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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Queen’s Lancashire

Queen’s Lancashire Regiment

With the formation of The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in 1970 the ancient County of Lancashire was at last represented in the British Army by a single County Regiment.

Inaugurated at Connaught Barracks, Dover on 25th March 1970, The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment consisted of two battalions, the 1st and the 4th(Volunteer), which was a unit of the Territorial Army.

Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer presents the new Regiment with its Colours during the Formation Parade at Dover Castle, March 1970

Through it’s antecedent corps, the new regiment could trace its history back in an unbroken line to the creation of the modern British Army in 1689. It carried more battle honours on its Colours than any other infantry unit in the Army, and also was able proudly to claim that it was the only regiment, from any army, ever, which had fought on every one of the World’s inhabited continents.

Only six weeks after formation, the 1st Battalion was on active service in Northern Ireland. In all the Regiment was to complete a total of nine operational tours in the Province, in the course of which eight soldiers were killed in action.

The Regiment’s contribution to the maintenance of peace during the Cold War included both the 1st and 4th Battalions. The 1st Battalion served two tours of duty in West Germany in the mechanised infantry role, and throughout its existence the 4th(Volunteer) Battalion was committed to a NATO reinforcement role. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, and as if to set an appropriate and fitting seal on this critical period of World history, the 1st Battalion was the last British battalion to serve in Berlin 1992-94.

Out of area tasking took the 1st Battalion to Cyprus for three tours of duty, which included service with the United Nations. A company was deployed to the Falkland Islands in the aftermath of the 1982 conflict, and the battalion was in Bosnia in 1996 as part of the NATO forces

From June to November 2003 the 1st Battalion was deployed to Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the Coalition invasion. Given responsibility for peace enforcement and restoration of civil infrastructure in the centre and greater part of Basra, Iraq’s second city, the battalion was later recognised as the best British unit then deployed for its outstanding performance during a five-month tour of unrelenting danger and violence. It suffered one death and 32 wounded sufficiently seriously to require evacuation to the UK, and received more honours and awards than any other British unit, including a DSO and an MC.

The Battalion was in Cyprus for a fourth tour of duty 2004-2006 and then deployed to Osnabruck for its third Germany posting.

On 1 July 2006 The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment amalgamated with the Kings Own Royal Border and Kings Regiments to become The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, with the 1st Battalion re-badging as the 1st Battalion of the new regiment.