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 categorie 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. 

Battle of Bois des Buttes 27 May 1918 Centenary Commenerations

In early May 1918, the depleted British 8th Division, including 2nd Devons, moved to a previously tranquil area of the Western Front north west of Reims to rebuild. On 26 May, their peace was shattered by a major German assault in the Aisne area - ‘Operation Blucher’.

The 2nd Devons gallant stand against this German advance at Bois de Buttes is legendary. After the battle, the French awarded the whole battalion with the Croix de Guerre. The ribbon, shown above, was worn thereafter on the uniforms of Devons, Devon and Dorsets, and now our successors in The Rifles. 

The Devonshire and Dorset Regimental association organised a centenary commeration that took place at the memorial for the battle of Bois Des Buttes in La Ville-aux-Bois-Les-Pontavert in France. Click on the Croix de Guerre ribbon for more.

Association Programme - 01 August to 31 August 2018

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

03    Exeter Branch meeting, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30pm 

03    Plymouth D and D Branch meeting, RBL Crownhill, Tailyour Road, Crownhill at 7.45pm

06    Honiton Focal Point meeting, Heathfield Inn, Honiton 1pm

10    Poole Branch meeting, RBL Club, 66 North Road, Parkstone, Poole, at 2.15pm

15    Exmouth F/P meeting RAFA (Wings Club) Imperial Rd, Exmouth from 1pm

17    Books of Remembrance Page Turning Service, Sherborne Abbey 11am

20    Bridport Branch meeting, Haddon House Hotel, West Bay, Bridport 11.30am

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.

A NATIONAL MEMORIAL TO THE COUNTY REGIMENTS OF DEVON AND DORSET 

On 17 September 2017, we unveiled our wonderful National Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in a Dedication Ceremony attended by members of our Regimental Association and their guests. 

This happy conclusion was made possible by the artistic excellence of our sculptor, Vivien Mallock, and by the hard work of a large team of Association members who planned and managed the project. It is the outcome of the overwhelmingly generous support to our Memorial Appeal by a host of individuals and organisations across Devon, Dorset and beyond.

Read all about the Dedication Ceremony here.

Visit our National Memorial Page to read all about it.

Visit our Memorial Story page to read the story of our Memorial from inception to Dedication

Photograph by Simon Young.

New Information

** October 2018: Members of the Kenya Vets / 4th Devons / 1st RV / D and D’s combined lunch, Wyvern Bks. More information here.

11 May 2019: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion.

11 May 2019: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion after party venue tbc.

29 June 2019: 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.

16 May 2020: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion.

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​​​

Salamanca, Peninsular War
22 July 1812

In June 1812, Wellington's advance into Spain reached the city of Salamanca, and faced a French army of comparable strength. There followed a period of manoeuvring to attain an advantageous position. On the morning of 22 July, engagements between the two armies commenced south of Salamanca.

The French attempted to out-flank Wellington, but their line became overextended. In stifling heat, Wellington attacked, taking the French by surprise and destroying three divisions with infantry and heavy cavalry. To the east, the French line held against successive British and Portuguese assaults. The British 6th Division, containing the 1/11th of Foot,(Devons) was ordered forward at about 5.30 pm. It attacked the French line successively.

Late in the day, the 11th was ordered to charge the French positions on a steep, craggy hill to their front. The battalion advanced steadily up the hill, under heavy musketry and artillery fire that created a dense curtain of smoke. Some 200 yards from the summit, they were hit by a wall of fire that decimated their ranks, but they returned fire and the survivors then went in with the bayonet.

The French, routed, withdrew to the safety of the woods and the 11th sank to the ground exhausted. Only some 70 men were left to talk over the battle that night, as 341 had been killed or wounded. Thus the Regiment earned one of our most prestigious battle honours, and the sobriquet ‘The Bloody 11th’


Agira, Sicily, WW2
23 July 1943

Agira sits, like a fairy-tale castle, on a spur of Mount Etna in central Sicily. In July 1943, Agira was on the Allied line of advance through the island, following the June invasion. The town was strongly held by German Panzer Grenadiers, with orders to hold out to the end.

The task given to 231st (Malta) Brigade, containing 1st Dorsets and 2nd Devons, was to capture high ground to the south of Agira, whilst Canadian Forces attacked the town itself from the west. On 20 July, both Devons and Dorsets sent out platoon-sized exploratory patrols. At 2300 hours on 22 July, the brigade attack went in, supported by artillery. Despite the steep ground, fierce hand-to-hand fighting and German counter-attacks, the brigade captured its objectives and held on. The Canadians took Agira on 27 July.

Whilst both regiments were represented at Agira, the battle honour was only awarded to the Dorsets.


Pyrenees, Peninsular War
25 July 1813

In mid-1813, Wellington was engaged in driving the French out of Spain, and was besieging Pampeluna and San Sebastian in the Pyrenees mountains. But the French army had reorganised and on 25 July, it launched a major assault against the British and Portuguese armies. Wellington re-grouped.

The 1/39th of Foot(Dorsets) was in the 2nd Division, which was tasked with holding the Maya Pass. When the French attacked here, the battalion moved forward to the front line, defended fiercly, then withdrew in good order to a position to the rear.

The 1/11th of Foot (Devons), in the 6th Division, took part in two ‘Battles of Sorauren’, to the north of Pampeluna, entering the fray from the west on 29 July and assaulting the French positions in three days of exceptionally severe fighting.

The French offensive had failed, and their withdrawal to France continued.


Regimental Memorial Dedication

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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