|The Dorset Regiment|
Badge of the Dorset Regiment (1953–1958)
|Size||2 Regular Battalions
1 Reserve Battalion
1 Territorial Battalion
|Garrison/HQ||The Depot Barracks, Dorchester|
|Motto||Primus in Indis|
|March||Quick: The Maid of Glenconnel|
|Anniversaries||Plassey, 23 June|
The Dorset Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1958, being the county regiment of Dorset. Until 1951, it was formally called The Dorsetshire Regiment, although usually known as "The Dorsets". In 1958 the regiment was amalgamated with the Devonshire Regiment to form the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. In 2007, it was amalgamated with several other infantry regiments to form The Rifles.
World War I
The 2nd Battalion was in Poona, India, when war broke out and was shipped to Mesopotamia, where it was trapped in the Siege of Kut and captured by the Turks. (Of the 350 men of the battalion captured, only 70 survived their captivity.) During the siege, returning sick and wounded, and the few replacements who had been sent out, were unable to re-join their battalion, so they, and similar drafts of the 2nd Norfolk Regiment, were amalgamated into a scratch battalion forming part of the force attempting to relieve Kut. This battalion was formally titled the Composite English Battalion, but was more commonly known as The Norsets; it was broken up in July 1916, when the 2nd Dorsets was re-constituted. The 1/4th Battalion of the Territorial Force served in India and Mesopotamia and 1/5th Battalion in India and Egypt and Palestine.
The 5th (Service) Battalion fought at Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine, and the Western Front alongside the 1st and 6th Battalions.
World War II
In the Second World War, eight hostilities-only battalions were raised. The 1st Battalion was a regular army unit and part of 231st Infantry Brigade, alongside 1st Royal Hampshires and 2nd Devonshires, for the duration of the war, fighting in Malta, Sicily, and Italy. The 1st Dorsets landed on Gold Beach on D-Day as a part of the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division and fought with the division in the Battle of Normandy and North-West Europe, until the division was withdrawn in late 1944 and used as a training division.
The 2nd Battalion was also a regular army unit and was a part of 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, throughout the war, participating in the Battle of France and the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. In 1944, it took part in the Burma Campaign of 1944–1945 and the Battle of Kohima, still with the 2nd Division.
The 4th Battalion was an original 1st Line Territorial Army unit and, in 1939, raised a 2nd Line duplicate, the 5th Battalion, when the Territorial Army was doubled in size. The 4th and 5th Battalions were both in the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division, which was regarded as one of the best divisions of the British Army during the Second World War, participating in the Normandy Campaign, Operation Market Garden to the Rhine Crossing. They both served in the 129th Infantry Brigade.
Post war and amalgamation
- From 39th Regiment of Foot: Plassey, Gibraltar 1779–83, Albuhera, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Peninsula, Maharajpore, Sevastopol
- From 54th Regiment of Foot: Marabout, Egypt, Ava
- Martinique 1794 (awarded in 1909 for service of the 39th Regiment), Tirah, Relief of Ladysmith, South Africa 1899–1902
- The Great War (13 battalions): Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, La Bassée 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1915 '17, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Bellewaarde, Somme 1916 '18, Albert 1916 '18, Flers-Courcelette, Thiepval, Ancre 1916 '18, Arras 1917, Scarpe 1917, Messines 1917, Langemarck 1917, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, St. Quentin, Amiens, Bapaume 1918, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, Canal du Nord, St. Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Cambrai 1918, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914–18, Suvla, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1916, Gaza, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jerusalem, Tell 'Asur, Megiddo, Sharon, Palestine 1917–18, Basra, Shaiba, Kut al Amara 1915 '17, Ctesiphon, Defence of Kut al Amara, Baghdad, Khan Baghdadi, Mesopotamia 1914–18
- The Second World War: St. Omer-La Bassée, Normandy Landing, Villers Bocage, Tilly sur Seulles, Caen, Mont Pincon, St. Pierre La Vielle, Arnhem 1944, Aam, Geilenkirchen, Goch, Rhine, Twente Canal, North-West Europe 1940 '44–45, Landing in Sicily, Agira, Regalbuto, Sicily 1943, Landing at Porto San Venere, Italy 1943, Malta 1940–42, Kohima, Mandalay, Mt. Popa, Burma 1944–45
The following member of the regiment was awarded the Victoria Cross:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dorsetshire Regiment.|
- "The Dorset Regiment at the archive of regiments.org". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- "The Dorsetshire Regiment". 1914-1918.net. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- "The 2nd Dorsets in Mesopotamia". Keepmilitarymuseum.org. Retrieved 2014-04-29.