Unit History: Royal Berkshire Regiment
The Regiment was officially formed in 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms when the 49th and 66th Regiments of Foot were amalgamated. However the Regiment can trace its history back a further hundred years prior to this date.
The 49th was first formed in 1744 in Jamaica through the amalgamation of the eight independent companies garrisoned there. The Governor, Edward Trelawney who had no military experience, was appointed Colonel and as was the tradition of the time the Regiment was named after the current colonel as Trelawney’s Regiment. This tradition continued until 1748 when the Regimental naming system was simplified and all were assigned ranked numbers, the Regiment first became the 63rd but in 1748 was renumbered the 49th Regiment of Foot. The Regiment remained in Jamaica until 1764 but saw its first major actions during The American War of Independence, fighting at the occupation of Philadelphia (1777) and the battle of Brandywine. After the French entered the war in 1778 the 49th were sent to defend the West Indies and seized St. Lucia before the French arrived. In 1782 Regiments without Royal titles were given county titles to assist in recruiting and the 49th became the 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment. From 1805 to 1812 the 49th, came under the command of Colonel Isaac Brock, who had risen through the ranks of the 49th to become Colonel and later second in command to Lord Admiral Nelson. From 1802 to 1814 the 49th served in Canada and fought at The Battle of Queenstown Heights (1812) where General Sir Isaac Brock fell. In 1815 The 49th Regiment returned to England from Canada and took over duties of guarding members of the Royal family residing at Weymouth. The young Princess Charlotte, granddaughter of George III, was so impressed by the Regiment that she begged for the 49th to become 'her' Regiment. The title was awarded and the 49th became the Princess Charlotte of Wales' Hertfordshire Regiment. The Regiment went on to serve during the First Opium War (1839–42) and Crimean War (1853–56).
In 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms the Regiment was merged with the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot to form Princess Charlotte of Wales's Berkshire Regiment. The 66th was formed in 1756 during the Seven Years' War as a second battalion of the 19th Regiment and became an independent Regiment in 1758 and numbered the 66th Regiment of Foot. In 1764 the Regiment went to Jamaica to relieve the 49th Regiment. In 1782 the Regiment received the county title of Berkshire to aid recruitment from that region. The Regiment fought during the Peninsular War in 1803 and was then sent to guard Napoleon on St. Helena in 1816 following his defeat at Waterloo. In 1821 the grenadiers of the 20th and 66th bore him to his grave after he died, after this the Regiment returned to England and had postings to Gibraltar and the West Indies. It went on to fight at the battle of Maiwand in 1880 as part of the Second Anglo-Afghan War, were the Regiment fought to the very last man with great bravery.
The Newly formed Regiment went on to serve during the Boer War and two World Wars. In 1959 as part of defence cuts the Regiment was amalgamated with the Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh's) to form the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire). In 1994 further amalgamation followed with the Gloucestershire Regiment to form the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment and in 2007 it joined the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, the Light Infantry and the Royal Green Jackets to form The Rifles.
Royal Berkshire 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 16 battalions during the First World War; it was awarded 55 battle honours and two Victoria Crosses, losing 7,140 men during the course of the war.
04.08.1914 Stationed at Mandora Barracks, Aldershot as part of the 6th Brigade of the 2nd Division.
13.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Rouen and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres.
Winter Operations 1914-15, The Battle of Festubert, The Battle of Loos.
13.12.1915 Transferred to the 99th Brigade of the same Division and continued to fight on the Western front;
The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of the Ancre, Operations on the Ancre.
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First and Second Battles of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Battle of Cambrai.
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai, The Battle of the Selle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Escarmain north of Solesmes.
04.08.1914 Stationed at Jhansi, India.
20.08.1914 Embarked for England arriving 22.10.1914 moving to Winchester to join the 25th Brigade of the 8th Division.
05.11.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Neuve Chapelle, The Battle of Aubers, The action of Bois Grenier.
The Battle of Albert.
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemarck.
The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The actions of Villers-Bretonneux, The Battle of the Aisne, The Battle of the Scarpe, The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Pommeroeul west of Mons.
3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Reading and then moved to Portsmouth.
Nov 1917 Moved to Dublin, Ireland until the end of the war.
1/4th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Reading as part of the South Midland Brigade of the South Midland Division and then moved to Chelmsford.
31.03.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and the formation became 145th Brigade of the 48th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
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.
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, Vigalzano east of Trent.
2/4th Battalion Territorial Force
06.11.1914 Formed at Reading and then moved to Maidenhead.
Feb 1915 Moved to Northampton to join the 184th Brigade of the 61st Division and then moved to Chelmsford and then Salisbury Plain.
27.05.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
The Attack at Fromelles.
The Operations on the Ancre, The German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Langemarck.
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, Sepmeries S.E. of Valenciennes.
3/4th Battalion Territorial Force
25.03.1915 Formed at Chelmsford and then to Weston-super-Mare.
08.04.1916 Became the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the South Midland Reserve Brigade and moved to Ludgershall.
Oct 1916 Moved back to Chelmsford and then to Catterick.
July 1917 Moved to Cambois, Blyth where it remained.
5th (Service) Battalion
25.08.1914 Formed as part of the First New Army (K1) in Reading to join the 35th Brigade of the 12th Division and then moved to Shorncliffe.
Jan 1915 Moved to Folkstone and then Aldershot.
31.05.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Loos.
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Le Transloy.
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Cambrai operations.
06.02.1918 Transferred to the 36th Brigade of the same Division and continued to fight on the Western Front;
The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Epehy, The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Vieux Conde.
6th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed as part of the Second New Army (K2) at Scotland to join the 53rd Brigade of the 18th Division and then moved to Colchester.
May 1915 Moved to Salisbury Plain.
26.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
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.
Operations on the Ancre, 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.
12.02.1918 Disbanded in France, remaining personnel to the 1st 2nd and 5th Battalions.
7th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed as part of the Third New Army (K3) at Reading and joined the 78th Brigade of the 26th Division and then moved to Codford St. Mary and then returned to Reading.
May 1915 Moved to Fovant, Wiltshire and then Longbridge Deverill, Wiltshire.
20.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre
11-24.11.1915 Moved to Salonika and engaged in various actions against the Bulgarian Army including;
The Battle of Horseshoe Hill.
The Battles of Doiran.
The Battle of Doiran, The Pursuit to the Strumica Valley.
30.09.1918 Ended the war in Macedonia, Hamazill Pass near Strumica.
8th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed as part of the Third New Army (K3) at Reading and attached to the 26th Division and moved to Salisbury Plain.
May 1915 Moved to Sutton Veny.
08.08.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and transferred to the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres.
Winter Operations 1914-15, The Battle of Aubers, The Battle of Loos.
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
02.02.1918 Transferred to the 53rd Brigade of the 18th Division and continued to fight on the Western Front;
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, Le Cateau.
9th (Reserve) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) at Portsmouth to join the 96th Brigade of the 32nd Division.
10.04.1915 Became a 2nd Reserve Battalion of the 8th Reserve Brigade.
May 1915 Moved to Wool.
01.09.1916 Became 37th Training Reserve Battalion.
10th (Labour) Battalion
May 1916 Formed at Portsmouth.
20.06.1916 Moved to France.
April 1917 Transferred to the Labour Corps as the 158th and 159th Labour Companies.
11th (Labour) Battalion
June 1916 Formed at Parkhurst.
24.07.1916 Moved to France.
April 1917 Transferred to the Labour Corps as the 160th and 161st Labour Companies.
12th (Labour) Battalion
June 1916 Formed at Freshwater.
Aug 1916 Moved to France.
April 1917 Transferred to the Labour Corps as the 162nd and 163rd Labour Companies.
13th (Labour) Battalion
July 1916 Formed at Cosham.
21.09.1916 Moved to France.
April 1917 Transferred to the Labour Corps as the 164th and 165th Labour Companies.
1st (Home Service) Garrison Battalion
Aug 1916 Formed at Portsmouth.
Aug 1917 Became the 14th Battalion of the Royal Defence Corps.
Royal Berkshire Regiment during WW2
WW2 Battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment
During WW2 a total of 11 Royal Berkshire Battalions were eventually raised of which six - 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 10th and 30th saw service in France, North West Europe, Italy, Sicily and Burma. The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion nominally remained in existence during the war, but it was never activated.1st (Regular)Battalion:
1939: The Battalion formed part of the BEF and was attached to 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Division (MAJOR-GENERAL H. C. LLOYD)
24 September 1939: Landed in Cherbourg, France.
December 1939: By now had taken up their positions on the Belgian border.
10 May 1940: Took up positions along the River Dyle.
13 May 1940: That evening they made their first contact with the German Army whilst on patrol.
15 May 1940: The main attack began and the battalion held their ground. Later were given orders to withdraw and to make their retreat to Dunkirk.
27 May 1940: During the retreat the Battalion HQ was attacked at St Venant where some were captured and taken prisoner.
May-June 1940: Were evacuated and returned to the U.K landing at Margate, ending up in Yorkshire for intense training.
January 1941: By now were based in Gloucestershire getting prepared for the Far East war.
April 1941: They embarked at Liverpool.
(*From here until mid 1942 unsure)
January 1943: Took up a position on the seashore north of Chittagong.
February 1943: They moved to Teknaf
*December 1942 to May 1943: The First Arakan Campaign. (advance on Donbaik)
18 March 1943: Battalion still attached to the 6th Brigade, took part in the advance. They were involved with fierce fighting and became overrun by the enemy and were forced to withdraw.
30 May 1943: Arrived in Ahmednagar, Western India. Reorganised and began training.
November 1943: Went to Bombay.
01 December 1943: Returned to Ahmednagar where they remained and spent Christmas.
March 1944: For further training in jungle warfare they went to Belgaum, shortly after they received the order to move to an operational area.
05 April 1944: The battalion moved towards Assam. They occupied a camp at Dimapur and learned that the Japanese were only 30 miles away. (This was a major offensive by the Japanese to Invade India)
12 April 1944: They started to move towards Kohima that was under siege.
15 April 1944: With the British 6th Brigade, 2nd Division took over 161st Brigade's defensive position (the "Jotsoma Box"), allowing them to be part of an attack towards Kohima.
19 April - 20 April 1944: They replaced the original garrison.
17 May 1944: After five weeks hard fighting they were finally relieved returning to Dimapur.
22 May 1944: Returned to fight locations known as ‘Matthew’ ‘Mark’ and ‘Luke’. They remained in constant action for 7 weeks or so.
December 1944: The Battalions was destination was Sheba via Cheongsam, Singing, Thetkegyin, and Okkan. By now the battalion were at Kailua ready to cross the Chinwin hills.
24 December 1944: Until then everything was going well but when they approached Wainggyo it was garrisoned by Japanese defenders.
25 December 1944: They went into action.
01 January 1945: They moved to Taze.
04/05 January 1945: Went into action at Bugyi.
09 January 1945: They transferred into Brigade reserve at Thayetpinzu, in Burma. Field Marshal Slim congratulated them for their outstanding week.
04 February1945: They took up a position in Natkayaing.
At the end of February they moved to Myittha and took part in the action at Nyaungyin.
April 1945: They were flown back to India.2nd Battalion:
September 1939: The battalion was based in India on the outbreak of war.
October 1941: They moved to Colaba and helped escorting Italian PoW's up country.
August 1942: Became part of the 19th Indian Infantry Division and stayed with until 1945.
January 1943: Moved fifteen miles from Madras where they occupied Basha huts.
May 1943: Moved close to Bangalore and practiced futher for jungle warfare.
October 1943: Had arrived in the teak forests of Malabar where they stayed for a few weeks.
Begining 1944: Had moved to Bidada and began training for Combined Operations.
November 1943: Concentrated at Milestone 116 on the Kohima-Impal road.
December 1943: They were at Nathanyit and had crossed the river to Naungtaw.
They were ordered into action at Kyaikthin.
03 January 1944: Entered into Kanbalu.
June 1944: The Battalion was at Janori, near Deolali in the Western Ghats, India.
July 1944: Preparing for operations in Burma to start in the autumn.
29 October 1944: The battalion left for Assam.
December 1944: They were at Nathanyit preparing to cross the Chindwin River.
13 December 1944: The first companies of the battalion crossed the Chindwin from Nathanyit to Naungtaw. The went into action at Kyaikthin.
02 January 1945: Entered Kanbalu.
04 January 1945: Assault on Zigon, after moved on towards Kinu.
07 - 08 January 1945: the Battalion was conducting a battalion attack at Kinu.
16 January 1945: Remainder of the battalion merged with soldiers from the 8th Frontier Force (Finch Force.) They then became involved in the Kabwet battle.
A memorial plaque stands at the entrance to a pagoda near the top of Mandalay Hill it was erected in honour of the 2nd Battalion and reads: Erected to commemorate the fierce fighting in the clearance and final capture of Mandalay Hill by the 2nd Bn, The Royal Berkshire Regiment, March 10th to 12th 1945.4th Battalion:
17 January 1940: The Battalion set sail for France with the BEF early in the war serving with the 8th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division under Maj-Gen. B. L. Montgomery. They took up positions at Tourmignies.
10 March 1940: Left for Belgium.
13 March 1940: The Battalion were within the confines of the Gementee woods, close to Leuven.
17 March 1940: They withdraw, passing through Brussels were involved in a number of conflicts.
May (late) 1940: The Battalion defending the Albert Canal in Belgium, was overwhelmed by German troops,. Many soldiers of the 4th Battalion were captured and made prisoners of war.
May 1940: Evacuated from the beaches near La Panne., France and returned to the UK.
June 1940: They went onto Frome in Somerset and remained un-allotted to a field formation. They then carried out defensive operations at Avonmouth docks and the Filton aerodrome where they lost a number of men to German bombing.
December 1940: They moved to Northern Ireland becoming attached to the 148th Independent Brigade and went into training.
January 1942: The battalion moved to Bellaghy where they undertook the defence of Londonderry until they were relieved by the Americans and returned to the UK.
April 1942: Moved to the Isle of Thanet, Kent.
July 1942: Became an officers training unit (OCTU).
1943-45: The Battalion moved to Wrotham (still in Kent) and for the next two years carried out its duties as an Officer training unit. 5th (Hackney) Battalion:
1939: The Battalion (formerly the 10th London Regiment Hackney) was stationed in London. Most of the Battalion remained in the UK until the Battle of Normandy commenced.
November 1939: The Battalion had moved to Suffolk and began training.
1940: Early in the year moved up to Northumberland where the Battalion was to became part of the Mobile reserve. Some of the 5th Bn became joined to the 7th Battalion (who at this time were part of 161st Infantry Brigade, 54th (East Anglia) Infantry Division). It became a new Combined Operation Unit and was called No 3 Company. Later 3 Company had moved overseas to Norway.
March 1941: Moved to Burford in Oxfordshire and continued training.
November 1941: Returned to Suffolk where they remained for a couple of years training.
January 1943: On Costal Defence Duties in Suffolk.
August 1943: Moved to Gailes Camp in Scotland for training in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. (No 8 Beach Group)
September 1943: Moved down to Bournemouth for specialized training.
Early 1944: Still training and preparing for their role as a beach Battalion.
June 1944: The Battalion landed with the Canadians 3rd Division at Juno Beach, Normandy and remained there as part of a beach group with the responsibility for the landing ground.
August 1944: The Battalion had been reduced to 16 Officers and 136 men.
December 1944: Still designated as a Beach Group Unit even though were reinforced by 370 or so men not up to physical fitness.
25 December 1944: Moved into Lille.
February 1945: Moved into Waterscheide, eastern Belgium. The battalion was rebuilt and they were re-designated as a ‘Bank Group’ and later moved to Xanten on the Rhine.
24 March 1945: They assisted the 15th Scottish Division across the river. The Battalion remained in Xanten until peace was declared and for the rest of the year carried out garrison duties.
June 1945: Disbanded at Hildesheim, Germany.6th (Territorial) Battalion:
The Battalion never served overseas. They remained in the UK and Ireland throughout the war and spent their time training, patrol and guarding duties of all kinds including PoWs.
January 1940: Moved to Southampton.
May/June 1940: The build up to and after the evacuation of Dunkirk training intensified due to the fear of German invasion
18 June 1940: Moved to Larne, Northern Ireland, and marched to Kilwaughter castle. Here they lived in tents and the duties were the same as carried out in England.
09 October 1940: Moved to Coleraine where they occupied Gribbons Linen factory.
January 1941: Still in garrison at Kilwaughter. The training was increased to a very high level that carried on for the rest of the year.
January 1942: The battalion moved from Londonderry to Crom Castle. Later the Americans arrived and formed part of a striking force together with the 4th bn of the R. Berkshires.
January 1943: The Battalion left Ireland returning to England and went to Colchester. Later moved to Aylesbury in Wiltshire where they carried out intensive training in anticipating active service overseas
October 1943: Moved down to Dover and where put on costal defence duties d to Dover to take up costal defence duties and on news year day they were on the 01 January 1944: Were on the Romney Marshes.
July 1944: The Battalion had orders to move to the Orkneys. There they were located in Tormiston and Quoyer Camps.
November 1944: Moved to Bexhill in Sussex where they remained for the remainder of the year.
07 May 1945: VE day the battalion, still based in Sussex whilst they were re-training several hundred men of the Royal Artillery. They had orders to prepare for a move to the Far East.
15 August 1945: The Japanese had surrendered so the Battalion had a lucky escape.
October 1945: Moved to Hothfield in Kent and later on to Dover. 7th (Stoke Newington) Battalion:
September 1939: The Battalion was stationed in London. It became part of 161st Infantry Brigade, 54th (East Anglia) Infantry Division. They remained in the UK throughout the war, apart from serving in Norway. The next few weeks to follow the Battalion was put on guard duties in Enfield, Battersea, Kensington, Hammersmith and shepherds bush.
November 1939: They moved to and trained in Suffolk.
1940: Early in the year moved up to Northumberland where the Battalion was to became part of the Mobile reserve. Some of the 7th Bn became joined to the 5th Battalion. It became a new Combined Operation Unit and was called No 3 Company. Later 3 Company had moved overseas to Norway.
March 1941: They moved to Kingston Bagpuize in Oxfordshire and continued training.
November 1941: Returned to Suffolk for further training.
September 1942: The Battalion disbanded.8th (Home Defence) Battalion:
November 1939: The Battalion was formed from No 84 Group. They served in the Defence of Britain throughout the war. Initially they were formed from men of a lower medical category and young soldiers. The Battalion grew to 2000 strong.
1940: They spent the year on guard duties throughout the south of England.
September 1940: The young soldiers formed a new unit and became the 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion R. Berkshire Regt'.
29 December 1941: The Home Defence title was dropped and they were re-named the 30th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment.9th Battalion:
Mid 1940: The Battalion was formed at Reading and served in the UK only. They became under the command of Lt Col L. Tremellen. As part of 213 Infantry Brigade, moved to Hereford.
October 1940: Moved to East Anglia.
December 1940: Training and carrying out guard duties on the Norfolk Coast from Caistor to Somerton.
July 1941: Moved to Wymondham in Norfolk and carried out further training.
August 1941: Returned to the coast.
June 1942: Moved to North Walsham, Norfolk a long with the remainder of the same Brigade, took up position in reserve near Furze Hill. They later held name of "The Farmers Boy's"
Mid December 1943: The Battalion disbanded and many of the men joined their comrades in Italy and Burma.10th Battalion:
September 1940: The Battalion was formed. Initially it was the 50th (Holding) Battalion.
February 1941: The Battalion, relieved of its costal defence duties and was sent to join the 56th (London) Division, and had become a fully fledged field unit.
January 1942: Still in Suffolk commenced intensive training
28 August 1942: Set sail from Liverpool.
05 November 1942: Landed at Basra, Iraq. They then moved on to Kirkuk for further training.
March 1943: Left for Egypt where they continued their training.
June 1943: Went to Gaza where they were ordered to waterproof all their vehicles.
July 1943: Set sail for invasion of Sicily - codenamed Operation Husky.
12 July 1943: Landed. Their first action was at Fossa Bottaceto and suffered heavy casualties. Remained for a further five days under fire at a place they named "Berkshire Farm" before being withdrawn into reserve. They were then involved in operations around Primasole
05 August 1943: They took part in the General Advance after the German defences were breached at Etna.
10 October 1943: Moved to Italy and in the same month went on to a position at Pignataro then after took part in the attack on the ridge at Calvi Risorta followed by further actions at Teano, Gloriana and Roccamonfina.
Winter of 1943: In action at the River Garigliano and Monte Camino.
Early December 1943: Battalion was relieved and moved to Casanova.
01 January 1944: Left Casanova and returned to action and played a major part in the crossing of the River Garigliano.
20 January 1944: The Battalion themselves crossed the river.
21 January 1944: The Battalion arrived and occupied Mount Damiano. They were instantly attacked repeatedly by the Germans from dawn onwards.
22 January 1944: That afternoon the Battalion had experienced the heaviest shelling ever. They still managed to hold the hill. Fighting continued for a few more days.
25 January 1944: Were relieved and was able to have a short rest. They became part of an independent brigade group.
02 February 1944: Landed in Anzio, Italy and took up position north of the town.
05 February 1944: Took over part of the line near Carroceto from the divisional reconnaissance regiment.
04 March 1944: The Battalion a long with the Division were sent back to Egypt to re fit.
April 1944: the Battalion disbanded due to the lack of manpower. Most of the men remaining transferred to other units within the 56th (London) division known as the Black cats (Divisional sign).30th Battalion:
(Record same as 8th Battalion from 1939 - Dec 1941)
December 1941: The 30th Battalion came from a re-designation of the 8th (Home Service) Battalion and were in the South Midland Area.
1942: They initially acted as a mobile reserve in the Oxfordshire Area. They also provided drafts for other units.
November 1942: Battalion was based at Ridge Camp, Cosham in Wiltshire where they guarded the Box tunnel and provided duty men for the Southern Command Headquarters at Wilton, Wiltshire (not far from Salisbury).
January 1943: They were ordered to provide two platoons as a personal guard for Her Majesty Queen Mary, at Badminton.
April 1943-44: Remainder of the Battalion stayed in Wiltshire, Dorset and Southampton (Hampshire).
27 August 1944: Battalion moved to Devon.
January 1945: Ordered to transform into a field force unit.
13 February 1945: Landed at Ostend in Belgium and joined the 21st Army Group.
19 February 1945: Took up a position at Lottum in the Netherlands and were in contact with the enemy for the first time. They later came under command of the 1st Czech Armoured Brigade area near Loo Plage.
April 1945: Moved to Boulogne and then shortly after ended up in Holland where they became the ‘T’ Force Battalion of Western Holland.
08 May 1945: VE Day, They were the first unit into Rotterdam
15 November 1945: Battalion was disbanded.50th (Holding) Battalion:
May 1940: The Battalion were formed in Reading. Their purpose was to ‘hold’ men who were temporarily homeless, including the medically unfit, and those returning from abroad, awaiting orders, courses or reposting to other units. 70th (Young Soldier) Battalion:
1940: The Battalion was formed at Thame in Oxfordshire. Initially they were part of the 8th Battalion. The unit consisted of boys who had presented themselves for service. They trained for the remainder of the year.
January 1941: They moved to Cornwall and after a short period of stabilization they were spread all over Cornwall guarding vulnerable points.
October 1941: Left for Northern Ireland and became part of the Belfast Garrison.
December 1941: Moved to Ballykinlar to train. They met up with the 4th and the 6th Bn's.
Spring 1942: Moved to Bangor for further training and to carry out duties at the Belfast docks.
August 1942: By now the battalion was 1000 strong and had moved to a camp at Glenarm.
1943: Spent the early part of the year training.
June 1943: Battalion disbanded. The troops were transferred to other front line units.
Memories of Royal Berkshire Regiment
(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)
Royal Berkshire Regiment, in 1955
Written by Richard Henry Hodgson
Does anyone remember Drm.Mjr.Charles?
I last met him in 1987 when we both
lived in Exeter, Devon.
Does anyone remember Drummer
Scott? I knew him when I was a Bugler.
Do you remember in Cyprus a private
called Moss,nicknamed Stirling?
Royal Berkshire Regiment 5th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment in 1935
Written by John Bartlett
Does anyone remember John Bartlett?? He was definitely in the 5th Battalion as it is on his marriage certificate! Help please to find anything at all about this unknown Grandfather.