 20 February 1921, soldiers from the Battalion took part in the Clonmult ambush during which the IRA suffered its greatest loss of volunteers in conflict. Regimental historian Scott Daniell commented on the action that “like all the Irish operations, it was hateful to the British troops”. On 31 May 1921, seven soldiers, all with the band of the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment were on their way to the rifle range at Youghal County Cork when a road mine exploded under the truck they were travelling in. Three soldiers were killed outright, while a further four died later from their wounds.

Second World War

In the Second World War, the Hampshire Regiment had six battalions that fought abroad (the 1st, 2nd, 1/4th, 2/4th, 5th and 7th), whilst more battalions stayed at home. By the end of the Second World War, 2,094 officers and men of the Hampshire Regiment had lost their lives.

The 1st Battalion

The 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment was a Regular Army unit that was deployed on Garrison duties in El Daba, Egypt at the beginning of the war. It moved to Palestine on peace keeping duties in December 1939 and then moved to Moascar in Egypt, then to Mearsa Matruh in Summer 1940. One of its duties was to look after the large number of Italian prisoners after the fall of Sidi Barrani.

In February 1941, the 1st Battalion arrived in Malta, where it became part of the 1st (Malta) Infantry Brigade (with 1st Dorset Regiment and 2nd Devonshire Regiment). This later became the 231st Infantry Brigade. Duties in Malta included airfield repair and working as stevedores in the docks. Malta was subjected to a prolonged siege and, by July 1942, the food situation had become serious, but the situation eased as the Allies’ fortunes improved in the North African Campaign.

In April 1943, the 231st Brigade, including the 1st Hampshires, was moved to Alexandria, then subsequently to Cairo and Suez, where it trained as an independent assault brigade. Then, in July 1943, the 1st Battalion invaded Sicily as part of the first wave of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily. The beach landing went smoothly, but the 1st Battalion ran into resistance at Vizzini on 13 July when it ran into the Herman Goring Parachute Panzer Division. On 22 July, the 1st Battalion was engaged in hard fighting for Agria, which only fell on 29 July. The 1st Battalion was reduced to three companies after the battle. There was further hard fighting to capture the Regalbuto Ridge, which ended the Sicilian Campaign. The 1st Battalion suffered 18 Officers and 286 Other Ranks killed or wounded in action in Sicily.

On 8 September 1943, the 231st Brigade landed in Italy, coming ashore at Potro San Venere near Pizzo. The 1st Battalion was involved in fighting as the Germans withdrew northwards. By October 1943, the 1st Battalion was back in Sicily waiting for transport back to the United Kingdom and, by November, the battalion was back in the United Kingdom for the first time in 22 years.

The battalion was allocated to the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, one of the assault divisions for the invasion of North West Europe, which had an excellent reputation after fighting in the Mediterranean theatre. On 6 June 1944, the 1st Battalion came ashore as part of Operation Overlord without any supporting tanks. Despite facing machine gun fire, the men captured Le Hamel and Arromanches after a hard fight. By the end of D-Day , the 1st Battalion had suffered 182 casualties, 64 of them being killed in action.

The Battalion started a three-week fight for the village of Hottot, against the German Panzer-Lehr-Division, in June 1944. This culminated in a major assault on 11 July. The 1st Battalion was withdrawn from the line the next day, testimony to the hard fighting. The Battalion was in the vanguard of the assault towards Villiers Bocage later in the month. There were stiff fights at St Germain d’Ectot and Launay. Villiers Bocage was taken on 4 August, following which the 50th Division was taken out of the line. In August 1944, a brigade attack was launched towards Conde, and the Battalion attacked St Pierre la Vielle. The fighting was particularly hard and, after the 11-hour battle, three of its Rifle companies were severely reduced – ‘B’ Company had 25 men, ‘C’ Company had 35 men, and ‘D’ Company was down to just 12 men; as ‘A’ Company was only lightly engaged, it was not so depleted. On 12 August, the 1st Battalion was withdrawn from the line. The Battalion was motorised and joined with the 11th Armoured Division for the breakout attack later in the month. There was no fighting and, on 31 August, the 1st Battalion crossed the river Seine at Vernon and swept on to Amiens.

The Battalion was then placed under command of the Guards Armoured Division and swept into Brussels on 3 September. The Battalion, still under command of the Guards Armoured, then started the attack towards Eindhoven, which was the attack designed to relieve the British and Polish airborne troops fighting at Arnhem, who had dropped as part of Operation Market Garden, which ended in a failure. The Battalion, as part of 231st Infantry Brigade, was charged with defending the “Corridor” formed by the armoured advance. In October, the 1st Battalion moved up to Nijmegen and moved onto “The Island”, the bridgehead over the river Waal but behind the river Lek.

In October 1944, the Battalion attacked north of Bemmel, and expanded the bridgehead up to the Wettering Canal. The Battalion then went onto the defensive until the end of November. The Battalion then moved back to Ypres in Belgium, and subsequently was moved back to the United Kingdom with the rest of the 50th Division, and the men were mainly used as replacements for other infantry battalions, with the exception of a small training cadre consisting of 12 officers and 100 other ranks. The battalion ended the war in Louth, Lincolnshire. Since D-Day, the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment had suffered over 1,281 casualties, including 231 officers and men killed in action, the rest being either wounded or missing in action.

The 2nd Battalion

The 2nd Battalion was also a Regular Army battalion and started the war in Aldershot, Hampshire, England. In September 1939, the 2nd Battalion moved to Cherbourg, France with the 1st Guards Brigade, alongside the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards and the 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, attached to 1st Infantry Division. It then moved to Sille-le-Guillaume, and from there 250 miles north to take its allocated place on the “Gort Line”, which it reached on 3 October. Later that month, the Battalion moved to the Belgian/French border and, in February 1940, the Battalion spent three weeks on the Maginot Line before returning to Metz.

The Battalion crossed into Belgium in response to the German invasion of Belgium and, by 14 May, was digging into a defensive position. While an attack never came, with the retreat of the Dutch and the French Ninth Army, the 1st Division was ordered to retreat on 16 May. A slow retreat then commenced, ending at Dunkirk. The Battalion began to be embarked from Dunkirk for the United Kingdom (some were evacuated on 2 June). The battalion managed to carry away 100% of their small-arms, mortars and anti-tank rifles. It was congratulated by the Minister for War, Mr Anthony Eden. The battalion then spent two years on home defence, training and preparing for a German invasion that never arrived.

In November 1942, the Battalion, Hampshire Regiment sailed for North Africa, taking part in Operation Torch with the 1st Guards Brigade, which was now part of the 78th Infantry Division. They disembarked at Algiers on 21 November and joined the British First Army. Later that month, the Battalion moved to Tebourba. The following day the 2nd Battalion were attacked by heavy shelling and, on 1 December, the Battalion was attacked by a force four times its size, which was able to outflank it and rake it with enfilading fire. This was the start of three days of fierce close combat, fought at close quarters and featuring bayonet charges and counter-charges. The battalion was forced back a mile and a half and, on 3 December, Major Wallace Le Patourel was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in leading counter-attacks against the enemy. After three days, the Battalion retreated through Tebourba, only to find all other troops had been withdrawn and the road behind them was cut. The battalion broke into small groups and attempted to break through to allied lines, reuniting at Medjez-el-Bab; many, including the Commanding Officer, were captured. The Battalion, which had started the battle with 689 men, was down to 194 men. The battalion was withdrawn from the line and in December, nine officers and 260 other ranks joined the 2nd Battalion. After the fall of Tunis on 13 May 1943, the 2nd Battalion joined the 128th (Hampshire) Brigade attached to 46th (West Riding) Infantry Division.

The 128th Infantry Brigade

The Hampshire Regiment had a number of Territorial Army (TA) battalions, whose ranks were swelled throughout 1939 when the TA was ordered to be doubled in size. During 1939, due to the number of new recruits, the 5/7th Battalion was split into the 5th Battalion and the 7th Battalion, and the 4th Battalion was split into the 1/4th Battalion and the 2/4th Battalion. The 1/4th, 2/4th and 5th Battalions were all grouped into the 128th Infantry Brigade (the “Hampshire Brigade”) and the 7th Battalion was part of the 130th Infantry Brigade. Both brigades were part of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division.

However, on 6 June 1942, the 128th Brigade was detached from the 43rd Division until 15 August, when it was transferred to the 46th Infantry Division, where it would remain for the rest of the war. In January 1943, the brigade left Britain with the rest of the 46th Infantry Division, for North Africa, as part of Operation Torch. The brigade disembarked at Algiers on 17 January, moving to Bone, where it remained until the end of January, when the brigade moved to Hunts Gap.

Further information: Operation Ochsenkopf

The 5th Battalion was sent 12 miles further ahead to Sidi Nsir. The 5th Battalion at Sidi N’sir was attacked in overwhelming strength in February 1943 as the Germans began Operation “Ox Head”, a Corps level assault by German Paratroopers, elements of 10th Panzer Division and the 501st Heavy Tank Battalion. The 5th Battalion was supported by 155th Battery, Royal Artillery. The Germans had to take the Hampshires’ hilltop positions before they could attack the artillery, knocking out all the guns, whose crews stood and died firing over open sights at the German tanks. Only nine gunners survived. At 5pm, ‘B’ Company of the 5th Battalion, reduced to 30 men, was overrun. At dusk, the battalion considered its position untenable, and it withdrew to a feature known as “Hampshire Farm”. Of the four Rifle Companies, only ‘C’ Company, less a single platoon, and 30 men of ‘D’ Company, remained. The German force was delayed for one critical day.

Later in the month, the Hampshire Brigade was attacked at Hunt’s Gap by the German force that had been delayed at Sidi N’sir. 2/4th was the main Battalion engaged, with 1/4th Battalion in support. The 2/5th Leicesters was attached to the brigade as well. The situation was so precarious that the 2nd Hampshires, still training its new recruits, was put into the line alongside 1/4th Battalion. The brigade was supported by plenty of artillery and the Churchill tanks of the North Irish Horse. Extensive minefields and heavy dive bombing kept the German tanks at bay. On 28 February, a pre-dawn attack penetrated the 2/4th battalion’s ‘B’ Company positions, but heroic resistance and the tanks of the North Irish Horse kept the Germans at bay until dusk, when ‘B’ Company was overrun. ‘C’ Company was overrun by German infantry. On 1 March, the Germans attacked again, and ‘D’ Company was overrun, but 2/4th Battalion hung on to their remaining positions. On 2 March, the Germans withdrew, and on 5 March the 2/4th Battalion was relieved by the 8th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of 36th Brigade of the 78th Battleaxe Division. The 2/4th Battalion had suffered 243 men killed or missing.

During March, the brigade was engaged on defensive patrolling, under heavy shelling. 1/4th Battalion lost 100 casualties during March, but 5th Battalion received 5 Officers and 150 men as replacements. On 5 April, the brigade handed over its positions and moved 100 miles south to El Ala. The 128th Brigade subsequently captured the Fondouk Gap, allowing the 6th Armoured Division to pass through and debouche onto the Kairouan Plain. In April 1943, the 128th Infantry Brigade attacked Bou Arada. The 16th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry was added to the brigade for the attack. Five Field regiments and two Medium regiments of the Royal Artillery supported the 128th Brigade. Early progress was good, but when the mist cleared all four battalions were caught in the open under heavy fire, and losses mounted. The rifle companies of 1/4th Battalion only had 3 Officers and 80 men left between them and the 2/4th Battalion had to reorganise onto a three-company basis.

Tunis fell and the North African Campaign was over in May 1943. The 128th Infantry Brigade was reconstituted to consist of 2nd Battalion, 1/4th Battalion and 5th Battalion. The 2/4th Battalion was split into two to form two Defence Units of two Beach Groups. Their role was to protect the maintenance area of a Beach Group when it made a landing where no port was available.

The 128th Infantry Brigade was one of three British brigades that made an assault landing at Salerno in Italy as part of British X Corps under command of US Fifth Army, led by Mark Clark in September 1943. The landing was opposed by shore batteries firing shrapnel, and the beaches were raked by machine gun fire. 2nd Battalion and 1/4th Battalion made steady progress, but 5th Battalion had been landed in the wrong place and suffered heavily. A German counter-attack overran ‘B’ Company and the Battalion HQ of 5th Battalion. The 5th Battalion lost 40 men killed and over 300 were wounded or taken prisoner.

On 12 September, the Germans started a general assault against the Salerno bridgehead, which made good progress; the US VI Corps were almost driven into the sea. However, the arrival of US paratroops and the British 7th Armoured Division turned the tide. The 128th Brigade was in the hills above Salerno, and the fighting was hard, but on 20 September the Germans began to withdraw northwards, and the pressure eased. All three battalions had suffered – 2nd Battalion suffered 304 casualties, 1/4th Battalion suffered 159 casualties and the 5th Battalion suffered 29 officer and over 400 other rank casualties.

The 128th Brigade, still part of the X Corps, moved up to the River Volturno, behind which the Germans had withdrawn. On 10 October, the 1/4th Battalion captured the town of Castel Volturno, alongside the river, and on 12 October the 1/4th made a night assault across the river, establishing a small bridgehead. The 2nd and 5th battalions moved across the river in support, but the entire 128th Brigade was soon engaged in a stiff fire-fight. The brigade advanced some 2,500 yards, and then dug in behind a canal as the Germans bought up tanks. The brigade remained in the low-lying, swampy, mosquito-ridden land between the river and the canal until the Germans withdrew due to a breakthrough elsewhere. The brigade then advanced along Route 7, meeting little resistance. The 128th Brigade was then taken out of the line for R&R.

In November 1943, the Hampshire Brigade moved up to the River Garigliano. It was relieved on 11 January, and moved back to the River Volturno. They were selected as the Assault Brigade of the 46th Infantry Division, and trained in river crossings. Then, in January 1944, the Hampshire Brigade made a night assault across the swift flowing River Garigliano. The brigade had severe problems getting the boats through the minefields down to the river, and in the darkness confusion reigned. Only a few men managed to get across, and these were withdrawn at daylight. The Hampshire Brigade then assaulted Monte Damiano, a bare, razor-backed feature, already strewn with British dead from 56th (London) Infantry Division. The assault was made by the 1/4th and 2nd battalions in daylight, and immediately came under heavy mortar and machine-gun fire. The attack was made with great dash, but it failed, with heavy casualties.

The 5th Battalion was put under the command of the 138th Infantry Brigade, part of the 46th Division, to assault Mounts Ornito and Cerasola in February 1944. The assault met little opposition, although the Germans put in spirited counter-attacks on Mount Ornito, which were all driven off. However, as the days passed, the casualties mounted from heavy shelling; the bare rock made cover difficult. In eight days, the 5th Battalion suffered 200 casualties. Supply was particularly difficult, as supplies had to be carried up by mules and porters for 3 to 4 hours from the nearest road. On 7 February, the 5th Battalion attacked Mount Cerasola, a successful assault. On 10 February, the 5th Battalion was relieved.

The Hampshire Brigade was relieved later in the month. It moved south to Naples and, on 16 March, sailed for Egypt, and subsequently moved to Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and back to Egypt. All battalions were brought up to strength, largely from gunners from disbanded Middle-East Anti-Aircraft units who were retrained as infantrymen. On 27 June, the 128th Brigade sailed from Alexandria, and subsequently landed in Taranto. The move north through Italy was at an easy pace.

In August 1944, the 128th Brigade started its assault on the “Gothic Line”, a line of German defences across the Etruscan Apennines. The Hampshire brigade, with the North Irish Horse under command, led the 46th Division’s assault (along with the 46th Reconnaissance Regiment). The brigade’s first target was to cross the River Metauro and take Monte Bartolo. The assault went to plan against little opposition, and Mount Bartolo was captured by the morning of 29 August. The brigade had marched 25 miles to cover 12 miles as the crow flies, and climbed 1,500 feet. Only the 1/4th Battalion had come across serious opposition, engaging in heavy fighting around Montegaudio. Later in the month the brigade assaulted the Gothic Line proper, crossing the River Foglia and assaulting Monte Gridolfo. This was heavily defended, with all cover cleared from its bare slopes. Nevertheless, the men of the 2nd Battalion assaulted them with great vigour, and by dawn on 31 August they had captured the first crest. The 1/4th Battalion passed through, driving deeper into Gothic Line. During this assault, Lieutenant Gerard Norton was awarded the Victoria Cross. On 1 September, the 5th Battalion took the lead, and by 2 September had captured Meleto. The Gothic Line had been breached. A fighting advance continued northwards. On 5 September the 128th Brigade was relieved, and sent to the rear for rest, but they were back in the line by 11 September.

The 128th Brigade began an assault on Montescudo in September 1944. Montescudo was defended by the German 100th Mountain Regiment, and they put up a desperate resistance. Other elements of the Brigade assaulted Trarivi, which was captured by 16 September. On 18 September, the brigade was relieved. All three battalions were short of men, even after replacements were received from the 1st Battalion, Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). The Hampshire Brigade crossed the River Fiumicino, and then the Rubicon. The weather was atrocious, and movement was slowed by deep mud, and supply was difficult. Fighting continued until 9 October. A steady advance was made, and by 12 November the River Montone was crossed; on 26 November the River Lamone was reached. This was crossed on 3 December in the face of stiff opposition, and by 6 December the Brigade had captured Casa Nova. The Brigade was relieved the following day, and moved well to the rear. From 24 August (when the 128th Brigade moved up to the Gothic Line) to 7 December, when they were relieved, the 128th (Hampshire) Brigade had suffered 1,276 casualties.

In January 1945 the 2nd Battalion and the 5th Battalion embarked from Taranto and disembarked in Piraeus, Greece, two days later. 1/4th Battalion arrived on 22 January. The 128th (Hampshire) Brigade (now known as “Tigerforce”) split its battalions, and set about disarming the E.L.A.S Army. The troops were welcomed everywhere, and there was no fighting. Then, in April 1945, the brigade began to return to Italy for the final offensive. By 1 May, the brigade was back in the line around Forlimpopoli; but the war ended before the brigade was in action again.

The 2/4th Battalion

The 20th Beach Group (“A” and “B” companies) invaded Sicily as part of Operation Husky in July 1943. The role of the Beach Group was to land supplies until a harbour could be captured. On 12 July, 20 Beach Group moved inland, behind the advancing infantry, but by 22 July the half-battalion was in the line, capturing Mount Scalpello. On 4 August, the half-battalion moved to Catania, where it remained on garrison duty.

In September 1943, the 21st Beach Group (“C” and “D” companies) invaded Salerno. The assault went in at dawn against stiff opposition and, rather than take its allotted role, the half-battalion was moved straight into the line. However, there was little action until 13 September, when the half-battalion was attacked by armoured half-tracks. This happened again on 15 September when ‘D’ Company was overrun. However, the half-tracks didn’t assault ‘D’ Company as such, they ran over the slit trenches until picked off by 6pdr anti-tank guns. On 17 September, the half-battalion was moved back into reserve and, by 23 September, it was back on the beaches unloading cargo.

In November 1943, the two halves of the 2/4th Battalion were re-united at Pontecagnano near Salerno. However, there was no immediate employment, and orders were received to send cadres to the three battalions in the 128th (Hampshire) Brigade (this was rescinded after protests). However, six officers and 77 other ranks were posted away to form the “2/4th Hampshire Training Centre”, three officers and 188 other ranks were assigned to ‘porterage duties’ and a detachment of 50 men was assigned to help the Provost Corps with traffic duties.

The Battalion was back in the line in Italy, near Garigliano, as part of 28th Infantry Brigade, in 4th Infantry Division in February 1944. This was the same ground where the Hampshire Brigade had suffered through the Italian winter. The battalion was relieved for short periods on a regular basis before returning to the line. In May 1944, the Battalion assisted the Brigade’s two other battalions (2nd King’s and 2nd Somersets) in crossing the River Rapido as part of the assault on Monte Cassino. The river and bank were under intense enemy fire, and the river so swift that swimmers from 2/4th had to cross with lines to enable the boats to get across. Troops got across the river, but could make little headway against the storm of machine gun fire. The 2/4th could not get across to join their fellow battalions, and so, on 12 May, it came under command of 12th Infantry Brigade and crossed via a bridge on 13 May. Supported by the 17th/21st Lancers’s Sherman tanks, the 2/4th Battalion attacked along the river, taking 200 prisoners. On 14 May, back in ther 28th Brigade, the 2/4th attempted to cross the River Pioppeta. The tank bridge sank in the mud, and the battalion took 100 casualties in two minutes. The 2/4th waded the river and, in spite of heavy casualties and fierce resistance, the advance continued. During this advance, Captain Richard Wakeford was awarded the Victoria Cross. By 6.30pm, all objectives had been captured, and the 2/4th reorganised on a three-company basis. On 16 May, the battalion was relieved. Two days later, Cassino was captured by the Polish II Corps.

In June 1944, the Battalion was back in the line near the village of Villastrada, between Lake Chiusi and Lake Trasimeno to north of Rome. On 24 June, a major attack was launched on that section of the Trasimene Line by 2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry supported by the tanks of the 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment. 2/4th Hampshires was to follow on, but its entry into battle was delayed until the next day. Having passed through the village of Vaiano, which was unoccupied, an attack was launched on a ridge being held by the German 1st Parachute Division. Although “C” Company established a foothold on the ridge, occupying a farmhouse, that night a fierce German counter-attack was made by the Germans, who overran the company headquarters. Fighting was close and confused, and the company ran low on ammunition. It was forced back to literally the last ditch, but hung on. At dawn the next day, 26 June, the battalion counter-attacked and managed to recapture its previous positions; the Germans were withdrawing to the Arezzo Line. The 2/4th Battalion followed up, coming into action again on 21 July. Supported by the North Irish Horse, a steady advance was made. The 2/4th Battalion was then taken out of the line again – some platoons were down to ten men each with no officer.

The Battalion then attacked Santa Lucia, which was captured on 30 July 1944 after a small but fierce battle. The enemy then withdrew, and the Battalion moved up to the River Arno. On 10 August, the battalion was withdrawn. In September 1944, the Battalion began its assault on the Gothic Line, attacking across the River Marano and capturing Casa Bagli. All the first day objectives were achieved, and the 2/4th defended them on 16 September against German counter-attacks. On 17 September, the battalion captured Cerasola; it was relieved the following day. The battalion then moved north behind the British Eighth Army’s advance, arriving in time to stand by to support the Hampshire Brigade’s assault on Forli during November. During 22 November, the 2/4th attacked and captured a bridgehead over the River Cosina against heavy shelling; this was the battalion’s last action in Italy.

In December 1944, the Battalion was flown to Greece in the bomb-bays of Wellington and Liberator bombers in response to the outbreak of the Greek Civil War, arriving on 12 December. The E.L.A.S. Army, armed and trained by the British, was trying to overthrow the Greek Government. On arrival, the 2/4th Battalion was split up, primarily defending the airfield, then clearing E.L.A.S. forces from Athens. This did involve some fighting, and the 2/4th Battalion lost three men killed. The 2/4th Battalion then settled down to peace-keeping duties. In May 1945, the Battalion was moved to Crete to take charge of the Germans, who had surrendered, and they ended the war there.

The 7th Battalion

The 7th Battalion was a Territorial Army unit, originally the 5/7th Battalion until it was split into the 5th and 7th battalions when the Territorial Army was doubled in size in the spring and summer of 1939. The 7th Battalion remained in the United Kingdom training long and hard for many years until after the D-Day landings of 6 June 1944.

The Battalion was sent to Normandy as reinforcements with the 130th Infantry Brigade attached to the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division. In June 1944, the Battalion landed near Le Hamel. They were with 130th Brigade (with 4th and 5th Dorsets) and were initially held in reserve. The Battalion attacked Maltot, supported by tanks of 9th Royal Tank Regiment (9th RTR) in July 1944. The village was defended by Waffen-SS troops supported by Tiger tanks. Both the 7th Battalion and 9th RTR suffered severe casualties, and although the 7th Battalion managed to fight its way into the village it was withdrawn. The 7th Battalion suffered 18 officer and 208 other rank casualties, including 4 officers and 12 other ranks killed, but was back in the line two days later.

The Battalion attacked the village of Cahagnes later in the month. This was fought in typical ‘bocage’ countryside, but after the initial attack by the brigade ran into difficulties, 7th Battalion deployed from reserves and captured Cahagnes, beating off several German counter-attacks. On 2 August, the battalion moved up to Jurques, and after a short stiff fight advanced to “Point 132”, close to Mount Pincon. On 6 August, the battalion put in a deceptive attack on Mount Pincon, making a diversion whilst 129th Infantry Brigade made a flank attack. During heavy fighting, ‘C’ Company incurred many casualties, including all the officers. Following the successful flank attack by the 129th Brigade, the 7th Battalion mopped up and concentrated near Mauny by 10 August.

In August 1944, the Battalion captured St Denis de Mere after a bombardment by nine artillery regiments. The Battalion took 74 prisoners and then prepared for “The Breakout”. The Battalion then moved 50 miles north-east to Conches and, by 27 August, the 7th Battalion was across the River Seine. The battalion then participated in the capture of Tilly, and thereafter spent 11 days taking in replacements and resting. In September 1944, the Battalion started to move to Brussels for temporary garrison duty, arriving the next day. This easy duty was welcome; since landing in Normandy in June, the 7th Hampshires had lost (including wounded) 35 officers and 450 other ranks.

The Battalion fought in Operation Market Garden in September 1944. On 20 September, the battalion moved through Eindhoven to Grave. The battalion was tasked with defending the southern end of the two large bridges over the Waal. On 23 September, the 7th was sent into the line, fighting west of the bridges in the Valburg-Elst area. It then moved to the “Island” and stayed there until 4 October, before moving to the Groesbeek-Mook area on the Dutch-German border.

In November 1944, the Battalion was moved to Maastricht, and then moved around as divisional reserve. On 19 December, the German launched their Ardennes offensive, which caused the 7th Battalion to move north of Liege to guard the bridges over the Meuse. On 26 December, the 7th Battalion moved to Aachen, and on 12 January moved again to Teveren. Then, in January 1945, the Battalion captured Putt, then Waldenrath, and on 25 January captured Dremmen and Porselen. The Battalion advanced south-east from Cleves as part of the big Reichwald offensive. Over two days fighting for Berkhofel, the 7th lost 70 casualties. It was relieved on 17 February.

The Battalion crossed the Rhine in assault craft, consolidating on the far bank and then advancing across the IJssel Canal to Milligen, which was captured on 26 March. German resistance was collapsing, and the 7th moved over the Twente Canal on 1 April, liberating Hengelo. In April 1945, the 7th Battalion took part in operation “Forward On”, sweeping through Germany against minimal resistance. However, on 13 April, the Battalion had a hard fight for Cloppenburg, a fight that was as hard as any they had fought, vicious hand-to-hand fighting from street to street. Luckily, they were supported by tanks, sappers of the Royal Engineers and a single Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers, which demolished several buildings with its petard. Cloppenburg was captured the next day. Then, in April, the Battalion embarked on its final advance, moving through Bahlum, Bremen, then Bremerhavan, capturing hundreds then thousands of prisoners. The 7th Battalion reached Gnarrenburg on 3 May, and were still there when the Germans surrendered the following day.

The Home Based Battalions

Although the Hampshire Regiment sent six battalions overseas, many more stayed at home as training units or were converted to other roles. Before the war, the 6th Battalion (Duke of Connaught’s Own), Hampshire Regiment was converted into the 59th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, and upon the Territorial Army being doubled in size in 1939, formed a 2nd Line duplicate. The 59th Anti-Tank Regiment served with the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division and went with them to Normandy.

The original 8th Battalion (Isle of Wight Rifles), Hampshire Regiment was transferred to the Royal Artillery and made into an artillery battery in 1937. However, a new 8th Battalion was formed, shortly after the war began, at Southampton in December 1939. It subsequently split into the 1/8th and 2/8th Battalions, before the 2/8th Battalion was renamed the 13th Battalion, and then both battalions were re-formed into the 8th Battalion again, which was subsequently renumbered the 30th Battalion and was disbanded in September 1942.

The 9th Battalion was formed on the Isle of Wight in July 1940 and was later assigned to the 201st Independent Infantry Brigade (Home). In 1942, the battalion was converted to armour as the 157th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps and assigned to 36th Army Tank Brigade. Units converted in this way continued to wear their infantry cap badge on the black beret of the Royal Armoured Corps. However, the brigade was disbanded in July 1943 and 157 RAC was broken up in August, without having seen active service.

The 10th Battalion was formed in Aldershot in July 1940; it was assigned to the 201st Independent Infantry Brigade (Home), alongside the 9th Battalion. In 1941, the 10th Hampshire was also transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps, becoming the 147th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps, and was assigned to the 34th Army Tank Brigade. Its Churchill tanks were named after Hampshire Regiment battles (the CO’s tank was called “Minden”). The regiment went to serve with distinction with 34th Tank Brigade in the North West Europe Campaign at Normandy, Le Havre, the Reichswald Forest and Operation Plunder from 1944 to 1945.

The 50th (Holding) Battalion, which was formed on the Isle of Wight in June 1940, absorbed the Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey. The Jersey Militia subsequently became the 11th Battalion, whilst the rest of the 50th Battalion became the 12th Battalion. The 11th Battalion stayed in the United Kingdom as a training battalion until the war ended, first with the 209th Brigade and later with the 135th Brigade, 45th (Holding) Division. The 12th Battalion also stayed in the United Kingdom, with the 136th Brigade, but was disbanded in September 1944 after sending a large final draft to the 7th Battalion serving in North-west Europe.

In September 1940, the 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion was formed in Southampton, but soon moved to Basingstoke. It was raised for those soldiers around the age of 18 or 19 who had volunteered for the Army but were not old enough to be conscripted, the age being 20 at the time. However, the battalion was disbanded in July 1943 as the British government lowered the age of conscription for the British Armed Forces from 20 to 18.

The Hampshire Regiment’s Depot had been in Winchester since long before the Second World War. However, in September 1939, it moved to Parkhurst, Isle of Wight, where it stayed for the rest of the war.

Post war and amalgamation

In 1946, the regiment was awarded the title of Royal Hampshire Regiment in recognition of its service during the Second World War. The regiment was in Northern Ireland (Operation Banner) in 1972 and undertook a further eight tours over the next two decades. In 1992, as part of the Options for Change reorganisations, the regiment was merged with the Queen’s Regiment to become the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

Regimental museum

The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum is based at Lower Barracks in Winchester. It is one of several regimental museums that comprise Winchester’s Military Museums.

The Regiment was awarded the following battle honours:

From the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot: Minden, Tournay, Peninsula

From the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot: Barrosa, Peninsula, India, Taku Forts, Pekin 1860, Charasiah, Kabul 1879,

Afghanistan 1878-80

Blenheim1, Ramillies1, Oudenarde1, Malplaquet1, Dettingen1, Belleisle2, Burma 1885-87, Paardeberg, South Africa 1900-02
The Great War (32 battalions): Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914 ’18, Aisne 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1915 ’17 ’18, St. Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Somme 1916 ’18, Albert 1916, Guillemont, Ginchy, Flers-Courcelette, Thiepval, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916, Arras 1917 ’18, Vimy 1917, Scarpe 1917 ’18, Messines 1917, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917 ’18, St. Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Rosières, Lys, Estaires, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Béthune, Tardenois, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Havrincourt, Canal du Nord, Courtrai, Selle, Valenciennes, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914-18, Italy 1917-18, Kosturino, Struma, Doiran 1917 ’18, Macedonia 1915-18, Helles, Landing at Helles, Krithia, Suvla, Sari Bair, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915-16, Egypt 1915-17, Gaza, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Tell ‘Asur, Megiddo, Sharon, Palestine 1917-18, Aden, Shaiba, Kut al Amara 1915 ’17, Tigris 1916, Baghdad, Sharqat, Mesopotamia 1915-18, Persia 1918-19, Archangel 1919, Siberia 1918-19

The Second World War: Dunkirk 1940, Normandy Landing, Tilly sur Seulles, Caen, Hill 112, Mont Pincon, Jurques, St. Pierre La Vielle, Nederrijn, Roer, Rhineland, Goch, Rhine, North-West Europe 1940 ’44-45, Tebourba Gap, Sidi Nsir, Hunt’s Gap, Montagne Farm, Fondouk, Pichon, El Kourzia, Ber Rabal, North Africa 1940-43, Landing in Sicily, Regalbuto, Sicily 1943, Landing at Porto S. Venere, Salerno, Salerno Hills, Battipaglia, Cava di Tirreni, Volturno Crossing, Garigliano Crossing, Damiano, Monte Ornito, Cerasola, Cassino II, Massa Vertecchi, Trasimene Line, Advance to Florence, Gothic Line, Monte Gridolfo, Montegaudio, Coriano, Montilgallo, Capture of Forli, Cosina Canal Crossing, Lamone Crossing, Pideura, Rimini Line, Montescudo, Frisoni, Italy 1943-45, Athens, Greece 1944-45, Malta 1941-42

Recipients of the Victoria Cross

2nd Lieutenant George Raymond Dallas Moor, 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, Great War

2nd Lieutenant Dennis George Wyldbore Hewitt, 14th (Service) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, Great War

2nd Lieutenant Montague Shadworth Seymour Moore, 15th (Service) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, Great War

Major Wallace Le Patourel, 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, Second World War

Captain Richard Wakeford, 2/4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, Second World War

Lieutenant Gerard Ross Norton, 1/4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, Second World War

Regimental Colonels were:

The Hampshire Regiment – (1881)

1881–1888 (1st Bn): Gen. Sir Edmund Haythorne, KCB

1881–1883 (2nd Bn): Lt-Gen. William Mark Wood

1883–1888 (2nd Bn): Gen. Sir Henry Errington Longden, KCB, CSI

188–1893: Gen. Thomas Edmond Knox, CB

1893–1908: Lt-Gen. Sir John Wellesley Thomas, KCB

1908–1924: Maj-Gen. Sir Charles Benjamin Knowles, KCB

1924–1945: Gen. Sir Richard Cyril Byrne Haking, GBE, KCB, KCMG

1945–1948: Gen. Sir George Darell Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys, KCB, KCVO, CMG, JP

The Royal Hampshire Regiment – (1946)

1948–1954: Brig. Philip Herbert Cadoux-Hudson, MC, DL

1954–1964: Brig. Gerald Dominick Browne, CBE, DL

1964–1971: Maj-Gen. Richard Hutchinson Batten, CB, CBE, DSO, DL

1971–1981: Brig. David John Warren, DSO, OBE, MC, DL

1981–1987: Gen. Sir David Fraser, GCB, OBE, DL

1987–1992: Brig. Robert Long, CBE, MC, DL

Lower Barracks

Lower Barracks was a military installation in Winchester. It was the depot of the Royal Hampshire Regiment from its formation in 1881 until it moved out in 1959. The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum reopened at Serle’s House in 2004. It is one of several independent museums that comprise Winchester’s Military Museums.

The buildings at the Lower Barracks at Winchester date back to 1730 when Serle’s House, which had been designed by Thomas Archer, was built for William Seldon. The house was acquired by James Serle, a lawyer, in 1781 and then sold to the War Office in 1796. Most of the other buildings in the Lower Barracks, including a barrack block and a small parade ground, were built during the Crimean War. In 1873 a system of recruiting areas based on counties was instituted under the Cardwell Reforms and the barracks became the depot for the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot and the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot. Following the Childers Reforms, the 37th and 67th regiments amalgamated to form the Royal Hampshire Regiment with its depot in the barracks in 1881.

The Lower Barracks were demoted to the status of out-station to the Wessex Brigade depot at Topsham Barracks in Exeter in 1959. Serle’s House was retained by the Ministry of Defence but many of the other buildings were converted for private residential use in the late 1990s.

In the 1680s Christopher Wren proposed the site between Winchester Castle and Southgate Street for a Palace at Winchester; intended, initially for Charles II, who was famously fond of the city.

Plans for this project, however, never came to fruition and it was eventually abandoned shortly after Wren’s death in 1723.

The site, which was unusually large for a private house so close to the centre of the city, was purchased by William Sheldon, whose father had been an equerry to King James II, and the great house was built in about 1730.

The entrance to what is now The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum, which faces onto the Memorial Garden, was actually originally the rear entrance of the house. The main, or front, entrance once faced onto Bowling Green Lane, which was long ago eradicated to make way for the Barracks.

In 1781 the house was sold to an attorney, James Serle, whose son, Peter Serle, forged a link between the house and the military that was to last in excess of 200 years.

Peter Serle, whose service spanned the Napoleonic Wars, began soldiering as a hobby. He joined a Corps of Hampshire Volunteers and later rose to command them. He was so successful that in 1804 he was transferred from the Volunteers direct to the command of the South Hampshire Militia. Eventually reaching the rank of full Colonel, Peter Serle retained his command until his death in 1826.

Serle’s House was always used as the Headquarters of whatever command Peter was holding, even whilst the family were still in occupation of their home. In 1796 he sold the property to the Government for £3,750.

The house has seen use as Militia Headquarters, married quarters for officers of the garrison, residence of the Barrack Master, the Officers’ Mess and, in about 1859, it was used as the Judges’ Lodgings for the Assizes. By 1881, however, when the Militia had become the 3rd Battalion The Hampshire Regiment, Serle’s House was established as its Headquarters, as well as that of the 37th Regimental District. Later it would become the Headquarters of the Depot, The Hampshire Regiment. When the Depot closed in 1958 Serle’s House became Regimental Headquarters, encompassing the Regimental Museum and Memorial Garden.

In 2001 the Ministry of Defence sold the entire Peninsula Barracks site complex, resulting in a risk that Serle’s House was going to become commercial premises and the Royal Hampshire Regiment potentially having to move out. Following discussions with Councillor Ken Thornber, then Leader of Hampshire County Council (HCC), the building was purchased directly from the MOD for County Council use and the Royal Hampshire Regiment was kindly given a lease for the ground floor and the Memorial Garden.

Sourced from Wikipedia

A Great Day

poem by D W Sole

A Great Day.

With all the pomp and celebration of a great day, with the freedom of the city, a parade will pass this way, the grandeur of uniforms on display, military music a band will play.

Flags and bunting flap in the wind, laughter and voices and faces that grin, barriers to keep the masses in, so from in-front of the parade, there’s no wondering.

Children get exited as the time grows near, they keep asking how soon the soldiers will be here, will they have their guns, will they fire them in the air, what about a band, is that them we can hear.

A week of rehearsal, to make the day look great, square-bashing, a soldier’s pet hate, nothing fancy, just the timing to get right, polish your boots and iron your kit, not worn it for a while, so hope it still fits.

Come the day, we all hope it’s by bus, after all the bulling, a truck, no way, scuff your boots, or an oily stain, the RSM will go insane, hope for the sun, dreading the rain.

Last chance for a fag, before we load up, a bus for the band, bloody trucks our luck, a drive to the town, police escort, so in the traffic we don’t get stuck, could do with a beer, or a brew in a mug, not cup.

The excitement of the crowds begin to build, soldiers and guns, to see, the children are thrilled, a line of police, both sides of the street are filled, in the distance a loud voice, silence, the air feels chilled.

Off the bus, there’s no time to waste, a soldier’s speed with little haste, the voice of the RSM rings out, let no one within earshot, be of any doubt, the band strikes up, and as one, we move out.

The people come out onto the streets, waving their flags, the soldiers to meet, the joys of the day, on faces does show, cheers and clapping, so the soldiers do know, Freedom of Entry, through the city they can go.

Through the streets we march, and the crowds we could see, smiling faces and children happy, all that square-bashing, now pays off, mind in neutral, marching’s not too tough.

A day of colour and a day of pride, the joy of the people, no one did hide, soldiers and civilians stand as one, freedom of the city, for all is won, the pomp and celebrations for all begun.

Derrick W Sole. Copyright Protected, 2020

The Role of Animals in World War 1

During the War, millions of animals were used in many different roles to help soldiers in battle and those at home.
Ambulance horses carried wounded soldiers and artillery horses carried weapons, ammunition and other heavy loads. They had to be strong. Allied cavalry troops’ horses are lowered down in a sling onto the quayside as they arrived in places like Salonika, Greece.
Casualty Dogs were trained to find wounded or dying soldiers on the battlefield. They carried medical equipment so an injured soldier could treat himself, they would also sit next to a dying Soldier to offer company and comfort.
Dogs were some of the hardest and most trusted workers in World War 1, the most popular breeds were Dobermans and other medium sized dogs such as Pinchers and German Shepherds.

Dogs were in the trenches during 1914

Sentry dogs stayed with one Soldier or guard they were taught to give a warning sound such as growling and barking when they sensed a stranger in the area or close to camp. Many Dobermans were used as sentry dogs.

Pigeons had messages attached to their legs to carry messages undetected into Italy in 1915.

Records show Pigeons delivered 95% of messages successfully

Pigeons were kept at Military bases and even in old London buses, which were bought over from England.
100,000 carrier Pigeons were used as messengers during the War; they always flew home after delivery. The troops always made sure that the Pigeons nests were in places that they knew and needed so as to retrieve messages.

They were the most reliable way to transport messages.
A baboon named Jackie, was taken to France by South African soldiers, she had excellent eyesight and hearing and used to warn soldiers of enemy movement or possible attacks by making noises and tugging on their clothing.

There are many stories of animals who became companions to soldiers during World War 1, some were used as Mascots.
There was an American Black Bear who was a Mascot for Canadian soldiers.

The Canadians gave the Bear they named Winnie to London Zoo in 1914. The writer AA Milne took his Son Christopher Robin to see Winnie at the Zoo, Christopher loved her so much that AA Milne was inspired to write his books, enter Winnie the Pooh.
Soldiers living in the trenches encountered millions of pests during the war including rats.

They fed on rotting food because there was no proper way of removing the rubbish that was in the trenches.
Now our horses are used for ceremonial duties and crowd control.
Dogs are used to sniff out explosives and for Patrol.

Some Animals have been awarded medals for service known as the PDSA Dickin Medal it was first awarded in 1943 in the United Kingdom, to honour animals work in World War 2.

The wording on the Bronze Medal reads” For Gallantry, and We also serve” this is within a laurel wreath and carried on a striped ribbon of green dark brown and pale blue.

“Thank you to man’s best friend and to all our four legged Service Personnel and those of the feathered kind.”

1st JULY THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME

ALL GAVE SOME – SOME GAVE ALL 

SOMME TOOK MANY 

Remembering The Princess of Wales

Diana the People`s Princess

On what would have been her 59th Birthday.

Colonel in Chief of the Prince of Wales Royal Regiment.

Formally known as two Regiments;

The Hampshire (The Tigers) and the Queens.

Happy 100th Birthday to The Royal Corps of Signals

Insigne du Royal Corps of Signals (R SIGNALS).svg

The Royal Corps of Signals (often simply known as the Royal Signals – abbreviated to R SIGNALS) is one of the combat support arms of the British Army. Signals units are among the first into action, providing the battlefield communications and information systems essential to all operations. Royal Signals units provide the full telecommunications infrastructure for the Army wherever they operate in the world. The Corps has its own engineers, logistics experts and systems operators to run radio and area networks in the field. It is responsible for installing, maintaining and operating all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems, providing command support to commanders and their headquarters, and conducting electronic warfare against enemy communications.

Origins

In 1870, ‘C’ Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers, was founded under Captain Montague Lambert. The Troop was the first formal professional body of signallers in the British Army and its duty was to provide communications for a field army by means of visual signalling, mounted orderlies and telegraph. By 1871, ‘C’ Troop had expanded in size from 2 officers and 133 other ranks to 5 officers and 245 other ranks. In 1879, ‘C’ Troop first saw action during the Anglo-Zulu War. On 1 May 1884, ‘C’ Troop was amalgamated with the 22nd and 34th Companies, Royal Engineers, to form the Telegraph Battalion Royal Engineers; ‘C’ Troop formed the 1st Division (Field Force, based at Aldershot) while the two Royal Engineers companies formed the 2nd Division (Postal and Telegraph, based in London). Signalling was the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion until 1908, when the Royal Engineers Signal Service was formed. As such, it provided communications during the First World War. It was about this time that motorcycle despatch riders and wireless sets were introduced into service.

Royal Warrant

A Royal Warrant for the creation of a Corps of Signals was signed by the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, on 28 June 1920. Six weeks later, King George V conferred the title Royal Corps of Signals.

Have a great Armed Forces Day.

Today is to commemorate those that have and do go that extra mile for Our Country.

Some have laid down their lives, it is important to remember them too and their families.

Families that through a unique bond, remain members of the biggest most unique family in the Country, our Military family.

The Military family enter into a unique environment, where it is second nature to be apart from loved ones, to not be able to talk on the phone for very long if at all when loved ones are away. To write a letter with a unique bluey (free blue note paper/ envelope combination, going through a unique postal service.

Unique to be taken under the wing of others, to pack up every 2 years to move and not put down routes to have many vocational strings to your bow due to movement and taking different Jobs.

Being Mum and Dad a role forced upon us due to separation due to duty and for some sadly because they have received that knock on the door.

The Military family bolsters communities and as such the Military Covenant was devised for the integration of Military and Civilian life.

Marry a Service Man or Woman and you leave your old identity at the alter and you become a member of the Sovereign`s Armed forces family .

There is no text book, as with any marriage, however there are bonds and a code that is formed which lasts forever, as with any family there will be fallouts and on occasion the head of the family (let’s call him / her, the Families Officer will sort it out.)

There is a scrutiny that no civvy goes through on March out of a quarter, having packed boxes cleaned until you have earned the title a kin with a fairy tale( Cinderella or her Male equivalent) you are then marked on your cleanliness, wow betide it doesn’t match the Wardens’ criteria, some places look better on March out than when you took over.

Children form bonds they are more resilient than your average child, they accept a separation, empty chairs at birthdays and Christmas and other special occasions. They get used to moving around to different schools, they form an inner strength unique to their situation, they have a discipline and an air of responsibility from a young age, this either carries them through to greater things or a natural progression to follow in their heroes footsteps ( not a pop star or footballer or movie star ) their hero comes in a different shape and size and attire usually with shiney boots or shoes and a form of headdress ( Mum or Dad, and on occasion and older sibling Brother or Sister and load of Uncles and Aunties) their hero is Armed services.

Now today we commemorate the heads of those Military families and those that are attached to the Military the Boys and Girls who become Men and Woman of the greatest team,” The Armed Forces”

For those that have served even a day whether Full time or reserve, you earn the title Veteran.

For you there are memories some good some sad, a life which on enlistment was left at the recruits station, a new life on enlistment, training and discipline which Marched out on demobbing.

That discipline remaining along with a new dialogue and new family members until the end of time.

The Military brings forward, adventure, family, and a code, fun and sadness all held together with a proud band a strength that even when stretched does not break. Time stands still it is meaningless as if by magic it starts again at reunions, on the telephone or the face in the supermarket when we are together again.

For those that have now gone to the reunion in the Sky we remember them too, some memories bring forward tears , not necessarily sad ones but some of humour again a unique humour, but always of memories and a sense of belonging, “ he ain’t heavy he is my Brother, she ain’t heavy she is my Sister.”

Together we are your Armed Forces.

We are Veterans

We are family.

Today is Armed forces day.

Her Majesty has spoken from Windsor Castle to her employees and their families.

 

Now it’s’ the Nations turn.

Thank You.

ALL GAVE SOME – SOME GAVE ALL

The Royal Green Jackets Mortar Platoon 1989

Rob Rinder reading a World War Two Poem

The Late Dame Vera Lynn

We the directors of MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD are saddened to hear of the passing of, ” The Forces Sweetheart “.

Dame Vera Lynn will always be remembered for her works during the Second World War, her voluntary work and her voice.

Dame Vera Lynn was very proud of those that served in the Armed Forces. She worked during the War alongside the troops and became the forces Sweetheart.

For so many the thought of serving bought new emotions to the fore. That of loneliness and a longing for home, for so many loss. The iconic Song,”We’ll meet again,” was a song that bought hope and comfort. She was a kin to the role of Mother, Sister, Wife and Girlfriend to so many during dark times in that she bought comfort to so many with the iconic words of the song.

She put Britain on the Map and the White Cliffs of Dover with her song “There’ll be Bluebirds over,” even today tourists look for the Bluebirds when they visit.

Dame Vera had strong links with The Royal British Legion and other Charities, she also set up a charity for children who were ill, often visiting the charity.

In latter years she could still sing a good note when asked.

Dame Vera also spoke recently when her iconic song was used during the pandemic to bring forward hope.

HM Queen Elizabeth using the words,” we will meet again,” in her address to the nation.

HM is sending a personal condolences to Dame Vera`s daughter.

Dame Vera had been ill with a chest infection and died surrounded by her family.

She had been isolating with her Daughter during the pandemic.

The family have said there will be a memorial service to be held in the future.

MPs have paid tribute to her in the house today.

One MP has stated that this years VJ commemorations should also be a day to pay tribute to her.

Dame Vera had played her part in singing to the troops in Burma, and Egypt alongside those in Germany and France.

We have lost a Sweetheart and Heaven has gained an Angel, one with an Angelic Voice.

“The Voice of an Angel”

Rest In Peace Dame Vera Lynn 

ColborneField Marshal John Colborne, 1st Baron Seaton, GCB, GCMG, GCH, PC (16th February  1778 – 17th April 1863) was a British Army officer and Colonial Governor. After taking part as a junior officer in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland, Sir Ralph Abercromby’s expedition to Egypt and then the War of the Third Coalition, he served as military secretary to Sir John Moore at the Battle of Corunna. He then commanded the 2nd Battalion of the 66th Regiment of Foot and, later, the 52nd Regiment of Foot at many of the battles of the Peninsular War. At the Battle of Waterloo, Colborne on his own initiative brought the 52nd Regiment of Foot forward, took up a flanking position in relation to the French Imperial Guard and then, after firing repeated volleys into their flank, charged at the Guard so driving them back in disorder. He went on to become commander-in-chief of all the armed forces in British North America, personally leading the offensive at the Battle of Saint-Eustache in Lower Canada and defeating the rebel force in December 1837. After that he was high commissioner of the Ionian Islands and then Commander-in-Chief, Ireland.

Early career and the Peninsular War

Born the only son of Samuel Colborne and Cordelia Anne Colborne (née Garstin), Colborne was educated at Christ’s Hospital in London and at Winchester College. He was commissioned as an ensign in the 20th Regiment of Foot on 10th of July 1794 securing all subsequent steps in his regimental promotion without purchase. Promoted to lieutenant on the 4th of September 1795 and to captain lieutenant on 1th1 August 1799, he saw action at the Battle of Alkmaar in October 1799, where he was wounded, during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland. Promoted to brevet captain on 12th January 1800, he took part in Sir Ralph Abercromby’s expedition to Egypt in August 1801 and was wounded again.

Colborne was deployed with his regiment to Italy where he distinguished himself at the Battle of Maida in July 1806 during the War of the Third Coalition. He became military secretary to General Henry Fox in 1806 and then became military secretary to Sir John Moore with the rank of major on 21st January 1808. In this capacity he accompanied Moore to Sweden in May 1808 and to Portugal in 1808 and served with him at the Battle of Benavente in December 1808 and Battle of Corunna in January 1809. It was Moore’s dying request that Colborne should be given a lieutenant colonelcy and this was complied with on 2nd February 1809. He transferred to the 66th Regiment of Foot on 2nd November 1809, and after returning to Spain with Sir Arthur Wellesley’s Army, he witnessed the defeat of the Spaniards at the Battle of Ocaña later that month. He commanded a brigade at the Battle of Bussaco in September 1810 and then commanded the 2nd Battalion of the 66th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Albuera in May 1811 where his brigade was virtually anihillated by Polish 1st Vistulan Lancers Regiment of French Army. After transferring to the command of the 52nd Regiment of Foot he took part in the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo in January 1812 where he was badly injured and had to be invalided back to England.

After recovering in England, Colborne returned to Spain and commanded the 52nd Regiment of Foot at the Siege of San Sebastián in August 1813 before taking temporary charge of the 2nd brigade of the Light Division in late 1813 and commanding it at the Battle of the Bidassoa in October 1813, at the Battle of Nivelle in November 1813 and at the Battle of the Nive in December 1813. He returned to the 52nd Regiment of Foot and commanded it at the Battle of Orthez in February 1814 and at the Battle of Toulouse in April 1814 and at the Battle of Bayonne also in April 1814. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on the 4th of January 1815.

Colborne became aide-de-camp to the Prince Regent with the rank of colonel on the 4th of June 1814, and, following Napoleon’s escape from Elba, he managed to dissuade the Prince from attacking the French Army until the Duke of Wellington arrived. At the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 during the Hundred Days, Colborne on his own initiative brought the 52nd Regiment of Foot forward, took up a flanking position in relation to the French Imperial Guard and then, after firing repeated volleys into their flank, charged at the Guard so driving them back in disorder. He was appointed a Knight of the Austrian Military Order of Maria Theresa on the 2nd of August 1815. After the War he remained with his regiment as part of the Army of Occupation.

Canada

Colborne became Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey in July 1821 and, having been promoted to major-general on the 27th of May 1825, became Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada in August 1828. As Lieutenant Governor, Colborne increased the population of the province by 70% by initiating an organised system of immigration to bring in settlers from Britain. He also aided settlement by expanding the communication and transportation infrastructure through a campaign to build roads and bridges. He brought changes to the structure of the legislative council, increased fiscal autonomy and encouraged greater independence in the judiciary. In 1829 he founded Upper Canada College as a school based on the Elizabeth College, Guernsey model to educate boys in preparation for becoming leaders of the colonies.

In the January of 1836 Colborne became commander-in-chief of all the armed forces in British North America. He was promoted to the local rank of lieutenant general on the 8th of July 1836. During Colborne’s period of office as commander-in-chief, the Family Compact promoted resistance to the political principle of responsible government. At the end of its lifespan, the Compact would be condemned by Lord Durham as “a petty corrupt insolent Tory clique”. This resistance, together with conflicts between the assembly and the executive over fiscal matters as well as a difficult economic situation, led to the Rebellions of 1837. Colborne personally led the offensive at the Battle of Saint-Eustache in December 1837 defeating the rebel force which had become holed up in a church.

Colborne was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on the 29th of January 1838 and, following Lord Gosford’s resignation in the February of 1838, he received additional powers as acting Governor General of British North America. Promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant-general on the 28th of June 1838, he put down a second revolt in October 1838 and was confirmed as Governor General of British North America on 14th December 1838. He left Canada in the October of 1839 and, after arriving back in England, was raised to the peerage as Baron Seaton of Seaton in Devonshire on the 5th of December 1839.

Later life

Colborne became high commissioner of the Ionian Islands in February 1843, and having been promoted to full general on the 20th of June 1854, he became Commander-in-Chief, Ireland in 1855. After standing down from active service in Spring 1860, he was promoted to field marshal on 1 April 1860 and retired to his home at Beechwood House in Sparkwell.

Colborne also served as honorary colonel of the 94th Regiment of Foot, as honorary colonel of the 26th (Cameronian) Regiment of Foot and then as honorary colonel of the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards. He was also colonel-in-chief of the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own). He died at Valletta House in Torquay on the 17th of April in 1863 and was buried in the churchyard of Holy Cross Church at Newton Ferrers.

In the November of 1866 a bronze statue of Colborne sculpted by George Adams and financed by public donations was erected at Mount Wise at Devonport: it was moved to Seaton Barracks in Crownhill in the early 1960s and then to the former Peninsula Barracks in Winchester in the 1990s. A second statue of Colborne also sculpted by George Adams was erected at Upper Canada College.

Family

In 1813 Colborne married Elizabeth Yonge; they had three daughters and five sons.

British Governors of Quebec

In 1763 the Treaty of Paris placed the French colony of New France, now called Quebec, under the rule of Great Britain, who had conquered it during the Seven Years War (1756-1763). After a period of military occupation, a civilian government, headed by a British-appointed governor, was introduced on August 10, 1764. In 1791, Quebec was split into two districts, Upper Canada and Lower Canada, each with its own lieutenant-governor, but both were subordinate to the authority of the governor of Quebec.

Colborne`s first Tenure as Colonial Governor was from Mar 30th, 1838 – May 29th, 1838

Colborne`s second Tenure (Acting) as Colonial Governor was from Jan 17th, 1839 – Oct 19th, 1839

Role and functions of the British colonial governors
British administration
In 1763, France lost Canada to England. Henceforth, British governors presided over the colony on behalf of the English king.

1763-1774

Although British custom was to have an elected assembly, the small number of English subjects and large number of Catholics in the colony thwarted this approach. In his management of the colonial administration, the governor therefore called on a council of eight people exercising legislative and executive powers. All governors, with the exception of James Murray, continued to act as military chief and oversee diplomatic relations.

1774-1791

The Quebec Act adopted by the British parliament in 1774 changed government of the colony. Henceforth, Catholics, who had been excluded from the colony’s civil government due to British law, were able to participate in the colony’s administration. The legislative and executive councils were separated and the number of councilors increased to 23. The governor presided over judicial and executive powers and the legislative council.

1791-1867

With American independence came many Loyalists to what was then known as the Province of Quebec. They added their voice to the many English-speaking merchants who had for 30 years been calling for a legislative assembly. In 1791, with the Constitutional Act, the colony was divided in two: Upper and Lower Canada.

The governor was responsible for managing the legislative assemblies in Upper and Lower Canada, but remained the only British authority in force in North America. He held civil and military powers and managed revenues from crown lands. He chose members of the legislative and executive councils, which continued to exist. Although laws were voted by the legislative assembly and legislative council, they were to be sanctioned by the governor, who could veto certain legislation. The governor could also review judicial sentences. At any time, he could convene or dissolve the legislative assemblies.

These responsibilities belonged to the governor until the advent of responsible government in 1848, seven years after the union of the two Canadas. As of that date, the governor general named a prime minister from a member who held the confidence of the elected majority.

Sourced from Wikipedia/ Parks Canada /

Today marks Her Majesty’s official Birthday.


We at MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD send our best wishes during her lock-down commemorative birthday .

The Queen is celebrating her birthday with a scaled back military parade at Windsor Castle, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The small ceremonial event, specially designed in just two weeks to ensure the soldiers can maintain social distancing, replaces the traditional Trooping The Colour in central London, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

It is the monarch’s first appearance at an official outside event since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Usually thousands of people gather along the Mall and in front of Buckingham Palace to watch the pageant-filled military parade and to see members of the Royal Family as they travel in carriages, and on horseback, before appearing on the balcony together.
It is the first time the Trooping The Colour has not been staged since 1955, when it was cancelled due to a national rail strike.

This year, the public were asked to stay away, with the brief ceremony taking place inside the grounds of Windsor Castle carried out by a detachment from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, whose colour was due to be trooped this year at the Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horse Guards.

The soldiers and band of the Household Division had to learn new ceremonial drill to ensure they stayed at least two metres apart.

Pictures credited to The Royal Family FB

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBYblrRHVsW/?igshid=1d034fuwr15no&fbclid=IwAR3ZGE1js1tr3k4X4bddNTSfnL1xWcWQAkYILDuwY_CiDNIWnZnu1TLfAzo

HAM and JAM

76 years ago at 0016 hrs he first of the six gliders landed just metres away from Pegasus Bridge in the first action of D Day. It was vitally important that the bridges were taken quickly and intact, within 10 minutes both bridges had been secured and the code words “Ham and Jam” broadcast. An outstanding achievement on such a complexed and dangerous Operation.

Last year at 0016 hours, Riflemen from across The Rifles Doubled Off Pegasus Bridge as a mark of respect to Maj Howard and his men.

Operation Dynamo

Allied evacuation of Dunkirk

Fair use Picture from Wikipedia

The Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo and also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers during World War II from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, in the north of France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940. The operation commenced after large numbers of Belgian, British, and French troops were cut off and surrounded by German troops during the six-week Battle of France. In a speech to the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this “a colossal military disaster”, saying “the whole root and core and brain of the British Army” had been stranded at Dunkirk and seemed about to perish or be captured. In his “we shall fight on the beaches” speech on 4 June, he hailed their rescue as a “miracle of deliverance”.

After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, France and the British Empire declared war on Germany and imposed an economic blockade. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was sent to help defend France. After the Phoney War of October 1939 to April 1940, Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and France on 10 May 1940. Three panzer corps attacked through the Ardennes and drove northwest to the English Channel. By 21 May, German forces had trapped the BEF, the remains of the Belgian forces, and three French field armies along the northern coast of France. BEF commander General Viscount Gort immediately saw evacuation across the Channel as the best course of action, and began planning a withdrawal to Dunkirk, the closest good port.

Late on 23 May, a halt order was issued by Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt, commander of Army Group A. Adolf Hitler approved this order the next day, and had the German High Command send confirmation to the front. Destroying the trapped BEF, French, and Belgian armies was left to the Luftwaffe until the order was rescinded on 26 May. This gave Allied forces time to construct defensive works and pull back large numbers of troops to fight the Battle of Dunkirk. From 28 to 31 May, in the Siege of Lille, the remaining 40,000 men of the once-formidable French First Army fought a delaying action against seven German divisions, including three armoured divisions.

On the first day only 7,669 Allied soldiers were evacuated, but by the end of the eighth day, 338,226 had been rescued by a hastily assembled fleet of over 800 vessels. Many troops were able to embark from the harbour’s protective mole onto 39 British Royal Navy destroyers, 4 Royal Canadian Navy destroyers, at least 3 French Navy destroyers, and a variety of civilian merchant ships. Others had to wade out from the beaches, waiting for hours in shoulder-deep water. Some were ferried to the larger ships by what became known as the Little Ships of Dunkirk, a flotilla of hundreds of merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft, yachts, and lifeboats called into service from Britain. The BEF lost 68,000 soldiers during the French campaign and had to abandon nearly all of its tanks, vehicles, and equipment. In his 4 June speech, Churchill also reminded the country that “we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.”

In September 1939, after Nazi Germany invaded Poland, the United Kingdom sent the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to aid in the defence of France, landing at Cherbourg, Nantes, and Saint-Nazaire. By May 1940 the force consisted of ten divisions in three corps under the command of General John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort. Working with the BEF were the Belgian Army and the French First, Seventh, and Ninth Armies.

During the 1930s, the French had constructed the Maginot Line, a series of fortifications along their border with Germany. This line had been designed to deter a German invasion across the Franco-German border and funnel an attack into Belgium, which could then be met by the best divisions of the French Army. Thus, any future war would take place outside of French territory, avoiding a repeat of the First World War. The area immediately to the north of the Maginot Line was covered by the heavily wooded Ardennes region, which French General Philippe Pétain declared to be “impenetrable” as long as “special provisions” were taken. He believed that any enemy force emerging from the forest would be vulnerable to a pincer attack and destroyed. The French commander-in-chief, Maurice Gamelin, also believed the area to be of a limited threat, noting that it “never favoured large operations”. With this in mind, the area was left lightly defended.

The initial plan for the German invasion of France called for an encirclement attack through the Netherlands and Belgium, avoiding the Maginot Line. Erich von Manstein, then Chief of Staff of the German Army Group A, prepared the outline of a different plan and submitted it to the OKH (German High Command) via his superior, Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt.Manstein’s plan suggested that panzer divisions should attack through the Ardennes, then establish bridgeheads on the Meuse River and rapidly drive to the English Channel. The Germans would thus cut off the Allied armies in Belgium. This part of the plan later became known as the Sichelschnitt (“sickle cut”). Adolf Hitler approved a modified version of Manstein’s ideas, today known as the Manstein Plan, after meeting with him on 17 February.

On 10 May, Germany invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. Army Group B, under Generaloberst Fedor von Bock, attacked into Belgium, while the three panzer corps of Army Group A under Rundstedt swung around to the south and drove for the Channel. The BEF advanced from the Belgian border to positions along the River Dyle within Belgium, where they fought elements of Army Group B starting on 10 May. They were ordered to begin a fighting withdrawal to the Scheldt River on 14 May when the Belgian and French positions on their flanks failed to hold. During a visit to Paris on 17 May, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was astonished to learn from Gamelin that the French had committed all their troops to the ongoing engagements and had no strategic reserves.

On 19 May, Gort met with French General Gaston Billotte, commander of the French First Army and overall coordinator of the Allied forces. Billotte revealed that the French had no troops between the Germans and the sea. Gort immediately saw that evacuation across the Channel was the best course of action, and began planning a withdrawal to Dunkirk, the closest location with good port facilities. Surrounded by marshes, Dunkirk boasted old fortifications and the longest sand beach in Europe, where large groups could assemble. On 20 May, on Churchill’s suggestion, the Admiralty began arranging for all available small vessels to be made ready to proceed to France. After continued engagements and a failed Allied attempt on 21 May at Arras to cut through the German spearhead, the BEF was trapped, along with the remains of the Belgian forces and the three French armies, in an area along the coast of northern France and Belgium.

Lord Gort (gesturing, at centre) was commander of the British Expeditionary Force.

Picture credited to the War Office

Without informing the French, the British began planning on 20 May for Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the BEF. This planning was headed by Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay at the naval headquarters below Dover Castle, from which he briefed Churchill as it was under way. Ships began gathering at Dover for the evacuation. On 20 May, the BEF sent Brigadier Gerald Whitfield to Dunkirk to start evacuating unnecessary personnel. Overwhelmed by what he later described as “a somewhat alarming movement towards Dunkirk by both officers and men”, due to a shortage of food and water, he had to send many along without thoroughly checking their credentials. Even officers ordered to stay behind to aid the evacuation disappeared onto the boats.

On 22 May, Churchill ordered the BEF to attack southward in coordination with the French First Army under General Georges Blanchard to reconnect with the remainder of the French forces. This proposed action was dubbed the Weygand Plan after General Maxime Weygand, appointed Supreme Commander after Gamelin’s dismissal on 18 May. On 25 May, Gort had to abandon any hope of achieving this objective and withdrew on his own initiative, along with Blanchard’s forces, behind the Lys Canal, part of a canal system that reached the sea at Gravelines. Sluice gates had already been opened all along the canal to flood the system and create a barrier (the Canal Line) against the German advance.

Battle of Dunkirk

By 24 May, the Germans had captured the port of Boulogne and surrounded Calais. The engineers of the 2nd Panzer Division under Generalmajor Rudolf Veiel built five bridges over the Canal Line and only one British battalion barred the way to Dunkirk. On 23 May, at the suggestion of Fourth Army commander Generalfeldmarschall Günther von Kluge, Rundstedt had ordered the panzer units to halt, concerned about the vulnerability of his flanks and the question of supply to his forward troops. He was also concerned that the marshy ground around Dunkirk would prove unsuitable for tanks and he wished to conserve them for later operations (in some units, tank losses were 30–50 per cent). Hitler was also apprehensive, and on a visit to Army Group A headquarters on 24 May, he endorsed the order.

Air Marshal Hermann Göring urged Hitler to let the Luftwaffe (aided by Army Group B) finish off the British, to the consternation of General Franz Halder, who noted in his diary that the Luftwaffe was dependent upon the weather and aircrews were worn out after two weeks of battle. Rundstedt issued another order, which was sent uncoded. It was picked up by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Y service intelligence network at 12:42: “By order of the Fuhrer … attack north-west of Arras is to be limited to the general line Lens–Bethune–Aire–St Omer–Gravelines. The Canal will not be crossed.” Later that day, Hitler issued Directive 13, which called for the Luftwaffe to defeat the trapped Allied forces and stop their escape. At 15:30 on 26 May, Hitler ordered the panzer groups to continue their advance, but most units took another 16 hours to attack. The delay gave the Allies time to prepare defences vital for the evacuation and prevented the Germans from stopping the Allied retreat from Lille.

The halt order has been the subject of much discussion by historians. Guderian considered the failure to order a timely assault on Dunkirk to be one of the major German mistakes on the Western Front. Rundstedt called it “one of the great turning points of the war”, and Manstein described it as “one of Hitler’s most critical mistakes”. B. H. Liddell Hart interviewed many of the generals after the war and put together a picture of Hitler’s strategic thinking on the matter. Hitler believed that once Britain’s troops left continental Europe, they would never return.

Evacuation
26–27 May

The retreat was undertaken amid chaotic conditions, with abandoned vehicles blocking the roads and a flood of refugees heading in the opposite direction. Due to wartime censorship and the desire to keep up British morale, the full extent of the unfolding disaster at Dunkirk was not initially publicised. A special service attended by King George VI was held in Westminster Abbey on 26 May, which was declared a national day of prayer. The Archbishop of Canterbury led prayers “for our soldiers in dire peril in France”. Similar prayers were offered in synagogues and churches throughout the UK that day, confirming to the public their suspicion of the desperate plight of the troops. Just before 19:00 on 26 May, Churchill ordered Dynamo to begin, by which time 28,000 men had already departed. Initial plans called for the recovery of 45,000 men from the BEF within two days, at which time German troops were expected to block further evacuation. Only 25,000 men escaped during this period, including 7,669 on the first day.

On 27 May, the first full day of the evacuation, one cruiser, eight destroyers, and 26 other craft were active. Admiralty officers combed nearby boatyards for small craft that could ferry personnel from the beaches out to larger craft in the harbour, as well as larger vessels that could load from the docks. An emergency call was put out for additional help, and by 31 May nearly four hundred small craft were voluntarily and enthusiastically taking part in the effort.

The same day, the Luftwaffe heavily bombed Dunkirk, both the town and the dock installations. As the water supply was knocked out, the resulting fires could not be extinguished. An estimated thousand civilians were killed, one-third of the remaining population of the town. RAF squadrons were ordered to provide air supremacy for the Royal Navy during evacuation, their efforts shifted to tightly covering Dunkirk and the English Channel, protecting the ships of the evacuation fleet as much as possible. The Luftwaffe was met by 16 squadrons of the Royal Air Force, who claimed 38 kills on 27 May while losing 14 aircraft. Many more RAF fighters sustained damage and were subsequently written off. On the German side, Kampfgeschwader 2 (KG 2) and KG 3 suffered the heaviest casualties. German losses amounted to 23 Dornier Do 17s. KG 1 and KG 4 bombed the beach and harbour and KG 54 sank the 8,000-ton steamer Aden. Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers sank the troopship Cote d’ Azur. The Luftwaffe engaged with 300 bombers which were protected by 550 fighter sorties and attacked Dunkirk in twelve raids. They dropped 15,000 high explosive and 30,000 incendiary bombs, destroying the oil tanks and wrecking the harbour. No. 11 Group RAF flew 22 patrols with 287 aircraft this day, in formations of up to 20 aircraft.

Troops evacuated from Dunkirk arrive at Dover, 31 May 1940

Altogether, over 3,500 sorties were flown in support of Operation Dynamo. The RAF continued to inflict a heavy toll on the German bombers throughout the week. Soldiers being bombed and strafed while awaiting transport were for the most part unaware of the efforts of the RAF to protect them, as most of the dogfights took place far from the beaches. As a result, many British soldiers bitterly accused the airmen of doing nothing to help.

On 25 and 26 May, the Luftwaffe focused their attention on Allied pockets holding out at Calais, Lille, and Amiens, and did not attack Dunkirk. Calais, held by the BEF, surrendered on 26 May. Remnants of the French First Army, surrounded at Lille, fought off seven German divisions, several of them armoured, until 31 May, when the remaining 35,000 soldiers were forced to surrender after running out of food and ammunition. The Germans accorded the honours of war to the defenders of Lille in recognition of their bravery.

8 May – 4 June

The Belgian Army surrendered on 28 May, leaving a large gap to the east of Dunkirk. Several British divisions were rushed in to cover that side. The Luftwaffe flew fewer sorties over Dunkirk on 28 May, switching their attention to the Belgian ports of Ostend and Nieuport. The weather over Dunkirk was not conducive to dive or low-level bombing. The RAF flew 11 patrols and 321 sorties, claiming 23 destroyed for the loss of 13 aircraft. On 28 May, 17,804 soldiers arrived at British ports.

On 29 May, 47,310 British troops were rescued as the Luftwaffe’s Ju 87s exacted a heavy toll on shipping. The British destroyer HMS Grenade was sunk and the French destroyer Mistral was crippled, while her sister ships, each laden with 500 men, were damaged by near misses. British destroyers Jaguar and Verity were badly damaged but escaped the harbour. Two trawlers disintegrated in the attack. Later, the passenger steamer SS Fenella sank with 600 men aboard at the pier but the men were able to get off. The paddle steamer HMS Crested Eagle suffered a direct hit, caught fire, and sank with severe casualties. The raiders also destroyed the two rail-owned ships, the SS Lorina and the SS Normannia. Of the five major German attacks, just two were contested by RAF fighters; the British lost 16 fighters in nine patrols. German losses amounted to 11 Ju 87s destroyed or damaged.

On 30 May, Churchill received word that all British divisions were now behind the defensive lines, along with more than half of the French First Army.[78] By this time, the perimeter ran along a series of canals about 7 miles (11 km) from the coast, in marshy country not suitable for tanks. With the docks in the harbour rendered unusable by German air attacks, senior naval officer Captain (later Admiral) William Tennant initially ordered men to be evacuated from the beaches. When this proved too slow, he re-routed the evacuees to two long stone and concrete breakwaters, called the east and west moles, as well as the beaches. The moles had never been designed to dock ships, but despite this, the majority of troops rescued from Dunkirk were taken off in this way; according to legend, it was the Little Ships which did this achievement. According to the historical record, almost 200,000 troops embarked on ships from the east mole (which stretched nearly a mile out to sea) over the next week. James Campbell Clouston, pier master on the east mole, a narrow wooden walkway mounted on a concrete breakwater, not designed to be used by ships, but the only part of the port that had not been heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe, organised and regulated the flow of men along the mole into the waiting ships, for the next five days. Once more, low clouds kept Luftwaffe activity to a minimum. Nine RAF patrols were mounted, with no German formation encountered. The following day, the Luftwaffe sank one transport and damaged 12 others for 17 losses; the British claimed 38 kills, which was an exaggeration. The RAF and Fleet Air Arm lost 28 aircraft.

Of the total 338,226 soldiers, several hundred were unarmed Indian mule handlers on detachment from the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, forming four of the six units of Force K-6 transport. Cypriot muleteers were also present. Three units were successfully evacuated and one captured. Also present at Dunkirk were a small number of French Senegalese soldiers and Moroccans.

The next day, an additional 53,823 men were embarked, including the first French soldiers. Lord Gort and 68,014 men were evacuated on 31 May, leaving Major-General Harold Alexander in command of the rearguard. A further 64,429 Allied soldiers departed on 1 June, before the increasing air attacks prevented further daylight evacuation. The British rearguard of 4,000 men left on the night of 2–3 June. An additional 75,000 French troops were retrieved over the nights of 2–4 June, before the operation finally ended. The remainder of the rearguard, 40,000 French troops, surrendered on 4 June. Churchill made a point of stating in his “We shall fight on the beaches” address in the House on 4 June that the evacuation had been made possible through the efforts of the RAF.

Evacuation routes

Three routes were allocated to the evacuating vessels. The shortest was Route Z, a distance of 39 nautical miles (72 km), but it entailed hugging the French coast and thus ships using it were subject to bombardment from on-shore batteries, particularly in daylight hours. Route X, although the safest from shore batteries, travelled through a particularly heavily mined portion of the Channel. Ships on this route travelled 55 nautical miles (102 km) north out of Dunkirk, proceeded through the Ruytingen Pass, and headed towards the North Goodwin Lightship before heading south around the Goodwin Sands to Dover. The route was safest from surface attacks, but the nearby minefields and sandbanks meant it could not be used at night. The longest of the three was Route Y, a distance of 87 nautical miles (161 km); using this route increased the sailing time to four hours, double the time required for Route Z. This route followed the French coast as far as Bray-Dunes, then turned north-east until reaching the Kwinte Buoy. Here, after making an approximately 135-degree turn, the ships sailed west to the North Goodwin Lightship and headed south around the Goodwin Sands to Dover. Ships on Route Y were the most likely to be attacked by German surface vessels, submarines, and the Luftwaffe.

You knew this was the chance to get home and you kept praying, please God, let us go, get us out, get us out of this mess back to England. To see that ship that came in to pick me and my brother up, it was a most fantastic sight. We saw dog fights up in the air, hoping nothing would happen to us and we saw one or two terrible sights. Then somebody said, there’s Dover, that was when we saw the White Cliffs, the atmosphere was terrific. From hell to heaven was how the feeling was, you felt like a miracle had happened.

— Harry Garrett, British Army, speaking to Kent Online.

Troops evacuated from Dunkirk on a destroyer about to berth at Dover, 31 May 1940

Picture credited to Puttnam (Mr) and Malindine (Mr), War Office official photographer

Ships

The Royal Navy provided the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Calcutta, 39 destroyers, and many other craft. The Merchant Navy supplied passenger ferries, hospital ships, and other vessels. Britain’s Belgian, Dutch, Canadian, Polish, and French allies provided vessels as well. Admiral Ramsay arranged for around a thousand copies to be made of the required charts, had buoys laid around the Goodwin Sands and down to Dunkirk, and organised the flow of shipping. Larger ships such as destroyers were able to carry about 900 men per trip. The soldiers mostly travelled on the upper decks for fear of being trapped below if the ship sank. After the loss on 29 May of 19 British and French navy ships plus three of the larger requisitioned vessels, the Admiralty withdrew their eight best destroyers for the future defence of the country.

                           British Ships

Type of vessel                                                             Total engaged – Sunk – Damaged

Cruisers                                                                                  1  > > > >   0 > > > 1

Destroyers                                                                           39 > > > >   6 > > > 19

Sloops, corvettes and gunboats                                    9  > > > >   1  > > >  1

Minesweepers                                                                     36 > > > >  5 > > >  7

Trawlers and drifters                                                     113 > > > > 17  > > > 2

Special service vessels                                                       3 > > > >  1 > > >   0

Ocean boarding vessels                                                     3  > > > > 1 > > >   1

Torpedo boats and anti-submarine boats                13 > > > >  0 > > >  0

Former Dutch schuyts with naval crews                 40  > > > > 4 > > > Unknown

Yachts with naval crews                                                 26  > > > > 3 > > > Unknown

Personnel ships                                                                 45 > > > >  8 > > >  8

Hospital carriers                                                                 8 > > > > 1 > > >   5

Naval motor boats                                                            12  > > >>  6  > > > Unknown

Tugboats                                                                              34 > > > >  3 > > >  Unknown

Other small craft                                                              311 > > >  170 > > >Unknown

Total British ships                                                          693 > > > 226

Does not include ships’ lifeboats and some unrecorded small privately owned craft.

Allied ships

Type of vessel                                                             Total engaged – Sunk – Damaged

Warships (all types)                                                        49 > > > > > 8 > > > > Unknown

Other vessels                                                                    119 > > > > > 9  > > > > Unknown

Total Allied ships                                                            168 > > > >  17 

(Grand total )                                                                 (861) > > > > (243)

Little ships

A wide variety of small vessels from all over the south of England were pressed into service to aid in the Dunkirk evacuation. They included speedboats, Thames vessels, car ferries, pleasure craft, and many other types of small craft. The most useful proved to be the motor lifeboats, which had a reasonably good capacity and speed. Some boats were requisitioned without the owner’s knowledge or consent. Agents of the Ministry of Shipping, accompanied by a naval officer, scoured the Thames for likely vessels, had them checked for seaworthiness, and took them downriver to Sheerness, where naval crews were to be placed aboard. Due to shortages of personnel, many small craft crossed the Channel with civilian crews.

The first of the “little ships” arrived at Dunkirk on 28 May. The wide sand beaches meant that large vessels could not get anywhere near the shore, and even small craft had to stop about 100 yards (91 m) from the waterline and wait for the soldiers to wade out. In many cases, personnel would abandon their boat upon reaching a larger ship, and subsequent evacuees had to wait for boats to drift ashore with the tide before they could make use of them. In most areas on the beaches, soldiers queued up with their units and patiently awaited their turn to leave. But at times, panicky soldiers had to be warned off at gunpoint when they attempted to rush to the boats out of turn. In addition to ferrying out on boats, soldiers at De Panne and Bray-Dunes constructed improvised jetties by driving rows of abandoned vehicles onto the beach at low tide, anchoring them with sandbags, and connecting them with wooden walkways.

Before the operation was completed, the prognosis had been gloomy, with Churchill warning the House of Commons on 28 May to expect “hard and heavy tidings”. Subsequently, Churchill referred to the outcome as a miracle, and the British press presented the evacuation as a “disaster turned to triumph” so successfully that Churchill had to remind the country in a speech to the House of Commons on 4 June that “we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.” Andrew Roberts comments that the confusion over the Dunkirk evacuation is illustrated by two of the best books on it being called Strange Defeat and Strange Victory.

Troops landed from Dunkirk
              27 May – 4 June

Date          Beaches      Harbour       Total

27 May            7,669                                    7,669

28 May           5,930             11,874         17,804

29 May          13,752            33,558        47,310

30 May          29,512           24,311          53,823

31 May          22,942          45,072         68,014

1 June           17,348           47,081         64,429

2 June           6,695            19,561          26,256

3 June           1,870            24,876         26,746

4 June             622             25,553          26,175

Totals         98,671           239,555       338,226

Three British divisions and a host of logistic and labour troops were cut off to the south of the Somme by the German “race to the sea”. At the end of May, a further two divisions began moving to France with the hope of establishing a Second BEF. The majority of the 51st (Highland) Division was forced to surrender on 12 June, but almost 192,000 Allied personnel, 144,000 of them British, were evacuated through various French ports from 15–25 June under the codename Operation Ariel. The Germans marched into Paris on 14 June and France surrendered eight days later.

The more than 100,000 French troops evacuated from Dunkirk were quickly and efficiently shuttled to camps in various parts of south-western England, where they were temporarily lodged before being repatriated. British ships ferried French troops to Brest, Cherbourg, and other ports in Normandy and Brittany, although only about half of the repatriated troops were redeployed against the Germans before the surrender of France. For many French soldiers, the Dunkirk evacuation represented only a few weeks’ delay before being killed or captured by the German army after their return to France. Of the French soldiers evacuated from France in June 1940, about 3,000 joined Charles de Gaulle’s Free French army in Britain.

In France, the unilateral British decision to evacuate through Dunkirk rather than counter-attack to the south, and the perceived preference of the Royal Navy for evacuating British forces at the expense of the French, led to some bitter resentment. According to Churchill, French Admiral François Darlan originally ordered that the British forces should receive preference, but on 31 May, he intervened at a meeting in Paris to order that the evacuation should proceed on equal terms and that the British would form the rearguard. In fact, the 35,000 men who finally surrendered after covering the final evacuations were mostly French soldiers of 2nd Light Mechanized Division and the 68th Infantry Division. Their resistance allowed the evacuation effort to be extended to 4 June, on which date another 26,175 Frenchmen were transported to England.

The evacuation was presented to the German public as an overwhelming and decisive German victory. On 5 June 1940, Hitler stated “Dunkirk has fallen! 40,000 French and English troops are all that remains of the formerly great armies. Immeasurable quantities of materiel have been captured. The greatest battle in the history of the world has come to an end.” Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW, the German armed forces high command) announced the event as “the greatest annihilation battle of all time”.

Remaining British forces under the Tenth Army as Norman Force, retreated towards Cherbourg.

Casualties

Bourrasque slowly sinking

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Mona’s Queen shortly after striking a mine on the approach to Dunkirk, 29 May 1940
The BEF lost 68,000 soldiers (dead, wounded, missing, or captured) from 10 May until the armistice with France on 22 June. 3,500 British were killed and 13,053 wounded. All the heavy equipment had to be abandoned. Left behind in France were 2,472 guns, 20,000 motorcycles, and almost 65,000 other vehicles; also abandoned were 416,000 long tons (423,000 t) of stores, more than 75,000 long tons (76,000 t) of ammunition and 162,000 long tons (165,000 t) of fuel. Almost all of the 445 British tanks that had been sent to France with the BEF were abandoned.

Six British and three French destroyers were sunk, along with nine other major vessels. In addition, 19 destroyers were damaged. Over 200 British and Allied sea craft were sunk, with a similar number damaged. The Royal Navy’s most significant losses in the operation were six destroyers:

Grafton, sunk by U-62 on 29 May
Grenade, sunk by air attack at Dunkirk on 29 May
Wakeful, sunk by a torpedo from the E-boat S-30 on 29 May
Basilisk, Havant, and Keith, sunk by air attack off the beaches on 1 June
The French Navy lost three destroyers:

Bourrasque, mined off Nieuport on 30 May
Siroco, sunk by the E-boats S-23 and S-26 on 31 May
Le Foudroyant, sunk by air attack off the beaches on 1 June
The RAF lost 145 aircraft, of which at least 42 were Spitfires, while the Luftwaffe lost 156 aircraft in operations in the nine days of Operation Dynamo, including 35 destroyed by Royal Navy ships (plus 21 damaged) during the six days from 27 May to 1 June.

For every seven soldiers who escaped through Dunkirk, one man was left behind as a prisoner of war. The majority of these prisoners were sent on forced marches into Germany. Prisoners reported brutal treatment by their guards, including beatings, starvation, and murder. Another complaint was that German guards kicked over buckets of water that had been left at the roadside by French civilians for the marching prisoners to drink.

Many of the prisoners were marched to the city of Trier, with the march taking as long as 20 days. Others were marched to the river Scheldt and were sent by barge to the Ruhr. The prisoners were then sent by rail to prisoner of war camps in Germany. The majority (those below the rank of corporal) then worked in German industry and agriculture for the remainder of the war.

Those of the BEF who died or were captured and have no known grave are commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial.

Dunkirk Jack

The St George’s Cross defaced with the arms of Dunkirk flown from the jack staff is the warranted house flag of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. It is known as the Dunkirk Jack. The flag is flown only by civilian vessels that took part in the Dunkirk rescue operation.

Portrayals in literature and popular culture
Books

The novella The Snow Goose: A Story of Dunkirk by Paul Gallico

The novel The Big Pick-Up by Elleston Trevor

The novel Dunkirk co-authored by Lt. Col. Ewan Hunter and Maj. J. S. Bradford

The book The Miracle of Dunkirk by Walter Lord

Movies

The following is the list of the movies dealing with the Dunkirk evacuation or portraying the act of evacuation as the crucial moment of the film’s plot:

Mrs. Miniver (1942), features one of the main leads assisting in the evacuation

Dunkirk (1958), follows a corporal leading his left-behind men to Dunkirk, and two civilians who participate in the evacuation

Weekend at Dunkirk (1964), follows a French soldier attempting to escape with the retreating British

Atonement (2007), the main character waits to be evacuated at the Dunkirk beach

Their Finest (2016), follows a British Ministry of Information film team making a morale-boosting film about the evacuation

Dunkirk (2017), focusing on a private attempting to retreat from Dunkirk, civilians who participate in the evacuation, and the RAF’s contribution to the evacuation

Darkest Hour (2017), depicts the evacuation from the perspective of Winston Churchill and the generals in war rooms

TV documentaries

Dunkirk (2004 BBC television docudrama), depicts the evacuation, portraying the main incidents and players in a documentary-style fashion

Other

It is simulated in the board wargame Dunkirk: The Battle of France. The battle has been the subject of video games including Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, and Secret Weapons Over Normandy.

The evacuation is the subject of the song “The Fires of Calais,” telling the story from the perspective of a British fisherman taking part in the rescue. The song was released on the album Then Again.

1940 Dunkirk Veterans’ Association

Dunkirk Medal

Sourced from Wikipedia

MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD

Congratulations to  

SIR TOM MOORE

Arise Sir Tom

75th Anniversary 

Victory in Europe Day

 

Sir Winston Churchill and General Dwight Eisenhower

addressing troops at the Rifle Depot (Peninsula Barrack)  

The Rifle Depot housed the 60th Infantry Regiment of the 9th (US) Infantry Division, who were preparing to take part in the 1944 D Day Landings in Normandy (Operation Over Lord). The Rifle Brigade recruits were trained at near York during this period.   

 

The surrender of German forces

Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery receiving the surrender of the German forces at his tactical Headquarters,

21st Army Group, Luneburg Heath on 4th May 1945. 

This was the beginning of the end as the War was not officially over.  

May 8th 1945 – 8th May 2020

The Rifles Regiment are joining the Royal British Legion 

to mark the 75th Anniversary of V E Day from home with a Tea Party.

Victory in Europe day, May 8th 1945, was a time of great celebration for Britain; as Churchill walked to a Service of Thanksgiving at St Margaret’s, Westminster, he was engulfed by an ecstatic, cheering crowd, all wanting to shake his hand and pour out their relief and gratitude. Even the two princesses, both teenagers at the time, got in on the act according to the Reader’s Digest’s ‘The World at Arms’. For once in a way their father the King allowed them to venture out mingle with the crowds, and wrote later in his diary, ‘Poor darlings, they have never had any fun yet.’

However, there were those who found it hard to get into the swing of things. Many young men and women would not be coming home, among them the 383,786 military dead from Britain, not to mention over 67,000 citizens on the Home Front – and that was without accounting for the Commonwealth casualties. The war with Japan raged on, and perhaps Churchill’s rather subdued announcement of the German surrender reflected his knowledge of what lay ahead for the unfortunate Japanese people if they didn’t lay down their arms soon. Nellie Last, whose diary is quoted in Juliet Gardiner’s ‘The 1940s House’, found it hard to move her thoughts beyond the tragedies of the present, but said to herself on hearing the announcement of a national holiday to celebrate the war’s end, “Well dash it, we must celebrate somehow – I’ll open this tin of pears.” This she duly did.

Many felt similarly shaky about the future, but as lights all over London blazed forth on the evening of VE Day, having been dark for almost 6 long years, not to mention bonfires and fireworks, floodlights and searchlights, the children’s eyes shone with excitement. Surely few people could have resisted cracking a smile at that glorious sight!

Below is the text of the broadcast in which, at 3pm British Double Summer Time on May 8, 1945, Mr. Winston Churchill announced the end of the fighting in Europe. Later the same day, H.M. the King broadcast his own message of thanksgiving, which is also reproduced. Both appear in our Historic Documents archive as part of ‘The Second Great War, Volume 8’, edited by Sir John Hammerton.

Yesterday morning at 2.41 a.m. at headquarters, General Jodl, the representative of the German High Command, and Grand Admiral Dönitz, the designated head of the German State, signed the act of unconditional surrender of all German land, sea, and air forces in Europe to the Allied Expeditionary Force, and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command.

General Bedell Smith, Chief of Staff of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Fran?ois Sevez signed the document on behalf of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Susloparov signed on behalf of the Russian High Command.

Today this agreement will be ratified and confirmed at Berlin, where Air Chief Marshal Tedder, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General de Lattre de Tassigny will sign on behalf of General Eisenhower. Marshal Zhukov will sign on behalf of the Soviet High Command. The German representative will be Field-Marshal Keitel, Chief of the High Command, and the Commanders-in-Chief of the German Army, Navy, and Air Forces.

Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight tonight (Tuesday, May 8), but in the interests of saving lives the “Cease Fire” began yesterday to be sounded all along the front, and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today.

The Germans are still in places resisting the Russian troops, but should they continue to do so after midnight they will, of course, deprive themselves of the protection of the laws of war, and will be attacked from all quarters by the Allied troops. It is not surprising that on such long fronts and in the existing disorder of the enemy the commands of the German High Command should not in every case be obeyed immediately. This does not, in our opinion, with the best military advice at our disposal, constitute any reason for withholding from the nation the facts communicated to us by General Eisenhower of the unconditional surrender already signed at Rheims, nor should it prevent us from celebrating today and tomorrow (Wednesday) as Victory in Europe days.

Today, perhaps we shall think mostly of ourselves. Tomorrow, we shall pay a particular tribute to our Russian comrades, whose prowess in the field has been one of the grand contributions to the general victory.

The German war is therefore at an end. After years of intense preparation, Germany hurled herself on Poland at the beginning of September 1939; and, in pursuance of our guarantee to Poland and in agreement with the French Republic, Great Britain, and the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, declared war upon this foul aggression. After gallant France had been struck down we, from this island and from our united Empire, maintained the struggle single-handedly for a whole year until we were joined by the military might of Soviet Russia and later by the overwhelming power and resources of the United States of America.

Two small girls waving their flags in the rubble of Battersea,

snapped by an anonymous American photographer. © IWM.

Finally almost the whole world was combined against the evil-doers, who are now prostrate before us. Our gratitude to our splendid Allies goes forth from all our hearts in this island and throughout the British Empire.

We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued. The injury she has inflicted on Great Britain, the United States, and other countries, and her detestable cruelties, call for justice and retribution. We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance, Britannia! Long live the cause of freedom! God save the King!

King George VI Queen Elizabeth Princesses Winston Churchill greet crowds Buckingham Palace Balcony VE Day
Message from H.M. the King to his peoples broadcast on May 8th, 1945:

Today we give thanks to Almighty God for a great deliverance.

Speaking from our Empire’s oldest capital city, war-battered but never for one moment daunted or dismayed – speaking from London, I ask you to join with me in that act of thanksgiving.

Germany, the enemy who drove all Europe into war, has finally been overcome. In the Far East we have yet to deal with the Japanese, a determined and cruel foe. To this we shall turn with the utmost resolve and with all our resources. But at this hour, when the dreadful shadow of war has passed from our hearts and homes in these islands, we may at last make one pause for thanksgiving and then turn our thoughts to the tasks all over the world which peace in Europe brings with it.

Let us remember those who will not come back, their constancy and courage in battle, their sacrifice and endurance in the face of a merciless enemy; let us remember the men in all the Services and the women in all the Services who have laid down their lives. We have come to the end of our tribulation, and they are not with us at the moment of rejoicing.

Then let us salute in proud gratitude the great host of the living who have brought us to victory. I cannot praise them to the measure of each one’s service, for in a total war the efforts of all rise to the same noble height and all are devoted to the common purpose. Armed or unarmed, men and women, you have fought, striven and endured to your utmost. No one knows that better than I do; and as your King I thank with a full heart those who bore arms so valiantly on land and sea, or in the air; and all civilians who, shouldering their many burdens, have carried them unflinchingly without complaint.

With those memories in our minds, let us think what it was that has upheld us through nearly six years of suffering and peril. The knowledge that everything was at stake: our freedom, our independence, our very existence as a people; but the knowledge also that in defending ourselves we were defending the liberties of the whole world; that our cause was the cause not of this nation only, not of this Empire and Commonwealth only, but of every land where freedom is cherished and law and liberty go hand in hand. In the darkest hours we knew that the enslaved and isolated peoples of Europe looked to us; their hopes were our hopes; their confidence confirmed our faith. We knew that, if we failed, the last remaining barrier against a world-wide tyranny would have fallen in ruins. But we did not fall. We kept our faith with ourselves and with one another; we kept faith and unity with our great allies. That faith and unity have carried us to victory through dangers which at times seemed overwhelming.

So let us resolve to bring to the tasks which lie ahead the same high confidence in our mission. Much hard work awaits us, both in the restoration of our own country after the ravages of war and in helping to restore peace and sanity to a shattered world…

There is great comfort in the thought that the years of darkness and danger in which the children of our country have grown up are over and, please God, for ever. We shall have failed, and the blood of our dearest will have flowed in vain if the victory which they died to win does not lead to a lasting peace, founded on justice and established in good will. To that, then, let us turn our thoughts on this day of just triumph and proud sorrow and then take up our work again, resolved as people to do nothing unworthy of those who have died for us and to make the world such a world as they would have desired, for their children and for ours…

VE DAY VICTORY STREET PARTY IN LONDON, 1945

Women and children, gathered round a table in the middle of the road in Albacore Crescent, Lewisham SE13. Copyright: © IWM

Sir Winston Churchill Speech Sourced from You Tube

King George`s Victory Speech sourced from You Tube 

Sourced from Forces War Records

Pictures from Google 

We wish you a happy 100th Birthday Colonel Moore.
The Nation Salutes you.

Happy Birthday Colonel Tom Moore

The Card M.A.P sent to Captain Tom 

100

30th April 2020

 

Colonel

100 

We as a Nation Salute you Sir

Happy 100th Birthday 

Captain Tom Moore

CAPTAIN TOM MOORE

THE NATION THANK`S YOU SIR.

Pictures sourced from google

The Metro

Captain Tom Moore We Salute You Sir 

He has raised over 30 Million for the

National Health Service

Arise Sir Tom

Captain Tom Moore with members of his Family

Pictures by Sky News

 Colonel Tom Moore

A Beacon of Light in Dark Times

Captain Tom

A 99 year old veteran 

Had a great idea

To show gratitude to the NHS

Within his 100th year.

You know him as Captain Tom

But his name is Thomas Moore

A British Army Officer

Who served in the Second World War.

Some would say “I`ve played my part”

“I think I`ll take a rest”

But he selflessly did his laps

To complete his promised quest.

For his chosen charity he 

Hoped to raise one thousand pounds

So he set about his challenge

To walk his garden grounds.

100 laps to complete

Donning medals and smartly dressed

With people pledging money

He barley took a rest.

He captured the Nation`s heart

A guard of Honour formed

By the Yorkshire Regiment

For of the Great British Army

He`s a perfect testament.

A beacon of hope in dark times

His daughter`s filled with pride

An inspirational gentleman

And much much more besides.

He`s helping the NHS

To fight a battle they did not choose

A battle against a virus 

They are determined not to loose.

So we salute you Captain Tom

For everything you have done

A knighthood you truly deserve

When this battle is won.

Happy 100th Birthday 

And 

Thank You!

By Jo Brand

Poem by Jo Beard

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

L/Cpl Brodie Gillon
Rest In Peace
All GAVE SOME – SOME GAVE ALL
Stand down Cpl
Rest easy
You served your country well
Thank you.

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The Great War WWI

1914-1919

ALL GAVE SOME – SOME GAVE ALL

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night.

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

ALL GAVE SOME – SOME GAVE ALL

LESS WE FORGET


  The Most Famous Royal Green Jacket

14th August 1969 – 14th August 2019

Picture by BBC via Belfast child

50 years on since

The British Army was deployed in Northern Ireland.

THE TROUBLES
by Clive Sanders
None of us wanted to be there.
None of us knew what to do.
We`d not had a semblance of training.
We felt we were hundreds to few.
Politicians had sent us to Ulster,
As a barrier between warring sides.
We did not have a plan we could work to,
We just had to man the divides.

None knew how long we would be there,
None would believe thirty years.
We counted off days on our four months,
And tried not to show them our fears.
We hadn`t been trained for street warfare,
Surrounded by hatred and strife.
We worked to look after each other,
In friendships that still last for life.

We all lost good mates in the Troubles.
We remember their names every year.
Whenever we meet at reunions,
With memories of them always clear.
We got no applause for our suffering.
We carry our wounds with us still.
And now we have comrades arrested,
Which to us is the bitterest of pill.
©copyright protected

14th August 1969: British troops sent into Northern Ireland

British soldiers armed with machine guns keeping watch in the Falls Road during rioting,

August 1969. Photograph: Popperfoto via Getty.

The British Government has sent troops into Northern Ireland in what it says is a “limited operation” to restore law and order.
It follows three days and two nights of violence in the mainly-Catholic Bogside area of Londonderry. Trouble has also erupted in Belfast and other towns across Northern Ireland.

It also comes after a speech by the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, Jack Lynch, regarded by many as “outrageous interference” in which he called for a United Nations peacekeeping force to be sent to the province.

He also called for Anglo-Irish talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

Exhausted police

The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Major James Chichester-Clark, responded by saying neighbourly relations with the Republic were at an end and that British troops were being called in.

The British Home Secretary James Callaghan was in a plane on his way to talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson in Cornwall when he received a radio-telephone call asking for troops to be deployed.

Shortly after 1700 hours local time, 300 troops from the 1st Battalion, Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, occupied the centre of Londonderry, replacing the exhausted police officers who had been patrolling the cordons around the Bogside.

They have been on standby for the past couple of days.

The arrival of the British troops was greeted with cheering and singing from behind the barricades in the Roman Catholic area of Londonderry.

They were chanting: “We’ve won, we’ve won. We’ve brought down the government.”

The trouble began three days ago during the annual Apprentice Boys march, which marks the 13 boy supporters of William of Orange who defended Londonderry against the forces of the Catholic King James II in 1688.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary were forced to use tear gas – for the first time in their history – to try to bring the rioting under control.

But tensions mounted with the mobilisation of the B Specials. The special constables, who are armed and mostly part-time, were supposed to help the RUC restore order – but they are regarded with deep suspicion by the Roman Catholics.

On the streets of Belfast, the appearance of the B Specials led to an escalation in the violence while the special constables reportedly stood by and watched….

1969
4th January

A People’s Democracy march between Belfast and Derry was repeatedly attacked by loyalists. At Burntollet it was ambushed by 200 loyalists and off-duty police (RUC) officers armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles. The marchers claimed that police did little to protect them. When the march arrived in Derry it was broken up by the RUC, which sparked serious rioting between Irish nationalists and the RUC. That night, RUC officers went on a rampage in the Bogside area of Derry; attacking Catholic homes, attacking and threatening residents, and hurling sectarian abuse. Residents then sealed off the Bogside with barricades to keep the police out, creating “Free Derry”.

March–April

The loyalists intended to bring down the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O’Neill, who had promised some concessions to the civil rights movement. To this end, Members of the loyalist UVF and UPV bombed water and electricity installations in Northern Ireland, in deceitful false flag attacks, blaming them on the dormant IRA and on elements of the civil rights movement. There were six bombings and all were widely blamed on the IRA. As a response, British soldiers were sent to guard installations. Despite this, Loyalist-Unionist support for O’Neill continued to wane, and on 28 April he resigned as Prime Minister.

17th April

People’s Democracy activist Bernadette Devlin was the youngest woman ever elected to Westminster, a record which stood until Mhairi Black’s election in 2015.

19th April

During clashes with civil rights marchers in Derry, RUC officers entered the house of an uninvolved Catholic civilian, Samuel Devenny, and beat him, along with two of his daughters.
One of the daughters was beaten unconscious as she lay recovering from surgery. Devenny suffered a heart attack and died on 17 July from his injuries.

13th July

During clashes with nationalists throwing stones at an Orange Hall in Dungiven, RUC officers beat Francis McCloskey, a Catholic civilian (aged 67). He died of his injuries the next day. Many consider this the first death of the Troubles.

5th August

The UVF planted their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin.

12th–14th August

Battle of the Bogside – during an Apprentice Boys march, serious rioting erupted in Derry between Irish nationalists and the RUC. RUC officers, backed by loyalists, entered the nationalist Bogside in armoured cars and tried to suppress the riot by using CS gas, water cannon and eventually firearms. The almost continuous rioting lasted for two days.

14th–17th August

Northern Ireland riots of August 1969 – in response to events in Derry, Irish nationalists held protests throughout Northern Ireland. Some of these became violent. In Belfast, loyalists responded by attacking nationalist districts. Rioting also erupted in Newry, Armagh, Crossmaglen, Dungannon, Coalisland and Dungiven. Six Catholics and two Protestants were shot dead and at least 133 were treated for gunshot wounds. Scores of houses and businesses were burnt out, most of them owned by Catholics. Thousands of families, mostly Catholics, were forced to flee their homes and refugee camps were set up in the Republic.

The British Army was deployed on the streets of Northern Ireland, which marked the beginning of Operation Banner.

11th October

Three people were shot dead during street violence in the loyalist Shankill area of Belfast. Two were Protestant civilians (George Dickie and Herbert Hawe) shot by the British Army and one was an RUC officer (Victor Arbuckle) shot by the UVF. Arbuckle was the first RUC officer to be killed in the Troubles. The loyalists “had taken to the streets in protest at the Hunt Report, which recommended the disbandment of the B Specials and disarming of the RUC”.

October–December

The UVF detonated bombs in the Republic of Ireland. In Dublin it detonated a car bomb near the Garda Síochána central detective bureau. It also bombed a power station at Ballyshannon, a Wolfe Tone memorial in Bodenstown, and the Daniel O’Connell monument in Dublin

December A split formed in the Irish Republican Army, creating what was to become the Official IRA and Provisional IRA.

Leeson Street Patrol

Sourced from Pintrest

Corden Lloyd

FALLING PLATES

If you wish to read how the Regiment got wrongly labelled

 and insulted in their Ancestral Home Peninsula Barracks.

Please go to the home page and enter FALLING PLATES in the search bar

Gun Battle for the Bakery

By Micheal Cuerden and James Standfield

The Bloody gun battle for the bakery began in Belfast at 0350 on the 9th Aug 1971.
That is when the army moved in to `The Markets` to flush out a gang of gunmen who had expelled the night shift at gun point.
Dawn was in the sky, but for the previous five hours soldiers had already engaged snipers from the fringes of the catholic area near the City Centre.

Around the Inglish Bakery, the largest in Northern Ireland, terrorist where believed to be waiting and the Army Command where convinced that an ambush was being set up. Last May they lost Corporal Robert Bankier, killed when his platoon was lured into the same area. So the four platoons 100 men of the 1st Battalion Royal Green Jackets, waited until dawn.

Savage

Then they executed a`back door` pincer movement, it was just as well, as Eliza Street, the main approach to the Bakery , was sprayed with automatic fire from both ends as the soldiers began their approach. The encircled the narrow streets among the meanest of the City’s ghettos. From Lagan Street, Cromac Street and Stewart Street they gave covering fire while their main attack was spearheaded along McAuley Street.

The terrorist raked the streets with a Thompson sub-machine gun, 303 rifles and .22 small-arms fire, the fighting was SAVAGE.

0450 As the soldiers moved from doorway to doorway, one gunman was killed near the barricades of Market Street and Eliza Court.

0515 The soldiers had reached Bond Street. Two of the gang, one still armed, had been captured. But six terrorist where thought to be on the roof.

0550 The troops where outside the Bakery, but the doors where locked. As the smashed through them they where met with a spray of bullets.

Warren

Inside the building they where engaged in savage fighting with two men, believed to be fighting a rear guard action while the rest escaped. One is believed to have been hit.

An Officer said :`The place was like a rabbit warren, with hiding places everywhere,`

0615 The last shots where fired. Soldiers began the hazardous operation of searching the three floors.

Six people in the Bakery where handed to the police for questioning, five who where employees where later released.

0800 The building had been combed, the troops moved to the nearby houses. They had seen men running into the back door, out through the front and down the alley`s between the streets during the battle.

The search produced a 303 rifle from a drain and ammunition found on an outhouse roof.

0900 The army began to bulldoze the barricades. Five men where in police custody. All that remained where streets littered with debris, a 2 foot pile of bread and a pool of blood in Eliza Street.

” The Bakery “

Pipes and Ovens, Rollers to” What a place to Fight your way through”.
The smell of warm rotting bread,
A Walk-in the Park the Boss man said.
See a Gunman take a shot, Back it came just as Hot,was it a ricochet…I think not.
Moving forward bit by bit…Jesus Christ this place is Shit.
Along a Gantry,Down some stairs….Made it through…I’ll say some Prayers.

By fellow Rifleman
P. Pickford

The Green Jackets and The Royal Green Jackets

Major R N H Alers – Hankey

LCpl O M Alford

Rfn N A B Allen

Cpl R E Armstrong

Rfn M E Bagshaw

Bdsm G R J Baldwin

Cpl R Bankier

Wo2 G Barker

Bdsm M S Bayliss

Wo2 P J Bayliss

Rfn W N Beckley-Lines

Sjt E E Bedford

Bdsm R I Beer

Rfn C B A Bird

Rfn R S Blackledge

L.Cpl. M D Boswel

Rfn A E Brown

CSgt P J Bryant

Wo1 T J Byrne

Lcpl D Card

Sgt M A Cameron

Rfn C V Campbel

Rfn A C R Chapman

LCpl S J Chappell

Rfn K Chavner

Wo1 L Collins

Cpl C C Cook

Rfn A Cottriall

Rfn I J Coman

Lt Col Corden-Lloyd OBE MC

LCpl D J Cronin

Cpl R Cross

Rfn J A Cullen

Rfn R A Davey

CSgt D V Daws

LCpl G T Dean

Wo2 J P Devine

LCpl D J Dixon

Rfn H Donaghue

Rfn R Donkin

Rfn A Dunne

Wo2 B JDunwell

Rfn J A Dupee

Rfn A R Elliott

Cpl R Elliot

Rfn P K Ennals

Sgt S R Eyle

Rfn P C Fairway

Rfn D T Fenley

Cpl N J Fewell

Capt T P Fetherstonehaugh

Rfn S Fisher

J.Rfn P T Flaherty

Rfn T P Flint

Major T B Fowley

Sgt R F Fry

Rfn A Gavin

LCpl I R George

Rfn M E Gibson

Rfn E C Godfrey

Rfn D A Grainger

Rfn D Griffiths

Rfn M H Gray

Rfn M A Hamblin

LCpl W J Harris

Col P R Hayter MBE MC

Bdsm J Heritage

LCpl T W Hewitt

Rfn J C E Hill

Rfn R P Hill

Rfn D R Holland

Rfn D Hudaverdi

Rfn H M Hutton

Rfn F J Hunt

Rfn A D Jackson

Rfn C J Jackson

Brig T G H Jackson

Rfn L C Jamieson

Cpl E R P Jedruch

Rfn J R Joesbury

Rfn D Johnson

Rfn J P B keeney

Rfn A C Kelway

Rfn P J Keogh

Rfn J W King

Rfn J A Lagan

Rfn S D Lambourne

Officer Cadet D M H Litton

Cpl R A Livingstone

Cpl D Lepp

Rfn J I Mackenzie

Cpl M C Maddocks

Rfn N P Malakos

Wo1 C J Manning

Sgt A F Martin

Sgt P J Martin

Bdsm G J Measure

Brig A H S Mellor OBE

Rfn J Meredith

Rfn J Milward

Cpl I R Morrill

Rfn P Morris

Cpl M W Mosley

Rfn A Mulgrew

Rfn D A Mulley

Rfn D P McGarry

LCpl R I McGowan

Cpl J R McKnight

Rfn D R Mclaughlin

Cpl R P McMahon

Sjt R J Naylor

Rfn A J Newton

Capt (QM) W H Norbury

Rfn M F O`Sullivan

Cpl P M Patrick

Rfn D W Parfitt

Cpl M J Pearce

Cpl M Phillips

Cpl R Poole

Rfn K G Porter

Bdsm K J Powell

Major J R C Radclyffe

Rfn C J Radmore

Rfn A M Rapley

Rfn M P Reece

Rfn/Pte R B Roberts

Capt R F Rodgers

Sjt T J Ross

Rfn K J Rowland

Major H L Ruck-Keene

Rfn C Saunders

Rfn A E J Scarlet

Rfn J Scott

Rfn R A Sharpe

Rfn M V Sims

Rfn P J Simons

Col J S C Simmons

Rfn M R Sinclair

LCpl A Smith

Bdsm L K Smith

Rfn JS Smith

Rfn N W Smith

Sjt R A Smith

Rfn P B Smith

Cpl W J Smith

Rfn k J R Sutton

Lt Col M V W Tarleton

Rfn J W Taylor

Major T E F Taylor

Rfn W T Telfer

Wo2 K P Theobold

Rfn MR Thompson

Colonel P Treneer-Michell OBE

Sgt L S Ubhi

Rfn J Meredith

Cpl L D Wall

Rfn D Walker

Cpl E T Walpole

Rfn R M Walsh

CSgt S J Walton

Rfn C J Watson

Rfn R Watson

Rfn R MT Webster

Rfn C R Wild

Rfn C Williams

Rfn W H Williams

Rfn VC Windsor

LCpl G Winstone

Rfn M J Wood

J/Rfn R D Woodhouse

Rfn P W Virgo

Gunner Utterridge Attached to 3 RGJ 19th Oct 1984

Pictures from Facebook 

So what did the The Royal Green Jackets Leave at Peninsula Barracks ?

A Stone Badge at Peninsula Barracks, Winchester

With the Wrong Crown

The RGJ Stain Glass Window at the chapel at the ATR Winchester

The RGJ Badge bears the correct Crown but the wrong Bugle

in the centre of the RGJ Badge

The Ancestral Home of The Royal Green Jackets

MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD

Own the Copyright to the artwork used on the Memorial Project for the Memory and Tribute Chair.

This legal copyright which is a registered copyright, is for artwork which replicates

the RGJ and GJB  Cap Badges worn by the Riflemen and Officers during service with

The Regiment and many veteran service men.

The copyright was taken by MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD to protect the originality of the Cap Badges, thus protecting the honours within the Cap Badge, awarded for battle, Some Gave All . Whilst honouring those honours and protecting them, we also honour those that Gave, ALL GAVE SOME – SOME GAVE ALL. This copyright forms a shield of protection against those that are willing to allow the cap badge to be defaced in pursuance of monetary gain.  

There is only one original Cap Badge. MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD do not endorse any other copies which are deemed to be fake.  

The Royal Green Jackets Cap Badge

Green Jackets Brigade Cap Badge 

A Stone Badge outside Green Jackets Close

But is this crown correct? 

There are also no dots on The Royal Green Jackets Cap Badge as below

The Royal Green Jackets Built on History and Traditions, Destroyed by Greed.

THE ANCESTRAL HOME

OF

THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS

It has been brought to the attention of the Directors of Memorial At Peninsula Ltd that the Badge on the RGJ Memorial at The NMA is a Corporate / Commercial Badge and was never worn upon the beret, the Corporate Badge was sanctioned by

The Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association.

(Simple wording might have been better)

It has been written by one fellow Rifleman

“The Royal Green Jackets are the laughing stock of The Light Division”

Memorial At Peninsula Ltd and many others would disagree on that statement made, the many articles found on this site will take a visitor through a fine journey of illustrious history, we therefore feel the opening statement should refer to comradeship and laughter heard from those who formed a family of green a happy stock of finest infantrymen. SWIFT AND BOLD

This website contains information pertaining to The illustrious History of The Royal Green Jackets and its antecedent Regiments and our successors. The Royal Green Jackets chronicle which has been available for purchase from the Regimental Museum is also relied on for some of the website information, an example of this would be the Bryson Report, a Day in History made by The Royal Green Jackets.

Should you the visitor wish to find a specific article then by typing on the website search bar and you will be directed to the relevant page, an example would be the aforementioned article typing in “The Bryson report,” and you will be directed to the article.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our website and that the information contained within it is of Historical value.

Although Raised by Thomas Fowke`s in 1741

The 1st Bn RGJ was never known as 1st Bn RGJ (Fowke`s)

        1741 (Raised)

54th Regiment of Foot

renumbered in circa 1748

as the

43rd Regiment of Foot

1755 (Raised)

54th Regiment of Foot

renumbered circa 1757

as the

52nd Regiment of Foot

1782

43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot

52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot

1803

43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry)

 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry)

1881

The Oxfordshire Light Infantry

1908

Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

1958

Green Jackets Brigade

1 Green Jackets (43rd & 52nd)

1966

1st Battalion The Royal Green Jackets

In 1992 1st RGJ was disbanded and 2nd  RGJ and 3rd RGJ renumbered 1st RGJ and 2nd RGJ respectively

_____________________________

Although Raised in 1755 62nd Regiment of Foot

The 2nd Bn RGJ was never known as 2nd Bn RGJ (62nd)

1755 (Raised)

62nd Regiment of Foot

1756  

renumbered as the

60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot

1824

60th (Duke of York`s Own Rifle Corps)

1830

60th (The King`s Royal Rifle Corps)

 1881

The King`s Royal Rifle Corps

1958

Green Jackets Brigade

2 Green Jackets (KRRC)

1966

2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets

In 1992 1st RGJ was disbanded and 2nd RGJ and 3rd RGJ renumbered 1st RGJ and 2nd RGJ respectively

_____________________________

Although Raised in 1800 as Experimental Corps of Riflemen

The 3rd Bn RGJ was never known as 3rd Bn RGJ (Experimental Corps)

1800 (Raised)

Experimental

  Corps of Riflemen

1800

The Corps of Riflemen

1802

95th Regiment (Rifles)

1816

The Rifle Brigade

1862

The Prince Consorts Own

Rifle Brigade

1881

The Rifle Brigade

(The Prince Consorts Own) (RB)

1920

The Rifle Brigade

(Prince Consorts Own)

 1958

Green Jackets Brigade

3 Green Jackets (RB)

1966

3rd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets

In 1992 1st RGJ was disbanded and 2nd RGJ and 3rd RGJ renumbered 1st RGJ and 2nd RGJ respectively

(The Royal Greens Jackets

then became 2 and 4 RIFLES in 2077)

_____________________________

A Rifle by Baker

A Jacket of Green

A Sword not a bayonet

No toast to the Queen

One forty per minute

With Rifles at trail

A Salute at the double

With Buglers wail

Silver badge and black buttons

First in & last out

Celer et Audax

Swift & Bold without doubt

by

Trev Penn 2009

Armistice Centenary 

1918 – 2018

LEST WE FORGET 

Unknown Soldier by Philip Pickford

THE ANTECEDENT REGIMENTS OF THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS 

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

King`s Royal Rifle Corps

Rifle Brigade

ALL GAVE SOME – SOME GAVE ALL

Our Copyright Certificates

2823192  and 2823193

Memorial At Peninsula Barracks@Facebookgroups.com

Memorial At Peninsula Ltd@Facebookgroups.com

The Website

www.memorialatpeninsula.org

Intellectual property of Memorial At Peninsula Ltd as seen on the Chairs, Transfers / Graphic Designs / Drawings of the following; the

Green Jackets Brigade Cap Badge and The Royal Green Jackets Cap Badge.

It is noteworthy to remark that both of the above are unique to Memorial At Peninsula Ltd as they differ from from those supplied by The Ministry of Defence in United kingdom.

Both Badges that have been used and to which Memorial At Peninsula Ltd own the drawings / transfers and graphic designs are not supplied by The Ministry of Defence however The Ministry of Defence are aware of their usage and have documented consent this is due to the differences and no licence is required for their usage and that permission is granted although this is a courteous gesture as they do not hold the rights to the badges.

Should the need arise documentation to the above facts can be supplied.

©Memorial At Peninsula Ltd is protected under Copyrite

All content used on this site from the rgjra web site is from pre April 2014

Music License

Memorial At Peninsula Ltd is licensed  under the music and entertainments act.

MOD Officially Licensed Merchandise Companies

as of 08-10-12018

The History of

The Royal Green Jackets Cap Badge

The Crown, indicates that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the

Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Green Jackets.

PENINSULA, a Battle Honour awarded to all three antecedent Regiments after the Peninsular War,

The Royal Green Jackets major Battle Honour.

The Maltese Cross, both the 60th Rifles and The Rifle Brigade have worn a Maltese Cross since shorty after The Peninsular War.

The Bugle Horn, has long been the symbol of the Light Troops in The British Army,

all three antecedent Regiments have been wearing it since The Peninsular War.

The Laurel Wreath, The whole badge is encircled by the wreath of Victory.

COPENHAGEN April 1801, surmounting the navel crown.

A Battle Honour awarded to The Rifle Brigade

for the battle of Copenhagen.

The Royal Green Jackets motto Swift and Bold was adopted from

The former KRRC motto (Celer et Audax)

“ONCE A RIFLEMAN – ALWAYS A RIFLEMAN” 

Don’t envy a man his medals, all those ribbons on his chest,
He did not try to get them, they’re not there at his request,
They were earned in stinking hell holes, where no man would like to go,
Or in cold and wintry places, where there’s only ice and snow.

He did not know he earned them, till they were awarded at parade,
They were bright when he first got them, but in time the colours fade,
He was told he had to wear them, and to wear them all with pride,
But when the memories come to haunt him, those same medals make him hide.

Cause those medals will not bring back, all those guys he left behind,
And he would trade them all forever, for a little peace of mind.
So don’t envy a man his medals, you don’t want to take his place,
Thinking back to long gone battles, and meeting dead friends face to face.

There is discipline in a Soldier, you can see it when he walks,
There is honour in a Soldier, you hear it when he talks,
There is courage in a Soldier you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in a Soldier that he will not compromise.

There is something in a Soldier that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in a Soldier that beats from his heart,
A Soldier isn’t a title, any man can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man, buried deep inside of you.

A Soldier’s job isn’t finished, after an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always a Soldier even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first, and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice, what comes first in a civilian’s mind.

If you are civilian, I am saying this to you,
Next time you see a Soldier remember what we do,
A Soldier is the one that is brave, protecting you and me,
And If you know A Soldier, I am saying this to you.

Sourced from You Tube

PeninsulaOur links to Peninsula barracks (1024) Barracks was formerly called the Rifle depot from 1858 to 1964, Then the name Peninsula was given to the upper part of the barracks due to the illustrious history of the Regiments antecedents and their involvement in the Napoleonic campaign. Previously the barracks had housed the Rifle Brigade from 1855 and had formerly been the recognised training depot from 1858. The barracks has been home to soldiers of the realm since 1741 until its closure in 1986. Peninsula Barracks has been known by the following names The Rifle Depot, Peninsula Barracks and also home of The Light Division. It was the Ancestral home to the Regiment’s forefathers, who have all amalgamated and renamed to form the Green Jackets and finally The Royal Green Jackets, the Green Jackets where given Royal accent thus being called The Royal Green Jackets. The long association between the City of Winchester and the Green Jackets has helped weave a rich tapestry of Military involvement and standing, one of which the community has held in high esteem. In 2007, the Regiment became a casualty of the Government’s restructuring of our Military forces and sadly the announcement came that The Royal Green Jackets where to be disbanded, thus bringing sadness to the City of Winchester, the family of the Regiment and the Colonel in Chief Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Barracks houses a Museum which is a showcase for historians young and old, however it is the aim and objective of the family of the Green Jackets, the Veterans who proudly remember their brothers, who did not return, to erect a Memorial. The Memorial will be a quiet place of reflection, to enable young and old and the future generations to honour all the men of green and those that have served and are members of the Green Jacket Family.

The Memorial has been a collaboration of designs between the Curators, who administrate the venture, and are members of the family of the Royal Green Jackets. Both have worked voluntarily and their design has now gone out to a commissioned Artist. The design is in keeping with the surroundings and will recapture the history of all who have amalgamated to form the Green Jackets and finally the Royal Green Jackets. It will be a step back and a march forward into history, carrying forward the men who stood shoulder to shoulder as brothers in arms, men of green in service to their Queen and Country.

 

This memorial in the form of a lasting tribute will remember, honour and salute those that are now resting High on a Hill at the Final RV, having lost their lives whilst serving with the Regiment during the years 1958 until 2007. The Barracks have been home to the men of green from 1856 until 1986 some 130 years. It is equitable to bring to the attention of our visitor, that during this time a short break of residency was taken whilst the barracks had modernisation. The Regiment did not relinquish ties at this time, hence they moved back in after modernisation, during that time the troops were housed in another camp two miles on the outskirts of Winchester.

Memorial At Peninsula Ltd are members of The Waterloo Association

Hilltop Florist window display

The Royal Green Jackets built on History and Traditions, Destroyed by Greed

Disclaimer; The RGJ Cap Badge shown on this site at the top left, is not an original RGJ Cap Badge worn by many proud service personnel, it is in fact the Corporate Badge of which we have no part as a Limited Company, this is not the Badge protected by Copyrite of Memorial At Peninsula Ltd.

Some of the reports on this site are about

The Troubles in Northern Ireland

and are Historical References in light of the Operation Banner

some 50 years of Troubles

Jim Bryson and Paddy Mulvenna

Relatives are now Fighting for Justice over the Killings 

(The Relatives for Justice report is in the link below if you wish to read it)

https://www.relativesforjustice.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Bryson-Mulvenna-Rep-OCT-2018-LRes.pdf