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Unit History: Manchester Regiment

Manchester Regiment The Manchester Regiment was formed on the 1st July 1881 when the 63rd and 96th Regiments of Foot were amalgamated under the Childers Reform. However the Regiment can trace its history back a further 123 years prior to this date.

In 1758 the 2nd Battalion of the 8th Regiment of Foot became an independent Regiment and renumbered as the 63rd Regiment of Foot. It was swiftly deployed to the West Indies for 5 years, during the Seven Year’s War capturing the island of Guadeloupe. In 1775 after 12 years garrison duty in Ireland the Regiment went to serve in the American Revolutionary War (1775-83) fighting at Bunker Hill, Brooklyn, Eutaw Springs, Brandywine and Fort Clinton. In 1782 all British Regiments without Royal titles were awarded county titles in order to aid recruitment therefore, the 63rd became the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment of Foot. The Regiment returned to the West Indies in 1795 to capture various French and Dutch controlled Islands during the French Revolutionary War. It returned to Europe in 1799 and took part in campaigns in the Netherlands and Portugal before returning to the West Indies in 1808 until 1819. In 1829 the Regiment escorted convict ships to New South Wales and Tasmania and remained on garrison duties there until 1833, when it was deployed to India and then on to Burma in 1838. The Regiment went on to serve during the Crimean War (1853–56) in 1854 fighting at the Battle of Inkerman and the Siege of Sevastopol.

The 96th latest formation was raised in Manchester in 1824, having been raised and disbanded 4 times since 1761. It inherited the history and battle honours of its predecessors before providing detachments for convict ships sailing to New South Wales and Tasmania. The Regiment remained in the region until 1849 fighting in the New Zealand Wars (1845–72). In 1849 the Regiment was deployed to India and served under the East India Company and then moved to South Africa in 1863 before returning to India in 1868 for 5 years. In 1874 the Regiment was awarded the title of the 96th (Queen’s Own Germans) Regiment of Foot, acknowledging the origins of the Regiment, from the Minorca Regiment (1798-1818). The Minorca was formed of German-speaking prisoners of war, formerly in Spanish service who fought for the British in the Egyptian Campaign and awarded the title ‘Queen’s Own German’ in 1805 for bravery.

In 1881 the Childers Reform restructured the British army infantry regiments into a network of multi-battalion regiments each having two regular and two militia battalions. The 63rd (West Suffolk) and 96th Regiments of Foot were amalgamated to form The Manchester Regiment. The newly formed Regiment’s early history was mainly involved in India, where it was engaged in action on the volatile North-West Frontier from 1882-1891. The 1st Manchester Battalion was involved in the defence of the town of Ladysmith during the 118-day siege. On the 6th January 1900, 16 soldiers of the 1st Manchester Battalion came under attack at Wagon Hill, after 15 hours of combat only two of these soldiers survived; Privates Pitts and Scott. Both of these men received the Victoria Cross for their actions and gave the regiment its first two V.C.’s. Ladysmith was finally relived on 28th February 1900 by a force under the command of General Redvers Buller. The regiment went on to serve during the Boer War (1899-1902) and two World Wars.

From 1945 to 1994 the Regiment was part of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) occupying Germany. In 1958 The Regiment was amalgamated with the King's Regiment (Liverpool), to form the King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool). In 2004 the British infantry was restructured once again and the King's Regiment was merged with King's Own Royal Border Regiment and The Queen's Lancashire Regiment to form The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border).

Manchester 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 formed an extra 38 battalions in addition to the pre-war establishment of two Regular and two Militia and six Territorial Battalions, this was mainly due to the volume of volunteers, it was awarded 72 Battle Honours and 11 Victoria Crosses losing 1,3770 men during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Jullundar at the outbreak of war, as part of the Jullundur Brigade of the 3rd (Lahore) Division.
29.08.1914 Mobilised for war and sailed for Europe from Karachi, landing at Marseilles on 26.09.1914. The Division was part of Indian Expeditionary Force A sent to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) fighting in France and was engaged on the Western Front involved in;
During 1914
The Battle of La Bassee, The First Battle of Messines and The Battles of Armentieres.
During 1915
1914/15 winter operations, the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, The Battle of Aubers Ridge, The Battle of Festubert and The Battle of Loos.
10.12.1916 Received orders to move to Mesopotamia and embarked at Marseilles for Basra and arriving 08.01.1916. this was to reinforce the British army fighting the Ottoman Empire in that area and assist in the liberation of Baghdad.
Mar 1918 Moved to Egypt.
31.10.1918 Transferred to the 8th Indian Brigade of the same Division and moved to Palestine, Jaljulye N.E. of Jaffa. Where the Division was involved in various actions;
The defence of Egypt, The invasion of Palestine; the capture of Beersheba and Gaza, entering Jerusalem on 11.12.1917, and the defeat of the Turks and capture of Damascus, Beirut, and Aleppo.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Curragh, Ireland at the outbreak of war, as part of the 14th Brigade of the 5th Division.
17.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre, this Division part of the original British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and was involved in action on the Western Front including;
During 1914
The Battle of Mons and subsequent retreat, The Battle of Le Cateau and the Affair of Crepy-en-Valois, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, The Battles of La Bassee and Messines 1914, The First Battle of Ypres.
Dec 1914 This Battalion took part in the Christmas Truce of 1914.
During 1915
The Second Battle of Ypres and the Capture of Hill 60.
30.12.1915 the 14th Brigade transferred to the 32nd Division in order to strengthen the inexperienced units, involved in action on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
Operations on the Ancre, The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line.
During 1918
The First Battle of Arras, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of the Sambre, including the passage of the Oise-Sambre Canal.
06.02.1918 Transferred to the 96th Brigade of the 32nd Division.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Sambreton south of Landrecies.

3rd (Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester at the outbreak of war.
Aug 1914 Moved to Humber Defences
Oct 1914 The 3rd moved to Cleethorpes and the 4th moved to Riby, both Battalions remained in Lincolnshire until the end of the war.

1/5th 1/6th 1/7th and 1/8th Battalions Territorial Forces
04.08.1914 The 1/5th Stationed at Wigan, Greater Manchester, the 1/6th stationed at Hulme, Manchester, the 1/7th stationed at Burlington Street, Manchester and the 1/8th stationed at Ardwick near Manchester at the outbreak of war. All were part of the Manchester Brigade of the East Lancashire Division and moved to Rochdale at the end of Aug.
10.09.1914 Mobilised for war and embarked for Alexandria from Southampton arriving 25.09.1914. the Division moved to Cairo and on to defend the Suez Canal except The Manchester Brigade which remained at Alexandria to garrison key military installations.
06.05.1915 Landed at Gallipoli and transferred to the 127th Brigade of the 42nd Division. The Division was involved in attempts to break out of the Helles bridgehead The Battle of Krithia Vineyard; an unsuccessful attempt to divert Turk attention from a large British landing.
Jan 1916 Due to a high number of casualties the Division was down to one third of its original strength and was evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
Mar 1917 Moved to France where the Division was involved in actions on the Western Front including; The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
Feb 1918 The 1/8th Battalion transferred to 126th Brigade of the same Division and all Battalions continued to engage in actions on the Western Front;
During 1918
The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras, The Battle of the Ancre, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, the Final Advance in Picardy.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Hautmont area, S.W. of Maubeuge.

1/9th Battalions Territorial Forces
04.08.1914 Stationed at Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester at the outbreak of war, as part of the East Lancashire Brigade of the East Lancashire Division. Moved to Bury at the end of Aug.
10.09.1914 Mobilised for war and embarked for Alexandria from Southampton arriving 25.09.1914. The Division moved to Cairo and on to defend the Suez Canal except The Manchester Brigade which remained at Alexandria to garrison key military installations.
10.05.1915 Landed at Gallipoli and transferred to the 126th Brigade of the 42nd Division. The Division was involved in attempts to break out of the Helles bridgehead The Battle of Krithia Vineyard; an unsuccessful attempt to divert Turk attention from a large British landing.
Dec 1915 Due to a high number of casualties the Division was down to one third of its original strength and was evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
Mar 1917 Moved to France and the Division was involved in actions on the Western Front including; The Second Battle of Passchendaele
Feb 1918 Absorbed the 2/9th Battalion and became the 9th Battalion transferred to the 198th Brigade of the 66th Division.
April 1918 Reduced to training cadre.
22.07.1918 Transferred to the 199th Brigade in the 66th Division.
13.08.1918 reconstituted by absorbing the 13th Battalion (from the 22nd Division), where they were involved in actions on the Western Front; The Battle of Cambrai, The Pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, The Final Advance in Picardy.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Solre-le-Chateau east of Avesnes. This Division was part of the British Occupying Force and demobilisation didn’t start until 25.03.1919.

1/10th Battalions Territorial Forces
04.08.1914 Stationed at Oldham, Greater Manchester at the outbreak of war, as part of the East Lancashire Brigade of the East Lancashire Division. Moved to Bury at the end of Aug.
10.09.1914 Mobilised for war and embarked for Alexandria from Southampton arriving 25.09.1914. The Division moved to Cairo and on to defend the Suez Canal except The Manchester Brigade which remained at Alexandria to garrison key military installations.
10.05.1915 Landed at Gallipoli and transferred to the 126th Brigade of the 42nd Division. The Division was involved in attempts to break out of the Helles bridgehead and The Battle of Krithia Vineyard; an unsuccessful attempt to divert Turk attention from a large British landing.
Dec 1915 Due to a high number of casualties from combat and disease the Division was down to one third of its original strength and evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt to help defend the Suez Canal.
Mar 1917 Moved to France where the Division was involved in actions on the Western Front including; The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
During 1918
The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras, The Battle of the Ancre, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, the Final Advance in Picardy.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Hautmont area, S.W. of Maubeuge.

2/5th 2/6th 2/7th Battalion Territorial Forces and 2/8th (Ardwick) Battalion Territorial Forces
Aug 1914 the 2/5th formed at Wigan, the 2/6th and 2/7th formed in Manchester and the 2/8th formed in Ardwick.
Nov 1914 All Battalions joined the 199th Brigade of the 66th Division and remained in Lancashire until May 1915.
Mar 1916 Moved to Colchester.
Feb 1917 Mobilised for war and landed in France where the Division was involved in action on the western front including;
The Operations on the Flanders Coast, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The Third Battles of the Ypres.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres.
April 1918 The Division was reduced to cadre as a result of the losses it had suffered.
13.02.1918 The 2/8th disbanded in France.
31.07.1918 The 2/5th the 2/6th and the 2/7th all disbanded in France.

2/9th 2/10th Battalion Territorial Forces
Aug 1914 The 2/9th formed at Ashton-under-Lyne and the 2/10th formed at Oldham.
Nov 1914 Both joined the 198th Brigade of the 66th Division and remained in Lancashire until May 1915.
Mar 1916 Moved to Colchester.
Feb 1917 Mobilised for war and landed in France where the Division was involved in action on the western front including;
The Operations on the Flanders Coast, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The Third Battles of the Ypres.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres.
April 1918 The Division was reduced to cadre as a result of the losses it had suffered.
15.02.1918 The 2/10th disbanded in France.
19.02.1918 The 2/9th absorbed by the 1/9th Battalion.

3/5th 3/6th and 3/7th Battalion Territorial Forces
06-07.03.1915 The 3/6th and 3/7th formed at Manchester, 05.05.1915 The 3/5th formed at Wigan.
Early 1916 Moved to Witley, Surrey.
08.04.1916 Became the 5th 6th and 7th Reserve Battalions.
01.09.1916 The 5th Reserve Battalion absorbed into the 6th and 7th Battalions and joined the East Lancashire Reserve Brigade.
Oct 1916 Moved to Southport and then to Ripon.
July 1917 Moved to Scarborough where it remained.

3/8th 3/9th and 3/10th Battalion Territorial Forces
Mar 1915 The 3/8th formed at Ardwick the 3/9th formed at Ashton-under-Lyne and the 3/10th formed at Oldham.
Early 1916 Moved to Witley, Surrey.
08.04.1916 Became the 8th 9th and 10th Reserve Battalions.
01.09.1916 The 8th Reserve Battalion absorbed into the 9th and 10th Battalions and joined the East Lancashire Reserve Brigade.
Oct 1916 Moved to Southport and then to Ripon and then Hunmanby.
July 1917 Moved to Filey, Scarborough where it remained.

11th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Ashton-under-Lyne as part of the First New Army (K1), then moved to Grantham and joined the 34th Brigade of the 11th Division.
April 1915 Moved to Witley.
30.06.1915 Embarked for Mudros, Greece and then Imbros, Turkey from Liverpool.
06.08.1915 Landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli where the Division was involved in action against the Turks at The Battle of Scimitar Hill and attack on Hill 60.
Dec 1915 Due to the heavy losses the Division was evacuated to Imbros and then moved to Egypt to help defend the Suez Canal.
July 1916 Moved to France where the Division was involved in actions on the Western Front including;
The capture of the Wundt-Werk, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Thiepval.
During 1917
Operations on the Ancre, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Langemarck, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle.
During 1918
The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Quant Line, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battles of the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of the Sambre including the passage of the Grand Honelle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, le Camp Perdu N.E. of Bavai.

12th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Ashton-under-Lyne as part of the Second New Army (K2), then moved to Wool and joined the 52nd Brigade of the 17th Division.
Jan 1915 Moved to Wimborne, East Dorset and then to Hursley Park, Hampshire.
15.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne where the Division was engaged in various action on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Actions of Spring 1916, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Delville Wood.
During 1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Roeux, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
24.09.1917 The Battalion absorbed R.H.Q. and two squadrons of the Duke of Lancaster’s Yeomanry.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle,
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, near Beaufort south of Maubeuge.

13th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Ashton-under-Lyne as part of the Third New Army (K3), then moved to Seaford, East Sussex. Originally part of the Army troops of the 25th Division but soon joined the 66th Brigade of the 22nd Division.
Nov 1914 Moved to Eastbourne then back to Seaford and on to Aldershot on May 1915.
Early Sept 1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France.
Oct/Nov 1915 Embarked for Salonika, Greece in order to support the Serbian forces and against the Bulgaria army.
22.06.1918 Left the 22nd Division and moved to France arriving at Abancourt 11.07.1918, and transferred to the 66th Division and was engaged on the Western Front.
13.08.1918 Absorbed into the 9th Battalion of the same Division.

14th (Reserve) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Lichfield as part of the Four New Army (K4) and transferred to the 91st Brigade of the original 30th Division.
10.04.1915 Became the 2nd Reserve Battalion of the 3rd Reserve Brigade.
Jan 1916 Moved to Cannock Chase.
01.09.1916 Became the 14th Training Reserve Battalion of the same Division.

16th (Reserve) Battalion (1st City) and 18th (Reserve) Battalion (3rd City)
28.08.1914 Formed by the City and Lord Mayor of Manchester, then moved to Belton Park in April 1915 and transferred to the 90th Brigade of the original 30th Division.
29.08.1915 Taken over by the War Office and moved to Larkhill, Wiltshire in Sept 1915.
06.11.1915 Mobilised for war and landed Boulogne where the Division was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
During 1917
The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Battle of the Scherpenberg.
20.02.1918 The 18th Disbanded in France.
13.05.1918 Due to serve loses in the Battles of the Somme and Lys the Division was reduced to training cadre.
18.06.1918 Transferred to the 42nd Brigade of the 14th Division and return to England at Cowshot Camp in Brookwood and reconstituted with 29th Battalion.
04.07.1918 Returned to the Western Front landing at Boulogne and again engaged in action on the Western Front.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Petit Audenarde N.E. of Roubaix.

17th (Reserve) Battalion (2nd City) and 19th (Reserve) Battalion (4th City)
28.08.1914 Formed by the City and Lord Mayor of Manchester, then moved to Belton Park in April 1915 and the 17th transferred to the 90th Brigade of the original 30th Division.
29.08.1915 Taken over by the War Office and moved to Larkhill, Wiltshire in Sept 1915.
06.11.1915 Mobilised for war and landed Boulogne. The 19th transferred to the 21st Brigade of the same Division and where it was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
During 1917
The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Battle of the Scherpenberg.
06.02.1918 The 19th Disbanded in France.
11.02.1918 Transferred to the 21st Brigade of the 30th Division.
15.05.1918 Due to serve loses in the Battles of the Somme and Lys the Division was reduced to training cadre.
19.06.1918 Transferred to the 66th Division.
30.07.1918 Absorbed into the 13th Battalion at Haudricourt, France.

20th (Reserve) Battalion (5th City) and 21st (Reserve) Battalion (6th City)
08.11.1914 Formed by the City and Lord Mayor of Manchester, then moved to Morecambe and then on to Grantham in April 1915, where they joined the 91st Brigade of the 30th Division.
10.08.1915 Taken over by the War Office and moved to Larkhill, Wiltshire in Sept 1915.
Nov 1915 Mobilised for war and landed Boulogne.
20.12.1915 The 20th transferred to the 22nd Brigade and the 21st transferred to the 91st Brigade of the 7th Division and where it was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Guillemont, Operations on the Ancre
During 1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Arras offensive, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
Nov 1917 Moved to Italy in an effort to strengthen the Italian resistance to the Austria-Hungary army.
13.09.1918 Battalion returned to France and transferred to the 7th Brigade of the 25th Division where the Division was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The Pursuit to and Battle of the Selle and The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Landrecies area.

22nd (Reserve) Battalion (7th City)
21.11.1914 Formed by the City and Lord Mayor of Manchester, then moved to Morecambe and then on to Grantham in April 1915, where they joined the 91st Brigade of the 30th Division.
10.08.1915 Taken over by the War Office and moved to Larkhill, Wiltshire in Sept 1915.
Nov 1915 Mobilised for war and landed Boulogne.
20.12.1915 The 20th transferred to the 22nd Brigade and the 21st transferred to the 91st Brigade of the 7th Division and where it was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Guillemont, Operations on the Ancre
During 1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Arras offensive, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
Nov 1917 Moved to Italy in an effort to strengthen the Italian resistance to the Austria-Hungary army.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Italy, west of Udine.

23rd (Reserve) Battalion (8th City)
21.11.1914 Formed as a bantam Battalion by the City and Lord Mayor of Manchester, then moved to Morecambe and then on to Masham, Yorkshire in June 1915, where they joined the 104th Brigade of the 35th Division.
Aug 1915 Taken over by the War Office and moved to Salisbury Plain.
Jan 1916 Mobilised for war and landed Boulogne, where the Division and where it was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; various Battles of the Somme during 1916.
Early 1917 The Battalion ceased to be a bantam Battalion as Medical inspections rejected 2784 mean for being unfit and underdeveloped. The Division continued to be engaged in action on the Western Front including; The Third Battles of Ypres 1917
16.02.1918 Battalion disbanded in France.

24th (Reserve) Battalion (Oldham Pioneers)
24.10.1914 Formed by the Town and Mayor of Oldham, then moved to Llanfairfechan and then on to Grantham in April 1915, where they joined the 91st Brigade of the 30th Division.
10.08.1915 Taken over by the War Office and moved to Larkhill, Wiltshire in Sept 1915.
Nov 1915 Mobilised for war and landed Boulogne.
20.12.1915 Battalion split between the 91st and 22nd Brigade of the 7th Division and where it was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Guillemont, Operations on the Ancre.
22.05.1916 Became a Pioneer Battalion of the 7th Division and continued to be involved in actions on the Western Front.
During 1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Arras offensive, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
Nov 1917 Moved to Italy in an effort to strengthen the Italian resistance to the Austria-Hungary army.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Italy, west of Udine.

25th 26th and 27th (Reserve) Battalions
Sept 1914 The 25th formed from depot Companies of the 16th 17th and 18thBattalions, the 26th formed from depot Companies of the 19th 20th and 21st Battalions and the 27th formed from the depot Companies of the 22nd 23rd and 24th Battalions to create local Reserve Battalion.
Nov 1915 Moved to Prees Heath, Shropshire and joined the 16th Reserve Brigade, moved to Southport and Altcar, Merseyside.
01.09.1916 the 25th 26th and 27th became the 69th 70th and 71st Training Reserve Battalions.

28th Battalion Territorial Forces
01.01.1917 Formed from the 45th Provisional Battalion (previously the Home Service personnel of the Territorial Forces) in the 219th Brigade of the 73rd Division.
Jan 1917 Moved to Maldon then to Woodham Mortimer in the summer and on to Southend in Oct.
Early 1918 The 73rd Division was broken up and the Battalion disbanded in March 1918.

51st (Graduated) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed from the 225th Graduated Battalion (previously the 50th Training Reserve Battalion) in the 203rd Brigade of the 68th Division at Halesworth, Suffolk.
May 1918 Moved to Yarnmouth and then Herringfleet, Suffolk where it remained.

52nd (Graduated) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed from the 229th Graduated Battalion (previously the 51th Training Reserve Battalion) in the 203rd Brigade of the 68th Division at Southwold, Suffolk.
May 1918 Moved to Yarnmouth and then Herringfleet, Suffolk where it remained.

53rd (Young Soldier) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed from the 74th Training Reserve Battalion (previously the 17th Cheshire Battalion) in the 14th Reserve Brigade at Prees Heath, Shropshire and then to Kinmel, Conwy Wales where it remained.

Manchester Regiment during WW2

On the 26 April the 7th Manchesters saw its last fighting in Bremen, when the city was captured. The 1st Manchesters ended the war in Hamburg when the city surrendered on 3 May.

The 2nd Battalion
The Battalion formed part of the British Expeditionary Force and in April 1940 went to France. After being involved in a major defence, the BEF went into retreat, a vast amount gathered on Dunkirk beach (codenamed "Operation Dynamo") where they joined other armed forces waiting to be evacuated by hundreds of little boats and ships. More than 330,000 soldiers were rescued and taken back to Britain. Of the surviving men of the 2nd Manchesters, more than 300 men were evacuated. Less than 200 remained, fighting until being either captured or killed.
In 1942, the 2nd Manchesters were sent to the sub-continent, stationed firstly in India, then Burma in 1944 where the battalion was involved in a number of conflicts, one of them being the "Battle of Kohima" one of the most intense battles with the Japanese. April 1945, returned to India.

The 5th Battalion
Battalion formed part of the British Expeditionary Force and in April 1940 went to France. After being involved in a major defence, the BEF went into retreat, a vast amount gathered on Dunkirk beach (codenamed "Operation Dynamo") where they joined other armed forces waiting to be evacuated by hundreds of little boats and ships. More than 330,000 soldiers were rescued and taken back to Britain. The 5th were evacuated, having suffered light casualties compared to the 2nd Manchesters. The evacuation began 26th May and ended on 4 June.
In November 1941 the 5th Battalion was redesignated 111 Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (The Manchester Regiment), November 1942 the Battalion became an armoured car regiment of 77 Division,
November 1943 reverted to its original infantry role as 5th Manchesters. In 1944, following Royal Guard duties at Balmoral, Battalion was posted to Malta November 1945 and remained there until November 1946 when the 5th was disbanded.

The 8th (Ardwick) Battalion
The Battalion went to France with BEF in April 1940 and almost immediately transferred to Malta. In 1943 went to the Middle East and the war in Italy. They returned to the UK in October 1944 and finished the war in Northern Ireland then South Wales.

The 9th Battalion
Battalion formed part of the British Expeditionary Force and in April 1940 went to France. After being involved in a major defence, the BEF went into retreat, a vast amount gathered on Dunkirk beach (codenamed "Operation Dynamo") where they joined other armed forces waiting to be evacuated by hundreds of little boats and ships. More than 330,000 soldiers were rescued and taken back to Britain. The 9th were also evacuated, having suffered light casualties compared to the 2nd Battalion. The evacuation began 26th May and ended on 4 June.
In March 1941 the 9th Battalion went to Iceland as part of Iceland ‘C’ Force. It then moved on to Scotland, Orkney & Shetland Islands. 1942 December moved to East Anglia. In 1943 went to Italy, they saw much action during the Battle for the Gothic Line, including the Battle of Montegridolfo. January 1945 went to Greece and Klagenfurt, Austria. They returned to the UK in late 1945.


Manchester Regiment during the Boer War

In 1899 the 1st Manchesters landed in Durban, Natal Colony, just as the Second Boer War broke out. They were soon involved in action, taking part in an engagement in Ladysmith.
On the 29 October, the Siege of Ladysmith began. The 1st Manchester took part in an engagement on the 30 October they reached only half-way to their first objective, then being involved in other duties, covering from high-ground, Lieutenant-General John French's cavalry. The action was not going well, and the British were forced to retreat back to the relative safety of Ladysmith. During this Siege, on 6 January 1900 sixteen soldiers of the 1st Manchesters held a small sector of the Ladysmith perimeter which was under heavy Boer attack. The men defended the position for fifteen hours against determined attacks by a superior number of Boers. Only two survived, Privates Pitts and Scott, and for many hours during the engagement, were the last of the group, though still repulsed the Boer attacks. Both won the Victoria Cross for their astonishing bravery. It was the first two VCs of The Manchester Regiment. By the 28 February, Ladysmith had finally been relieved by forces under the command of General Redvers Buller.

The 2nd Manchester Battalion sailed on the Bavarian on 16th March 1900, and arrived at the Cape on 6th April. They joined the 1st Manchesters. Both battalions of the took part in the offensive that followed the relieving of the besieged towns of Ladysmith, Kimberley and Mafeking. The 1st Manchesters took part in much fighting in the Transvaal, in the Boer South African Republic. The 2nd Manchesters meanwhile, conducted many operations designed to check the Boer commandos in the Orange Free State.

In May 1902 the Treaty of Vereeniging was signed and the war was over. Further reforms occurred after the Boer War, which became known as the Haldane Reforms, after Richard Haldane, the Secretary of State for War, of the government of Prime Minister Asquith. The changes included the creation of an expeditionary force, which would prove so vital in World War I, and the Territorial Force, later the Territorial Army, which would prove equally important in the war that was to follow

Forces Reunited Gallery Images Matching Manchester Regiment

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Memories of Manchester Regiment

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

, MANCHESTER Regiment Ardwick in 1943

Written by Frank Hurst

My farther inlaw was called frank Hurst’ he was called up just before the ww11, He went to Ardwick to registar. He went to DUNKIRK, Frances twice, and all we know is that he rode a motor bike and did something with telephone cables. He told us that once he and a friend had to go out twice to rejoin acable because some frence children kept cutting it. He was also with an American unit for a time.

Forces Reunited Forum Posts Involving Manchester Regiment

"Are there any lads who served in the 9th Manchester Regiment (T.A.) from 1960 onwards. I was a boy soldier in the band and went on to join the Kings . Would be nice to hear from you "
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"Now we know that the amalgamation of regiments is due to start next year, what is going to happen to all the regimental marches. When the Kings Regiment and The Manchester Regiment amalgamated in 1958, it took another 10 years before a new march was produced. "
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"...behind the enemy lines. Where can I find the citation that goes with the awards?     I hope that the following information will help you in your quest. Source: http://www.tameside.gov.uk/leisure/new/lh34.htm >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The Manchester Regiment archives are held at Tameside Local Studies Library.  The archives do not include much personal information on ordinary men.  There is some information on officers, including lists of officers service and a few commissions.  The..."
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"...went off. A few memories are when my big brother made some ’bunks’ and I said they weren’t strong enough. He ’proved’ they were by jumping onto the top one and finishing up on the concrete floor amid a pile of firewood. In Ashton-u-Lyne the Manchester Regiment Museum is situated in the Town Hall and I often have a browse round it. They change the displays from time to time and a couple of years ago they had an Anderson shelter (as shown in the pics) set up. An elderly couple (ahem - maybe..."
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"Hi PAT. First things first we hope you have a fantastic 2008 , from anne and I ,may your god look after you . Now as for the job in hand yes I have made contact with the manchester regimental assn.and the local council,waiting for their reaction. Also put on my pals pages . The state of all the old lads graves in the same graveyard are a mess . Regards .Pat take care . george woolley . [C TROOP SIGS 1954.jpg]"
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Battles / Campaigns

Festubert (1915) WW1

Battle Of Festubert from 15 - 27 May
Forming part of French Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre's Artois Offensive in the spring of 1915 - his second large-scale infantry assault following the Champagne Offensive in December 1914 - the Battle of Festubert, in the Ypres Salient, was fought by the Allies (British, Canadian and Indian troops) against the Germans from 15-27 May 1915. The assault was planned along a three mile front, the attack would take the form of a pincer attack with two assault frontages: a northern one along the Rue du Bois near Port Arthur and Richebourg 'Avoue, and a southern one at Festubert and would initially be made mainly by Indian troops. This would be the first British army night attack of the war.

The Festubert attack was launched by the First British Army under Sir Douglas Haig in response to pressure applied to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) by Joffre, and was the BEF's second attack during the offensive, following an assault upon Neuve Chapelle four days earlier on 9 May.

Preceded by a four day artillery bombardment by over 400 guns firing 100,000 shells, the attack around the village of Festubert was launched at night on 15 May by two divisions of mostly Indian infantry, and made rapid initial progress, despite the failure of the preliminary bombardment to effectively destroy the German Sixth Army front line defences (under Crown Prince Rupprecht). Under attack, the Germans retreated to a line directly in front of the village.

A further assault upon these lines, by Canadian troops, was begun on 18 May, but was unsuccessful in the face of German artillery fire. In heavy rain some Allied troops began to prepare trenches to consolidate the small gains made thus far. During that same evening the German front line received a further injection of reserves.

Renewed attacks by the Allied forces between, 20-24 May resulted in the capture of Festubert village itself, a position held until the German advance of spring 1918. Despite having captured Festubert however, the Allied forces had advanced less than a kilometre; consequently the attack was ended on 27 May, with the British having suffered some 16,000 casualties during the action.

The battle reinforced the view that the BEF had a serious deficiency of artillery, particularly heavy weapons, shells, (especially the high explosive type that was required to destroy trenches and strong points) and trench weaponry especially bombs. The Canadian units were reporting very serious problems with their standard-issue Ross rifle, and most infantry units reported that they did not have the full complement of machine-guns available due to losses in action.

On 15 May 1915 an article appeared in The Times, written by military correspondent Colonel Repington and based on information given to him by an exasperated Commander-in-Chief, Sir John French. The latter also sent copies of all correspondence between him and the Government on the question of the supply of ammunition to David Lloyd George, Arthur Balfour and Bonar Law, MP's. The scandal that broke as the public read that Tommies were losing their lives unnecessarily as a result of the shortages proved to be the downfall of the Liberal Government under Asquith. The formation of a Coalition Government and the appointment of Lloyd George as first Minister of Munitions was an important step towards ultimate victory.


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Active From: 1881 - 1958

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