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.
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Chapter 13 – ARMY REORGANISATION 1873 & 1881

In 1873 the territorial basis of the Army recruiting was reorganised and this was further confirmed on the 1st July 1881 when the old Regiments of Foot were linked and redesignated as follows:

30th -1st Bn The East Lancashire Regiment    –   Depot Burnley

59th -2nd Bn The East Lancashire Regiment   –  (Preston from 1889)

40th -1st Bn The South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers) Depot Warrington

82nd -2nd Bn The South Lancashire Regiment  (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers)

47th -1st Bn The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment Depot Preston

81st -2nd Bn The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

 Lancashire’s Militia and Volunteer units were also linked to the new County Regiments. It is of interest to note that at the time of this reorganisation the 40th were entitle to bear 19 battle honours, more than any other Regiment entitled to carry colours except the 1st Foot.

 Chitral. The first active service after reorganisation was when the 1st East Lancashires took part in the relief of Chitral on the North West Frontier of India in 1895.

Chapter 12 | Chapter 14