This Day In History

1944 Operation Garden – the land element of  Operation Market Garden, the attempt by Airborne and ground forces to capture the Rhine bridges, which culminated in the Battle of Arnhem - begins. To clear the left flank of the 30 Corps attack, 1st East Lancashires carry out a difficult night-time opposed assault crossing of the Meuse-Escaut Canal at Lommel, Belgium. The assault crossing of a defended water obstacle by night is an operation of extreme complexity, risk and danger. For the East Lancashires, these difficulties were compounded. Not only did they have to get across a sheer-sided, wide and deep canal, but they had to fight in the utter pitch blackness of a dense forest. Daylight revealed the battalion miraculously on their objectives, but with their bypassed enemy – German paratroops – largely behind them. Confused fighting continued all day as the East Lancashires cleared back and along the canal bank. At one point the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Burden, and his orderly leapt into a fox-hole, overcoming its surprised occupant, a German paratrooper. Burden took the machine pistol the soldier carried and used it as his personal weapon for the rest of the war. Allied troops at the time called all German machine guns Schmeissers, and the gun is known to this day as The Burden Schmeisser, although it is actually an MP.40. It is on display in the Museum. (The MP.38 and MP.40 Maschinenpistolen were submachine guns developed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers), platoon and squad leaders, and other troops throughout the war – and in just about every World War 2 war film ever made since.)
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Territorial Army North West Photo Collection





2000px-lancashire_rose-svg1In the 1970’s and 80’s a large percentage of the Territorial Army was based in the North West of England. Units of all the combat and supporting arms and corps were represented, and every weekend hundreds, sometimes thousands of reservists spread out across the region on military training.

The Lancashire Infantry Museum holds a unique photo archive of several thousand images, put together at the time and all shot by Major Chris Vere, then the District TA Public Information Officer. Many were published in local newspapers and often in the region’s own TA newspaper “North West Territorial.” It is very possibly the only such record of TA activity in a given area over a specific period ever created.

These historical images have now been digitised and, for the first time, are being made available to buy in a series of discs which will eventually cover all aspects of TA life in the region during the period , at a cost of £12 per DVD including post and packing. All proceeds go to the preservation and maintenance of the Museum

Disc 1 – Infantry

The first disc in the series covers the Infantry and, mainly, features

  • 4th Battalion, Kings Own Royal Border Regiment
  • 5/8th Battalion, Kings Regiment
  • 4th Battalion, Queen’s Lancashire Regiment

Discs 2 – Artillery

Chris has donated his unique photo-archive covering 20 years in the life of his own regiment.  This 5-volume disc contains more than 2,000 images. 

  • 103 (Lancashire Artillery Volunteers) Air Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery (Volunteers).

Disc 3 – Yeomanry

Chris and Stephanie Bruntlett have identified 280 images covering Yeomanry life between 1983 and 1987, with particular emphasis on Her Majesty The Queen’s visit to DLOY at Altcar in 1985. Featuring

  • The Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry
  • C (Earl of Chester’s) Squadron, Queen’s Own Yeomanry

To make a purchase, click on ‘Add to Cart.’ When finished, scroll to bottom of the page to check your shopping cart and complete your purchase details. Disks will be dispatched as soon as possible.


TA North West Infantry 1978 - 87 720 Images

TA North West
1978 – 87
720 Images

TA North West
1969-1987 – 2000+ Images

TA North West
280 Images