This Day In History

1719 The Grenadier company of Wills' Regiment (later 1st East Lancashires), part of an expedition sent to capture the French-held Fort Annapolis, Nova Scotia, provide cover for the landing of the Marines. The French are allowing Annapolis to be used as a base for privateers attacking British settlements in New England.
1915 Battle of Loos. The final British offensive of 1915 begins. 1st Loyal North Lancashires make a gallant but unsuccessful assault in the face of uncut German wire, machine guns and gas. When, after a second attempt, the survivors rally in the trenches, only 3 officers and 159 other ranks remain on their feet, 16 officers and 489 men having fallen. It is in the aftermath of this attack that Private Henry Kenny earns the Victoria Cross. Also on this day 2nd South Lancashires make a brave but costly attack on the Bellewarde Ridge, but lose heavily to the lethal combination of machine guns and barbed wire.
1915 Private Henry Kenny, 1st Loyals, wins the VC near Loos, France, by going into No Man's Land on six separate occasions, and under heavy fire each time, to bring in wounded men
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Regiment

Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales Volunteers)

On 1st July 1958 the East Lancashire and South Lancashire Regiments amalgamated to form The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers).

In its short life the Regiment served in Hong Kong, Germany, Swaziland, Cyprus, and Malta. However it is justifiably best remembered for the distinguished role it played in 1967, during the final months of the bitter anti-terrorist campaign in Aden, where its officers and men received more operational and gallantry awards than any other unit.

On 25th March 1970 the Regiment amalgamated with The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), to form The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.

The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)

The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was formed in 1881 as part of the Cardwell reforms of the British Army. Its title changed to The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) in 1921.

The Regiment was formed initially with two battalions, the 1st Battalion being created from the former 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd from the former 81st (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers). The Regimental Depot was at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, creating a link which has continued unbroken to the present day.

The Regiment recruited primarily from the towns of Central Lancashire, including Preston, Chorley, Bolton and Wigan.

During World War I the Regiment expanded to a total strength of 21 battalions. They served on the Western Front, at Gallipoli, and in Macedonia, Palestine, East Africa, and Mesopotamia. They were awarded a total of 80 Battle Honours. The Regiment suffered a total of 7590 casualties. Three 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)

The Regiment was again expanded in World War II, to a total of 10 battalions. They served in North West Europe, Malaya, North Africa and Italy. One member of the Regiment was awarded the Victoria Cross.

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

On 25th March 1970 the Regiment amalgamated with The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers), to form The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.

South Lancashire Regiment

The South Lancashire Regiment was formed in 1881 as a result of the Cardwell reforms of the British Army.

With its Regimental Depot at Peninsula Barracks, Warrington, the Regiment initially consisted of two battalions, with the 1st formed from the former 40th Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd from the former 82nd (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers).

The Regiment recruited primarily from that area of South Lancashire which is centred on the townships of Warrington and St Helens.

During World War I the Regiment expanded to a total strength of 21 battalions. They served on the Western Front, at Gallipoli, and in Macedonia, Egypt, Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and India. In all, they were awarded a total of 64 Battle Honours. The Regiment suffered a total of 5450 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)

The Regiment was again expanded in World War II, to a total of 9 battalions. They served in North West Europe, Madagascar, India and Burma. On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the 1st Battalion was in the first wave to land on Sword Beach, Normandy, at the start of the invasion of Europe.

(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 East 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.

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.

In 2006 the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment was amalgamated with the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment and the King’s Regiment to form the present-day Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Queen’s Lancashire Regiment

With the formation of The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in 1970 the ancient County of Lancashire was at last represented in the British Army by a single County Regiment.

Inaugurated at Connaught Barracks, Dover on 25th March 1970, The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment consisted of two battalions, the 1st and the 4th(Volunteer), which was a unit of the Territorial Army.

Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer presents the new Regiment with its Colours during the Formation Parade at Dover Castle, March 1970

Through it’s antecedent corps, the new regiment could trace its history back in an unbroken line to the creation of the modern British Army in 1689. It carried more battle honours on its Colours than any other infantry unit in the Army, and also was able proudly to claim that it was the only regiment, from any army, ever, which had fought on every one of the World’s inhabited continents.

Only six weeks after formation, the 1st Battalion was on active service in Northern Ireland. In all the Regiment was to complete a total of nine operational tours in the Province, in the course of which eight soldiers were killed in action.

The Regiment’s contribution to the maintenance of peace during the Cold War included both the 1st and 4th Battalions. The 1st Battalion served two tours of duty in West Germany in the mechanised infantry role, and throughout its existence the 4th(Volunteer) Battalion was committed to a NATO reinforcement role. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, and as if to set an appropriate and fitting seal on this critical period of World history, the 1st Battalion was the last British battalion to serve in Berlin 1992-94.

Out of area tasking took the 1st Battalion to Cyprus for three tours of duty, which included service with the United Nations. A company was deployed to the Falkland Islands in the aftermath of the 1982 conflict, and the battalion was in Bosnia in 1996 as part of the NATO forces

From June to November 2003 the 1st Battalion was deployed to Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the Coalition invasion. Given responsibility for peace enforcement and restoration of civil infrastructure in the centre and greater part of Basra, Iraq’s second city, the battalion was later recognised as the best British unit then deployed for its outstanding performance during a five-month tour of unrelenting danger and violence. It suffered one death and 32 wounded sufficiently seriously to require evacuation to the UK, and received more honours and awards than any other British unit, including a DSO and an MC.

The Battalion was in Cyprus for a fourth tour of duty 2004-2006 and then deployed to Osnabruck for its third Germany posting.

On 1 July 2006 The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment amalgamated with the Kings Own Royal Border and Kings Regiments to become The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, with the 1st Battalion re-badging as the 1st Battalion of the new regiment.