Herefordshire Light Infantry
|The Herefordshire Light Infantry|
The Regiment had no lineal connection with the 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot.
The 1st Administrative Battalion, Herefordshire and Radnorshire Rifle Volunteers was formed in 1861. It comprised the 1st to 8th Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps and the 1st to 3rd Radnorshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, units of the Volunteer Force formed in the wake of the Crimean War. (In this instance Corps refers to a Company-sized unit of around 100 men, not the more modern use of the word.)
In 1880, it was re-designated 1st Herefordshire (Hereford and Radnor) Rifle Volunteers, the Corps were renamed Companies, and in 1881 it became the volunteer battalion of The King's (Shropshire Light Infantry). In 1908, it was transferred to the Territorial Force as the Herefordshire Battalion, The King's (Shropshire Light Infantry) (without the Radnorshire companies) and in 1909 was renamed as the 1st Battalion, The Herefordshire Regiment.
In the Great War it was expanded to three battalions, of which the 1st Battalion fought at Gallipoli, in Egypt and Palestine and, for the last few months of the war, on the Western Front. In World War II, the 1st Battalion was divided to form the 1st/1st and 1st/2nd Battalions. While the 1st/2nd was involved in home defence throughout the war, the 1st/1st participated in the Invasion of Normandy and Northwestern Europe.
In 1947, it was re-designated 1st Battalion, The Herefordshire Light Infantry. In 1967, as part of the re-organization of the Territorial Army, it was disbanded as a regiment, although it was immediately re-constituted as two companies of different Territorial Army regiments (C Company (Herefordshire), Light Infantry Volunteers and B Company (Hereford Light Infantry), The King's Shropshire and Herefordshire Light Infantry (T)). After a number of re-designations, reorganizations and disbandments, one platoon survives as the Hereford Platoon, (E) Company, 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment; and as H-Detachment (Hereford) Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry.
The regiment was awarded the following battle honours:
- South Africa 1900-02
- The Great War (3 battalions): Marne 1918, Soissonais-Ourcq, Ypres 1918, Courtrai, France and Flanders 1918, Suvla, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915, Rumani, Egypt 1916-17, Gaza, El Mughar, Jerusalem, Tell 'Asur, Palestine 1917-18
- The Second World War (2 battalions): Odon, Defence of Rauray, Bourguébus Ridge, Cagny, Mont Pincon, Souleuvre, Falaise, Antwerp, Hechtal, Venraij, Venlo Pocket, Rhineland, Hochwald, Ibbenburen, Aller, North-West Europe 1944-45