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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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.