South Lancashire Regiment

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South Lancashire Regiment
(The Prince of Wales's Volunteers)
Active 1881–1958
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Type Infantry
Role Line Infantry

1–2 Regular Battalions
1 Militia and Special Reserve Battalion
2 Territorial and Volunteer Battalions

Up to 15 Hostilities-only Battalions
Garrison/HQ Warrington
Nickname The Excellers[1]
Motto Ich dien (I serve)

The South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Volunteers) was a regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1958. It was formed as part of the Childers reforms as the Prince of Wales's Volunteers Regiment (South Lancashire Regiment) by the amalgamation of the 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot and the 82nd (Prince of Wales's Volunteers) Regiment of Foot. In 1938, it was renamed the South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Volunteers) and in 1958 was amalgamated with The East Lancashire Regiment to form The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers).[2]


Formation to the First World War[edit]

The 1st Battalion was in Ranikhet, India, when the regiment was formed. It shipped to Aden in 1884 and to Britain in 1886 where it remained until the outbreak of the Second Boer War. After service in South Africa, it returned to India and garrison duty up to the outbreak of the First World War. The 2nd Battalion spent the years between 1881 and 1914 on garrison duty throughout the Empire, returning to England in 1903. The 3rd Battalion (previously the 4th Royal Lancashire Militia) was raised in 1899 for service in South Africa from 1900 to 1901, when it was disbanded.

The First World War, 1914–1918[edit]

Grave of 31097 private W. Jaundrell buried at Locre No.10 Cemetery, Loker

The 1st Battalion spent the war on garrison duty in Quetta, Baluchistan, on the North-West Frontier. The 2nd Battalion spent the entire war on the Western Front. The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion was a depot and training battalion stationed in Lancashire thoroughout the war. The Territorial and war-service battalions fought on the Western Front, in Mesopotamia, Gallipoli and Macedonia.[3] Among its officers was future Prime Minister Clement Attlee, who served with the regiment at Gallipoli and was later wounded while serving in Mesopotamia and again on the Western Front.

Between the Wars[edit]

The 1st Battalion took part in Third Afghan War of 1919 before returning to Britain, where it remained (except for a brief period as part of the Army of Occupation of Germany in 1928) until the outbreak of the Second World War. The 2nd Battalion spent these years on garrison duty, from 1920 ro 1922 in the new British Mandate of Palestine, and thereafter in India and the North West Frontier.

Men of the 1st Battalion in action in the Netherlands, November 1944

Second World War[edit]

The 1st Battalion was shipped to France on the outbreak of war as part of the 4th Infantry Division, British Expeditionary Force, returning to England via Dunkirk in 1940, when it became part of the 3rd Infantry Division. With this Division, it landed at Sword Beach on D-Day and fought its way through the Normandy, the Netherlands and later the invasion of Germany.

The 2nd Battalion was in Bombay in 1939, being transported back to England in July 1940 to defend Britain against the expected German invasion. In 1942, it was part of Force 121, which invaded Madagascar in order to prevent use of the island by the Japanese. From April 1944 until the end of the war, it fought in the recapture of Burma.

Peace and amalgamation[edit]

Immediately after the war, the 1st Battalion served in Egypt and Palestine before being reduced to a cadre and alamgamated with the 2nd Battalion at Trieste in 1948. The surviving 1st Battalion saw further service in the Sudan, England, Berlin and Hong Kong where, in 1958, it was amalgamated with 1st Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment, to form 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers).

Battle honours[edit]

Grave of a South Lancashire private killed in 1918, in the Bar-le-Duc cemetery.

The Regiment was awarded the following battle honours:

  • From 40th Regiment of Foot: Egypt, Monte Video, Rolica, Vimiera, Talavera, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Waterloo, Candahar 1842, Ghuznee 1842, Cabool 1842, Maharajpore, New Zealand
  • From 82nd Regiment of Foot: Rolica, Vimiera, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthes, Peninsula, Niagara, Sevastopol, Lucknow
  • Louisburg, Martinique 1762, Havannah, St. Lucia 1778, Corunna, Relief of Ladysmith, South Africa 1899-1902
  • Great War (20 battalions): Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914 '18, La Bassée 1914, Messines 1914 '17 '18, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1914 '15 '17 '18, Nonne Bosschen, St. Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Mount Sorrel1, Somme 1916 '18, Albert 1916, Bazentin, Pozières, Guillemont, Ginchy, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916, Arras 1917 '18, Scarpe 1917 '18, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917 '18, St. Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Rosières, Lys, Estaires, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Scherpenberg, Drocourt Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Courtrai, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914-18, Doiran 1917 '18, Macedonia 1915-18, Suvla, Sari Bair, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1916, Tigris 1916, Kut al Amara 1917, Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1916-18, Baluchistan 1918
  • Afghanistan 1919
  • Second World War: Dunkirk 1940, Normandy Landing, Odon, Bourguébus Ridge, Troarn, Falaise, Venraij, Rhineland, Hochwald, Bremen, North-West Europe 1940 '44-45, Madagascar, Middle East 1942, North Arakan, Mayu Tunnels, Kohima, Meiktila, Nyaungu Bridgehead, Letse, Irrawaddy, Sittang 1945, Burma 1943-45

1. Awarded in error, and withdrawn in 1925

Victoria Crosses[edit]

The following members of the Regiment were awarded the Victoria Cross:


The Queen's Lancashire Regiment Museum is at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, Lancashire.


  1. ^ From XL, the Roman numeral 40
  2. ^ T.F. Mills The South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers) (Archive of page)
  3. ^ The Long, Long Trail The South Lancashire Regiment

External links[edit]