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: Royal Sussex Regiment

Royal Sussex Regiment
The Regiment was officially formed in 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms when The 35th and 107th Regiment of Foot were amalgamated.  However the Regiment can trace its history back to over a hundred years earlier.
 
The 35th Regiment was first raised in Belfast by Arthur Chichester (3rd Earl of Donegall) in 1701.  He raised the Regiment at his own expenses accordingly King William III gave permission for the Regiment to wear orange facings on their uniforms.  As was the tradition until 1750 the Regiment was named after its Colonel, originally ‘The Earl of Donegal's Regiment of Foot’.  After 1750 the Regimental naming system was simplified and all Regiments were assigned a ranked number and became the 35th Regiment of Foot.
 
The Regiment went on to serve during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), fighting at the Battle of Cádiz, the defence of Gibraltar and the Siege of Barcelona.  It was during the French and Indian War (1754–1763) after the surrender of Fort William Henry to the French which the Regiment is perhaps most known for.  The 35th was part of the garrison allowed to leave the fort with their weapons but were set upon by the French Native American allies and massacred shortly after.  This was dramatised in the novel Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper.  The Regiment went on to fight at the Battle of Quebec (1759) and broke the French Regiment The Royal Roussillon which had been at Fort William Henry.  Which is why, according to the Regimental tradition, the Roussillon Plume is incorporated into the badge.
 
In 1782 county titles were added to infantry Regiments in order to aid recruiting from that region and the Regiment became the 35th (Dorsetshire) Regiment.  It was not until 1804 that the Regiment became associated with Sussex, after Charles Lennox, (4th Duke of Richmond), who had joined the Regiment in 1787, successfully petitioned to have the title of Sussex transferred to the Regiment from the 25th.
 
In 1881 as part of the Childers Reform’s the Regiment was merged with The 107th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Light Infantry) which was formed by the Honourable East India Company in 1854 and served in India until after the Indian Mutiny of 1857 when the Crown formally took control of the unit.  The newly formed Regiment went on to serve in Egypt in 1882 during the Urabi Revolt (1879–1882), and then part of the unsuccessful Nile Expedition (1884–85) to save General Gordon during the Mahdist War (1881–1899) as well as serving during The Second Boer War and two World Wars.  In 1966 the Regiment was further amalgamated with The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, The Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment and The Middlesex Regiment to form The Queen's Regiment.

Royal Sussex 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 23 battalions and was awarded 69 battle honours and 4 Victoria Crosses, losing 7,096 men during the course of the war. St. Georges Chapel in Chichester Cathedral was restored after the war and serves as a memorial to all members of the Regiment who fell during the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Peshawar, India and remained there for the duration of the war.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Working as part of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division.
Aug 1914 Mobilised for war and landed in France 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.
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, S.W. of Bohain.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Chichester and then moved to Dover and on to Newhaven where it remained.

1/4th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1918 Stationed at Horsham attached to the Home Counties Division.
24.04.1915 Moved to Cambridge and transferred to the 160th Brigade of the 53rd Division and then moved on to Bedford.
July 1915 Moved to the Mediterranean via Mudros.
09.08.1915 Landed at Suvla Bay and engaged in various actions as part of the Gallipoli campaign.
Dec 1915 Evacuated to Egypt due to heavy casualties from combat, disease and severe weather conditions. The Division then engaged in various actions as part of the Palestine Campaign including;
During 1916
The Battle of Romani.
During 1917
The Second and Third Battles of Gaza, The Capture of Jerusalem, The Defence of Jerusalem.
During 1918
The battle of Tell'Asur.
May 1918 Moved to France via Alexandria leaving the 53rd Division.
30.06.1918 Joined the 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.
14.08.1918 Absorbed the cadre of the 13th Battalion.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, west of Courtrai.

1/5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Hastings attached to the Home Counties Division.
Early 1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France.
21.02.1915 Joined the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1915
Winter Operations 1914-15, The Battle of Aubers.
20.08.1915 Transferred to the 48th Division as a Pioneer Battalion and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Pozieres Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
The German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle.
Nov 1917 Moved to Italy to strengthen the Italian resistance and engaged in various actions including; The fighting on the Asiago Plateau, The Battle of the Vittoria Veneto.
04.11.1918 Ended the war in Austria, east of Trent.

1/6th (Cyclist) Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Brighton and then moved to Norfolk as part of the 1st Mounted Division.
July 1916 Moved to St. Leonards as part of the General Reserve.
Mar 1917 Moved to Folkestone and then Wingham, Kent again as part of the 1st Mounted Division.
Early 1918 Moved to Tralee, Ireland as part of the 6th Cyclist Brigade and then moved to Limerick.

2/4th and 2/5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion Territorial Force and 3/4th and 3/5th Battalion Territorial Force
Jan 1915 The 2/4th formed at Horsham and in Nov 1914 the 2/5th formed at Hastings.
Mar 1915 The 3/4th formed at Horsham and in June 1915 the 3/5th formed at Hastings
Sept 1915 The 2/4th and 2/5th absorbed by the 3rd Line Battalions which became the 2/4th and 2/5th.
08.04.1916 Became the 4th and 5th (Reserve) Battalions.
01.09.1916 The 4th absorbed the 5th and 3/6th (Cyclist) Battalions at Tunbridge Wells as part of the Home Counties Reserve Brigade.

2/6th (Cyclist) Battalion Territorial Force
Nov 1914 Formed at Brighton and then moved to Bedford and attached to the 68th Division and then moved to Chisledon.
Feb 1916 Formed a brigade with the 1/9th Hampshire, 1/25 London and 1/1st Kent Battalions and converted to Infantry.
04.02.1916 Embarked for India from Devonport.
Oct 1918 Moved to Siberia and then Vladivostock, to assist in the Russian Civil War supporting the White Russian forces against the Bolshevik Red Army.
Nov 1919 Returned to England via Canada arriving at Southampton 05.12.1919.

3/6th (Cyclist) Battalion Territorial Force
1916 Formed at Purfleet and then absorbed into the 4th (Reserve) Battalion.

7th (Service) Battalion
12.08.1914 Formed at Chichester as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Colchester as part of the 36th Brigade of the 12th Division.
Oct 1914 Moved to Shorncliffe and then Folkestone.
Mar 1915 Moved to Aldershot.
01.06.1915 Mobilised for war and landed in Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The Battle of Loos.
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Le Transloy.
During 1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Cambrai operations.
During 1918
The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin canal, The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Landas east of Orchies.

8th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)
Sept 1914 Formed at Chichester as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Colchester to join the 54th Brigade of the 18th Division.
04.02.1915 Became a Pioneer Battalion of the 18th Division and then moved to Salisbury Plain.
July 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of the Avre, The actions of Villers-Brettoneux, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, near Le Cateau.

9th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Chichester as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to South Downs to join the 73rd Brigade of the 24th Division.
Dec 1914 Moved to Portslade and then to Shoreham and on to Woking.
01.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1915
The Battle of Loos
During 1916
The German gas attack at Wulverghem, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Guillemont.
During 1917
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The Cambrai Operations.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The First Battle of the Avre, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, near Bavai.

10th (Reserve) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Dover as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) and joined the 97th Brigade of the 32nd Division.
10.04.1915 Became a second reserve battalion.
May 1915 Moved to Colchester and then to Shoreham as part of the 5th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became the 23rd Training Reserve Battalion.

11th (Service) Battalion (1st South Down) and 12th (Service) Battalion (2nd South Down)
07.09.1914 The 11th formed and on 03.11.1914 the 12th formed, both at Bexhill by C. Lieut. Col. Lowther M.P. and the committee and then moved to Maidstone.
01.07.1915 Taken over by the war office and then moved to Aldershot and then Witley to join the 116th Brigade of the 39th Division.
Mar 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
An attack near Richebourg l'Avoue, The fighting on the Ancre, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre heights, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Rosieres, The fighting on Wytschaete Ridge, The First Battle of Kemmel, The Second Battle of Kemmel, The Battle of the Scherpenberg.
08.02.1918 The 12th disbanded in France
23.05.1918 The 11th reduced to training cadre
30.06.1918 Embarked for England at Boulogne as part of the 25th Division, then moved to Aldershot, and then on to Deal to absorbed the 13th Royal West Kents.
Aug 1918 Moved back to Aldershot and joined the 75th Brigade of the 25th Division.
09.09.1918 The 75th became the 236th and left the 25th Division.
17.10.1918 Embarked for Russia from Dundee to assist in the Russian Civil War supporting the White Russian forces against the Bolshevik Red Army.

13th (Service) Battalion (3rd South Down)
20.11.1914 Formed at Bexhill by C. Lieut. Col. Lowther M.P. and the committee and then moved to Maidstone.
01.07.1915 Taken over by the war office and then moved to Aldershot and then Witley to join the 116th Brigade of the 39th Division.
Mar 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on Western Front including;
During 1916
An attack near Richebourg l'Avoue, The fighting on the Ancre, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre heights, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Rosieres, The fighting on Wytschaete Ridge, The First Battle of Kemmel, The Second Battle of Kemmel, The Battle of the Scherpenberg.
23.05.1918 The 11th reduced to training cadre
17.06.1918 Transferred to the 118th Brigade of the same Division.
14.08.1918 Disbanded in France and remaining personnel transferred to the 1/4th Battalion.

14th (Reserve) Battalion
Aug 1915 Formed at Bexhill from the depot companies of the 11th 12th and 13th battalions, as a local reserve battalion.
Oct 1915 Moved to Colchester as part of the 23rd Reserve Brigade.
May 1916 Moved to Aldershot and then absorbed into the Training Reserve Battalions of the 23rd Reserve Brigade.

15th Battalion Territorial Force
01.01.1917 Formed at Burnham, Somerset from the 70th Provisional Battalion (previously the home service personnel) as part of the 215th Brigade of the 72nd Division.
Jan 1916 Moved to Bedford and then Ipswich.
1918 Division broken up and moved to Cambridge
Mar 1918 Disbanded.

16th (Sussex Yeomanry) Battalion Territorial Force
03.01.1917 Formed from dismounted Sussex Yeomanry of the 230th Brigade of the 74th Division at Mersa Matruh, Egypt and engaged in various actions as part of the Palestine Campaign including;
During 1917
The Second and Third Battles of Gaza, The Third Battle of Gaza, the Capture of Beersheba and Sheria Position, The capture of Jerusalem, The Defence of Jerusalem.
During 1918
The Battle of Tell'Asur.
May 1918 Moved to France via Alexandria, arriving at Marseilles 01.04.1918 and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Second Battles of the Somme, The Battles of the Hindenburg Line and The Final Advance in Artois and Flanders.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, N.E. of Tournai.

17th (Service) Battalion
26.05.1918 Formed in France form the 5th Garrison Guard Battalion as part of the 176th Brigade of the 59th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The Battle of Albert and The general final advance in Artois and Flanders.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, N.E. of Tournai.

51st (Graduated) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed at Colchester from the 253rd (Graduated) Battalion (previously the 99th Training Reserve Battalion) as part of the 213th Brigade of the 71st Division.
26.02.1918 Moved to Cromer and transferred to the 191st Brigade of the 64th Division.
April 1918 The 71st Division broken up and battalion at Thetford.

52nd (Graduated) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed at Colchester from the 256th (Graduated) Battalion (previously the 100th Training Reserve Battalion) as part of the 214th Brigade of the 71st Division.
Nov 1917 Transferred to the 212th Brigade of the 71st Division.
18.02.1918 Moved to Cromer and transferred to the 191st Brigade of the 64th Division.
April 1918 The 71st Division broken up and battalion at Thetford.

53rd (Young Soldier) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed from the 97th (Young Soldiers) Battalion part of the 23rd Reserve Brigade at Aldershot.

Royal Sussex Regiment during WW2

WW2 Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment

1st Battalion:
September 1939: The 1st Battalion was based in Egypt.
October 1940: The Battalion joined the 7th Brigade of the 4th Indian Division near Cairo and so began an association which was to last until the end of the War. It spent a few months in the Western Desert.
By April 1941: It had taken part in the East African Campaign and completed its objective to liberate Eritrea and Abyssinia from the Italians.
November 1941: It returned to North Africa and played an important role in the fighting at Sidi Omar. It then had a period of resting and training in Cyprus.
September 1942: The Battalion returned to North Africa, and was involved in action in the Tunisian campaign.
December 1943: It then embarked for Italy.
February - March 1944: It took part in the bitter fighting at Monte Cassino. (Italy). They suffered greatly sustaining approximately half in casualties.
November 1944: In the same Division along with Scobie's III Corps, the Battalion landed at Salonika, Greece and was employed there for 8 months maintaining the civil peace.

2nd Regular, 4th Territorial, 5th Territorial & 10th (Royal Sussex Regt’) Battalions:
September 1939: The Battalion was based in Ireland. It was joined with the 4th and 5th Battalions of the Regiment part of the 133rd (Royal Sussex) Brigade, 44th (Home Counties) Division.
1940: They were sent to the France and took part in the action and the retreat to Dunkirk.
May - June 1940: Then evacuated and returned to the UK. (The ones that failed to return were either killed or taken prisoner.)
May 1942: Still part of the same Brigade and Division, were sent to North Africa.
August – September 1942: They were involved in action at the Battle of Alam Halfa.
January 1943: The 2nd Battalion and volunteers from the 4th and 5th Battalions were formed into the 10th Battalion, Parachute Regiment at Kabrit in the Suez Canal. Under the command of Lt Col. KBI Smyth.
September 1944: Landed with the 4th Parachute Brigade at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. It fought to almost complete destruction in the Oosterbeek perimeter.
November 1945: The 10th Battalion was disbanded.

1943: After the old one became 10th Para, a new 2nd Battalion was raised along with the 4th and 5th Battalions and became part of the 133rd Brigade, 6th Indian Division. They were sent to Iraq and Persia where they remained for the rest of the war.

6th and 7th Battalions:
The battalions were part of the 37th Brigade, 12th Division and for a while spent their time recruiting, training, and guard duties.
April 1940: They were sent to France.
June 1940: They were forced to evacuate and returned to the UK, the 7th Battalion suffered heavily at Amiens.
The 6th Battalion spent the rest of the War in guard duties and coastal defence, as well as supplying drafts for the overseas battalions of the Regiment.
The 7th Battalion, after a period of re-organisation, was transferred to the Royal Artillery 109th L.A.A. Regiment (light anti-aircraft). It remained and served with for the remainder of the war.
1942: The 7th Battalion disbanded.

9th Battalion:
July 1940: The Battalion was formed at Ross-on-Wye..
07 September 1940: Became part of the 212th Infantry Brigade and went on coastal defence duties in East Anglia
14 July 1942: The Battalion was converted to 160th Regiment (Royal Armoured Corps) due to the development of the great tank battles in the Western Desert.
22 December 1942: By now Battalion was in India and was part of 267th Indian Armoured Brigade.
April 1943: It reconverted to Combined Operations role.
January - May 1944: The Battalion returned as infantry, attached to the 72nd Brigade of the 36th Division. It was first involvement in action was in the Arakan Campaign and then following in to North Burma. The 36th was the only British Division in the Far East to serve under American command. At Pinwe and at Shweli River they won the last Battle Honours to be earned by the Regiment.
After ‘Operation Zipper’ in August 1945 with 30,000 armed Japanese on the loose and the threat of Chinese communist guerrillas getting out of control and before the arrival of the British Civil Administration. The Battalion virtually took over the whole of North West Malaysia from Penang to the Thai border.
March 1946: The Battalion was disbanded.

Memories of Royal Sussex Regiment

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

Royal Sussex Regiment in 1952

Written by Alistair H G Allcroft

My father, Henry John Allcroft served with the 16th and 17th Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment from 11th May 1916 to 20th Jan 1920 (G/22128 Pte H.J Allcroft)was wounded at Haute Allaines, France on 3rd Sept 1918
Down arrow Up arrow 17 people in our Victorian Conflicts records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 734 people in our Boer War records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 21360 people in our WW1 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 10055 people in our WW2 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 624 people in our Post WW2 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 140 people in our Forces Reunited records
Filter by Surname:
1

Active From: 1881 - 1966

One moment...