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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Regimental Journals

The richest research sources in the Museum’s possession are the more than 1100 copies of the Regimental Journals of our antecedent regiments.

Starting in 1877, when the Adjutant of the old 59th Foot (soon to become the 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment), sitting in his office in Dagshai, India, put together the first edition of what was initially called  “The Sentinel”,  all of our antecedent regiments, with the exception of the two World Wars,  published regular journals throughout most of their existence – a tradition which continues to this day.

For over 100 years they detailed not only the major events in which the battalions found themselves involved, but also the minutiae of regimental life – the sports days, parades, Christmas parties and competitions, the promotions and the postings,  and who took part in what, when. For researchers seeking traces of individual officers and men, there are no finer sources of information.

The post – World War 2 journals cover the mergers of the East, South and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments to eventually form The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in March 1970.

This treasure trove of information has now been digitally recorded, and therefore searchable at the press of a button.

The journals have been recorded onto six separate DVD’s,  copies of which are available for purchase from the Museum priced at £15 each, £40 for three or £75 for the full set of six.

To order, please write to the Curator, Lancashire Infantry Museum, Fulwood Barracks, Preston, PR2 8AA, United Kingdom, specifying the DVD’s you wish to purchase, and enclosing the appropriate payment.

DVD Regiment Period
 1  East Lancashire  1878 – WWI
 2  East Lancashire  WWI – start WWII
 3  South Lancashire  WWI – start WWII
 4  East, South & Lancashire  WWII – 1970
 5  Loyal N Lancashire  1885 – start WWII
 6  Loyal N Lancashire  WWII – 1970