This Day In History

1918 Battle of the Selle. In a carefully-planned attack, rehearsed over 5 days, 5th East Lancashires mount a remarkably successful night assault near Briastre. They move off at 2 a.m., in a heavy downpour which lasted throughout the engagement, to the sound of the Regimental March being played by the battalion band. Met by heavy machine-gun fire and an artillery barrage which causes 50 casualties, they charge through with a yell and are on their final objective well before the 7 a.m. deadline set, taking 300 prisoners in the process. Casualties are 2 officers and 13 men dead, and 6 officers and 109 men wounded. Some 22 German dead were counted on the battalion front. Study of the ground the next day shows that the battalion had gone through no fewer than 6 defensive belts, including a very strongly-held railway embankment, before reaching its final objective. The 300 prisoners were ‘of far better physique and appearance’ than any of the enemy previously encountered, and turn out to be picked troops. They said that they were members of Kaiser Wilhelm’ bodyguard; that they had never before known defeat; and that they had been sent to hold the line at all costs.
We are funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

Please help by clicking the buttons below.

Please donate

Chapter 10 – OUTPOSTS OF EMPIRE 1815 1854

In the 40 years between Waterloo and the outbreak of the Crimean War our predecessors had few home postings, spending long periods in overseas garrisons guarding British trade routes and the frontiers of the rapidly expanding Empire. The stations spanned the World, from Canada, the West Indies and Bermuda, to Gibraltar, Malta, and the Ionian Islands, and on via Arabia, Mauritius, India, Ceylon, Afghanistan and Burma to Australia.

3rd Mahratta War. In 1817-18 the 30th, 47th and 59th campaigned against the turbulent Pindaris of central India and the 30th were present at the reduction of their last stronghold at Asserghur.

Persian Gulf. In 1819 the 47th were with the expedition which captured the pirate lair of Ras-al-Khyma on the Straits of Hormuz.

 1st Burmese War. War with Burma in1825-26 involved the 47th in several sharp actions and earned them the battle honour Ava.

 Bhurtpore. Meanwhile, the 59th took part in a war with the Jats in India, during which they showed great gallantry at the storming of the fortress of Bhurtpore, 1826.

 1st Afghan War. In1839 the 40th were present at the capture of Karachi and were then heavily engaged in Afghanistan, earning the battle honours Candahar 1842, Ghuznee 1842 and Cabul 1842.

 Maharajpore. Returning to India, the 40th took part in the Gwalior campaign of 1843 and were awarded the battle honour Maharajpore for their distinguished services in that hard-fought engagement.

 Australia. In 1854 the 40th faced insurgency in the goldfields of New South Wales and took part in the only “battle” on Australian soil when they stormed the rebel entrenchment at the Eureka Stockade

Chapter 9 | Chapter 11