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Unit History: Welsh Regiment

Welsh Regiment
The Regiment was officially formed in 1881 through the amalgamation of the 41st and 69th Regiment of Foot.  However it can trace its history back a further 160 years prior to this date.
 
In 1719 the 41st had a very unusual inception when it was first raised Edmund Fielding, who recruited from invalids and men in receipt of a pension from the Royal Hospital Chelsea but lived at home.  The Regiment became known as the Royal Invalids and used to garrison the naval base at Portsmouth until 1787 when the Regiment discharged its pensioners and started normal recruitment.
 
In 1751 all British Regiments were awarded a numerical title according to their precedence therefore the Regiment became known as the 41st Regiment of Foot.  The 41st saw its first action in 1812 when it was posted to Canada during the War of 1812 (1812-1815).  The War was a 32-month military conflict between the United States and the British Empire, resolving many of the remaining issues of the American War of Independence (1775–1783), and fought in the Battles of Detroit, Queenstown and Miami.  Subsequently it missed out on the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo and was not in action again until the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826), fighting at the Capture of Ava.
 
In 1782 all British Regiments without Royal titles were awarded county titles, in order to increase recruitment from that area.  However the 41st was not awarded its county title until 1820 when it became 41st (The Welsh) Regiment of Foot.  The Regiment went on to serve during the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42) fighting at the Battles of Kandahar, Ghuznee and Kabul.  The 41st also served during the Crimean War (1854-56) fight at the Battles of Alma, Inkermann and Sevastopol.
 
In 1881 the Childers Reforms restructured the British army into a network of multi-battalion Regiments, therefore the 41st (Welsh) Regiment of Foot and the with 69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot were merged to form The Welsh Regiment.
 
The 69th Regiment was formed in 1758 when the 2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment of Foot became independent. After deployment to the West Indies in 1760 it was awarded the county title of South Lincolnshire in 1782.  In 1797 a detachment of 64 men served as marines under Admiral Horatio Nelson on board HMS Agamemnon, capturing two Spanish ships during the French Revolutionary Wars.  The rest of the Regiment was deployed to the West Indies and suffered the loss of over 900 officers and men from disease in one year.
 
The Regiment was deployed to India in 1805 and served during the Vellore Mutiny which was the first large scale violent mutiny against the Honourable East India Company.  It was sparked by offensive changes to the native uniform; Hindus were prohibited from wearing religious marks on their foreheads and Muslims were required to shave their beard.  The mutiny lasted one full day but was brutal, as mutineers broke into the Vellore fort and killed or wounded 200 British troops, before being subdued by reinforcements from nearby Fort Arcot.
 
The Regiment went on to capture the French Islands of Bourbon and Mauritius as well as the Dutch Island of Java before serving during the Battle of Waterloo (1815) where, due to its inexperience, it was overrun by the French cavalry.
The Regiment also served during the Third Anglo–Maratha War (1817–1818) and was then deployed to Burma in 1857. It was the first British Regiment to be deployed to Burma over land rather than by sea.
 
The newly formed Welsh Regiment went on to serve during the Second Boer War (1899-1902) fighting at Paardeburg and Bloemfontein as well as two World Wars.  In 1969 the Regiment was amalgamated with the South Wales Borderers to form the Royal Regiment of Wales.  In 2006 it was further merged with the Royal Welch Fusiliers to form the Royal Welsh.

Welsh 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 to rival 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, 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 36 Battalions and was awarded 71 Battle Honours and 3 Victoria Crosses losing 8,360 men during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Chakrata, India.
20.11.1914 Returned to England from Karachi arriving at Plymouth and then moved to Hursley Park to join the 84th Brigade of the 28th Division.
18.01.1915 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.
24.11.1915 Embarked for Salonika from Marseilles via Egypt and engaged in various actions against the Bulgarian army including;
1916
The occupation of Mazirko, 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, The pursuit to the Strumica valley.
30.09.1918 Ended the war north of Lake Doiran, Macedonia.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Bordon as part of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division.
13.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1914
The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres.
1915
Winter Operations 1914-15, The Battle of Aubers, The Battle of Loos.
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
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 at Fresnoy le Grand S.W. of Bohain, France.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Cardiff.
June 1916 Moved to Barry and then Kinmel.
May 1917 Moved to Redcar where it remained.

1/4th & 1/5th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 The 1/4th stationed at Carmarthen and the 1/5th stationed at Pontypridd both as part of the South Wales Brigade and then moved to Tunbridge Wells.
Feb 1915 Moved to Scotland as part of the Forth & Tay Defences.
17.04.1915 Moved to Bedford and transferred to the 159th Brigade of the 53rd Division.
19.07.1915 Embarked for Gallipoli from Devonport, Plymouth via Mudros.
09.08.1915 Landed at Suvla Bay and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army.
08.10.1915 Amalgamated with the 1/5th Battalion to form the 4th Welsh Composite battalion
11.12.1915 Evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt due to severe casualties from combat, disease and harsh weather. The Division was reduced to just 162 officers and 2428 men (15% of full strength).
10.02.1916 Resumed identity.
30.07.1918 Amalgamated with the 1/5th Battalion to form the 4/5th Battalion and engaged in various actions as part of the Palestine Campaign including;
1916
The Battle of Romani.
1917
The First Battle of Gaza, The Second Battle of Gaza, The Third Battle of Gaza, The Capture of Beersheba, The Capture of Tell Khuweilfe, The Capture of Jerusalem, The Defence of Jerusalem.
1918
The Battle of Tell'Asur and The Battle of Nablus.
31.10.1918 Ended the war in Palestine moving back to Egypt.

1/6th (Glamorgan) Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Swansea as part of the South Wales Brigade.
29.10.1914 Mobilised for war and landed in Havre to defence the Lines of Communication.
05.07.1915 Transferred to the 84th Brigade of the 28th Division.
23.10.1915 Transferred to the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division
15.05.1916 Became a Pioneer battalion of the 1st Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
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 at La Vallee Mulatre N.E. of Bohain, France.

1/7th (Cyclist) Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Cardiff and then moved to Scotland stationed at Berwick and Montrose.
1915 Moved to Saltburn.
1917 Moved to Seaton Crew and then Middlesbrough where it remained.

2/4th Battalion Territorial Force
Oct 1914 Formed at Carmarthen.
Nov 1915 Moved to Bedford and absorbed by the 2/4th of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry.

2/5th Battalion Territorial Force
Nov 1914 Formed at Pontypridd.
Nov 1915 Moved to Bedford and absorbed by the 2/6th of the Cheshire.

2/6th (Glamorgan) Battalion Territorial Force
Dec 1914 Formed at Swansea.
Nov 1915 Moved to Bedford and absorbed by the 2/5th of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

2/7th (Cyclist) Battalion Territorial Force
1914 Formed at Cardiff.
July 1916 Moved to Holt, Norfolk.
1917 Moved to Fakeham attached to the 223rd Brigade and then moved back to Holt.
1918 Moved to Hunstanton and then Melton Constable.

3/4th 3/5th & 3/6th Battalion Territorial Force
Mar 1915 Formed at Carmarthen, Pontypridd and Swansea and then moved to Milford Haven.
08.04.1916 Became the 4th 5th & 6th Reserve Battalions.
01.09.1916 The 4th absorbed the 5th & 6th.

3/7th (Cyclist) Battalion Territorial Force
1915 Formed at Cardiff and then moved to Milford Haven.
Mar 1916 Disbanded.

8th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)
Au 1914 Formed at Cardiff as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Parkhouse, Salisbury Plain to join the 40th Brigade of the 13th Division and then moved to Chiseldon and then Bournemouth.
Jan 1915 Became a Pioneer Battalion of the 13th Division and then moved to Aldershot.
15.06.1915 Embarked for Gallipoli from Avonmouth via Mudros.
05.08.1915 Landed at Anzac, Gallipoli and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army including;
The Battle of Sari Bair, The Battle of Russell's Top, The Battle of Hill 60.
Dec 1915 Evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt due to severe casualties from combat, disease and harsh weather. The Division then moved to defend a section of the Suez Canal.
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.
31.10.1918 Ended the war at Delli Abbas area N.E. of Baghdad, Mesopotamia.

9th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Cardiff as part of the Second New Army and then moved to Salisbury Plain to join the 58th Brigade of the 19th Division then moved to Basingstoke.
Jan 1915 Moved to Weston-super-Mare and then Perham Down.
July 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre 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.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Battle of the Aisne, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre and the passage of the Grand Honelle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Wargnies north of Le Quesnoy, France.

10th (Service) Battalion (1st Rhondda)
Sept 1914 Formed by D. Watts Morgan MP at Rhondda Valley and then moved Codford St. Mary as part of the 76th Brigade of the 25th Division.
30.09.1914 Transferred to the 129th Brigade of the 43rd Division at Rhyl.
29.04.1915 Formation became the 114th Brigade of the 38th Division.
Aug 1915 Moved to Winchester.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert. (The Division suffered severe casualties and took the rest of the year to rebuild).
1917
The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemark.
06.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

11th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 formed at Cardiff as part of the Third New Army and then moved to South Downs to join the 67th Brigade of the 22nd Division and then moved to Hastings.
April 1915 Moved to Seaforth and then Aldershot.
06.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne.
30.10.1915 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 N.W. of Lake Doiran, Macedonia.

12th (Reserve) Battalion
23.10.1914 Formed at Cardiff as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) as part of the 104th Brigade of the 35th Division.
10.04.1915 Became a 2nd Reserve battalion at Kinmel as part of the 13th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became the 58th Training Reserve Battalion.

13th (Service) Battalion (1st Rhondda)
23.10.1914 Formed at Cardiff as part of the 129th Brigade of the 43rd Division and then moved to Rhyl.
29.04.1915 Formation became the 114th Brigade of the 38th Division.
Aug 1915 Moved to Winchester.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for was and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert. (The Division suffered severe casualties and took the rest of the year to rebuild).
1917
The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemark.
1918
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Bapaume, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Ecuelin east of Aulnoye, France.

14th (Service) Battalion (Swansea)
1914 Formed by the Mayor with a corporation of the Swansea Football and Cricket Club at Swansea as part of the 129th Brigade of the 43rd Division and then moved to Rhyl.
29.04.1915 Formation became the 114th Brigade of the 38th Division.
Aug 1915 Moved to Winchester.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for was and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert. (The Division suffered severe casualties and took the rest of the year to rebuild).
1917
The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemark.
1918
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Bapaume, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Ecuelin east of Aulnoye, France.

15th (Service) Battalion (Carmarthenshire)
Oct 1914 Formed by the Carmarthenshire County Committee as part of the 129th Brigade of the 43rd Division and then moved to Rhyl.
29.04.1915 Formation became the 114th Brigade of the 38th Division.
Aug 1915 Moved to Winchester.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for was and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert. (The Division suffered severe casualties and took the rest of the year to rebuild).
1917
The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemark.
1918
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Bapaume, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Ecuelin east of Aulnoye, France.

16th (Service) Battalion (Cardiff City)
Nov 1914 Formed by the Lord Mayor and Corporation at Cardiff.
Dec 1914 Moved to Colwyn to join the 130th Brigade of the 43rd Division.
29.04.1915 Formation became the 115th Brigade of the 38th Division.
Aug 1915 Moved to Winchester.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert. (The Division suffered severe casualties and took the rest of the year to rebuild).
1917
The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemark.
07.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

17th (Service) Battalion (1st Glamorgan)
Dec 1914 Formed as a bantam battalion and then moved to Rhyl attached to the 43rd Division.
Feb 1915 Moved to Rhos and then Prees Heath to join the 119th Brigade of the 40th Division.
Sept 1915 Moved to Aldershot.
June 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.
09.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

18th (Service) Battalion (2nd Glamorgan)
Jan 1915 Formed as a bantam battalion and then moved to Porthcawl attached to the 43rd Division.
July 1915 Moved to Prees Heath to join the 119th Brigade of the 40th Division.
Sept 1915 Moved to Aldershot.
June 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.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck.
05.05.1918 Reduced to training cadre
18.06.1918 Returned to England as part of the 47th Brigade of the 16th Division and moved to North Walsham.
20.06.1918 Absorbed the 25th Battalion.
07.07.1918 Moved to Aldershot and joined the 47th Brigade of the 16th Division.
29.07.1918 Returned to France;
The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war south of Tournai, Belgium.

19th (Service) Battalion (Glamorgan Pioneers)
Feb 1915 Formed at Colwyn Bay as a Pioneers Battalion of the 43rd Division.
29.04.1915 Formation became the 38th Division and then moved to Winchester.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front.
11.11.1918 Ended the war near Aulnoye, France.

20th (Reserve) Battalion (3rd Rhondda)
July 1915 Formed at St. Asaph from the depot companies of the 10th & 13th battalions as a local reserve battalion.
Sept 1915 Moved to Kinmel as part of the 13th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became the 60th Training Reserve Battalion.

21st (Reserve) Battalion
July 1915 Formed at Colwyn Bay from the depot companies of the 14th 15th & 16th battalions as a local reserve battalion.
Sept 1915 Moved to Kinmel as part of the 13th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became the 61th Training Reserve Battalion.

22nd (Reserve) Battalion
Sept 1915 Formed at Prees Heath from the depot companies of the 17th & 18th battalions as a local reserve battalion.
Oct 1915 Moved to Conway.
1916 Moved to Kinmel as part of the 14th Reserve Brigade.
01.09.1916 Became the 66th Training Reserve Battalion.

23rd (Reserve) Battalion (Welsh Pioneers)
Sept 1915 Formed at Porthcawl.
Mar 1916 Moved to Aldershot and attached to the 69th Division 13.05.1916 – 22.06.1916 at Thetford.
13.07.1916 Embarked for Macedonia from Devonport, Plymouth arrived at Salonika and joining the 28th Division which engaged in various actions against the Bulgarian Army including;
1916
The occupation of Mazirko, 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

24th (Pembroke & Glamorgan Yeomanry) Battalion Territorial Force
02.02.1917 Formed in Egypt from the dismounted yeomanry of the Pembroke and Glamorgan Regiments and transferred to the 231st Brigade of the 74th Division.
May 1918 Deployed to France arriving at Marseilles 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 at Ath, Belgium.

25th Battalion
01.06.1918 Formed at North Walsham.
20.06.1918 Absorbed by the 18th Battalion.

51st (Graduated) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed at Halesworth from the 226th Graduation Battalion (previously the 63rd Training Reserve Battalion) as part of the 203rd Brigade of the 68th Division and then moved to Yarmouth.
May 1918 Moved to Herringfleet where it remained.

52nd (Graduated) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed at Herringfleet from the 234th Graduation Battalion (previously the 65th Training Reserve Battalion) as part of the 205th Brigade of the 68th Division and then moved to Lowestoft.
May 1918 Moved to Saxmundham and then Henham Park east of Halesworth where it remained.

53rd (Young Solider) Battalion
27.10.1917 Formed at Kinmel from the 64th Young Soldier Battalion (previously the R.W.F.) as part of the Training Reserve of the 14th Reserve Brigade.
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Active From: 1881 - 1969

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