The History of the
Queen's Lancashire Regiment
Please click the links to proceed to the relevant chapter
THE FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WAR 1793-1802
81st and 82nd Regiments - The Mediterranean and Egypt
The West Indies - Holland
OUTPOSTS OF EMPIRE 1815 1854
3rd Mahratta War1817-18 - Persian Gulf 1819
1st Burmese War 1825-26 - Bhurtpore 1826.
1st Afghan War 1839-42 - Maharajpore 1843 - Australia 1854
SOLDIERS OF THE QUEEN 1856 - 1881
China 1857 - The Indian Mutiny 1857 - The Maori Wars 1860-66
The Fenian Raid 1866 - 2nd Afghan War 1878-80
FIRST WORLD WAR 1914 - 1918
France and Flanders 1914-18 - East Africa 1914-16
Gallipoli 1915 - Egypt and Palestine 1915-18
Mesopotamia - Macedonia
SECOND WORLD WAR 1939 - 1945
Dunkirk 1940 - Singapore1942 - Madagascar 1942
Tunisia 1943 - Italy 1944 - Normandy 1944
Holland and Germany 1944-45 - Burma 1944-5
THE POST-WAR YEARS 1945 - 1970
Reductions 1945-49 - Malaya 1950’s
The Lancashire Regiment (PWV) 1958 - Aden 1967
Chapter 1 – THE EARLIEST DAYS 1689 - 1755
The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment traced its roots back to six Regiments of Foot, the 30th, 40th, 47th, 59th, 81st and 82nd, the first of which was formed over 300 years ago.
30th Foot - The earliest antecedent regiment, the 30th, was first raised on the 8th March 1689, as Castleton’s Regiment, to fight for William of Orange against the French. It won early distinction at the capture of the Fortress-city of Namur in 1695. Disbanded at the end of the war, in 1697, the Regiment was reformed in 1702 as Saunders’s Marines. The 30th served as marines until 1713, both as detachments on board Royal Navy ships and ashore. As such they were involved in numerous battles and sieges in Spain, the Mediterranean and North America. The most notable of these were the capture of Gibraltar, 1704 and its subsequent defence, for which the Regiment gained its first battle honour, the Naval battles off Malaga and Hieres, the capture of Barcelona, Alicante, Cartagena, Majorca, Minorca and Annapolis Royal, the defence of Leride and the battle of St Estevan.
The Regiment was again disbanded in 1713, but restored in 1715 as a Regiment of Foot. This was not, however, the end of the marine service for the 30th. In 1727 they were again defending Gibraltar. From 1745 to 1748 they were in the Channel Fleet, taking part in Admiral Anson’s victory over the French off Cape Finisterre in 1747.
40th Foot - The 40th Foot was formed on the 25th August 1717 by the amalgamation of eight Independent Companies of Foot stationed at Annapolis Royal and Placentia in Nova Scotia, and was then known as Phillips’ Regiment of Foot, from the name of its first Colonel, then Governor of Nova Scotia. In the first 44 years of its existence the Regiment garrisoned the Canadian frontier and took part in numerous actions against the French and their Indian Allies.
47th Foot - On the 3rd March 1741 Mordaunt’s Regiment, later the 47th Foot, was raised in Scotland. Its first active service was in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, when it fought at Prestonpans and subsequently defended Edinburgh Castle against the “young Pretender”. In 1750 it sailed for Canada, joining the 40th in successful operations there against the French.
59th Foot - In 1755 the threat of renewed war with France resulted in raising of new regiments of which one was the 59th Foot.
Chapter 2 – THE SEVEN YEARS WAR 1756 - 1763
Louisburg - In 1758 the 40th and 47th won their first battle honours for the reduction of the French fortress of Louisburg, where the 47th gained the nickname “Wolfe’s Own”.
Quebec - On 17th September 1759 the 47th and the Grenadier Company of the 40th earned great distinction in the decisive battle of Quebec. The battle is commemorated annually by the Regiment, who also wear black in memory of General Wolfe’s death at the moment of victory. The 40th took part in the capture of Montreal, 1760.
Chapter 3 – AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE 1755 - 1783
The 30th, 40th, 47th and the 59th all fought in the American War of Independence. The 47th and 59th were stationed in the colonies at the outbreak of hostilities and took part in the first skirmishes at Lexington and Concord and in the bloody battle of Bunker’s Hill, 1755. The 40th were recalled to North America in 1776 played an active part in the battle of Brooklyn, which led to the capture of New York. In 1777 the 40th were present at the battles of Princeton and Brandywine and the capture of Philadelphia, and particularly distinguished themselves by saving the day at the battle Germantown. Meanwhile the 47th, having relieved Quebec, had the misfortune to be involved in the disastrous Saratoga campaign and the majority were interned for the duration of the war.
Britain was now also at war with France. The 40th sailed for the West Indies where they earned the battle honour St Lucia 1778. In 1781 both the 30th and the 40th landed in America. The 30th were engaged at the battle of Eutaw Springs, one the hardest fought actions of the war, while in 1782 the 40th led in the capture of Fort Griswold. But elsewhere the war was drawing to an unsuccessful close and, in 1783, the 40th left New York with the last of the British garrison. Meanwhile, in 1782-83 the 59th took part in the relief of the 3rd siege of Gibraltar.
Chapter 4 – FIRST COUNTY TITLES 1782
On the 31st August 1782 the regiments were given county titles “Which may at all times be useful towards recruiting”. The new titles were:
30th (The Cambridgeshire Regiment)
40th ( 2nd Somersetshire Regiment)
47th (The Lancashire Regiment)
59th (2nd Nottinghamshire Regiment)
Chapter 5 – THE FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WAR 1793 - 1802
81st and 82nd Regiments. In the 1793 war with Revolutionary France found Britain militarily unprepared and additional regiments were hurriedly raised. Two of these were formed in Lincolnshire, largely from militia volunteers. These were the 81st, popularly known as The Loyal Lincoln Volunteers, and the 82nd, who earned the title of The Prince of Wales’s. These subsidiary titles were officially authorised in 1832 and 1831 respectively.
The Mediterranean and Egypt - The first priority on the outbreak of war was to man the Fleet and accordingly the 30th Foot once again became marines, serving in that role for three years which included the defence of Toulon, the capture of Bastia and Calvi in Corsica (under Nelson’s Command) and a navel action off Hieres. In 1798 they returned to the Mediterranean, first to Sicily and then on expeditions to capture Malta, 1800, and to wrest Egypt from the French, 1801. Four flank companies of 40th also took a distinguished part in the latter campaign, including a daring assault landing in Aboukir Bay, and for their part in the victory of Alexandria both Regiments were awarded a Sphinx, superscribed ‘Egypt’, which was incorporated in their Colours and badges.
The West Indies - Urgent reinforcements were also required in the West Indies and the 40th, 47th, 59th, 81st and 82nd all served there. The Regiment saw some action on St Vincent and San Domingo (now Haiti) but the most deadly enemy was disease.
Holland - In Europe the Regiments were involved in several attempts to cooperate with unreliable allies against advancing revolutionary armies. In the 1793 the 40th and the 59th took part in an abortive attempt to assist the French Royalists in the Vendee and the following year the same two Regiments joined the Duke of York’s army in the Low Countries, where they fought a sharp rear guard action near Arnhem and shared in a harsh winter retreat to Bremen. In 1799 two battalions of the 40th were again in Holland where in an otherwise ill-managed campaign they fought a brilliant Regimental action at Alkmaar.
Chapter 6 – THE NAPOLEONIC WARS 1803 - 1815
Peace with France came in 1802 but lasted barely a year. Under the threat of invasion by Napoleon the British Army expanded rapidly and all predecessor Regiments raised 2nd battalions. All six regiments took part in the war against France and her Allies, serving with distinction in many parts of the world. In the 1806 the 1/81st were part of an expeditionary force which having occupied Sicily, routed a French army at the battle of Maida in southern Italy.
Also in1806, the 1/59th took part in the capture of Capetown from the Dutch. This was not the first Regimental visit to the Cape, for the 81st had seen service there in 1799-1802.
In 1807 the 1/40th and 1/47th were in South America, adding Monte Video to the Regiments’ battle honours.
That same year the 1/82nd took part in the capture of Copenhagen
Chapter 7 – THE PENINSULAR WAR 1808 - 1814
But the main arena for the British army was to be Spain and Portugal, where the 1/40th and the 1/82nd landed in 1808 under Sir Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, and helped gain early victories at Rolica and Vimeiro. Later that same year the 2/59th, 2/81st and 1/82nd took part in Sir John Moore’s audacious advance into Spain and his subsequent retirement to and stand at Corunna, where the 59th and 81st gained particular distinction. It was then the misfortune of the veterans of Corunna to be dispatched with ill-fated expedition to Walcheren, at the mouth of the Scheldt, where battle casualties were few but malaria took a heavy toll.
Meanwhile the 40th had remained in Spain (indeed they were one of only three regiments to serve throughout the Campaign) and in 1809 they earned fresh laurels at the battle of Talavera. In 1810 they took part in the battle of Busaco and in the withdrawal to the Lines of Torres Vedras. British reinforcements for Spain in 1809-10 included the 2/30th, 2/47th and 1/82nd. In 1811 a detachment of the 40th fought at the battle of Albuera and the Flank companies of the 47th and 82nd played a prominent role in the hard-fought victory of Barossa. Finally, on New Year’s Eve of that year the 47th, supported by the 82nd, repulsed a French assault on the town of Tarifa.
Before he could advance into Spain in 1812 Wellington had to capture the frontier fortresses. The 40th took part in the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo and both the 30th and 40th displayed great gallantry and sustained severe casualties in the assault on the grim fortress of Badajoz, one the fiercest fights in the history of the Army. Later that year both Regiments distinguished themselves again in the course of Wellington’s brilliant victory at Salamanca. The campaign ended with another retirement on Portugal, during which the 30th and 47th fought successful rearguard actions at Villa Muriel and Puente Largo respectively.
The following spring Wellington advanced to drive the French out of Spain, and with him marched the 1/40th, 2/59th and 1/82nd. All four Regiments were heavily engaged in the decisive battle of Vittoria. The 40th and 82nd then fought in a number of desperate defensive actions for which they were awarded the battle honour Pyrenees, while the 47th and 59th greatly distinguished themselves in the assault on San Sebastian, the bloodiest occasion in the history of either Regiment. Wellington then advanced into France, where the 40th and 82nd both saw hard fighting at the battle of Nivelle and the 47th and 59th were heavily engaged at the battle of Nive before winter brought the campaign of 1813 to a close. Meanwhile, the 1/81st were taking part in diversionary operations in Catalonia.
In 1814 the 40th and 82nd fought at Orthes and the 40th were in action at Toulouse, the last battle of the Peninsula War, while the 47th and 59th were besieging Bayonne when news came of Napoleons’ abdication. For their services in this campaign the Regiments were awarded the additional battle honour of Peninsula.
Antwerp - In1814 the 2/30th and 2/81st were sent with a British expedition to open a second front in the low Countries and were besieging Antwerp when the war ended.
The East Indies - Meanwhile the 1st Battalions of the 30th, 47th and 59th were serving in India, from where expeditions were mounted against the colonies of France and her allies. in 1809 the 59th took part in the capture of Mauritius from the French and subsequently the same Regiment played a leading role in the capture of Java, Sumatra, Bali and the Celebes from Dutch and local princes. The hard-fought battle of Cornelis in Java, 1811, stands as one of the greatest achievements in history of the 59th Regiment.
Chapter 8 – WATERLOO 1815
In 1815 Napoleon returned from exile and the 2/30th, 1/40th, 2/59th and 2/81st joined Wellington’s army for the Waterloo campaign. The 30th took part in the initial engagement at Quatre Bras, where they steadily formed a square to repulse French cavalry charges, and were with the rearguard when Wellington fell back to his chosen ground at Waterloo. The 40th joined the army at Waterloo shortly before the battle commenced on 18th June 1815. The 59th were with a brigade detached to cover Wellington’s right flank while the 81st, despite the entreaties, could not be spared from duties in Brussels.
The 30th occupied a position in the right centre of the British front line throughout the day and for six hours sustained the attacks of massed cavalry and infantry supported by murderous artillery fire. Eleven times they were charged by Marshal Ney’s cavalry but the square was never broken. Towards the end of the day they advanced in line to meet a column of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard and routed them with one volley. By evening nearly half the Battalion had fallen and the survivors were commanded by the officer sixth in seniority, all his seniors having been killed or wounded.
The 40th were at first in reserve but later were moved into the centre of the allied line, near the farm of La Haye Sainte. There, like the 30th, they withstood repeated attacks by cavalry and infantry and were pounded by cannon, but they stood firm. Towards evening they drove back Napoleon’s final attack by massed infantry. Shortly afterwards the Duke of Wellington personally ordered the Regiment to advance. The 40th charged, swept away the French infantry to their front and took part in the recapture of La Haye Sainte. One quarter of the Regiment fell that day.
For their steadfastness and discipline at Waterloo the 30th and 40th were permitted to encircle their badge with a Laurel Wreath. The battle is commemorated annually by the Regiment.
After Waterloo the 59th took part in the storming of Cambrai and, with the 30th, 40th, 81st and 82nd, the occupation of Paris. The campaign had a tragic sequel for the 2/59th and 1/82nd when these two battalions were wrecked off the Irish coast with the loss of some 550 men, women and children, the greatest disaster in the Regiment’s long history.
Chapter 9 – WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES 1812 - 1814
Peace in Europe brought no respite from campaigning, for the 40th, 81st and 82nd were at once dispatched to North America where the 82nd repelled an attack on Canada at the battle of Niagara, 1814
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 11 – CRIMEAN WAR 1854 - 1855
The 30th and 47th formed part of the army despatched to the Crimea in1854. They advanced gallantly and side by side at the battle of Alma and fought with great determination and success in the confused close quarter battle of Inkerman, where the Regiments’ first Victoria Crosses were won by Lieutenant Walker of the 30th and Private McDermond of the 47th. Having endured the cruel winter of 1854/55, both Regiments took a prominent part in the siege of Sevastopol, the capture of which virtually ended the war. The 82nd also joined the army in the Crimea in 1855.
Chapter 12 – SOLDIERS OF THE QUEEN 1856 - 1881
China - In 1857 the 59th were awarded the battle honour Canton for their part in the capture of the city by an international force. As the 59th were the only British Regiment to take part, this honour is unique in the British Army.
The Indian Mutiny - The 81st were already in India and the 82nd, en route to China, were diverted there when the Mutiny broke out in 1857. The 81st disarmed the mutineers around Lahore, where their presence did much to keep the Punjab loyal, while the 82nd saw considerable fighting at Lucknow, Cawnpore, Shahjehanpore and elsewhere. The 81st saw further active service in 1858 on the North West Frontier.
The Maori Wars - The 40th took part in many engagements with the Maoris in New Zealand between 1860 and 1866, in one of which Colour Sergeant Lucas earned the Victoria Cross.
The Fenian Raid - In 1866 the 30th and 47th were in Canada when they were called onto repel an Irish “invasion” across the American frontier.
2nd Afghan War - The 59th and 81st took part in this campaign. The 81st were in action at Ali Masjid, 1878, while in 1880 the 59th took part in the fierce battle of Ahmad Khel. Captain Sartorius of the 59th was awarded the Victoria Cross
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 14 – SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1899 - 1902
The 1st East Lancashire’s, 1st South Lancashires, and 1st Loyals were all engaged in the South African War, as were the 3rd (Militia) Battalion The South Lancashire and detachments from the Volunteer Battalions of all three County Regiments.
The 47th were part of the pre-war garrison at Capetown and just before the outbreak of hostilities half the Battalion was sent to defend Kimberley. The town was soon besieged by the Boers but held out until relieved by a force which include the remaining companies of the Regiment, which was awarded the unique battle honour Defence of Kimberley.
The 30th was with Lord Roberts’s army which marched on Pretoria. They fought at Jacobsdaal, Karee and the Zand River, 1900, and earned high praise for their part in these actions.
The 40th took part in the battle of Spion Kop and the actions of the Tugela Heights during the fighting to relieve Ladysmith, 1900. They particularly distinguished themselves at the battle of Pieter’s Hill, the final action before the relief, when the Commanding Officer was killed leading the charge that finally broke the Boer position. The Regiment was awarded the battle honour Relief of Ladysmith.
Subsequently all three Regiments were involved in the arduous guerrilla campaign which lasted until 1902 and fought many minor engagements both on foot and as mounted infantry. For their services they were awarded the battle honour South Africa 1899-1902
Chapter 15 – THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914 - 1918
During the Great war our predecessors raised 58 battalions, of whom 38 saw active service overseas earning 112 battle honours.
FRANCE AND FLANDERS
The 30th, 47th and 82nd formed part of the original British Expeditionary Force in 1914, the “Old Contemptibles”, earning 13 battle honours of which Mons, Retreat of Mons, Marne 1914, Messines 1914, and Ypres 1914 are borne on the present Regimental Colours. At Le Gheer Drummer Bent of the 30th won the Victoria Cross. The pre-war Regular Army fought virtually to the death in the desperate fighting of 1914.
In 1915 the surviving Regulars were reinforced by an increasing flow of Territorials and newly-formed service battalions of Kitchener’s “New Army”. Lancashire battalion were particularly involved in the battles of Neuve Chapelle, Ypres 1915 and Loos, where Private Kenny of the 47th earned a Victoria Cross. Later in the same year the award was also made to Private Young, 8th East Lancashires.
By the middle of 1916 there were nineteen Lancashire battalions on the Western Front. On 1st July 1916, in the opening hours of the battle of the Somme, the 1st and 11th East Lancashire’s advanced across open ground in the face of German machine guns. Of 722 men of the 30th who went into action that day only 237 came out while the 11th battalion (The Accrington Pal’s) lost some 584 out of 720 in the attack. This Memorable devotion to duty is commemorated in the Regiment annually to this day. Victoria Cross were won at St Eloi By Lieutenant Jones, 8th Loyals, and on the Somme By Lieutenant Wilkinson, 7th Loyals and 2nd Lieutenant Coury, 1/4th South Lancashires.
1917 saw our strength in France and Flanders reach a peak of 27 battalions. Seven Lancashire battalions took part in the successful Messines offensive, where Private Ratcliffe of the South Lancashires won the Victoria Cross, while nineteen battalions fought in the Mud of the Third Battle of Ypres at Passchendaele and elsewhere.
In the final German offensive of March 1918 the Lancashire battalions fought stubbornly, despite mounting casualties, until the attack was halted, Victoria Cross were awarded to 2nd Lieutenant Horsfall, 11th East Lancashire, and Corporal Davis, 11th South Lancashires. Eighteen Lancashire battalions took part in the allied offensive which brought the war to an end.
East Africa - The 81st served in East Africa 1914-16, earning the battle honour Kilimanjaro before their transfer to Palestine and France.
Gallipoli - Five Lancashire battalions served on Gallipoli, earning five battle honours. A posthumous Victoria Cross was awarded to 2nd Lieutenant Smith, 1/5 East Lancashires.
Egypt and Palestine - All three Regiments took part in the defence of Egypt from the Turks and four battalions took part in the subsequent capture of Palestine, earning eight battle honours.
Mesopotamia - The 6th Battalion of all three Regiments distinguished themselves in the advance up the Tigris to Baghdad, winning four battle honours. Victoria Cross were awarded to Private Readitt, 6th South Lancashires, and Reverend Addison and Captain Reid, 6th Loyals.
Macedonia - One battalion of each Regiment served in Macedonia against the Bulgarians, earning two battle honours.
Chapter 16 – BETWEEN THE WARS
The 40th had remained on the North West Frontier of India throughout the war, earning the battle honour Baluchistan 1918 and Afghanistan 1919.
Between wars Lancashire battalions saw active service in Ireland, Turkey, Palestine and on the North West Frontier of the India, while other postings took them to Bermuda, Jamaica, Germany, Malta, Egypt, Sudan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Chapter 17 – SECOND WORLD WAR 1939 - 1945
Dunkirk - The 30th, 40th, 47th and 4th East Lancashire took part in the 1940 retreat to Dunkirk, where the three Regular battalions distinguished themselves covering the evacuation and a Victoria Cross was earned by Captain Ervine-Andrews of the 30th.
Singapore - The 81st fought several rearguard actions against the Japanese in Malaya and remained in action on Singapore Island until the capitulation, 1942. 18th Recce Regiment (formerly 5th Loyals) arrived in Singapore in time to share their fate and the survivors of both battalions suffered cruelly in captivity.
Madagascar - Later in 1942 the 59th and 82nd, in the same brigade, took part in the capture of Madagascar from the Vichy French .
Tunisia - In 1943 the 47th were with the 1st Army in Tunisia where they fought several desperate battles with the Germans and earned seven battle honours. A posthumous Victoria Cross was awarded to Lieutenant Sandys-Clarke.
Italy - The 47th went on to Italy, where early in 1944 it played a decisive part in holding the Anzio bridgehead. The battalion then advanced through Rome, Florence, and the Gothic Line to Monte Grande, where the re-formed 81st also saw action.
Normandy - On D-Day, 6th June 1944, the 40th were one of the two assault battalions of 3rd Division who captured the initial beachhead and earned the battle honour Normandy Landings. They were then involved in fierce fighting on the approaches to Caen. The 13th (Lancashire) Battalion The Parachute Regiment (formerly 2/4 South Lancashires) was the first parachute battalion to drop in Normandy. The 30th and 5th East Lancashires soon arrived in France and all four battalions fought in the breakout from Normandy which led to victory at Falaise.
Holland and Germany 1944-45 - Both the 30th and the 40th were heavily involved in the final battles in North West Europe. The 30th particularly distinguished themselves at s’Hertogenbosch, Grimbiemont, and the Reichswald, while the 40th fought in the bitter battles around Overloon, Venraij and the Hochwald. The two battalions ended the war by taking part in the capture of Hamburg and Bremen respectively.
Burma 1944-45 - In 1944 the 59th and 82nd, still in the same brigade, took part in the Arakan campaign. The 82nd were then sent to Assam where they took part in the battle of Kohima. In the advance to Burma the battalions converged on Meiktila, the 59th from the North down the Irrawaddy, while the 82nd, who had marched through the jungle from Imphal, led the crossing of the river at the Nyaungu Bridgehead, fought in that area and then took part in the final advance on Rangoon.
In the course of the Second World War 52 Further battle honours were won. of which 23 are borne on the Colours.
Chapter 18 – THE POST-WAR YEARS 1945 - 1970
Reductions - In the immediate aftermath of the war Regular Lancashire battalions served in India, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Eritrea, Malta, Italy, Trieste, Austria and Germany, and the 40th and 47th saw active service in Palestine, but peace brought reductions and by 1949 our three County Regiments had been reduced to one Regular battalion each.
Malaya - Active service in the Canal Zone followed for each battalion and, with the coming of the Cold War, tours with the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). In 1957-59 1st Loyals took part in the successful anti-terrorist campaign in Malaya. Subsequently the Loyals had tours in Germany, Swaziland, Malta and Aden.
The Lancashire Regiment (PWV) - On the 1st July 1958 The East Lancashire Regiment and South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers) were Amalgamated and the1st Battalion The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers) was formed in Hong Kong. In its short life this battalion worthily upheld the traditions of its predecessors serving in Hong Kong, Germany, Swaziland, Cyprus, Aden and Malta.
Aden - In 1967 the Lancashires played a distinguished part in the final months of the bitter anti-terrorist campaign in Aden, amassing more operation awards there than any other unit.
Chapter 19 – THE QUEEN’S LANCASHIRE REGIMENT
The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment was inaugurated at Connaught Barracks, Dover on the 25 March 1970 and only six weeks later the 1st Battalion was on active service in Northern Ireland. Further Operational tours in the Province followed in1971-72, 1972-73, 1975-76 (resident), 1977, 1980-81, 1987, 1990-92 and 1997-99 (resident), in the course of which eight soldiers killed were in action.
The Regiment’s contribution towards wining the Cold War comprised two BAOR tours by the 1st Battalion in the mechanized role, Osnabruck 1970-74 and Paderborn 1984-90, and the 4th(Volunteer) Battalion’s commitment to NATO. To set the Seal on this period following the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact the 1st Battalion had the honour of being the last British battalion in Berlin 1992-94.
Out of area operations took the 1st Battalion to Cyprus 1978-1980 and 1983, where they saw service with the United Nations, a Company to the Falklands in the aftermath of the 1982 war, and the Battalion went to Bosnia in1996 for the NATO operation.
Overseas exercise deployment were frequent and for the 1st Battalion included training in Canada, the Gambia, Belize, Kenya and the Oman. In 1983 and again in 1995 the Battalion had the honour of providing the Royal Guard in London.
In 2006, the inexorable process of contraction of Britain’s armed forces saw The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment amalgamate with the Kings Own Royal Border and Kings Regiments to form the new Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which inherits the proud traditions of all the old county regiments of the North West of England.
Chapter 20 – AMALGAMATION
On 1 July 2006 the inexorable process of contraction and consolidation illustrated throughout the above history reached another inevitable milestone when The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment was amalgamated with the other two remaining North West England infantry regiments, the Kings Own Royal Border and Kings Regiments, to form The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
All three regiments had equally proud and noble histories and traditions, all of which are now cherished and sustained by the two regular and one Territorial Army battalions of the new regiment.