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Unit History: Worcestershire Regiment

Worcestershire Regiment
The Regiment was officially formed in 1881 when the 29th and 36th Regiments of Foot were merged as part of the Childers Reforms, but it can trace its history back a further 200 years.
 
The 29th was formed in 1694 by Colonel Thomas Farrington, an officer of the Coldstream Guards in London.  As was the tradition at the time the Regiment was named after it Colonel as Farrington’s Regiment of Foot.  This naming convention remained in place until 1751 when a number was assigned according to the Regiments precedence, becoming the 29th Regiment of Foot.  The Regiment served during the War of Spanish Succession (1701–1714) fighting at the Battle of Ramillies and the siege of Ostend.
 
In 1745 the Regiment were deployed to Nova Scotia to capture the French Fortress of Louisburg during the War of Austrian Succession (1740–48).  The Regiment gained the nickname the Ever Sworded during this time.  The unarmed men of the Regiment were surprised and massacred by a Canadian force with a contingent of Mi’kmaq Warriors and led to the order that all soldiers must always be armed even when off duty.  In 1770 the Regiment was part of the Boston Massacre were 5 colonists were killed when the 29th fired into a rioting crowd.  Eight men were tried for murder, two were found guilty of manslaughter and branded on the hand as punishment the other 6 were found not guilty and the Regiment was moved to Florida.  The 29th returned to the region in 1776 during the American War of Independence (1775–1783) to relieve the siege of Quebec and also fought at the Battles of Trois-Rivières, Valcour Island and Hubbardston until its defeat and surrendered with the rest of General John Burgoyne’s Army at Saratoga in 1777.
 
In1782 all British Regiments without Royal titles were awarded county titles in order to aid recruitment from that area therefore the 29th became the 29th (the Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot.  The Regiment went on to serve in India from 1845 fighting during the First and Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-1849) and the Indian Rebellion of 1857, defending the Grand Trunk Road.
 
In 1881 the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot and the 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot were amalgamated to form The Worcestershire Regiment as part of the Childers Reforms.  The Childers Reforms restructured the British army infantry Regiments into a network of multi-battalion Regiments each having two regular and two militia battalions.
 
The 36th was raised in 1701 by William Caulfield, 2nd Viscount Charlemont during the War of Spanish Succession (1701–1714).  After brief spells raiding the Spanish coast and garrison duties in West Indies, the 36th took part in the Siege of Barcelona and fighting in action at Valencia and Murcia until it was nearly destroyed at the Battle of Almansa.  After the Regiment was rebuilt it took part in the Battle of Sheriffmuir during the Jacobite Uprising of 1715.  This was when James Stuart the son of the deposed James II attempted to retake the crown his father had lost in 1688 to King William III.  The Regiment returned to the West Indies in 1740 during heighten tensions with Spain during the War of Jenkins' Ear (1739–1748), taking part in the unsuccessful two-month long assault on Cartagena.  In 1745 the Regiment was once again in action on the home front against Jacobite forces, when Bonnie Prince Charlie (the grandson of James II) landed in Scotland, again attempting to regain the lost crown to the Stuart family.  The 36th fought at the Battle of Falkirk and the Battle of Culloden which ended the uprising.  In 1764 the Regiment returned to the West Indies on the island of Jamaica and remained there until 1773.
 
In 1782 it was awarded the county titles of Herefordshire becoming 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot and was then deployed to India were it took part in the Second and Third Anglo-Mysore Wars (1789–92) and captured Pondicherry from the French during the French Revolutionary War (1792–1802), remaining in India until 1798.  The 36th took little part in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) mainly raiding the French coast but was in action during the Peninsular War (1808-1815) fighting at the Battles of Roliça, Vimeiro and Corunna before embarking in the unsuccessful Walcheren Campaign losing over 200 men to malaria.  Once the Regiment was returned to full strength it returned to the Iberian Peninsula and fought at the Battles of Salamanca, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthez and Toulouse.
 
After 1881 the newly formed Worcestershire Regiment was involved in various conflicts and territories including; The Boer War (1900-1902), West Indies (1903-1905), India (1908-1913), China (1933-1934), and Burma (1944 – 1945), as well as both World Wars.  In 1970 the Worcestershire Regiment was merged with the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) to form the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment.  In 2004 the Regiment was further amalgamated with the Cheshire and the Staffordshire Regiments to from the Mercian Regiment.

Worcestershire 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 21 Battalions and was awarded 72 Battle Honours and 8 Victoria Crosses losing 9,460 men during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed in Cairo, Egypt at the outbreak of war.
30.09-16.10.1914 Returned to England from Alexandria and arrived at Liverpool to join the 24th Brigade of the 8th Division and moved to Hursley Park, Winchester.
06.11.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre where the Division reinforced the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and was engaged in action on the Western Front. Initially at Neuve Chapelle trenches by December the Battalion lost half its strength due to frostbite as much as combat causalities.
18.10.1915 the 24th Brigade transferred to the 23rd Division.
During 1915
The Battle of Aubers ridge
During 1916
Moved to relieve the French 17th Division in the Carency sector and the attack on Contalmaison.
15.07.1916 the 24th Brigade transferred back to the 8th Division, the Battalion took over trenches at Cuinchy and then moved back to the front at Somme.
During 1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemarck, the Third Battle of Ypres
During 1918
Counter attack at Pargny, the Battle of Rosieres, Operations in Picardy, the action of Villers Bretonneux, the Battle of the Aisne.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Harchies east of Conde.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Aldershot at the outbreak of war as part of the 5th Brigade of the 2nd Division.
14.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and were engaged in actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Mons and subsequent retreat, The attack on Givenchy, the Battle of Festubert, The Battle of Loos.
20.12.1915 Transferred to the 100th Brigade of the 33rd Division.
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, attacks on High Wood, The battle of Delville Wood and The capture of Boritska and Dewdrop Trenches.
During 1917 The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The actions on the Hindenburg Line, Operations on the Flanders coast (Operation Hush), The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood.
During 1918
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of Bailleul, The defence of Neuve Eglise, The First Battle for Kemmel Ridge, The fighting for and recapture of Ridge Wood, The Battle of the Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of the Beaurevoir Line, The Battle of Cambrai, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Petit Maubeuge N.W. of Avesnes.

3rd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Tidworth at the outbreak of war as part of the 7th Brigade of the 3rd Division.
16.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Rouen and were engaged in actions on the Western Front including;
During 1914
The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of Le Cateau, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne including participation in the Actions on the Aisne heights, The Battles of La Bassee and Messines 1914, First Battle of Ypres.
During 1915
Winter Operations 1914-15, The First Attack on Bellewaarde, The Actions of Hooge, The Second Attack on Bellewaarde.
18.10.1915 The 7th Brigade transferred to the 25th Division and continued to be engaged in actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
Defence of Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of the Ancre Heights.
During 1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem.
10.11.1917 Transferred to the 74th Brigade of the 25th Division.
22.06.1918 Absorbed the 10th Battalion and transferred to the 57th Brigade of the 19th Division.
During 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 in France west of Bavai.

4th Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Meiktila, Burma at the outbreak of war.
01.02.1915 Returned to England landing at Avonmouth and joined the 88th Brigade of the 29th Division.
21.03.1914 Mobilised for war and embarked at Avonmouth for Gallipoli via Egypt.
25.04.1915 Landed at Gallipoli and were engaged in actions at the Battles for Krithia and the Achi Baba heights on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
14.01.1916 Evacuated to Egypt due to the severe Allied casualties from combat, disease and harsh weather.
20.03.1916 Landed at Marseilles
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
During 1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The Battle of Cambrai.
During 1918
The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Messines 1918, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of Bailleul, The Action of Outtersteene Ridge, The capture of Ploegsteert and Hill 63, The Battle of Ypres 1918, The Battle of Courtrai.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium west of Lessines.

5th and 6th (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Worcester at the outbreak of war, but moved to Plymouth in Aug then later onto Harwich, Essex where they stayed until the end of the war.

1/7th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Kidderminster at the outbreak of war, as part of the Gloucester & Worcester Brigade of the South Midlands Division.
Aug 1915 Moved to Swindon and then onto Maldon, Essex.
31.03.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne.
13.05.1915 Formation became the 144th Brigade of the 48th Division and the Division was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, 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, in which the Division occupied Peronne, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle.
Nov 1917 Moved to Italy and the Division was engaged in various actions including;
During 1918
The fighting on the Asiago Plateau, The Battle of the Vittoria Veneto (in Val d'Assa rather than the Vittoria Veneto).
04.11.1918 Ended the war in Austria, Pergine east of Trent.

1/8th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Worcester at the outbreak of war, as part of the Gloucester & Worcester Brigade of the South Midlands Division.
Aug 1914 Moved to Swindon and then onto Maldon, Essex.
31.03.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne.
13.05.1915 Formation became the 144th Brigade of the 48th Division and the Division was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, 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, in which the Division occupied Peronne, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle.
Nov 1917 Moved to Italy and the Division took part in the action on the Asiago Plateau.
Sep 1918 Moved back to France arriving at St. Riquier and joining the 75th Brigade of the 25th Division and once again engaged in action on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The Pursuit to and Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Preux north of Landrecies.

2/7th Battalion Territorial Force
Sept 1914 Formed at Kidderminster.
Jan 1915 Transferred to the 2/1st Gloucester & Worcester Brigade of the 2/1st South Midlands Division.
Mar 1915 Moved to Chelmsford.
Aug 1915 Formation became the 183rd Brigade of the 61st Division.
Mar 1916 Moved to Salisbury Plain.
25.05.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre. The Division was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Attack at Fromelles
1917
The Operations on the Ancre, The German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Langemarck, the Cambrai Operations.
06.02.1918 Disbanded at Germaine remaining personnel transferred to 2/8th and 10th Battalions.

2/8th Battalion Territorial Force
Sept 1914 Formed at Worcester.
Jan 1915 Transferred to the 2/1st Gloucester & Worcester Brigade of the 2/1st South Midlands Division.
Mar 1915 Moved to Chelmsford.
Aug 1915 Formation became the 183rd Brigade of the 61st Division.
Mar 1916 Moved to Salisbury Plain.
25.05.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre. The Division was engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Attack at Fromelles
During 1917
The Operations on the Ancre, The German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Langemarck, the Cambrai Operations.
11.02.1918 Absorbed personnel from the 2/7th Battalion and transferred to the 182nd Brigade of the 61st Division and the Division continued to engage in action on the Western Front including;
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of Bethune, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of Valenciennes.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, south of Valenciennes.

3/7th & 3/8th Battalion Territorial Force
April 1915 Formed at Worcester.
April 1916 Moved to Weston-super-Mare and then onto Salisbury Plain and became the 7th and 7th Reserve Battalions.
Sept 1916 Amalgamated to become the 7th Reserve Battalion.
Oct 1916 Moved to Cheltenham and then onto Catterick.
Summer 1917 moved to Blyth, Northumberland then Newcastle-upon-Tyne and transferred to the South Midland Reserve Brigade Territorial Reserve.

9th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Worcester as part of the First New Army (K1), then moved to Salisbury Plain and joined the 39th Brigade of the 13th Division.
Jan 1915 Moved to Basingstoke and then onto Blackdown, Aldershot.
24.06.1915 Embarked for Gallipoli from Avonmouth landing 13.07.1915 and the Division was engaged in various action including;
The Battle of Sari Bair, The Battle of Russell's Top, The Battle of Hill 60 and The last Turkish attacks at Helles.
24.01.1916 Evacuated to Egypt due to the severe Allied casualties from combat, disease and harsh weather.
16.02-10.03.1916 Transferred to Mesopotamia and the Division engaged in various actions including;
During 1917
The Battle of Kut al Amara, The capture of the Hai Salient, The capture of Dahra Bend, The passage of the Diyala, in the pursuit of the enemy towards Baghdad, also fought at Delli 'Abbas, Duqma, Nahr Kalis, crossed the 'Adhaim and at Shatt al 'Adhaim.
July 1918 The 39th Brigade transferred to the North Persia Force.

10th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Worcester as part of the Second New Army (K2), then moved to Salisbury Plain and joined the 57th Brigade of the 19th Division.
Mar 1915 Moved to Tidworth
19.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and the Division was engaged in various action on the Western Front including;
During 1915
The Action of Pietre, (a diversionary action during the Battle of Loos).
During 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.
During 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.
22.06.1918 Reduced to training cadre; most personnel transferred to the 3rd Battalion of the same Brigade and Division.
28.06.1918 Remaining cadre transferred to the 121st Brigade of the 40th Division.
10.07.1918 Absorbed by the 17th Battalion.

11th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Worcester as part of the Third New Army (K3), then moved to Sherrington, Wiltshire and joined the 78th Brigade of the 26th Division.
April 1915 Moved to Salisbury Plain.
21.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and the Division was engaged in various action on the Western Front.
11-24.11.1915 Moved to Salonika and the Division was engaged in various action including;
During 1916
The Battle of Horseshoe Hill
During 1917
The Battles of Doiran
During 1918
The Battle of Doiran, The Pursuit to the Strumica Valley.
30.09.1918 Transferred to the 78th Brigade of the 26th Division and crossed the border into Bulgaria where the hostiles ended shortly afterwards.

12th and 13th (Reserve) Battalions
Nov 1914 Formed at Plymouth as part of a service battalion for the Fourth New Army (K4), then moved to Millbrook and Looe, and joined the 98th Brigade of the 33rd Division.
Jan 1915 The 12th moved to Fowey, Cornwall.
10.04.1915 The 12th and 13th became the 2nd Reserve Battalion and the 98th Brigade became the 10th Reserve Brigade.
May 1915 Moved to Wareham
Oct 1915 The 13th moved to Blandford and the 12th moved to Swanage and then the 13th moved back to Wareham by July 1916.
01.09.1916 The 13th became the 46th Training Reserve Battalion and the 12th was absorbed into the 10th Reserve Brigade.

14th (Service) Battalion (Severn Valley Pioneers)
10.09.1915 Formed at Worcester by Lt. Col. H Webb M.P.
Mar 1916 Taken over by the war office and move to Salisbury Plain.
21.06.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre where they joined the 63rd Division and the Division was engaged in various action on the Western Front including;
Nov 1916 The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
The Operations on the Ancre, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Arras Offensive; when the Division captured Gavrelle, The Battle of Arleux, The Second Battle of Passchendaele, The Third Battles of Ypres, The action of Welsh Ridge and Cambrai operations.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battles of the Somme 1918, The Battle of Drocourt-Queant, The Second Battles of Arras, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai, The passage of the Grand Honelle, and the Final Advance in Picardy.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Bougnies south of Mons.

15th (Transport Workers) Battalion
Mar 1917 Formed in Bristol then moved to Southampton and onto Swindon.

17th (Service) Battalion
28.06.1918 Formed from the 17th (Garrison) Battalion (previously 1st Garrison Guard) near Hazebrouck, France. Absorbed cadre from the 12th Yorkshire Regiment and the 10th Battalion to become the Pioneer Battalion of the 40th Division. The Division then took part in the various actions on the Western Front including the Final Advance in Flanders, and the Battle of Ypres.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France south of Roubaix.

1st (Reserve) Garrison Battalion
Jan 1916 formed in Portsmouth then moved to Ryde, Isle of Wight in 1917.
Jan 1918 Moved back to Portsmouth and then onto Dublin.

Worcestershire Regiment during WW2

The Battalion's of the Worcestershire Regiment WW2

1st Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
In 1939 the Battalion were in Palestine, keeping the fragile peace between Arabs and Jews around Jerusalem. When war broke out they moved across into North Africa. They were sent to Abbysinia and Eritrea (which are now Ethiopia), which were Italian colonies. They fought a harsh campaign here, fighting in the mountains and conditions of intense heat in the deserts as the Italians put up a bitter resistance.

Eventually, after the battle of Keren, the Italians surrendered. By taking these colonies, the British had secured their supply lines through the Suez Canal and won a Britain's first major land victory of the war.
In 1941 the Battalion transferred to the Western Desert in order to fight the Germans. As the Germans advanced, the Battalion became trapped in Tobruk. Just outside this port the Battalion made a gallant stand, at a place called Point 187, holding back the German tanks for 24 hours before finally pulling back.

In June 1942 the Battalion were with the garrison of Tobruk when it surrendered. Only a few men escaped back to England.
In January 1943 the Battalion was reborn as the 11th Battalion, then renumbered as the 1st.

The new Battalion landed in Normandy in June 1944 and were heavily involved in the Battle of Caen and the advance on the River Seine. On the 16th August they crossed the River under heavy fire - the first unit across.

The Battalion later fought through the liberation of Belgium and Holland, and the invasion of Germany.

In March 1945 they played a major part in the crossing of the Rhine.

2nd Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
In 1939 the Battalion was in India. Until 1942 they guarded the North-West Frontier. Then Japan entered the war and swept through Burma and the Pacific. Fearing invasion, the Battalion moved to the south-east coast.
In February 1944 the Battalion moved up to the Burmese border, and in November crossed it and entered the war.

After fighting to relieve the Allied posts at Kohima and Imphal, they began the long march south.

Fighting through the thick jungle, they pushed jungle experienced Japanese Army back. It was a claustrophobic war, fighting the environment as well as the enemy.
After a hard fight at Nanka during December they reached Shwebo and crossed the Irrawaddy River in January 1945.

Pushing on down behind Japanese lines, they resisted a counter-attack at Kule (February) and liberated Mandalay in March 1945.

7th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
When war broke out, the Battalion was part of the Territorial Army
In 1940 the Battalion was sent to France, and fought through the campaign against the German invasion. After much hard fighting, they were evacuated through Dunkirk. During the retreat from Dunkirk the Battalion lost the instruments from their band. In 1944, when the British advanced back through the same areas, a French villager came forward with the missing equipment which he had found and hidden back in 1940.

After Dunkirk the Battalion served in England and Northern Ireland, and then were sent to India in 1942.

When the British liberated Burma in 1944 they fought from Kohima and Imphal all the way down to Rangoon (1945) with distinction. At Schwebo the local population were so thankful at being liberated they presented the Battalion with an ornate bowl.

8th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
At the outbreak of war the Battalion were a Territorial Army unit.
In 1940 the Battalion saw action in France at Wormhoudt and Dunkirk . One night in April 1940 a patrol from the 8th snuck out and through German lines to a church from which the Germans had been flying a large Nazi flag. They managed to climb up the steeple and steal it, eventually making it back to their own lines 22 hours after leaving.

After Dunkirk the unit became a training battalion in England, where it remained for the rest of the war.

9th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
The Battalion were raised in 1939, and spent the war in England and Northern Ireland as a home defence and training unit.

10th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
The 10th were raised in 1939, and served on home defence in England and Northern Ireland. They were part of the force who acted as decoys for the D-Day preparations, fooling the Germans into thinking that the invasion was going to be through Calais. After this they became a training battalion.

11th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
The Battalion was raised in 1940, and served on home defence until 1942 when they were disbanded and the men used to reform the 1st Battalion.

12th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
The Battalion was raised in 1940, and saw service as a garrison in Iceland before being changed into the 179th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery in 1942. They served in this role through France and Germany in 1944-5.

Worcestershire Regiment during WW1

The Worcestershire Regiment in WW 1
Over 130,000 men served in the Worcestershire Regiment during The Great War, 1914-19. In all, 9 Victoria Crosses were awarded to members of the Regiment. Six of these VC's are on display in the museum. In addition, the Regiment won 82 Distinguished Service Orders, 327 Military Crosses, 238 Distinguished Conduct Medals and over 800 Military Medals.

In July and August 1914, Europe went to war. The Regiment already had 8 Battalions - 4 Regular (with one in Burma, one in Egypt and two at home), 2 Special Reserve (Militia) and 2 Territorial Army. During the war another 14 Battalions were raised, mainly from volunteers, making a total of 22.

Twelve of the Battalions served overseas, in France and Belgium, Italy, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and across the Balkans. These were made up of volunteers, until casualties led to less voluntary recruits. In 1916 the Military Services Act was passed. This started the conscription of all able-bodied men under the age of 45.

The other ten Battalions were usually made up of men too old or unfit to serve overseas. Some were used to train recruits and others for transporting ammunition and supplies from factories and stores to the ports. Some were on Home Defence - protecting Britain from air raids, sea attacks and preventing spies from landing.

Casualties
9,463 of them were killed and countless more wounded.

Worcestershire Regiment during WW1


Memories of Worcestershire Regiment

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

Worcestershire Regiment, in 1941

I am looking for information about my Grandad "George Albert Nicholls" who was in the South Staffordshire Regiment/1st Worcestershire Regiment during the second world war. He fought in Africa (Palestine, Sudan, Libya) and was captured by Rommel in at Tubruk in June of 1942 and taken to a prison camp first in Italy and then to STALAG 4 DZ Germany until the end of the war.

Worcestershire Regiment, Burma in 1945

Clearing up and lookinh for Dacoits by unit transport in bullock carts for arrival first light to certail villages.Working with Burma Police.Anything running out ot the village was shot! i.e.Japs or Escaped Prisoners . Cross the Irawaddy to the Titsiengi area!! Speling!!!!!
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Battles / Campaigns

Marne (1914) WW1

3rd Worcestershire Regiment were attached to 7th Infantry Brigade 3rd Division and was part of the British Expeditionary Force (John French, serving as the first Commander-in-Chief of the BEF)

The First Battle of the Marne fought between 5 and 12 September 1914 marked the end of the German sweep into France and the beginning of the trench warfare that was to characterise World War One.
It was also one of the first major battles in which reconnaissance planes played a decisive role, by discovering weak points in the German lines and allowing the allies to take advantage of them.

Germany's grand Schlieffen Plan to conquer France entailed a wheeling movement of the northern wing of its armies through central Belgium to enter France near Lille. It would turn west near the English Channel and then south to cut off the French retreat. If the plan succeeded, Germany's armies would simultaneously encircle the French Army from the north and capture Paris.

A French offensive in Lorraine prompted German counter-attacks that threw the French back onto a fortified barrier. Their defence strengthened, they could send troops to reinforce their left flank - a redistribution of strength that would prove vital in the Battle of the Marne. The German northern wing was weakened further by the removal of 11 divisions to fight in Belgium and East Prussia. The German 1st Army, under Kluck, then swung north of Paris, rather than south west, as intended. This required them to pass into the valley of the River Marne across the Paris defences, exposing them to a flank attack and a possible counter-envelopment.

On 3 September, Joffre ordered a halt to the French retreat and three days later his reinforced left flank began a general offensive. Kluck was forced to halt his advance prematurely in order to support his flank: he was still no further up the Marne Valley than Meaux.

On 9 September Bülow learned that the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was advancing into the gap between his 2nd Army and Kluck. He ordered a retreat, obliging Kluck to do the same. The counterattack of the French 5th and 6th Armies and the BEF developed into the First Battle of the Marne, a general counter-attack by the French Army. By 11 September the Germans were in full retreat.

This remarkable change in fortunes was caused partially by the exhaustion of many of the German forces: some had marched more than 240km (150 miles), fighting frequently. The German advance was also hampered by demolished bridges and railways, constricting their supply lines, and they had underestimated the resilience of the French.

The Germans withdrew northward from the Marne and made a firm defensive stand along the Lower Aisne River. Here the benefits of defence over attack became clear as the Germans repelled successive Allied attacks from the shelter of trenches: the First Battle of the Aisne marked the real beginning of trench warfare on the Western Front.

In saving Paris from capture by pushing the Germans back some 72km (45 miles), the First Battle of the Marne was a great strategic victory, as it enabled the French to continue the war. However, the Germans succeeded in capturing a large part of the industrial north east of France, a serious blow. Furthermore, the rest of 1914 bred the geographic and tactical deadlock that would take another three years and countless lives to break.

The Battle of Marne was also one of the first major battles in which reconnaissance planes played a decisive role, by discovering weak points in the German lines and allowing the allies to take advantage of them. The mobility and destructive power of the numerous French 75 batteries engaged in the Battle of the Marne played a key role in slowing down and then halting German progress everywhere.

Over two million men fought in the First Battle of the Marne, of whom more than 500,000 were killed or wounded. French casualties totalled 250,000, 80,000 of them dead, while British casualties were 13,000, 1,700 of them dead. The Germans suffered 220,000 casualties.


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Active From: 1881 - 1970

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