Center Col: Unset
Col Margin: Unset
Col Status: Unset
Mouse over button or menu: Unset
Home Btn Pos X (Left), Y (bottom): Unset
Mouse X, Y: Unset

Recommend this page to a friend:




On a mobile device? Try our mobile site

Unit History: Durham Light Infantry

Durham Light Infantry The Regiment was formed in 1758 when the 2nd Battalion of the 23rd Regiment of Fusiliers was redesignated as the 68th Regiment of Foot. Its first engagement was raiding the French coast during the Seven Years War (1756-1763) to aid Britain’s ally Frederick the Great of Prussia. During 1764-1806 the Regiment was stationed 4 times in the West Indies, earning it the motto ‘Faithful’ for the St. Vincent Campaign during The Second Carib War (1795 - 1797). The greatest killer during this time was Yellow Fever, in one year over 700 men died.

A former officer of the Regiment, James Hackman, gained notoriety in 1779. He was hanged for murdering Martha Ray; the Opera singer and mistress of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, in a jealous rage after she spurned his affections.

In 1808 the 68th converted to Light Infantry, training with the 85th at Ashford, Kent under the tutelage of the master of light infantry training, Lt. Col. Franz Von Rothenburg. Light Infantry provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry in order to delay the enemy advance.

The Regiment moved to Spain and served during The Peninsula War (1808-1814) fighting at The Battle of Salamanca, The Battle of Vittoria, The Battle of Pyrenees and then Battle of Orthez. The Regiment was not engaged in any major actions for the next 40 years, primarily on garrison duties around the globe until it served during the Crimean War (1853-56).

In 1881 the 68th was amalgamated with the 106th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Light Infantry), which was formed in 1839 by the Honourable East India Company and served during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, to form The Durham Light Infantry. The newly formed Regiment went on to serve in India, Ireland, South Africa (1899- 1902) and the Middle East but took no part in the Boer War and then went on to serve during two World Wars.

In 1968, The Durham Light Infantry was amalgamated with the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and the King's Shropshire Light Infantry to form The Light Infantry Brigade. In 2007 another round of amalgamations meant the Light Infantry was merged with The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets to form The Rifles.

Durham Light Infantry during WW2

Prisoners of War
Thousands of Durham Light Infantry were taken prisoner during the Second World War. Many were captured in 1940 before Dunkirk and spent five years in prison camps. Later others were captured in battles in North Africa at Mersa Matruh and Mareth. There were no DLI soldiers captured in India or Burma.

Durham Light Infantry during WW2

During Second World War the DLI had Eighteen Active Battalions, 11 of them fought with distinction. Dunkirk in 1940, North Africa, Malta, Sicily, Italy, Burma and from D-Day to the final defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

1st DLI Battalion (68th Light Infantry):
They fought in the Western Desert, the Mediterranean and Italy being involved in the battles of El Alamein, Mareth, Mersa Matruh, Halfaya, Syria, Tobruk, Malta, Cos, Cesena, Pergola Ridge, Sillaro Crossing, Sicily, Primosole Bridge, Rauray, Salerno and Camino. The Battalion was almost wiped out on the island of Cos in the eastern Mediterranean in 1943.

2nd DLI Battalion (2nd Bombay Europeans and 106th Light Infantry):
They saw action with the BEF and the withdrawal through Dunkirk.

On 12th April 1942 when 2nd Battalion boarded `The Empress of Canada` bound for Bombay in India in preparation for a planned offensive against the Japanese.
On June 2nd 1942 the 2nd Battalion arrived in Bombay, before moving South by train to Ahmednagar where another intense period of jungle training and acclimatisation exercises would begin. Following amphibious landing training on Lake Kharakvasla near Poona, in October 1942 the Battalion moved to Thana near Bombay for more jungle warfare training. In November the Battalion were at Juhu Beach where every man was taught to swim in full kit however it was during this time that the Battalion suffered its first casualties including Malaria an illness which seriously affected over 100 of the 2nd Battalions personnel.
On the 17th of December 1942 the 2nd Battalion were once again ready for combat boarded another train for Chittagong in East Bengal arriving on Christmas Day 1942.
The 2nd Battalion, was the only DLI that served in Burma and India with the 14th Army in Burma, seeing action at Kohima, Donbaik and Mandalay and was at Rangoon when the Japanese surrendered on 15 August 1945.

5th DLI Battalion (TA);
They served in an antiaircraft role, and were divided, first as 1/5th and 2/5th, which became 54th and 55th Searchlight Regiments, Royal Artillery.

6th DLI Battalion;
They went to France with the BEF in 1940. It later saw action at Gazala, Gabr el Fakri, Mersa Matruh, El Alamein, Mareth; Landing in Sicily, Solarino, Primosole Bridge, Sicily, and took part in the June 1944 assault landings in Normandy and saw action in the advance towards Germany, Villers Bocage, Tilly-sur-Seulles, St Pierre la Vielle, Gheel.

7th DLI Battalion:
It was converted and transferred in 1936 as 47 AA Battalion, Royal Engineers.

8th DLI Battalion:
They served in N Africa, Gazala, Gabr el Fakri, Mersa Matruh, El Alamein, Mareth; Landing in Sicily, Primosole Bridge. The also took part in the assault landings in Normandy in June 1944 and saw action in the advance towards Germany, Villers Bocage, St Pierre la Vielle, Gheel.

9th DLI Battalion:
They served in N Africa, Zt el Mrassas, Point 174; El Alamein, Mareth. Landing in Sicily seeing action at Primosole Bridge and in NW Europe: Villers Bocage, Tilly-sur-Seulles, St. Pierre la Vielle; Gheel, Roer, Ibbenburen.

10th DLI Battalion:
They served in France during 1940, in Iceland in the defence of Rauray and in NW Europe from 1944.

11th Battalion:
They served in France during 1940, in Iceland in the defence of Rauray and in NW Europe from 1944.

12th DLI Battalion:
They were transferred to the Black Watch in late 1939 and re-named the 1st Battalion the Tyneside Scottish, serving with the BEF to France in 1940, served in Iceland between October 1940 and December 1941, and fought in NW Europe during 1944.

13th DLI Battalion:
Was a Home Defence Battalion

16th DLI Battalion:
They landed at Salerno in September 1943. The 1st Battalion arrived later and was almost wiped out on the island of Cos in the eastern Mediterranean in 1943. (Both Battalions were still in Italy when the war ended in May 1945.)

18th DLI Battalion:
Was a Home Defence Battalion, formed from the 13th Btn. in 1941

30th DLI Battalion:
Was formed in 1941 by a merger of the 13th and 18th Battalions. Their role was in Home Defence.

Durham Light Infantry during WW1

The Regiment was awarded 67 Battle Honours, 6 Victoria Crosses and lost 12,530 men during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Nowshera, India and remained here throughout the war.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Lichfield as part of the 18th Brigade of the 6th Division and then moved to Dunfermline and moved to Cambridge.
10.09.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at St. Nazaire and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
1914
The actions on the Aisne heights.
1915
The action at Hooge
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.
1917
The Battle of Hill 70, The Cambrai operations
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Advance in Flanders, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle.
11.11.1916 Ended the war at Busigny, France

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Newcastle-on-Tyne and then moved to South Shields where it remained.

4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Barnard Castle and then moved to Tyne Defences and then Killingworth.
Jan 1915 Moved to Forest Hall, Newcastle and then Seaham Harbour where it remained.

1/5th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Stockton-on-Tees as part of the York & Durham Brigade of the Northumbrian Division and then moved to Hartlepool as part of the coast defence.
05.09.1914 Moved to Ravensworth Park, Gateshead and then Newcastle.
18.04.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne.
14.05.1915 The formation became the 150th Brigade of the 50th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Battle of St Julien, The Battle of Frezenburg Ridge, The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge.
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Wancourt Ridge, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
12.02.1918 Transferred to the 151st Brigade of the 50th Division;
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of the Aisne.
15.07.1918 Reduced to training cadre and transferred to defence of Lines of Communication.
16.08.1918 Transferred to the 117th Brigade of the 39th Division which was engaged in training American Troops.
09.11.1918 Disbanded in France.

1/6th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Auckland as part of the Durham Light Infantry Brigade of the Northumbrian Division and then moved to Bolden Colliery and then Ravensworth Park and then Newcastle.
17.04.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne.
14.05.1915 The formation became the 151st Brigade of the 50th Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Battle of St Julien, The Battle of Frezenburg Ridge, The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge.
03.06.1915 Amalgamated with the 1/8th Battalion to form the 6/8th Battalion due to severe casualties at Ypres.
11.08.1915 Resumed identity;
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Wancourt Ridge, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of the Aisne.
15.07.1918 Reduced to training cadre as part of the Lines of Communication
16.08.1918 Transferred to the 117th Brigade of the 39th Division which was engaged in training American Troops.
06.11.1918 Disbanded in France.

1/7th & 1/8th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 The 1/7th stationed at Sunderland and the 1/8th as part of the Durham Light Infantry Brigade of the Northumbrian Division and part of coastal defence.
Sept 1914 Moved to Ravensworth Park and then Newcastle.
17.04.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne.
14.05.1915 Formation became the 151st Brigade of the 50th Division
1915
The Battle of St Julien, The Battle of Frezenburg Ridge, The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge.
16.11.1915 Became the Pioneer Battalion of the 50th Division
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Wancourt Ridge, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
20.06.1918 Transferred to the 8th Division.
03.07.1918 Absorbed the 22nd Battalion.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The actions of Villers-Bretonneux, The Battle of the Aisne 1918, The Battle of the Scarpe, The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Harchies N.E. of Conde, Belgium.

1/9th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Gateshead as part of the Durham Light Infantry Brigade of the Northumbrian Division and then moved to Bolden Colliery and then Ravensworth Park and then Newcastle.
17.04.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne.
14.05.1915 The formation became the 151st Brigade of the 50th Division and engaged in various actions including;
1915
The Battle of St Julien, The Battle of Frezenburg Ridge, The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge.
03.06.1915 Amalgamated with the 1/8th Battalion to form the 6/8th Battalion due to severe casualties at Ypres.
11.08.1915 Resumed identity;
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Wancourt Ridge, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
12.02.1918 Transferred to the 62nd Division as a Pioneer Battalion and the Division took part in various actions including;
1918
The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras 1918, The Battle of the Tardenois, The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Queant Line, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of the Selle, The capture of Solesmes, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Sous-le-Bois Maubege, France.

2/5th Battalion Territorial Force
Sept 1914 Formed at Stockton-on-Tees.
Mar 1915 Moved to Long Benton, Newcastle to join the 189th Brigade of the 63rd Division and then moved to Cramlington and then Retford.
July 1916 The 63rd Division was broken up and then 189th Brigade moved to Catterick.
31.10.1916 Became Garrison Guard and deployed to Salonika via Havre and Marseilles.
15.11.1916 Attached to XVI Corps Troops.
01.03.1917 Transferred to the 228th Brigade of the 28th Division and engaged in various actions including;
The Battle of Doiran and The pursuit to the Strumica valley.
30.09.1918 Ended the war near Doiran, Macedonia.

2/6th Battalion Territorial Force
Sept 1914 Formed at Ravensworth Park near Gateshead.
1915 Moved to Heworth as part of the 190th Brigade of the 63rd Division.
Nov 1915 Moved to Doncaster.
July 1916 The 63rd Division broken up and the 190th Brigade moved to Catterick.
29.11.1916 Moved to Andover and transferred to the 214th Brigade of the 71st Division.
Mar 1917 Moved to Colchester.
Sept 1917 Moved to Frinton, Essex and joined the 226th Brigade.
01.05.1918 Became a Garrison Guard Battalion and deployed to France landing at Calais and joined the 177th Brigade of the 59th Division.
16.07.1918 The title of 'Garrison' dropped and the Division engaged in various actions including;
The Battle of Albert, The general final advance in Artois and Flanders.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Lessines, Belgium.

2/7th Battalion Territorial Force
16.09.1914 Formed at Sunderland.
Early 1915 Moved to Heworth, Gateshead to join the 190th Brigade of the 63rd Division.
Nov 1915 Moved to Doncaster.
July 1916 The 63rd Division broken up and the 190th Brigade moved to Catterick.
29.11.1916 Moved to Andover and transferred to the 214th Brigade of the 71st Division.
Mar 1917 Moved to Colchester.
12.12.1918 Transferred to the 214th Brigade of the 67th Division.
Sept 1918 Became a Garrison Guard Battalion leaving the 67th Division.
07.10.1918 Embarked for North Russia stationed at Archangel to support the anti-Bolshevik ‘White’ forces against the Red Army during the Russian Civil War.

2/8th Battalion Territorial Force
Oct 1914 Formed at Durham.
Early 1915 Moved to Heworth, Gateshead to join the 190th Brigade of the 63rd Division.
Nov 1915 Moved to Doncaster.
July 1916 The 63rd Division broken up and the 190th Brigade moved to Catterick.
29.11.1916 Moved to Basingstoke and transferred to the 214th Brigade of the 71st Division.
Mar 1917 Moved to Colchester.
Dec 1917 Disbanded.

2/9th Battalion Territorial Force
11.09.1914 Formed at Ravensworth Park.
Early 1915 Moved to Heworth, Gateshead to join the 190th Brigade of the 63rd Division.
Nov 1915 Moved to Doncaster.
July 1916 The 63rd Division broken up and the 190th Brigade moved to Catterick.
Nov 1916 Embarked for Salonika from Southampton via Havre and Marseilles becoming Army Troops and remained in Salonika until the end of the war.

3/5th 3/6th 3/7th 3/8th & 3/9th Battalion Territorial Force
June 1915 Formed at home stations and then became the 5th 6th 7th 8th & 9th Reserve Battalions.
01.09.1916 The 5th absorbed the others at Newcastle as part of the Northumbrian Reserve Brigade.
Oct 1916 Moved to Redcar & Catterick.
Summer 1917 Moved to Hornsea, Yorkshire.
Spring 1918 Moved to Sutton-on-Hull where it remained.

10th (Service) Battalion
22.08.1914 Formed at Newcastle as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Woking to join the 43rd Brigade of the 14th Division and then moved to Aldershot.
Nov 1914 Moved to Witley.
Feb 1915 Moved to Corunna Barracks, Aldershot.
21.05.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Battle of Loos
1916
German gas attacks near Hulluch, The defence of the Kink position, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Le Transloy.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Pilckem, The Battle of Langemark.
12.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)
Sept 1914 Formed at Newcastle as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Woking to join the 61st Brigade of the 20th Division and then moved to Pirbright.
06.01.1915 Became a Pioneer Battalion of the 20th Division.
Feb 1915 Moved to Witley and then Larkhill.
20.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
Trench familiarisation and training in Fleurbaix area.
1916
The Battle of Mount Sorrel, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Guillemont, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Cambrai Operations.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of Valenciennes, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Feignies N.W. Maubeuge, France

12th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Newcastle as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Bullswater, Pirbright to join the 68th Brigade of the 23rd Division and then moved to Malplaquet Barracks, Aldershot.
Feb 1915 Moved to Willesborough, Ashford.
May 1915 Moved to Bramshott, Hampshire.
26.08.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
1915
Trench familiarisation as part of the 20th (Light) and 27th Divisions. Took control of the front line at Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart road and at Bois Grenier.
1916
Relieved the French 17th Division in the Carency sector between the Boyau de l'Ersatz and the Souchez River. The German Attack on Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy, The capture of Le Sars.
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Menin Road, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
Nov 1917 Deployed to Italy to strengthen the Italian resistance after a recent disaster at the Battle of Caporetto and engaged in various actions including;
1918
The fighting on the Asiago Plateau, The Battle of Vittorio Veneto, including the passage of the Piave and The Battle of Monticano.
04.11.1918 Ended the war at Talponedo N.W. of Pordenone, Italy.

13th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Newcastle as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Bullswater, Pirbright to join the 68th Brigade of the 23rd Division and then moved to Malplaquet Barracks, Aldershot.
Feb 1915 Moved to Willesborough, Ashford.
May 1915 Moved to Bramshott, Hampshire.
26.08.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
Trench familiarisation as part of the 20th (Light) and 27th Divisions. Took control of the front line at Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart road and at Bois Grenier.
1916
Relieved the French 17th Division in the Carency sector between the Boyau de l'Ersatz and the Souchez River. The German Attack on Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy, The capture of Le Sars.
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Menin Road, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
Nov 1917 Deployed to Italy to strengthen the Italian resistance after a recent disaster at the Battle of Caporetto and engaged in various actions including;
1918
The fighting on the Asiago Plateau, The Battle of Vittorio Veneto.
14.09.1918 Returned to France leaving the 23rd Division and joined the 74th Brigade of the 25th Division at St. Riquier.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Bousies north of Le Cateau, France.

14th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Newcastle as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Aylesbury to join the 64th Brigade of the 21st Division.
Oct 1914 Moved to Halton Park and then to High Wycombe and then back to Halton Park.
July 1915 Moved to Witley, Surrey.
11.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
1915
The Battle of Loos
28.11.1915 Transferred to the 18th Brigade of the 6th Division;
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.
1917
The Battle of Hill 70, The Cambrai operations
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Advance in Flanders, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle.
01.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

15th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Newcastle as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Halton Park and join the 64th brigade of the 21st Division and then moved to Maidenhead.
April 1915 Moved to Halton Park and then Witley, Surrey
11.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
1915
The Battle of Loos (the Division suffered over 3,800 casualties and took the rest of the year to rebuild)
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The flanking operations around Bullecourt, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Second Battle of Passchendaele, The Cambrai Operations.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The First Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Messines, The Second Battle of Kemmel, The Battle of the Aisne 1918, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The Battle of the Selle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Berlaimont, France.

16th (Reserve) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Durham as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) and joined the 89th Brigade of the 30th Division.
10.04.1915 Became a 2nd reserve battalion and the 89th Brigade became the 1st Reserve Brigade.
July 1915 Moved to Darlington and then Rugeley, Cannock Chase.
01.09.1916 became the 1st Training Reserve Battalion.

17th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed at Barnard Castle as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) and joined the 89th Brigade of the 30th Division.
10.04.1915 Became a 2nd reserve battalion and the 89th Brigade became the 1st Reserve Brigade.
July 1915 Moved to Darlington and then Rugeley, Cannock Chase.
01.09.1916 Became 2nd Training Reserve Battalion.

18th (Service) Battalion (1st County)
10.09.1914 Formed by Col. R Burdon and a Committee (with the Earl of Durham as president) at Cocken Hall NNE of Durham and then moved to Fencehouse near Houghton le Spring.
Feb 1915 Moved to Cocken Hall and then back to Fencehouse and then Cramlington, Northumberland and then to Ripon and joined the 93rd Brigade of the 31st Division.
15.08.1915 Taken over by the War Office.
Sept 1915 Moved to Fovant, Wiltshire.
06.12.1915 Embarked for Egypt from Liverpool arriving at Port Said and took over defence of the Suez Canal.
06.03.1916 Embarked for France from Port Said arriving at Marseilles and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Ancre.
1917
Operations on the Ancre, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Oppy Wood,
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Defence of Nieppe Forest, The attack at La Becque, The capture of Vieux Berquin, The Battle of Ypres, The action of Tieghem.
11.11.1918 Ended the war moving to Quesnau east of Renaix, Belgium.

19th (Service) Battalion (2nd County)
13.01.1915 Formed at Durham by the Durham Parliamentary Recruiting Committee as a bantam battalion.
May 1915 Moved to Cocken Hall and then Masham, Yorkshire to join the 106th Brigade of the 35th Division.
July 1915 Moved to Perham Down, Salisbury Plain.
15.08.1915 Taken over by the War Office.
01.02.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
1916
The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The fighting for Arrow Head Copse and Maltz Horn Farm, The fighting for Falfemont Farm.
Jan 1917 After medical examination ceased to be a bantam battalion, removing unfit men to the Labour Corps.
1917
The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The fighting in Houthulst Forest, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
08.02.1918 Transferred to the 104th Brigade of the same Division.
1918
The First Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Ypres, The Battle of Courtrai, The action of Tieghem.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Everbecq west of Grammont

20th (Service) Battalion (Wearside)
10.07.1915 Formed at Sunderland by the Mayor and a Committee.
Aug 1915 Moved to Wensley Dale and then to Barnard Castle, County Durham.
Jan 1916 Taken over by the War Office and then moved to Aldershot as part of the 123rd Brigade of the 41st Division.
05.05.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of the Menin Road, Operations on the Flanders coast.
Nov 1917 Deployed to Italy to strengthen the Italian resistance after a recent disaster at the Battle of Caporetto and stationed at Locon Plage.
14.11.1917 Moved to Mantua area.
Mar 1918 Returned to France at Doullens.
17.03.1918 Transferred to the 124th Brigade of the same Division.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Arras, The Battles of the Lys, The Advance in Flanders, The Battle of Ypres, The Battle of Courtrai, The action of Ooteghem.
11.11.1918 Ended the war west of Nederbrakel, Belgium.

21st (Reserve) Battalion
July 1915 Formed at Cocken Hall from the depot companies of the 18th & 20th Battalion as a local reserve battalion.
Nov 1915 Moved to Catterick to join the 20th Reserve Brigade.
April 1916 Moved to Hornsea, Yorkshire.
01.09.1916 Became the 87th Training Reserve Battalion.

22nd (Service) Battalion (3rd Country Pioneers)
01.10.1915 Formed by the Durham Recruiting Committee and then moved to Hartlepool.
09.06.1916 Taken over by the War Office and moved to Catterick.
17.06.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre as part of the 19th Division.
02.07.1916 Became a Pioneer Battalion of the 8th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line.
03.07.1918 Absorbed by the 1/7th Battalion.

23rd (Reserve) Battalion
Oct 1915 Formed at Catterick from the depot companies of the 19th Battalion as a reserve battalion.
April 1916 Moved to Atwick near Hornsea as part of the 20th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Absorbed into the Training Reserve Battalions.

25th (Works) Battalions
May 1916 Formed at Pocklington and then moved to Skipton.
April 1917 Transferred to the Labour Corps of the 7th Labour Battalion.

26th Battalion Territorial Force
01.01.1917 Formed at Clacton from the 23rd Provisional Battalion as part of the 222nd Brigade.
April 1917 Moved to Westgate.

27th Battalion Territorial Force
01.01.1917 Formed at St. Osyth from the 25rd Provisional Battalion as part of the 222nd Brigade.
April 1917 Moved to Isle of Thanet, Kent.

28th (Home Service) Battalion
27.04.1918 Formed at Frinton, Essex to replace the 2/6th Battalion as part of the 226th Brigade.

29th (Service) Battalions
01.06.1918 Formed at Margate and then moved to Brookwood, Aldershot and absorbed the 2/7th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment as part of the 41st Brigade of the 14th Division.
03.07.1918 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
The Battle of Ypres 1918 and the final advance in Flanders.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Herseaux east of Tourcoing, Belgium.

1st (Home Service) Garrison Battalion
June 1916 Formed at Blyth, Northumberland.
01.04.1917 Moved to Ireland stationed at Cork and became the 1st (Home Service) Garrison Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

51st (Graduated) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed at Ipswich from the 258th Graduated Battalion (previously the 4th T.R. Battalion) as part of the 215th Brigade of the 72nd Division.
15.01.1918 Transferred to the 206th Brigade of the 69th Division.
Mar 1918 Moved to Guisborough, Yorkshire and then Catterick.

52nd (Graduated) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed at Arbour Lane, Chelmsford from the 273rd Graduated Battalion (previously the 86th T.R. Battalion) as part of the 220th Brigade of the 73rd Division.
15.01.1918 Transferred to the 206th Brigade of the 69th Division and moved to Stockton.
Mar 1918 Moved to Guisborough, Yorkshire and then Catterick.

53rd (Young Soldier) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed at Rugeley, Cannock Chase from the 2nd T.R. Battalion.
Nov 1918 Moved to Clipstone, Nottinghamshire.

Forces Reunited Gallery Images Matching Durham Light Infantry

Loading...

Memories of Durham Light Infantry

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

Durham Light Infantry, Cyprus UN Tour in 1968

Written by Trevor Peart

210 years of service and many a battle. The last posting of the Faithful Durhams, always remember that year as one the saddest of my career is when we were informed that best regiment in the British Army was to be disbanded, it brought many a tear to every one in the regiment, even our CO was moved to tears, I had enjoyed my best years in Army until then,I had joined in 1966 after spending 2 years as a Junior bandsman,bugler in the 6th Battalion D.L.I. and was my county regiment,most of my family had served with the D.L.I. in most conflicts,during the first and second world wars, so it was with great sadness to realize that I would be the last of my generation to have the honor of serving in the
Durham Light Infantry, and with many good friends, whom I still have contact with today to share the good and not so good times, but to all I served with who remember me I wish them well, and those who don’t must have bad memories, here’s wishing you all well. TREVOR

Durham Light Infantry, in 1960

Written by kenneth (jacko) jackson

my proudest moment other than having my own family Was the day i joined the Durhams and got myself a second family and its still my second family. Having grown up in London and leaving it for the first time in my life. This was the moment that changed my life forever and the start of a great love affair with the north east and the Geordies. Also the great mates i had while i served and still have today. Thank you to all you Durhams that served from the beginning to the end. The greatest Regiment and the best you could serve with.

Durham Light Infantry in 1957

Written by John Colston

I was in A company and Major Fenner was our company commander, early in January the company went up to the Yemen boarder to sort out the Yemen army who came over the boarder and shot a few Aden Protector Levies. On arrival we set up our base camp and started to remove the Yemei who put up a resistance anyway we attacked the intruders and sorted out the enemy we then took over the fort and held it. next day we were relieved by another platoon. We then went to base camp to rearm to do the next assault but we had to climb up 300feet to take the next objective,we held up because the enemy was pinning us down so Major Fenner radio for air support the two Vampires fighters arrived and fired rockets and also cannon fire and we moved up as the fighters were blasting the enemy any way we got to our objective and took up a defensive position for four days as we could command the valley.
On one occasion i was with Alan 04 and we were on stand to but had to go numbers i said we were on stand to but never made any difference he went anyway the next a shot was fired so up go’s the flares to light the sky and I saw Alan 04 running along the skyline with his trousers around his ankles swearing things about his parents. When he came back to me he showed me his hat comical as we called them with two bullet holes in it, he was lucky that he servived. I think that the hat is now in the Regimental Museum in Durham City.

Forces Reunited Forum Posts Involving Durham Light Infantry

"Can anyone help me find any infomation on my dads army career his N0  23608470 William James Mcgufie of the Durham Light Infantry, between the years of 1954 - 1960 his 2 years national service. Any info would be appreciated. Last edited by Lynda Mcguffie"
Click For More

"...his days forgotten in Highroyds Asylum in Ilkley, Yorkshire in 1941. It is stated that there are no records for this place despite the fact that it only closed in 1974. Can anybody out there give me any info at all? I’ve been in touch with the Durham Light Infantry people who cannot seem to help and am beginning to wonder if his mother in law who registered his sons birth got his regiment wrong. I’d like to know if he would have been conscripted just before the end of the war and if so why did..."
Click For More

"...his days forgotten in Highroyds Asylum in Ilkley, Yorkshire in 1941. It is stated that there are no records for this place despite the fact that it only closed in 1974. Can anybody out there give me any info at all? I’ve been in touch with the Durham Light Infantry people who cannot seem to help and am beginning to wonder if his mother in law who registered his sons birth got his regiment wrong. I’d like to know if he would have been conscripted just before the end of the war and if so why did..."
Click For More

"Got it Ken. Thr Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders were always referred to by us as "The Argyll & Bolton Wanderers" Durham Light Infantry -the DLI - were the "Dirty Little Imps" There are others.Keep remembering. Stan D "
Click For More

"...chance to be beguiled by an RSM the one ocassion I did come across one(not literally) was in Hong Kong whilst practicing for a Royal Guard we had to march with the Army boys only problem was totally different timing add to this the Gurkas and the Durham light infantry all marching at a different pace the poor bloke was having an coronary and resorted to what he knew best which was beasting the kings stating the next man that does something wrong is going to jail some poor s*d at the front..."
Click For More

Down arrow Up arrow 1 people in our Crimean War records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 53 people in our Victorian Conflicts records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 1440 people in our Boer War records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 23294 people in our WW1 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 9841 people in our WW2 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 860 people in our Post WW2 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 186 people in our Forces Reunited records
Filter by Surname:

Battles / Campaigns

Loos (1915) WW1

The Battle of Loos fought September 25th 1915 and effectively ended on September 28th. The British suffered 50,000 casualties while the Germans lost about 25,000 men.


Arras (1917) WW1

The Battle of Arras was fought between April 9 and May 16 1917

Cambrai (1917) WW1

The Battle of Cambai began on November 20, 1917 when the British launched the first attacked designed for their new secret weapon the tank. 476 tanks moved against the German forces. The tank forces made great gains and in some places moved 4-5 deep in to enemy lines . The advancement surprised the British as much as it did the Germans. This battle showed everyone how a well-planned tank attack could be used to break through enemy lines.

Messines (1917) WW1

The Battle of Messines launched on June 7th and ended June 14th 1917

Passchendale (1917) WW1

The Battle of Passendale July 31st - November 6th 1917. Officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres, Passchendaele became infamous not only for the scale of casualties, but also for the mud.

1

Active From: 1758 - 1968

One moment...

Please wait while we connect with Facebook

Loading