Royal Lincolnshire Regiment

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Royal Lincolnshire Regiment[1]
Sobraon Barracks - - 1252187.jpg
Badge of the Regiment at Sobraon Barracks, Lincoln
Active 1695–1960
Country  Kingdom of England (1685–1707)
 Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1960)
Branch Army
Type Line infantry
Size Varied
Garrison/HQ Sobraon Barracks, Lincoln
Engagements War of the Grand Alliance
War of the League of Augsburg
War of the Spanish Succession (Blenhein, Ramillies & Malplaquet)
American War of Independence (Lexington, Bunker Hill, New York Campaign, Germantown, Monmouth, & Rhode Island)
French Revolutionary Wars
Napoleonic Wars
Peninsular War
First World War
Second World War

The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, raised on 20 June 1685 as the Earl of Bath's Regiment for its first Colonel, John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath. In 1751, it was numbered like most other Army regiments and named the 10th (North Lincoln) Regiment of Foot. After the Childers Reforms of 1881, it became the Lincolnshire Regiment after the county where it had been recruiting since 1781. After the Second World War, it was honoured with the name Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, before being amalgamated in 1960 with the Northamptonshire Regiment to form the 2nd East Anglian Regiment (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) which was later amalgamated with the 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk), 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot) and the Royal Leicestershire Regiment to form the Royal Anglian Regiment. 'A' Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglians continues the traditions of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment.


18th century[edit]

The regiment would see action during the War of the Grand Alliance, the War of the League of Augsburg and the War of the Spanish Succession at the Battle of Blenheim, Battle of Ramillies and the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1751, the regiment was given the title of the 10th Regiment of Foot, as all British regiments were given numbers for identification instead of using their Colonel's name. The regiment would next see action during the American War of Independence at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the New York Campaign, the Battle of Germantown, the Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Rhode Island. In 1778, the 10th returned home to England after 19 years service overseas. In 1781, the regiment was linked to the County of Lincolnshire for recruiting. During the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, the 10th Regiment would see service in Egypt and in Portugal and Spain in the Peninsular War.

19th century[edit]

In 1842, the 10th Foot was sent to India and was involved in the First Anglo-Sikh War and the bloody Battle of Sobraon. The 10th would also see action in the Second Sikh War in the Punjab, taking part in the Battle of Goojerat (or Gujrat, Gujerat) and the siege of Mooltan. In 1857, at the outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny, the Regiment was stationed at Dinapore and went on to play an important role in the relief of Lucknow.

The 1st Battalion, 10th Foot served in Japan from 1868 through 1871. The battalion was charged with protecting the small foreign community in Yokohama. The leader of the battalion's military band, John William Fenton, is honoured in Japan as "the first bandmaster in Japan"[2] and as "the father of band music in Japan."[3] He is also credited for initiating the slow process in which Kimi ga Yo came to be accepted as the national anthem of Japan.[4]

In 1881, when all British regiments were given county names, the 10th Regiment of Foot became known as the Lincolnshire Regiment.

During the war in the Sudan, the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment took part in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. The 2nd Battalion saw action in South Africa during the Boer War (1899–1902).

20th century[edit]

First World War[edit]

Badges of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, its successor, the Royal Anglian Regiment, its affiliate, the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps, and the Bermuda Rifles (as the BVRC was retitled between 1951 and 1965).
Bullock's Boys. The First Contingent of the BVRC to the Lincolns, training in Bermuda for the Western Front, Winter 1914–15. They reached France in June 1915, as an extra company of 1st Lincolns, and the survivors merged with a Second Contingent the following year.
The Roll of Honour 1914–1919 contains over 8000 names of men. It is displayed in a wooden case in the Services Chapel of Lincoln Cathedral

The regiment started the Great War with two regular battalions, one militia battalion and two territorial battalions. The 1st Lincolns were stationed in Portsmouth, the 2nd Lincolns on Garrison in Bermuda, and the 3rd in Lincoln. The 4th and 5th Battalions were the Territorial battalions, based throughout Lincolnshire.[5]

The Commanding Officer of 2nd Lincolns, Lieut.-Col. George Bunbury McAndrew, found himself acting Governor, Commander-In-Chief, and Vice-Admiral of Bermuda in the absence of the Governor, Lieut.-General Sir George Bullock, and oversaw that colony's placement onto a war footing.[6] The battalion returned to England on 3 October 1914, and was sent to the Western Front soon after, arriving in France on 5 November 1914.

A contingent from the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps was detached in December 1914 to train for the Front. It was hoped this could join 2nd Lincolns, but 1 Lincolns need for reinforcement was greater and it was attached to that battalion as an extra company (at least one Bermudian, though not from the BVRC, Corporal G.C. Wailes, did serve with the 2nd Lincolns).[7][8] Although commanders at the Regimental Depot had wanted to break the Contingent apart, re-enlist its members as Lincolns, and distribute them throughout the Regiment as replacements, a letter from the War Office ensured that the BVRC contingent remained together as a unit, under its own badge. The contingent arrived in France with 1 Lincons on 23 June 1915, the first colonial volunteer unit to reach the Western Front. It remained an extra company of 1 Lincolns til the following summer, by when its strength had been too reduced by casualties to compose a full company (having lost 50% of its then remaining strength at Gueudecourt on 25 September 1916). The survivors were merged with a newly arrived Second BVRC Contingent, of one officer and 36 other ranks, who had trained in Bermuda as Vickers machine gunners. Stripped of their Vickers machine guns (which had been collected, in the Army, under a new regiment, the Machine Gun Corps), the merged contingents were retrained as Lewis light machinegunners, and provided 12 gun teams to 1 Lincolns headquarters. By the War's end, the two contingents had lost over 75% of their combined strength. Forty had died on active service, one received the O.B.E, and six the Military Medal. Sixteen enlisted men from the two contingents were commissioned, including the Sergeant Major of the First Contingent, Colour-Sergeant R.C. Earl, who would become Commanding Officer of the BVRC after the War (some of those commissioned moved to other units in the process, including flying ace Arthur Rowe Spurling and Henry J. Watlington, who both went to the Royal Flying Corps).

The 1st and 2nd battalions served on the Western Front throughout the war. Thirteen other battalions were raised during the course of the war, including the 10th, the Grimsby Chums. At the end of the war in 1918, the 1st Lincolns, under Frederick Spring, and the 3rd Lincolns were sent to Ireland to deal with the troubles in the unrecognised Irish Republic.

Second World War[edit]

Men of the 4th Battalion at Skage, Norway after marching 56 miles across the mountains to escape being cut off, April 1940. A Norwegian soldier is seen examining one of their rifles

The Second World War was declared on Sunday, 3 September 1939 and the two Territorial Army battalions, the 4th and the 6th (a duplicate of the 4th), were called-up immediately. The 2nd Battalion embarked for France with the 9th Infantry Brigade attached to the 3rd Infantry Division commanded by Major-General Bernard Montgomery in October 1939. They were followed by the 6th Battalion, part of 138th Brigade with the 46th (West Riding) Infantry Division, in April 1940; both served with the British Expeditionary Force and managed to return from Dunkirk after the battles of France and Belgium. After returning to England, both battalions spent many years in the UK on home defence anticipating a possible German invasion of the United Kingdom. However, the invasion never occurred and both battalions with their divisions started training for offensive operations to be able to return to Europe.

The 1st Battalion, stationed in British India, saw no combat until 1942. They remained in India and the Far East throughout the war and were assigned to the 71st Indian Infantry Brigade, part of 26th Indian Infantry Division, in 1942. fighting the Imperial Japanese Army in the Burma Campaign and during the Battle of the Admin Box, the first major victory against the Japanese in the campaign, in early 1944 where Major Charles Ferguson Hoey was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

The Territorials of the 4th Battalion, part of 146th Brigade attached to 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division, were sent to Norway and were among the first British soldiers to come into contact against an advancing enemy in the field in the Second World War. Ill-equipped and without air support, they soon had to be evacuated. Within a few weeks, they were sent to garrison neutral Iceland. They trained as Alpine troops during the two years they were there. After returning to the UK in 1942, when the division gained the 70th Brigade, they were earmarked to form part of the 21st Army Group for the coming invasion of France and started training in preparation.

After two years spent on home defence, the 6th Battalion left for the final stages of the Tunisian Campaign in January 1943. In September 1943, they took part in the landings at Salerno in Italy as part of Mark Clark's US Fifth Army. The battalion returned to Egypt to refit in March 1944, by which time it had suffered heavy casualties and lost 518 killed, wounded or missing. It returned to Italy in July 1944 and, after more hard fighting, it sailed for Greece in December to help the civil authorities to keep order during the Greek Civil War. In April 1945, the 6th Lincolns returned to Italy for the final offensive but didn't participate in any fighting and then moved into Austria for occupation duties.

The regiment also raised two other battalions for hostilities-only, the 7th and 8th. However, both were converted into other arms of service, the 8th becoming the 101st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.

The Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps again provided two drafts; one in June 1940, and a full company in 1944. Four Bermudians who served with the Lincolns during the war (three from the BVRC) reached the rank of Major with the regiment: Major General Glyn Gilbert (later of the Parachute Regiment), Lieutenant Colonel Robert Brownlow Tucker (the first Commanding Officer of the Bermuda Regiment, amalgamated from the BVRC and the Bermuda Militia Artillery in 1965), Major Anthony Smith (killed-in-action at Venrai, in 1944, and subject of an award-winning film, In The Hour of Victory),[9][10][11][12][13] and Major Patrick Purcell, responsible for administering German newspapers in the British area of occupation.

Currently, the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment is the modern unit descended partly from the Lincolnshire Regiment. After forming up as a new squadron in Lincolnshire, 674 Squadron Army Air Corps adopted the Sphynx as the major emblem within its crest in honour of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, this honour being bestowed on the squadron by the then Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Michael Walker.

The Royal Anglian Regiment maintains the same parental relationship with the Bermuda Regiment that the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment had maintained with the BVRC (retitled Bermuda Rifles in 1951, before amalgamating into the Bermuda Regiment).

Battle honours[edit]

Steenkirk 8 July 1692, War of the Spanish Succession 1702–1713, Blenheim 13 August 1704, Ramillies 23 May 1706, Oudenarde 11 July 1708, Malplaquet 11 September 1709, Bouchain 13 September 1711, Lexington 19 April 1775, Bunker's Hill 17 June 1775, Peninsula 1816, Sobraon 10 February 1846, Mooltan 21 December 1848, Goojuarat 21 February 1849, Punjab 1857, Lucknow 1858, 1863, Atbara 1898, Khartoum 1898, Boer War 1899–1902, Pardeberg 19 February 1899, South Africa 1900–02,

Great War: Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, '18, La Bassée 1914, Messines 1914, 1917, 1918, Armentières 1914 Ypres 1914, '15, '17, Nonne Bosschen, Neuve Chapelle, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Aubers, Loos, Somme 1916, '18, Albert 1916, '18, Bazentin, Delville Wood, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Thiepval, Ancre 1916, '18, Arras 1917, '18, Scarpe 1917, '18, Arleux, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917, '18, St. Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Lys, Estaires, Bailleul, Kemmel, Amiens, Drocourt Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, Canal du Nord, St. Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914–18, Suvla, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1916,

Second World War: Vist, Norway 1940, Dunkirk 1940, Normandy Landing, Cambes, Fontenay le Pesnil, Defence of Rauray, Caen, Orne, Bourguébus Ridge, Troarn, Nederrijn, Le Havre, Antwerp-Turnhout Canal, Venraij, Venlo Pocket, Rhineland, Hochwald, Lingen, Bremen, Arnhem 1945, North-West Europe 1940, '44–45, Sedjenane I, Mine de Sedjenane, Argoub Selah, North Africa 1943, Salerno, Vietri Pass, Capture of Naples, Cava di Terreni, Volturno Crossing, Garigliano Crossing, Monte Tuga, Gothic Line, Monte Gridolfo, Gemmano Ridge, Lamone Crossing, San Marino, Italy 1943–45, Donbaik, Point 201 (Arakan), North Arakan, Buthidaung, Ngakyedauk Pass, Ramree, Burma 1943–45

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Abbreviations have included RLR.
  2. ^ Asiatic Society of Japan. (1980). Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, p. 14.
  3. ^ Joyce, Colin and Julian Ryall. "British Soldier who Wrote Japanese National Anthem Honoured." The Telegraph (London). 14 October 2008.
  4. ^ Joyce, Colin. "Briton who gave Japan its anthem," The Telegraph. 30 August 2005; Sabadus, Aura. "Japan Searches for Scot who Modernised Nation," The Scotsman. 14 March 2006.
  5. ^ F. G. Spring, 'The History of the 6th (Service) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment' (Poacher Books, 2008), 6.
  6. ^ The Royal Gazette, 6 August 1914: GOVERNMENT NOTICES. A PROCLAMATION! (MARTIAL LAW REGULATIONS). By His Excellency George Bunbury McAndrew, Lieutenant-Colonel, Officer Administering the Government and Commander-in-Chief in and over these Islands, &c., &c., &c.
  7. ^ The Royal Gazette, 29 December 1914: CORPORAL WAILES WOUNDED
  8. ^ THE ROYAL GAZETTE, 27 April 1915: CORPORAL G. WAILES. The First to Return
  9. ^ Ostrow and Company: In The Hour of Victory
  10. ^ Bernews Documentary Preview: In The Hour Of Victory
  11. ^ Official Trailer: In The Hour Of Victory on YouTube
  12. ^ The Royal Gazette: Lucinda Spurling’s In The Hour of Victory wins at Houston film festival
  13. ^ Bernews: Victory Film Claims Another Film Festival Award

External links[edit]