The Regimental Association of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment

Welcome to our website

Welcome to Our Regimental Association

Welcome to our website.  Our Association exists to preserve the memory of The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and its forebears, The Devonshire Regiment and The Dorset Regiment, and to maintain the close comradeship that our members found during their service in these renowned British Army infantry regiments.  We also give our staunchest support to the new Regiment into which our Regiment was merged in 2007 - The Rifles, in which the Infantrymen of Devon and Dorset now serve.

Please browse our site to learn more about our history, objectives, organisation and activities. Our About Us and Events pages will tell you who we are, how we are organised and alert you to our future gatherings and events.

Association Membership and the Members Area

Membership of our Association is open to anyone who has served with The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, its antecedent Regiments and members of our successor Regiment - The Rifles.  See our Association Rules for the full details. If you fall into any of the categories listed there you can be an Association member.  You should supply us with your details so we can add you to our Registered Members List.  Visit our Members Area page to find out how.  It only takes a minute to register and you only have to apply once.

Once you have registered, we will supply you with a password so you can log into the Members Area pages on this website.  There you will get additional Association information that is only for our members, such as detailed news, more information about our activities, contact details for our Branches and Focal Points and the e-version of The Janner, our monthly newsletter. 

A NATIONAL MEMORIAL TO THE COUNTY REGIMENTS OF DEVON AND DORSET 

We are delighted to announce that we are going to place a splendid new memorial to honour our three Regiments at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA); the nation's centre for remembrance.Our memorial will be a visible, national legacy of The Devonshire Regiment, The Dorset Regiment and The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. It will demonstrate the pride we members have in our Regimental service and will tell our story to generations to come.

We invite all those who served in our three Regiments, their families, friends and people in the communities from which our soldiers came, our 'Wider Regimental Family', to join us in making this happen. You can become a joint owner of our memorial by making a contribution to its cost. Anyone can make a donation and we hope you will do so!

All the details of this exciting project, including how you can make a gift, are on our special Memorial Page, you can see what our memorial will look like and view a list of names of those of us who have contributed so far.

What our memorial means to me

'We that are left now of the Devon and Dorset's you see marching through Exeter on our regimental day are the last of the Devon and Dorset Regiment. When we are gone there will be no-one ... all the families of men who served in the regiment, and died in the regiment: all of those families will have somewhere to go and look and say: 'that's where they were'.

Keith Hicks

Devonshire and Devonshire and Dorset Regiments, whose father, Cpl Arthur Hicks, went 'over the top' on The Somme on 1st July 1916 with B Company, 2nd Devons.


Visit our Memorial Page

Click the button:

Association Programme - 01 August to 31 August 2017

04 - Plymouth Focal Point meeting – Rowing Club, North Rd, Plymouth 8pm

04 - Plymouth (Late Devons) Branch meeting, Crownhill Families Club, Fort Road, Crownhill at 1030-12 noon.

04 - Plymouth D and D Branch meeting, RBL Crownhill, Tailyour Road, Crownhill at 7.30pm

04 - Exeter Branch meeting, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30pm

07 - Honiton F/P meeting, The Heathfield Inn, Honiton at 1pm.

11 - Poole Branch meeting, RBL Club, 66 North Road, Parkstone, Poole, at 2.15pm.

16 - Bridport Branch meeting, at The Haddon House Hotel, West Bay, Bridport at 11.30 am.

16 - Exmouth F/P meeting, RAFA Club, Imperial Rd Exmouth from 1 pm.

17 - Southampton and District Branch meeting, Locksheath Working Men’s Club, Duncan Road, Park Gate at 12.00 pm.

18 - Books of Remembrance Page Turning Service, Sherborne Abbey, at 11am. Refreshments afterwards. All welcome

26 - Salisbury F/P meeting, RBL Andover at 7.30pm

Check our Calendar page for the details and our Local Organisation page for contact information. Why don't you join our members at our local gatherings? They would be delighted to see you.

Visit our Calendar page for notice of meetings throughout the year.

New Information

27 May 2017: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion after party at the Exeter White Ensign Club

27 May 2017: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion.

24 June 2017: National Armed Forces Day. Events are happening up and down the country to find what's happening in your area take a look at the Armed Forces Day website. With so many events taking place there is sure to be something close by.

17 September 2017: Memorial unveiling and dedication service at the National Memorial Aboretum 

22 - 23 September 2017: Annual JBO, Exeter for more information click here.

The Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association facebook page.  We now have a facebook page click here to view.

The Keep Military Museum: The Keep Military museum has had it's website refreshed and it is now looking better than ever. It has a number of new features including a redesigned online shop. Take a look now by using this link The Keep Military Museum.

Members' Notice Board

You'll find a great deal of useful information on the Notice Board page in our Members Area, including:

Defence Privilage Card. A discount card for members of the Armed Forces, families and veterans, has been introduced. Members who have served can join. 

Employment.  When we are informed of employment possibilities, we place them here.

Supporting our Association.  Our Association is a charity and needs your suppport.  See how you can contribute.

Preparing for the Death of a Loved One.  Nobody likes to think of their eventual passing, but preparations made whilst you are fit and healthy can make managing afterwards much easier for your loved ones. 

Regimental Battle Honours​

Langemarck, Flanders 1917
16 August

The Battle of Langemarck was the second offensive of the Third Battle of Ypres and took place between 16 and 18 August 1917. Langemarck is about 4 miles north east of the city.

The Allied attack succeeded in the north, from Langemarck to Drie Grachten, but early advances in the south on the Gheluvelt Plateau were forced back by powerful German counter-attacks. Both sides were hampered by rain, which had a greater effect on the British who occupied lower-lying areas and were advancing onto ground frequently and severely bombarded.

In the southern sector, 2nd Devons in the 8th Division were located between Bellewaerde and the Ypres-Roulers railway line. The division attacked on 16 August, but was unsuccessful and the Devons moved back to trenches astride the Douve by the end of the month.

5th Dorsets were in the 11th Division to the north. The division attacked the German positions at first light and was more successful, getting beyond Langemarck, but with the loss of 30 killed and some 120 wounded. The Dorsets were then relieved on 17 August.


Penninsula Wars
17 August 1809

By the early 1800s, France dominated much of Europe. Her armies had successively eliminated Austria, Prussia and Russia as military opponents. Britain alone had withstood the French, achieving security against invasion through Nelson's victory in 1805 at Trafalgar.

In 1808, Napoleon usurped the Spanish throne and invaded Portugal. A British force was dispatched under the command of Lt Gen Sir Arthur Wellesley and forced the French out. Sir John Moore took over command and entered Spain, but was forced to evacuate via La Coruña in January 1809.

Wellesley returned to Portugal in April. There followed a long campaign of famous battles, drawbacks and victories, in which Wellesley, now Viscount Wellington, drove the French out of Spain, across the Pyrenees and into France. Paris was entered by the Allies on 31 March 1814, and the last battle of the Peninsular War was fought at Toulouse in April. Napoleon abdicated. 

Our forebears were in this campaign. The 1/11th landed in Portugal in August 1809. The 2/39th were also there in 1809 but returned home in 1811. That year, the 1/39th arrived and were present throughout the war until mid-1814, when they embarked for Canada.


Marabout 1801
21 August

The Siege of Alexandria took place between August and September 1801. Napoleon’s Armeé de l’Orient in Egypt had been cut off by Nelson’s victory of the Nile and was ripe for expulsion. The 54th of Foot (West Norfolk, later 2nd Dorsets) was stationed in Gibraltar and joined the British force that was assembled to achieve this.

The expedition was prepared with great care, with the troops resting in Minorca and Malta and conducting assault training in Turkey. In March, the force arrived in Egypt and soon bottled up the French in Alexandria. British reinforcements arrived, and in August, the British attacked the city.

The 54th’s objective was Fort Marabout, which stood guard over the old harbour. Supported by two batteries of guns, the battalion stormed the fort and silenced its fire, but before a final assault was launched, the commander surrendered. The 54th had won a unique battle honour, worn on both the Dorsets, and Devon and Dorsets regimental badges. The French gave up Alexandria in September.


Retreat from Mons, Belgium WW1
23 August 1914

1st Dorsets arrived in France in early August 1914 in the 15th Brigade of the 5th Division, part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The division travelled quickly by train to the BEF's deployment area near Mons in Belgium. 

 On 23 August, the Dorsets moved to Hornu, about 4 miles west of Mons, to dig in amongst narrow streets, slag heaps and factories. By this time, the German Army had crossed the Mons Canal and was attacking British forces heavily elsewhere. The Dorsets waited, then engaged advancing enemy infantry at a distance that evening, their first shots of WW1, but the night passed fairly quietly. In the morning, German artillery opened up and large numbers of infantry appeared, which the battalion engaged. They then received an order to withdraw rearwards to St. Waast.

 On 25 August, the 15th Brigade marched south west to Le Cateau and dug in. The Germans attacked, but were again kept at bay by rapid, accurate Dorset rifle fire. The BEF then conducted a general retirement and the Dorsets withdrew again. By 4 September, they had reached Gagny, near Paris, having marched over 100 miles, in good order. Here, the 5th Division reformed and prepared for offensive action.


Regimental Association Newsletter

Online Newsletter

Online Newsletter

Key Links

Donate By Text

You can now text donations to The Devon and Dorset Regimental Association Charity

Text DDRA11 £? to 70070
Where ? can be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10

For more information on how to donate to the Association charity click here

They couldn’t have done better by Christopher Jary

The Story of the Dorset Regiment in War and Peace 1939-67 - compiled by Christopher Jary.

Click the picture to read more detail and order the book.

For a review of this book by John Gaye click here

The Royal British Legion ... and one small branch in Devon

Stories of service by Devon legionnaires - compiled by Paddy King-Fretts. Profits go to the RBL.

Click the picture to read more detail and order the book.

For a review of this book by Colin Pape click here

A Royal Christmas by Jeremy Archer

Profits go to ABF - The Soldiers Charity.

Click the picture for a link to the ABF shop page where you can order a copy.

A celebration of the Royal Family at Christmas

The Ulster Tales by General Sir John Wilsey

Profits go to The Rifles Care For Casualties (C4C) appeal.

Click the picture for details.

For a review of this book by John Gaye click here

The Old West Country Regiments by Jeremy Archer

Profits go to The Keep Museum.

Click the picture for details.

Get In Touch

The Regimental Association of The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
The Rifle's Exeter Office,
Block 11,
Wyvern Barracks,
Exeter,
Devon,
EX2 6AR

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