This Day In History

  • 1775 In the early hours a small British force, including the Grenadier and Light Companies of the 47th (later 1st Loyals) and 59th (later 2nd East Lancashires), sets out from Boston, Massachusetts for Concord, some 20 miles away, to destroy a colonial munitions depot. At dawn at Lexington they are confronted by the local militia and the first shots of the American Revolution are fired. A further engagement follows at Concord where about 500 Militiamen defeat three British companies and force the British column to begin its return march to Boston. Reinforced at Lexington by a relief force including the rest of the 47th, the march is carried out under sustained fire from concealed insurgents, and the American War of Independence has begun.
  • 1854 47th Regiment (later the 1st Loyals) disembark at Scutari, opposite Constantinople, to join the 2nd Division, part of the British Army concentrating in preparation for the Crimean War. They are quartered in the huge Turkish barracks there, later to become famous as the British base hospital where Florence Nightingale effected her nursing reforms.
  • 1880 2nd Afghan War. Battle of Ahmed Kel. 59th Regiment (soon to 2nd East Lancashires) is hard-pressed on the right of the British line.  The Regiment forms square around its colours. It is the last occasion on which colours are carried by a British regiment on a victorious field. Afterwards 1,000 dead lie in front of the British line, with 600 around the 59th's position. The shell-torn colours are now displayed in the Sergeant's Mess of the 1st Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.
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East Lancashire Regiment

The East Lancashire Regiment was formed in 1881 as part of the Cardwell reforms of the British Army.

The Regiment was formed initially with two battalions, the 1st Battalion being created from the former 30th Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd from the former 59th. The first Regimental Depot was in Burnley, but moved to Fulwood Barracks, Preston in 1898.

The Regiment recruited primarily from the new industrial towns of East Lancashire, including Burnley, Blackburn, Nelson, Colne and Accrington.

During World War I the Regiment expanded to a strength of 17 battalions which between them served on the Western Front, at Gallipoli, and in Macedonia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). In all, they earned a total of 120 Battle Honours. The Regiment suffered a total of 7,000 casualties. Four members of the Regiment were awarded the Victoria Cross.

(For a detailed summary of the full part played by the Regiment in World War I, click HERE)

Captain Marcus Ervine Andrews (top deck) wins the VC defending the Perimeter

In World War II the Regiment expanded again, to a strength of 7 battalions. They served in North West Europe, Madagascar, India, Burma and Malaya, earning a total of 20 Battle Honours. Captain Marcus Ervine Andrews won the Victoria Cross at Dunkirk in 1940.

(For a detailed summary of the full part played by the Regiment in World War II, click HERE)

On 1st July 1958 the Regiment amalgamated with the South Lancashire Regiment to form The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers), which in 1970, in turn amalgamated with The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment to form The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.