This Day In History

1704 War of the Spanish Succession. Anglo-Dutch fleet under Admiral George Rooke, in which detachments of Saunderson’s Regiment (later 30th Foot and then 1st East Lancashires) are serving as Marines, completes the capture of Gibraltar from Spain. The Rock is then ceded to Britain when the Peace of Utrecht brings the war to an end in 1713.
1914
During the morning, German troops invade neutral Belgium. At 2 pm Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey instructs the British Ambassador in Berlin to tell the German Government that unless an assurance to respect Belgian neutrality is received by midnight Central European Time (11 pm in Britain), a state of war would exist between the two countries. At 7 pm the 1st East, 2nd South, and 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regiments are ordered to mobilise and prepare to deploy to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force - the Old Contemptibles. At 10.45 pm the King convenes the Privy Council in Buckingham Palace for the purpose of authorising the declaration of war. They wait until 11 pm, and when Big Ben strikes the hour, the country is at war. The vast crowd which has gathered outside Buckingham Palace cheers wildly. 
 
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East Lancashire

East Lancashire Regiment

The East Lancashire Regiment was formed in 1881 as part of the Cardwell reforms of the British Army.

The Regiment was formed initially with two battalions, the 1st Battalion being created from the former 30th Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd from the former 59th. The first Regimental Depot was in Burnley, but moved to Fulwood Barracks, Preston in 1898.

The Regiment recruited primarily from the new industrial towns of East Lancashire, including Burnley, Blackburn, Nelson, Colne and Accrington.

During World War I the Regiment expanded to a strength of 17 battalions which between them served on the Western Front, at Gallipoli, and in Macedonia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). In all, they earned a total of 120 Battle Honours. The Regiment suffered a total of 7,000 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)

Captain Marcus Ervine Andrews (top deck) wins the VC defending the Perimeter

In World War II the Regiment expanded again, to a strength of 7 battalions. They served in North West Europe, Madagascar, India, Burma and Malaya, earning a total of 20 Battle Honours. Captain Marcus Ervine Andrews won the Victoria Cross at Dunkirk in 1940.

(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 South 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.

In 2006 the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment was amalgamated with the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment and the King’s Regiment to form the present-day Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.