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Unit History: Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment The Regiment was officially formed in 1881 as part of the Childers Reform when the 47th and 81st Regiments of Foot were merged. However the Regiment can trace its history back a further hundred years.

The 47th was first raised in 1741 by Sir John Mordaunt in Scotland and as was the tradition at the time was named as the ‘Sir John Mordaunt's Regiment of Foot’ after the current Colonel. The Regiment was first in service against rebel supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie (the grandson of the deposed King James II) when he landed in Scotland, attempting to regain the crown to the Stuart family and incited the Jacobite Rising in 1745. The Regiment fought at the Battle of Prestonpans and subsequently defended Edinburgh Castle during Bonnie Prince Charlie's occupation of the city. The Jacobite Rebellion was crushed by Government forces in 1746 and Charles was exiled to France. The Regimental naming system was simplified in 1751 with each Regiment assigned a number therefore becoming the 47th Regiment of Foot. The Regiment went on to serve in various foreign campaigns including in North America during the Seven Years Year (1754–1763) and fought against the French at the Battle of Quebec under the command of General James Wolfe. After his death the 47th began to wear a black line in their lace and gained the nickname ‘Wolfe’s Own’. The Regiment went on to serve in the American War of Independence (1775–1783), in the West Indies during the French Revolutionary War (1792–1802), in the Peninsular War (1808-1814), during the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818), The First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–24) and The Crimean War (1853–1856).

The 81st was raised in 1793 by Major General Albemarle Bertie, in response to the threat of the French Revolution. Unfortunately no money was available so the Regiment was raised from the Lincolnshire militia who volunteered en masse for ‘The Loyal Lincoln Volunteers’ Regiment. The Loyal titled was awarded to mark the militia’s patriotism. A year later the Regiment was re-titled as the 81st Regiment of Foot. The 81st were posted to the West Indies during the Napoleonic Wars in an attempt to capture the valuable French sugar islands 1795-97. Unfortunately, as was common during the time, the Regiment lost more men through tropical diseases than in combat; in fact the 81st lost double its established strength to disease in two years. In 1853, the 81st sailed for India to assist in the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) (which ruled the Indian territories for the British Government), in the suppression of the ‘Indian Mutiny’ (1853-1858). Once peace was restored The British Government took direct control of the Indian Territories and abolished the HEIC, pronouncing Queen Victoria as Empress of India.

In 1881as part of the Childers Reform the 47th and 81st Regiments of Foot were merged becoming The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire). The Childers Reforms restructured the British army infantry into a network of multi-battalion Regiments each having two regular and two militia battalions. The newly formed Regiment went on to serve in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1896, and then on to South Africa fighting in the Boer War (1899-1902) and two World Wars. In 1970 The Regiment was merged with the Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers) to form the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment during WW1

Since 1815 the balance of power in Europe had been maintained by a series of treaties. In 1888 Wilhelm II was crowned ‘German Emperor and King of Prussia’ and moved from a policy of maintaining the status quo to a more aggressive position. He did not renew a treaty with Russia, aligned Germany with the declining Austro-Hungarian Empire and started to build a Navy rivalling that of Britain. These actions greatly concerned Germany’s neighbours, who quickly forged new treaties and alliances in the event of war. On 28th June 1914 Franz Ferdinand the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated by the Bosnian-Serb nationalist group Young Bosnia who wanted pan-Serbian independence. Franz Joseph's the Austro-Hungarian Emperor (with the backing of Germany) responded aggressively, presenting Serbia with an intentionally unacceptable ultimatum, to provoke Serbia into war. Serbia agreed to 8 of the 10 terms and on the 28th July 1914 the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, producing a cascade effect across Europe. Russia bound by treaty to Serbia declared war with Austro-Hungary, Germany declared war with Russia and France declared war with Germany. Germany’s army crossed into neutral Belgium in order to reach Paris, forcing Britain to declare war with Germany (due to the Treaty of London (1839) whereby Britain agreed to defend Belgium in the event of invasion). By the 4th August 1914 Britain and much of Europe were pulled into a war which would last 1,566 days, cost 8,528,831 lives and 28,938,073 casualties or missing on both sides.

The Regiment raised a total of 21 battalions and was awarded 68 battle honours, 3 Victoria Crosses and lost approximately 7,590 men during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Aldershot as part of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division.
13.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1914
The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres.
During 1915
Winter Operations 1914-15, The Battle of Aubers, The Battle of Loos.
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
During 1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
07.02.1918 Transferred to the 1st Brigade of the same Division and continued to engage in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1918
The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of Bethune, The Battle of Drocourt-Queant, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Fresnoy-le-Grand S.W. of Bohain.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Bangalore at the outbreak of war.
16.10.1914 Embarked for German East Africa with the 27th Indian Brigade.
03.11.1914 Landed at Tanga and attempted to capture the port of Tanga but were unsuccessful.
07.11.1914 Sailed to Mombasa fighting various small actions between Kenya and German East Africa.
10.05.1916 until 20.08.1916 Stationed in South Africa to recover from ill health.
Dec 1916 Moved to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
18.01.1917 Defending the Lines of Communication.
14.04.1917 Transferred to the 75th Division.
09.08.1917 Moved to Sidi Bishr.
Dec 1917 Defending the Lines of Communication.
18.05.1918 Embarked for France from Suez and landed at Marseilles.
04.06.1918 Transferred to the 94th Brigade of the 31st Division.
28.06.1918 Transferred to eh 101st Brigade of the 34th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of the Soissonais and of the Ourcq, The capture of Baigneux Ridge, The Battle of Ypres, The Battle of Courtrai, The action of Ooteghem, The action of Tieghem.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Wevelghem east of Menin.

3rd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Preston and then moved to Felixstowe where it remained.

1/4th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Preston as part of the North Lancs. Brigade of the West Lancs. Division then moved to Swindon and then Sevenoaks.
April 1915 Moved to Bedford and the North Lancs. Brigade transferred to the Highland Division.
04.05.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne where the formation became 154th Brigade of the 51st Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Festubert, The Second Action of Givenchy.
07.01.1916 transferred to the 164th Brigade of the 55th Division and once again engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Guillemont, The Battle of Ginchy, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval,
During 1917
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Menin Road Ridge.
During 1918
The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The capture of Givenchy craters and Canteleux trench, Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Villers St. Amand west of Ath.

2/4th Battalion Territorial Force
Oct 1914 Formed at Preston and then moved to Ashford to join the 170th Brigade of the 57th Division.
July 1916 Moved to Aldershot and then Blackdown.
08.02.1917 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The Second Battle of Passchendaele,
During 1918
The Battles of the Lys, The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Queant Line, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of the Cambrai, The occupation of Lille, The general final advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Hellemmes east of Lille.

2/5th Battalion Territorial Force
Oct 1914 Formed at Bolton and then moved to Ashford and joined the 170th Brigade of the 57th Division.
July 1916 Moved to Aldershot and then to Blackdown.
09.02.1917 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western front including; The Second Battle of Passchendaele,
05.02.1918 Became the Pioneer Battalion of the 57th Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1918
The Battles of the Lys, The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Queant Line, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of the Cambrai, The occupation of Lille, The general final advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Tournai.

3/4th and 3/5th Battalion Territorial Force
April 1915 The 3/5th formed at Bolton.
May 1915 The 3/4th formed at Preston.
June 1915 Both moved to Kirkham and then to Blackpool.
Spring 1916 Moved to Oswestry and became the 4th and 5th Reserve Battalions.
01.09.1916 The 4th absorbed the 5th as part of the West Lancs. Reserve Brigade Territorial Force.
April 1918 Stationed in Dublin, Ireland.

4/5th Battalion Territorial Force
1915 Formed and then moved to Ashford to join the 170th Brigade of the 57th Division.
July 1916 Moved to Aldershot and then Blackdown.
12.02.1917 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western front including; The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
04.02.1918 Absorbed into the 1/5th Battalion.

6th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Preston as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Tidworth to join the 38th Brigade of the13th Division, and then on to Blackdown.
17.06.1915 Embarked for Gallipoli from Avonmouth via Mudros.
06-31.07.1915 Landed at Helles with the 38th Brigade
04.08.1915 Landed at ANZAC and engaged in various actions including;
The Battle of Sari Bair, The Battle of Russell's Top, The Battle of Hill 60.
02.12.1915 Evacuated to Mudros due to heavy casualties from combat, disease and severe weather.
Jan 1916 Moved to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
Feb 1916 Moved to Mesopotamia from Port Said.
14.02.1916 Arrived Basra and engaged in various actions including;
During 1917
The Battle of Kut al Amara, The capture of the Hai Salient, The capture of Dahra Bend, The capture of Bagdad, the Second and Third Actions of Jabal Hamrin.
31.10.1918 Ended the war in Mesopotamia, Abu Saida N.E. Baghdad.

7th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Preston as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Tidworth to join the 56th Brigade of the 19th Division, and then moved to Witchurch.
Mar 1915 Moved to Tidworth.
17.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various action on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The diversionary attack at Gommecourt, The Battle of Ginchy, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
During 1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Langemarck, The capture of Tadpole Copse, The capture of Bourlon Wood, The German counter attacks.
10.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

8th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Preston as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Salisbury Plain as part of the 74th Brigade of the 25th Division.
Jan 1915 Moved to Bournemouth and then Boscombe, then Romsey, then Aldershot.
16.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and then transferred to the 7th Brigade of the 25th Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
German attack on Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of the Ancre Heights.
During 1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem.
16.02.1918 Disbanded at Courcelles, France.

9th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Preston as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Salisbury Plain as part of the 74th Brigade of the 25th Division and then moved to Christchurch.
Jan 1915 Moved to Southbourne and then Romsey, then Blenheim, then Aldershot.
26.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and then transferred and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
German attack on Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of the Ancre Heights.
During 1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem.
21.06.1918 Transferred to the 8th Border Regiment and formed 2nd Battalion of a Composite Brigade.
22.06.1918 Transferred to the 18th Brigade of the 50th Division
12.08.1918 Disbanded in France.

10th (Service) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Preston as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to South Downs and Eastbourne as part of the 22nd Division.
April 1915 Transferred to the 112th Brigade of the 37th Division and then moved to Ludgershall.
01.08.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and then transferred and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The First Battle of Passchendaele.
04.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

11th (Reserve) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Felixstowe as a service battalion as part of the Fourth New Army (K4) and joined the 94th Brigade of the 31st Division.
Mar 1915 Moved to Chichester and then became a 2nd Reserve Battalion and then moved to Billericay.
Sept 1915 Moved to Seaford as part of the 4th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became the 17th Training Reserve Battalion.

1/12th Battalion Territorial Force (Pioneers)
Aug 1915 Formed at Lytham.
13.05.1916 Attached to the 69th Division and moved to Thetford.
01.06.1916 Moved to Sutton Veny and transferred to the 60th Division as a Pioneer Battalion.
22.06.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre.
16.11.1916 Transferred to the 32nd Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The Battle of the Ancre.
Jan 1917 Embarked for Salonika from Marseilles and re-joined the 60th Division and engaged in various actions including; The Battle of Doiran.
June 1917 Moved to Egypt and engaged in various actions including; The Third Battle of Gaza, the capture of Beersheba, The capture of Jerusalem, The defence of Jerusalem.
During 1918
The capture of Jericho, The battle of Tell'Asur, The first Trans-Jordan raid, The attack on Amman.
10.04.1918 Transferred to the 74th Division and moved to Sarafand.
May 1918 Embarked for France form Alexandria landing at Marseilles and engaged in various actins on the Western front including;
The Second Battles of the Somme, The Battles of the Hindenburg Line, The Final Advance in Artois and Flanders.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Frasnes west of Ath.

2/12th Battalion Territorial Force
Mar 1916 Formed at Lytham and then became a Reserve Battalion and moved to Oswestry.
01.09.1916 Absorbed by the 4th (Reserve) Battalion.

13th (Home Service) Battalion
04.12.1916 Formed at Blackpool and joined the 219th Brigade of the 73rd Division.
Jan 1917 Moved to Danbury, Essex and the on to Southend.
29.03.1918 Disbanded.

14th Battalion Territorial Force
0101.1917 Formed at Blackpool from the Provisional Battalion of the 218th Brigade in the 73rd Division.
Jan 1917 Moved to Witham, Essex.
Dec 1917 Disbanded.

15th (Service) Battalion
01.06.1918 Formed at Cromer and absorbed the 11th Battalion of the Kings’ (Liverpool) Regiment, and then moved to Brookwood as a Pioneer Battalion of the 14th Division.
05.07.1918 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western front including; The Battle of Ypres 1918.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Estampuis east of Roubaix.

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment during WW2

WW2 Battalions of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
(More information to be added on Battalions)

Regular Army Battalions
1st Battalion:
1939: On the outbreak of war the Battalion was based in Aldershot.
September 1939: Ordered to serve in France & Belgium. It was part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division forming part of the British Expeditionary Force.
June 1940: It was evacuated from Beaches of Dunkirk Returned to the UK.
March 1943: In the same Brigade and Division, the Battalion fought in the Tunisia campaign in North Africa.
December 1943: Moved to Italy.
22 January 1944: During the Italian campaign it took part, amongst others, in Operation Shingle, also known as the Battle of Anzio
May 1945: In Italy when Germans surrendered.
Later it transferred to Palestine.

2nd Battalion:
1939: On the outbreak of war the Battalion was based in Singapore as part of Singapore Fortress's Malaya Brigade.
15 February 1942: It was captured by the Japanese at Singapore and the survivor’s became prisoners for the rest of the war.
28 May 1942: Reconstituted in the UK by re-designation of 10th Battalion.
May 1942: It became attached to the 77th Division.
September 1942: It then became attached to the 55th Division.
October 1944: Moved to Italy and became part of 20th Indian Infantry Brigade of the 10th Indian Infantry Division, involved in the closing phrases of the Italian campaign.
1945: Moved to Austria.

Territorial Battalions
4th Battalion:
September 1940: The Battalion was raised.

5th Battalion:
September 1940: The Battalion was raised.
1941: It was converted into a Reconnaissance Corps unit for the 18th (East Anglian) Infantry Division and re-designated as the 18th Battalion Reconnaissance Corps.
February 1942: They arrived late into the Singapore campaign and used as Regular Infantry.
15 February 1942: It surrendered to the Japanese and the survivor’s became prisoners for the rest of the war.

6th Battalion:
September 1940: The Battalion was raised.
1941: It was converted and re-designated as 2nd Reconnaissance Regiment.
30 April 1941: Became attached to the 2nd Infantry Division.
June 1942: Served in India.
April/May 1944: Fought in the Battle of Kohima.
1944 - 45: Became part of Slim's advance into Burma.

Service Battalions
7th Battalion:
04July 1940: The Battalion was officially raised at the Loyals’ headquarters in Fulwood Barracks, Preston. In the same month moved to Coed Helen Camp, Caernarvon and began training.
September 1940: The battalion had moved to Great Crosby, near Liverpool, to do anti-invasion duties.
December1940: The first Blitz hit Mereyside and the Battalion was called to help with civilians and fighting fires,
February 1941: It went back on anti-invasion duties at the North Yorkshire coast surronding Whitby.
November 1941: It was converted to a mobile light anti-aircraft (LAA) regiment of the Royal Artillery, and became the 92nd (Loyals) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment.
?1942: It became attached to 3rd British Infantry Division as the divisional LAA regiment.
March 1943: It moved to Castle Douglas and Dalbeattie, South-West Scotland and trained for the Normandy invasion.
April 1944: With the rest of 3rd Division, the 92nd LAA moved south to a holding camp at Horndean, near Portsmouth.
06 June 1944: Landed with 3rd Division on Queen Red sector of Sword Beach, near La Breche d’Hermanville.
With the 3rd Division, it went on and fought through France, Belgium, Holland and ended the war in Bremen, Germany.

Forces Reunited Gallery Images Matching Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

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Memories of Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, in 1958

Written by Roy Dawson-Savage

Bugle Practice on the main field at the Ipoh Barracks, I recall that occasionally we would swap our Bugles for the Cavalry Trumpets that the Ghurkas used and that were much easier to blow.
Running up a huge bill at the Charwallahs for cold very weak orange juice and Egg Banjo’s that decimated my wages at weekend.
Dressing in Whites and using the Silver Drums From the Officers Mess for a Queens Birthday Parade or Regimental parade on the field.
Watching the head of Schofield’s Tenor Drum Stick Sail over the heads of the Officers as they sat on their Dias for a regimental parade!
Seeing men cry on because they were leaving their mates as they boarded the trucks on the MT park to take them to singapore for demob

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, in 1956

Written by John Varley

No doubt whatsoever! sailng into Singapore, and seeing thousands of SPARROWS flying around. Never dreamed that they would be half way round the world.

Forces Reunited Forum Posts Involving Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

"...was in 1899 the Cape Colony of South Africa, almost on the frontier of the Orange Free State. When the Boer War threatened to break out in the autumn of 1899, the border town of Kimberley was reinforced by Headquarters and 4 companies of the 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (strength 9 officers and 413 men). These were the only regular troops in the town, the remainder of the garrison consisting of the "Kimberley" volunteers (540 all ranks). Later the "Town Guard" was raised from among the..."
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"Do you mean? The 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot an infantry regiment of the British Army. First raised in 1741 in Scotland, the regiment saw service over a period of 140 years, before it was amalgamated with another regiment to become The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in 1881. Public records for BDM didn’t really start until 1837 since you haven’t given many clues its harder to track but you gr gr grandfather would have been no more than 44 when the regiments amalgamated search..."
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"Loyal North Lancashire Regiment"
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"Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.Was stationed at Colombo camp,Ipoh,Malaysia and Wuppertal Ronsdorf Germany.Retired 10yrs."
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"Hello, my great grandad was private Frederick Ginger of the 1st/4th Battallion in the Loyal North Lancashire regiment. service no 35072. Although I have found his record on here, I was wondering whether anyone could advise if there are any photographs - ie enrolment records? help/advice would be greatly appreciated "
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Active From: 1881 - 1970

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