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Unit History: King's Shropshire Light Infantry

King's Shropshire Light Infantry The Regiment was officially formed in 1881 from when the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot and the 85th (King's Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot were amalgamated as part of the Childers Reforms to become The King's Light Infantry (Shropshire Regiment). However the Regiment can trace its history back over a hundred years earlier than this date.

The 53rd was first raised in 1755 as the 55th Regiment of Foot but was changed to the 53rd in 1757. It was raised by Colonel William Whitmore of Apley, Bridgnorth, an officer of the 3rd Foot Guards during heightened tensions with France in the build up to the Seven Years War which the 53rd went on to serve in. The Regiment went on to serve during the American Revolutionary War (1776-83) on operations in Canada at the relief of the Quebec siege. The bulk of the Regiment then helped to capture Fort Ticonderoga and remained there until 1777 when General John Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga, and the Regiment withdrew to the Canadian Frontier. In 1796 the Regiment was deployed to the West Indies and took part in the capture of St. Lucia and then went on to serve in India from 18 years from 1805. It was in action at Allahabab and against the Gurkhas of Nepal in the campaign between 1815-17. The 2nd Battalion was also in action during the Peninsular War at the Battle of Talavera, Vittoria and Pyrenees and at the end of the war was appointed as Napoleon’s guard on St. Helena until 1817. The Regiment returned to India in 1844 remaining there for 16 years and almost on continuous active serve. It fought during the First Sikh War (1845-46) and the Second Sikh War (1848-49) and against tribal unrest on the North West Frontier (1851-52) then during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and were at the final capture of Lucknow in 1858.

The 85th was raised in 1793 as The 85th (Bucks Volunteers) Regiment of Foot by Sir George Nugent on the Marquis of Buckingham's estates, it had been raised and disbanded twice since 1759. It was stationed in Jamaica 5 years from 1803 and was re-trained as a Light Infantry Regiment and redesignated as the 85th (Bucks Volunteers) (Light Infantry) Regiment in 1808. It was then part of the Peninsular War fighting at Pyrenees, the siege and capture of St. Sebastian, the Battle of Nive and Bayonne. In 1815 as recognition for its service during the Napoleonic Wars, the 85th was redesignated as ‘The Duke of York’s Light Infantry’ and awarded the motto ‘Aucto Splendore Resurgo’ (‘I rise again in increased splendour’) due to its numerous re-formations. In 1821, after the officers defended King George IV during riots in Brighton, the 85th was redesignated as ‘The King’s Light Infantry’.

In 1881 the Regiments were merged as part of the Childers Reforms and became The King's (Shropshire Light Infantry) in March 1882. The newly formed Regiment went on to serve in Egypt during The Anglo-Egyptian War against the Sudanese, the Boer War and two World Wars. In 1921 it was again re-designated as The King's Shropshire Light Infantry. In 1968, the Regiment was amalgamated with The Durham Light Infantry, The Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry and The King's Own Yorkshire 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.

King's Shropshire Light Infantry during WW1

The regiment raised 12 Battalions and was awarded 60 Battle Honours during the course of the First World War.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Tipperary as part of the 16th Brigade of the 6th Division.
20.08.1914 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.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Bohain, France.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Secunderland, India.
13.10.1914 Embarked for England from Bombay arriving at Plymouth and then moved to Winchester to join the 80th Brigade of the 27th Division.
21.12.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The action of St Eloi, The Second Battle of Ypres.
04.12.1915 Deployed to Salonika and engaged in various actions against the Bulgarian Army including;
1916
The capture of Karajakois, The capture of Yenikoi, The battle of Tumbitza Farm.
1917
The capture of Homondos.
1918
The capture of the Roche Noir Salient, The passage of the Vardar river and The pursuit to the Strumica valley.
30.09.1918 Ended the war north of Doiran, Macedonia.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Shrewsbury and then moved to Pembroke Dock.
Nov 1914 Moved to Edinburgh and then back to Pembroke Dock.
Dec 1917 Moved to Crosshaven, Queenstown Harbour, Cork.
Early 1918 Moved to Fermoy, County Cork and remained there.

1/4th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Shrewsbury attached to the Welsh Division and then moved to Cardiff.
04.09.1914 Moved to Sittingbourne, Kent.
29.10.1914 Embarked for India from Southampton as part of the Middlesex Brigade of the Home Counties Division arriving at Bombay.
10.02.1915 Deployed to Singapore at Andaman Isles.
April 1915 Two companies deployed to Hong Kong.
13.04.1917 Concentrated at Singapore.
19.04.1917 Arrived at Colombo, Sri Lanka.
30.05.1917 Deployed to South Africa arriving at Cape Town.
29.06.1917 Embarked for England from Cape Town landing at Plymouth.
27.07.1917 Embarked for France at Southampton landing at Havre.
29.07.1917 Joined the 190th Brigade of the 63rd Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1917
The Operations on the Ancre, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Second Battle of Passchendaele, The action of Welsh Ridge, The Cambrai operations.
04.02.1918 Transferred to the 56th Brigade of the 19th Division;
1918
The First Battle of Arras, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of the Cambrai, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre, The passage of the Grand Honelle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war Bry west of Bavai, France.

2/4th Battalion Territorial Force
Oct 1914 Formed at Shrewsbury and then moved to Cardiff.
Nov 1915 Moved to Ramsay, Isle of Man.
26.11.1915 Moved to Bedford and joined the 204th Brigade of the 68th Division.
1916 Moved to Lowestoft & Yarmouth.
1917 Moved to Aldeburgh and then absorbed by the other battalions of the 204th Brigade.

3/4th Battalion Territorial Force
May 1915 Formed at Shrewsbury and stationed at Oswestry & Tenby.
April 1916 Became the 4th (Reserve) Battalion.
1917 Moved to Swansea.
1918 Moved to Pembroke Dock.

5th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Shrewsbury as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Aldershot to join the 42nd Brigade of the 14th Division.
Mar 1915 Moved to Chiddingfold and then back to Aldershot.
20.05.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Action of Hooge, part of the first flamethrower attack by the Germans, The Second Attack on Bellewaarde.
1916
The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Langemark, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of the Avre.
04.02.1918 Disbanded at Jussy and remaining personnel transferred to the 1st 1/4th 6th & 7th Battalions.

6th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Shrewsbury as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Aldershot to join the 60th Brigade of the 20th Division.
April 1915 Moved to Larkhill, Salisbury Plain.
22.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne 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 N.W. of Maubeuge, France.

7th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Shrewsbury as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Codford, Salisbury Plain to join the 76th Brigade of the 25th Division.
May 1915 Moved to Bournemouth and then Romsey and then Aldershot.
28.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front.
15.10.1915 Transferred to the 76th Brigade of the 3rd Division.
19.10.1915 Transferred to the 8th Brigade of the 3rd Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Actions of the Bluff and St Eloi Craters, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of the Ancre.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Menin Road, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Cambrai 1917.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras 1918, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of Bethune, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The Battle of the Selle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Romeries near Solesmes, France.

8th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Shrewsbury as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Seaford to join the 66th Brigade of the 22nd Division and then moved to Eastbourne.
May 1915 Moved to back to Seaford and then Aldershot.
05.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France.
28.10.1915 Embarked for Salonika from Marseilles and engaged in various actions against the Bulgarian army including;
1916
The Battle of Horseshoe Hill, The Battle of Machukovo.
1917
The Battles of Doiran.
1918
The Battle of Doiran
30.09.1918 Ended the war near Lake Doiran, Macedonia.

9th (Service) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Pembroke Dock as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) and joined the104th Brigade of the 35th Division.
10.04.1915 Became 2nd Reserve Battalion at Kinmel and then moved to Prees Heath, Shropshire as part of the 11th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became the 48th Training Reserve Battalion.

10th (Shropshire & Cheshire Yeomanry) Battalion Territorial Force
02.09.1917 Formed at Cairo as part of the 231st Brigade of the 74th Division from two dismounted Yeomanry Regiments.
May 1918 Deployed to France arriving at Marseilles 07.05.1918 and engaged in various actions 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 near Ath, Belgium.
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Active From: 1881 - 1968

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