Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)
|Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)
Badge of the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)
|Active||1 July 1881 – 1 September 1970|
|Garrison/HQ||Fulwood Barracks, Preston|
|Nickname||Cauliflowers, the Lancashire Lads, and Wolfe's Own|
(Loyalty Binds Me)
|Colors||Scarlet with White Facings|
|Anniversaries||15 February (Kimberley)
4 July (Maida)
31 December (Tarifa)
The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) (until 1921 known as the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) was a line infantry regiment of the British Army that was in existence from 1881 to 1970. In 1970, the regiment was amalgamated with the Lancashire Regiment to form the Queen's Lancashire Regiment which was, in 2006, amalgamated with the King's Own Royal Border Regiment and the King's Regiment (Liverpool and Manchester) to form the Duke of Lancaster Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border).
- 1 History
- 2 Battle honours
- 3 Regimental traditions
- 4 Victoria Cross recipients
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
The regiment was formed as part of the Childers Reforms of 1881 by the amalgamation of the 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot, 81st Regiment of Foot (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers), 3rd Duke of Lancaster's Own Royal Lancashire Militia and the 11th and 14th Lancashire Rifle Volunteer Corps. The Loyals were one of seven county regiments recruiting in Lancashire. The depot was at Preston, and the regimental district also included the towns of Bolton, Chorley, Farnworth, Hindley. The regiment also recruited in the Isle of Man. As part of the Cardwell Reforms, the 47th and 81st regiments were linked. The depot for the linked regiment was Fulwood Barracks at Preston. Beginning in 1873, the regiments which would eventually be re-designated as the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment began moving their depot units to Fulwood. However, it would not be until 1877 that the moves were completed when the required facilities were completed.
The barracks themselves had been completed in 1848 and served as the station for a number of units between 1848 and 1881. Notably, in the 1860s, it was occupied by the 11th Depot Battalion, which served as depot unit for 11th Hussars and of the 1st/10th, 2nd/10th, 1st/11th, 32nd, 41st and 55th Regiments of Foot. In 1861, Pte Patrick McCaffery, a 19-year old private soldier with the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot shot and killed the Depot's commander, Colonel Hugh Crofton, and Depot's adjutant, Captain John Hanham, with a single shot. The incident began over McCaffery's punishment for failing to vigorously pursue an investigation into some children who had broken some windows at the barracks. McCaffery was tried and convicted at the Liverpool Assizes. He was executed on 11 January 1862. It is claimed that since that time, his ghost haunts the officer's mess at Fulwood barracks.
Boer War, 1899–1902
In 1899, the Loyal Regiment found itself assigned to South Africa. With hostilities seeming likely in the aftermath of the Jameson Raid, the De Beers company became increasingly concerned with the security of its operations in Kimberly. Although a town guard and other volunteer formations had been raised, the De Beers company and citizens of Kimberly petitioned for additional security measures. On 7 October 1899, an artillery battery and four companies of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment were dispatched to secure the town under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Kekewich. Five days later, with the start of hostilities, Boer forces arrived and began to beisolate Kimberley. For the next 126 days, the North Lancs and the local militias would be cut off and subjected to regular shelling from the Boer artillery. The siege was finally lifted when Brigadier-General Sir John French's Cavalry Division was able to breakthrough the Boer lines on 15 February 1900.
With its commander and four of its companies under siege in Kimberly, the balance of the 1st Battalion served with Lord Methuen. Together with the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, 2nd Northampton Regiment, and 2nd King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), they formed the 9th Brigade of the 1st Division. They served with 9th Brigade at the Battles of Belmont, Modder River and Magersfotein.
Following the relief of Kimberly in February 1900, the battalion. The Loyals would remain a part of Methuen's command until July when it was detached to guard Oliphant's Nek. However, on 8 August, they abandoned this task at the orders of Colonel Baden-Powell and left the area unguarded. This allowed Christiaan de Wet to escape the British forces attempting to catch him. Although the Boer escaped, it was ruled that orders received by the Loyals were to blame, and the regiment escaped censure.
The end of 1900 found 1st Loyals back with the 9th Brigade. As part of the brigade, they took part in actions around Klerksdorp. Remaining under Lord Methuen's command for the rest of the war, the Loyals provided men to be formed into mounted infantry companies as the war shifted from large engagements into a guerrilla war. The Loyals would continue to serve throughout the guerrilla phase, engaging Boer commandos on a number of occasions until the end of the war with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging.
Early 20th century
The 2nd Battalion had been stationed in the United Kingdom after the amalgamation in 1881, serving in England to 1887, at Jersey 1887-1890, in Ireland 1890-1896, and again in England until 1899. From 1899 there were postings in the Mediterranean, at Malta until 1901, followed by a year at Crete, and from May 1902 at Gibraltar.
First World War, 1914–1918
The Regiment raised a number of extra war service battalions during The Great War. In all the Loyal North Lancs expanded to 21 battalions of infantry for service at home and abroad. Of these, there were the two regular battalions (the 1st and 2nd Battalions), the initial reserve battalion (3rd Battalion), ten Territorial Force battalions (1/4th, 1/5th, 2/4th, 2/5th, 3/4th, 3/5th, 4/5th, 1/12th(Pioneers), 2/12th, and 14th Battalions), and seven service battalions for the Kitchener's Army (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th (Reserve), and 15th Battalions), as well as a home service battalion (13th (Home Service) Battalion).
During the First World War, the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal Regiment was raised in August 1914, as part of the "Kitchener Army"'s first wave (sometimes referred to as K1). It was moved to Tildworth and then to Blackdown in February 1915. Eventually it sailed as part of the 38th Brigade of the 13th (Western) Division to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. As part of the 13th (Western) Division, the battalion served in the Gallipoli Campaign. The division landed at Anzac Cove on 4 August 1915. After participating in the battles at Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay, the 6th Battalion along with the rest of the division were withdrawn from Suvla and moved to the Helles landing beaches. The division was finally withdrawn from Gallipoli and sent to Egypt to refit in January 1916.
In February 1916, the division was ordered to move to join the Tigris Corps in its operations to relieve the Anglo-Indian garrison besieged at Kut. As part of the Tigris Corps, the battalion attempted to lift the siege of Kut. Initially deployed along the left bank of the Tigris River, the North Lancs participated in the Battle of Fallahiya, on 6 April 1916, and Battle of Sanniyat, on 9 April 1916. The 6th North Lancs managed to break into the Turkish positions at the Sanniyat, but because follow-on forces were unable to link up with them, they along with the rest of the 38th Brigade were eventually driven back.
After the failure of the Tigris Corps to relieve Kut, the 6th North Lancs, as well as the rest of the division remained in theater. Receiving replacement drafts from home, the 6th North Lancs began training to prepare for the winter campaign to retake Kut and drive on Baghdad. After the capture of Kut, the 38th Brigade, of which the 6th North Lancs was a part, was the spearhead for the drive across the Diyala River. After the failure of the first attempt to cross the river, 6th North Lancs were tasked with seizing the beachhead on the far side of the river. Approximately 100 men of the 6th North Lancs were able to make the initial crossing on 8 March 1917. Subjected to multiple counter-attacks through the day, North Lancs held on to the beachhead despite the main force being unable to land more troops. By the end of 8 March 1917, there only 40 effectives left. Throughout the next day, the North Lancs defended their beachhead against a further counter-attack and shelling by the Turkish Army. They were not relieved until the next day when the Turkish forces retreated after their position became untenable due to advances by the British and Indian forces on the right bank of the Tigris River. In the course of two days, 6th North Lancs suffered 31 KIA and 65 wounded.
Following the fall of Baghdad, the 6th North Lancs, participated in the drive north to Kirkuk. At the conclusion of the war, the 6th North Lancs was selected as one of the battalions which would make up the initial occupation force of the region (eventually renamed Iraq). They were transferred to 34th Indian Infantry Brigade for occupation duties in 1918 after the armistice with Turkey was signed on 31 October 1918. The 6th North Lancs were eventually demobilized in 1919.
Between the wars
Even though The Great War ended with the Armistice, battalions of the Loyal Regiment remained active in the early post-war years. The 2nd Loyals were sent to Ireland for service during the Irish War of Independence. The Loyals were dispatched to serve during the Chanak Crisis. Both battalions of the Loyals served in China during the Warlord Era and the Chinese Civil War, protecting the legation in Peking and the international settlements at Tientsin, Canton, and most importantly Shanghai. The 1st Loyals also saw action in policing the British Mandate of Palestine during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine.
Second World War, 1939–1945
Regular Army battalions
At the outbreak of World War II, the 1st Battalion, Loyal Regiment were part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, attached to the 1st Infantry Division. In September 1939 they were sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force and remained there alongside the French Army until May 1940. The 1st Loyals would participate in the fighting in France and Belgium in 1940, including acting as part of the rearguard for the Dunkirk evacuation during the battle. After spending two years on home defence, the 1st Loyals would eventually would see action again in North Africa in the Tunisia Campaign in early 1943, and Italy and at the Battle of Anzio where the 1st Division saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war. The battalion along with the rest of 1st Division were sent to Palestine in 1945. During the fighting in the Tunisian campaign, in April 1943, Lieutenant Willward Alexander Sandys-Clarke was posthumously awarded the regiment's only Victoria Cross of the war.
Upon the commencement of hostilities in 1939, the 2nd Battalion, Loyal Regiment found themselves stationed in the Far East as part of Singapore Fortress's 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 2nd Loyals fought in Malaya as part of the delaying action during the Battle of Malaya. Eventually, the 2nd Battalion surrendered along with the rest of the Singapore garrison on 15 February 1942. The survivors spent the rest of the war as prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Army. Following the destruction of the 2nd Loyals with its surrender at Singapore, the battalion was reformed in Britain. The 10th Battalion, a hostilities-only battalion raised in 1940, was re-designated as the new 2nd Battalion on 28 May 1942.
Territorial Army battalions
In addition to the two regular battalions, the Loyal Regiment also had three Territorial Army battalions (4th, 5th, and 6th battalions) at the start of the war, although the 4th Battalion was converted to the 62nd Searchlight Regiment of the Royal Engineers before the war. In 1940 it was transferred to the Royal Artillery. In 1943 it became 150th (Loyals) Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery and, in March 1944, joined the 9th Armoured Division until it was disbanded and the regiment later served with the 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division from August 1944 until March 1945 when it was sent to North-west Europe to join the British Second Army.
The 5th Battalion was trained as a motorcycle battalion in the 55th (West Lancashire) Division. The 5th Battalion later was transferred and converted, in 1941, into a Reconnaissance Corps unit for the 18th (East Anglian) Division and re-designated as the 18th Battalion, Reconnaissance Corps. The 18th Recce was transferred with the rest of the 18th Division as reinforcements for the Battle of Singapore. They arrived at Singapore late in the campaign without much of their equipment and were used as regular infantrymen until the surrender on 15 February 1942. Like the men of the Regular 2nd Battalion captured in Singapore, the men of 18th Recce spent the rest of the war as prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Army.
The 6th Battalion was raised in 1939 as a 2nd Line duplicate of the 5th Battalion and served with its parent unit in the 55th (West Lancashire) Division until being transferred to the 59th (Staffordshire) Division soon after the outbreak of war. The battalion, like its parent unit, was also trained as a motorcycle battalion in the 59th Division. Like the 5th Battalion, the 6th Battalion Loyals were also converted in 1941 from their infantry role. The battalion was transferred to the Reconnaissance Corps and converted and re-designated as 2nd Reconnaissance Regiment and joined the 2nd Infantry Division, a Regular Army formation, on 30 April 1941. With the rest of the division, it was transferred to British India in April 1942 where it would be engaged against the Imperial Japanese Army, notably in India during the Battle of Kohima in 1944 and then as part of William Slim's, commander of the British Fourteenth Army, offensive to re-capture Burma.
War Service battalions
The 7th Battalion of the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) was a wartime infantry unit raised at the regimental headquarters, Fulwood Barracks, Preston, on 4 July 1940. The bulk of the battalion's recruits were men from Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire, who had been called up for military service. The battalion was initially based in Caernarvon, North Wales as part of 215th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home). It was later on anti-invasion duties in Liverpool, the Scarborough coast, Darlington and Redcar guarding against Operation Sea Lion, the German invasion of England, which never arrived. On November 13, 1941, the battalion was transferred to the Royal Artillery and converted into the 92nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery and joined the 3rd British Infantry Division, a Regular Army formation. The regiment landed in Normandy with the rest of 3rd Division on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and performed notable service during Operation Tonga in defence of Pegasus Bridge and Horsa Bridge.
The 8th Battalion was raised in 1940 and also served in 215th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home). Like the 7th Loyals, the 8th Battalion was also transferred and converted to a regiment in the Royal Artillery and became the 93rd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery in late 1941. In January 1942 it joined the 42nd Support Group, part of the 42nd Armoured Division, and transferred to Home Forces from May 1942 until March 1944. Like the 92nd LAA Regiment, the 93rd LAA Regiment served with the British Second Army in the North West Europe Campaign from 1944 to 1945.
The 9th Battalion, Loyal Regiment was also raised in 1940, serving alongside the 7th and 8th battalions in 215th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home). In 1941, the battalion was transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps and converted into the 148th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps. However, they continued to wear their Loyal Regiment cap badge on the black beret of the Royal Armoured Corps, as did all infantry units converted in such a way. The regiment was attached to the 33rd Armoured Brigade (previously 33rd Tank Brigade) and landed on the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944, D-Day. The regiment fought during Operation Overlord and throughout the Battle for Caen until it was disbanded, due to an acute shortage of manpower, on 16 August 1944 and replaced in the brigade by the 1st East Riding Yeomanry. The men of 148 RAC were sent to other British armoured units in the 21st Army Group.
The 50th (Holding) Battalion, Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) was raised in June 1940. The battalion's purpose was to temporarily 'hold' men who were medically unfit or homeless, awaiting orders, on courses or returning from abroad. In October it was redesignated as the 10th Battalion and joined the 210th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) and then the 203rd Independent Infantry Brigade (Home). The battalion was again re-designated as the 2nd Battalion on 28 May 1942 after the original 2nd Battalion was lost at Singapore in February. The new 2nd Battalion served mainly in the United Kingdom with the 166th Brigade, 55th Division. However, in October 1944 the battalion was sent to Italy to fight in the Italian Campaign with the 20th Indian Infantry Brigade, 10th Indian Infantry Division and saw action in Operation Grapeshot, the final offensive in Italy.
Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), 1946–1970
The Loyal Regiment continued to serve during the sunset of the British Empire. Battalions of the regiment served in the Palestine Mandate. The 1st Battalion served in the Malayan Emergency from 1957 to 1959. C Company was dispatched to Aden during the Emergency in 1966. B Company was also despatched the following year-1967 prior to the withdrawal of British troops that year. The Regiment was amalgamated with The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers) to form The Queen's Lancashire Regiment in 1970, at Connaught Barracks, Dover.
The following are the battle honours earned by the Loyal Regiment. This includes those awarded to the 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot, 81st (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers) Regiment of Foot, the predecessors of the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire).
- Peninsula Campaign: Maida, Corunna, Tarifa, Vittoria, San Sebastian, Nive, Peninsula.
- First Anglo-Burmese War, 1824–1826: Ava
- Crimean War, 1854–1856: Alma; Inkermann, Sevastopol.
- Second Afghan War, 1878–1880: Ali Masjid, Afghanistan 1878-9
- Anglo-Boer War, 1899–1902: Defence of Kimberley, South Africa 1899–1902; Mediterranean 1900–01
- First World War, 1914–1918: Mons; Aisne 1914, 1918; Ypres 1914, 1917, 1918; Somme 1916, 1918; Lys; Hindenburg Line; Suvla; Gaza; Baghdad; Kilimanjaro. Retreat from Mons; Marne 1914, 1918; Langemarck 1914; Gheluvelt; Nonne Bosschen; Givenchy 1914; Aubers; Festubert 1915; Loos; Albert 1916; Bazentin; Pozières; Guillemont; Ginchy; Flers-Courcelette; Morval; Ancre Heights; Ancre 1916; Arras 1917, 1918; Scarpe 1917; Arleux; Messines 1917; Pilckem; Menin Road; Polygon Wood; Poelcapelle; Passchendaele; Cambrai 1917, 1918; St Quentin; Bapaume 1918; Estaires; Bailleul; Kemmel; Béthune; Scherpenberg; Soissonnais-Ourcq; Drocourt-Quéant; Epéhy; Canal du Nord; St Quentin Canal; Courtrai; Selle; Sambre; France and Flanders 1914–18; Doiran 1917; Macedonia 1917; Sari Bair; Gallipoli 1915; Egypt 1916; Nebi Samwil; Jerusalem; Jaffa; Tell'Asur; Palestine 1917–18; Tigris 1916; Kut al Amara 1917; Mesopotamia 1916–18; East Africa 1914–16.
- Second World War, 1939–1945: Dunkirk 1940; Djebel Kess Kiss; Gueriat el Atach Ridge; North Africa 1943; Anzio; Fiesole; Monte Grande; Italy 1944-5; Johore; Singapore Island. North-West Europe 1940; Banana Ridge; Medjez Plain; Djebel Bou Aoukaz 1943 I; Gab Gab Gap; Rome; Gothic Line; Monte Gamberaldi; Monte Ceco; Batu Pahar; Malaya 1941-2
As with many British Army regiments, the Loyals accumulated a number of traditional observances during their existence. The first to happen each year was the celebration of the regiment's defence of Kimberley during the Boer War. Annually, the regiment would celebrate this battle honour on 15 February. The next anniversary on the calendar commemorated the victory at the Battle of Maida, where the 1st Battalion of the 81st Regiment, won the battle honour carried by the Loyals. Annually, the regiment commemorated the battle with a parade and dinner in the mess. Annually on 13 September, the Loyals commemorated Quebec Day. This celebrated the 47th Regiment's participation in the capture of Quebec under General Wolfe. Men of the 1st Battalion of the Loyals, successors to the 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot, were eligible to become members of the Wolfe Society. The anniversary was marked by a trooping of the colours while the regimental band played the 47th Regiment's slow march followed by Quebec. On New Year's Eve, the Sergeants' Mess of the Loyals would hold a ball in celebration of Tarifa Day. The ball commemorated the defense of Tarifa by the 47th Regiment in 1811 against a determined assault by the French army.
The Loyal Regiment inherited its nicknames from its predecessor formations. The regiment's uniform, which was initially scarlet with white facings and the Lancashire rose on their cap badges earned them the name "Cauliflowers" because of the similar looks. For their service under Wolfe during the Seven Years' War, as well as his earlier service in the regiment, they were known as "Wolfe's Own". As they recruited and were affiliated within Lancashire, they were also known as the "Lancashire Lads".
Over the years, the Loyals, as well as their predecessors acquired a number of possessions which were prized by the regiment. Important to every regiment of the British Army was its silver. In 1958, in honour of the Queen Elizabeth II, the regiment's officers purchased an equestrian statue which was placed in front of the commanding officer's place setting. Before the junior lieutenant's place setting, there was placed a silver fox statute, acquired by the regiment in 1928. Finally, there was the Subaltern's Cup. This was a silver goblet which was part of the place setting of the senior lieutenant of the regiment. It was used as part of a drinking ritual when the senior lieutenant was finally promoted to captain. Perhaps the oldest of the regiment's treasures was a snuff box made from a tortoise shell. After the Battle of Maida, the commander of the 1/81st Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Kempt, had a dinner made from a tortoise found near the battle. He turned the shell of the tortoise into a snuff box and presented it to the officer's mess.
Victoria Cross recipients
- Private John McDermond (47th Regiment of Foot, later 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) 5 November 1854, Inkerman, Crimea.
- Private Henry Edward Kenny (1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) 25 September 1915, Loos, France.
- (Temporary) Lieutenant Thomas Orde Lawder Wilkinson (7th (Service) Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) 5 July 1916, posthumously.
- Lieutenant Richard Basil Brandram Jones (8th (Service) Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment), 21 May 1916, Vimy, France, posthumously.
- Lieutenant Willward Alexander Sandys-Clarke (1st Battalion, Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)), 23 April 1943, Guiriat El Atach, Tunisia, posthumously.
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- George H. Cassar, The Tragedy of Sir John French, (Cranbury, NJ: University of Delaware Press., 1985) p. 47–49
- Northumberland Regiment in Anglo-Boer War
- Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in the Anglo-Boer War
- "Naval & Military intelligence" The Times (London). Monday, 19 May 1902. (36771), p. 8.
- "Loyal North Lancashire Regiment battalions".at The Long, Long Trail recovered on 2009-07-31
- killed-in-action. This was a casualty category used by the army during the period of early twentieth century.
- Ministry of Defence
- George Forty (1998), "British Army Handbook 1939–1945", Stoud: Sutton Publishing, pp. 50–1.
- "Infantry Units". British and Commonwealth Units that served in the Malayan Emergency retrieved on 2009-07-31
- "Infantry Units". British units serving in Aden 1955–67
- P.D. Griffin, Encyclopedia of Modern British Army Regiments, (Phoenix Mill: Sutton Publishing, 2006) p.91.
- Griffin, p. 92.
- Anon., Regimental Nicknames and Traditions of the British Army (London: Gale & Polen, 1916), p. 85.
- Mills, T.F. "The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment". regiments.org. Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved April 15, 2007. Includes chronological index of titles.
- Ministry of Defence "The Regimental History of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment" (PDF).
- 1914–1918.net, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at The Long, Long Trail.
- Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1914–18, Biographies of soldiers who served during the First World War.