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Unit History: King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)

King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
In 1662 the newly-restored King Charles II married Catherine of Braganza and gained possession of Portuguese territories of Bombay and Tangier as part of her Dowry, in return for her religious freedom and military support for Portugal against Spain.  The Regiment was raised in 1680 by Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth (and the illegitimate son of King Charles II) to garrison Tangier and defend against the Moors, also becoming known as the Earl of Plymouth's Regiment of Foot for Tangier.
 
Upon its return to England (due to financial pressures Charles II chose to abandon Tangier) it was granted the Royal title of the Queen's Regiment of Foot.  After the King’s death the crown passed to his brother King James II, who only reigned for only 3 years due to his unpopular Catholic convictions, in mainly Protestant England.  The Regiment was soon in action for its new King at the Battle of Sedgemoor during the Monmouth Rebellion (1685), when James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth (the oldest of Charles II illegitimate sons and the current King’s nephew) unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow King James II.  Four year later it would be fighting against the James II at the Battle of Boyne, following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when Prince William of Orange was invited to take the throne by the English Lords becoming King William III to depose James II.
 
The Regiment went on to serve during the Nine Years War (1688–97) fighting at the Battle of Namur.  In 1715 the Regiment became The King's Own Regiment of Foot following the ascension of George I to the throne.  The Regiment was involved in action on the home front in 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie (the grandson of James II) attempted to regain the lost crown to the Stuart family by raising the Scottish clans into rebellion, fighting at the Battle of Culloden. In 1747 the Regimental naming system was simplified to a numerical title according to seniority, therefore the Regiment became the 4th Regiment (King's Own Royal Regiment).
 
The Regiment served during the Peninsular War (1808-1814) fighting the armies of Napoleon at the Battles of Corunna, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, San Sebastian, Nive and Peninsula, as well as at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.  The Regiment went on to serve in Australia guarding convicts in New South Wales, Tasmania and Norfolk Island from 1831, after local guards rebelled, remaining there until 1835.  The Regiment also served during the Crimea War (1853–1856) fighting at the Battles of Alma; Inkermann and Sevastopol.
 
The Regiment also served during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 fighting at the attack on Beyt and the capture of Maudhata.  In 1868 the Regiment took part in the Expedition to Abyssinia against the Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II who had imprisoned several missionaries and two representatives of the British government and the expedition was described as ‘one of the most expensive affairs of honour in history.’  It also served in South Africa during the Zulu War of 1879.
 
In 1881 The Childers Reforms restructured the British army infantry Regiments into a network of multi-battalion Regiments of two regular and two militia battalions.  The Regiment managed to avoid amalgamation under these reforms unlike many other Regiments but the order of precedence was dropped and a county title added to become The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment).  The Regiment went on to serve during the Boer War (1899-1902) fighting at the Relief of Ladysmith and then two World Wars.
 
The Regiment was again re-titled in 1920 as the King's Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster.  In 1959 it was amalgamated with The Border Regiment to become The King's Own Royal Border Regiment.  In 2006 The Regiment was further merged with The King’s Regiment, The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, The Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers and The King’s and Cheshire Regiment to form The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (King’s, Lancashire and Border).

King's Own (Royal Lancaster 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 17 Battalions, was awarded 59 Battle Honours and 8 Victoria Crosses losing 6,478 men during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Dover as part of the 12th Brigade of the 4th Division and then moved to Cromer and then Neasden, Middlesex.
23.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and transferred to the 12th Brigade of the 36th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Battle of Loos.
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Le Transloy.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Cambrai operations.
1918
The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras 1918, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Epehy, The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Querenaning S.W. of Valenciennes, France.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Lebong, India.
19.11.1914 Embarked for England arriving at Plymouth arriving 22.12.1914 and moved to Winchester and joined the 83rd Brigade of the 28th Division.
16.01.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Second Battle of Ypres, The Battle of Loos.
Oct 1915 Deployed to Egypt.
Dec 1915 Deployed to Salonika and engaged in various actions against the Bulgarian Army including;
1916
The occupation of Mazirko and the capture of Barakli Jum'a.
1917
The capture of Ferdie and Essex Trenches (near Barakli Jum'a), the capture of Barakli and Kumli.
1918
The Battle of Doiran and the pursuit to the Strumica valley.
30.09.1918 Ended the war north of Lake Doiran, Macedonia.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Lancaster and then moved to Saltash and then Sunderland.
1915 Moved back to Plymouth.
Nov 1917 Moved to Harwich, Essex where it remained.

1/4th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Ulverston as part of the North Lancaster Brigade of the West Lancaster Division.
14.08.1914 Moved to Slough to guard the Railway, then moved to Sevenoaks.
April 1915 Moved to Bedford where the North Lancaster Brigade became 154th Brigade of the 51st Division.
May 1915 Mobilised for war and landed in Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Battle of Festubert, The Second Action of Givenchy.
06.01.1916 Transferred to the 164th Brigade of the 55th Division;
1916
The Battle of Guillemont, The Battle of Ginchy, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
1917
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Menin Road Ridge, The tank attack, The German counter attacks,
1918
The Battle of Estaires, The Defence of Givenchy, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The capture of Givenchy craters, The capture of Canteleux trench, The pursuit to Mons, The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war near Ath, Belgium.

1/5th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed in Lancaster as part of the North Lancaster Brigade of the West Lancaster Division.
14.08.1914 Moved to Didcot to guard the Railway, then moved to Sevenoaks.
15.02.1915 Mobilised for war and landed in Havre.
03.03.1915 Transferred to the 83rd Brigade of the 28th Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Second Battle of Ypres, The Battle of Loos.
21.10.1915 Transferred to the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division;
Winter Operations 1914-15.
07.01.1916 Transferred to the 166th Brigade of the 55th Division;
1916
The Battle of Guillemont, The Battle of Ginchy, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
1917
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Menin Road Ridge, The tank attack, The German counter attacks,
1918
The Battle of Estaires, The Defence of Givenchy, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The capture of Givenchy craters, The capture of Canteleux trench, The pursuit to Mons, The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war near Ath, Belgium.

2/4th Battalion Territorial Force
Feb 1915 Formed at Blackpool.
18.01.1916 Amalgamated with the 3/4th Battalion moved to Oswestry, Shropshire and became the 4th Reserve Battalion.
01.09.1916 Absorbed the 5th (Reserve) Battalion.
June 1918 Moved to Dublin.

2/5th Battalion Territorial Force
Sept 1914 Formed at Lancaster and then moved to Blackpool.
Feb 1915 Moved to Sevenoaks and joined the North Lancaster Brigade of the 55th Division.
April 1915 Transferred to the 170th Brigade of the 57th Division.
July 1916 Moved to Aldershot.
Feb 1917 Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1917
The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
1918
The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Queant Line, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of the Cambrai, The occupation of Lille, The general final advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Lezennes east of Lille, France.

3/4th Battalion Territorial Force
June 1915 Formed and then amalgamated with the 2/4th Battalion.

3/5th Battalion Territorial Force
June 1915 Formed.
08.04.1916 Moved to Oswestry and became the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, absorbed by the 4th (Reserve) Battalion.

6th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Lancaster as part of the First New Army (K1) then moved to Tidworth and joined the 38th Brigade of the 13th Division.
Feb 1915 Moved to Aldershot.
July 1915 Mobilised for war and embarked for Gallipoli and engaged in various actions against the Turkish including;
The Battle of Sari Bair, The Battle of Russell's Top, The Battle of Hill 60.
Jan 1916 Evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt due to severe casualties from combat, disease and harsh weather and deployed to Suez Canal defences.
Feb 1916 Deployed to Mesopotamia
1917
The Battle of Kut al Amara, The capture of the Hai Salient, The capture of Dahra Bend, The passage of the Diyala, The pursuit of the enemy towards Baghdad, Capture of Baghdad (the Battalion were the first troops to enter Bagdad), Battles of Delli 'Abbas, Duqma, Nahr Kalis, The Second and Third Actions of Jabal Hamrin and at Tuz Khurmatli.
31.10.1918 Ended the war near Delli Abbas N.E. of Baghdad, Mesopotamia.

7th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Lancaster as part of the Second New Army (K2) and moved to Tidworth Pennings and joined the 56th Brigade of the 19th Division.
Dec 1914 Moved to Andover.
Feb 1915 Moved to Clevedon and then Tidworth.
July 1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Action of Pietre; diversionary action during the Battle of Loos
1916
The Battle of Albert, The attacks on High Wood, The Battle of Pozieres Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights, The Battle of the Ancre.
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
22.02.1918 Disbanded in France remaining personnel transferred to 1/4th & 1/5th Battalions and Entrenching Battalion.

8th (Service) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Lancaster as part of the Third New Army and moved to Codford as part of the 76th Brigade of the 25th Division and then moved to Boscombe.
May 1915 Moved to Oldham, Aldershot.
27.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France.
15.10.1915 The 76th Brigade transferred to the 3rd Division which 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 near Solesmes, France.

9th (Service) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Lancaster as part of the Third New Army and moved to Eastbourne as part of the 65th Brigade of the 22nd Division, and then moved to Seaford and then back to Eastbourne.
April 1915 Returned to Seaford and then to Aldershot.
Sept 1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France.
Oct 1915 Deployed to Salonika landing on 07.11.1915 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 north of Lake Doiran, Macedonia.

10th (Reserve) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Saltash as part of the 99th Brigade of the 33rd Division, a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) and then moved to Kingsbridge.
10.04.1915 Became 2nd reserves Battalion and moved to Swanage.
Aug 1915 Moved to Wareham as part of the 10th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became 43rd Training Reserve Battalion.

11th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1915 Formed at Lancaster as a bantam Battalion and moved to Blackdown, Aldershot to join the 120th Brigade of the 40th Division.
02.03.1916 Absorbed the 12th South Lancaster Regiment.
03.06.1916 Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of the Ancre.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line (March), The capture of Fifteen Ravine, Villers Plouich, Beaucamp and La Vacquerie, The Cambrai Operations.
07.02.1918 Disbanded in France remaining personnel transferred to the 6th Entrenching Battalion.

12th (Reserve) Battalion
Jan 1916 Formed at Lancaster as a 2nd Reserve Battalion.
April 1916 Moved to Prees Heath, Shropshire as part of the 17th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became the 76th Training Reserve Battalion.

12th Battalion Territorial Force
01.01.1917 Formed at Westgate from the 41st Provisional Battalion (formerly in the 9th Provisional Brigade) to replace the 12th (Reserve) Battalion which had become a Training Reserve Battalion.
Jan 1917 Moved to Coggeshall and joined the 218th Brigade of the 73rd Division.
Summer 1917 Moved to Witham and then back to Coggeshall, Essex.
30.03.1918 Division broken up and Battalion disbanded.
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Active From: 1680 - 1959

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