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. 

Association Programme - 01 June to 30 June 2019

01  Exeter Branch H Jones Dartmoor Walk & camping. RV Hay Tor car park 11.15 am

02  Bath Branch meeting, Bathford RBL, 1230pm

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

05-06  D-Day 75th Anniversary Parade at Asnelles, Normandy

07  Plymouth (Late Devons) Branch meeting, Crownhill Families Club, at 10.30-12 noon.

07  Plymouth D and D Branch meeting, RBL Crownhill, at 7.45pm

08  Book Launch – ‘D-Day Spearhead Brigade’- Dorchester TA Centre 12.00 midday

15  Officers’ Club Warminster Lunch

15  Welsh Focal Point meeting at Bettws Rugby Club, Newport at 5.00 pm. Details from Dai Card 07852 555670 or daicard72@gmail.com

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

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

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

22  Armed Forces Day – Exeter

23  Weymouth Veterans Service and Parade, 11 am

28-1 Jul  Exeter Branch Battlefield Tour to Northern France / D-Day areas

29  Armed Forces Day – Plymouth

29  Salisbury FP Meeting – Andover RBL​

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.

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.

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

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.

16 May 2020: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion after party venue tbc.

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​​​

Normndy Landings, France
6 June 1944

D-Day. Normandy. Early in the morning, within the enormous invasion force that commenced the liberation of Europe, some of the first troops to land were the 1st Dorsets in 231st (Malta) Brigade. 

The Dorsets fought their way ashore at Le Hamel and then captured Arromanches, but at the cost of 128 officers and men. In successive days, the battalion fought its way inland and spent a month of ‘static slogging’ to Villars Bocage.

In the second wave of 231st Brigade were 2nd Devons. They also landed at Le Hamel and fought their way towards Ryes, but at the cost of 88 all ranks. On 7 June, the battalion captured the German battery at Longues-sur-Mer. 

In successive months, the brigade advanced through Northern France and into Belgium, ending the year in the ‘Roer Triangle’ on the Dutch-German border.

On the evening of the 06 June, at about 21:30 hours, A Company 12th Devons, as part of the 6th Air Landing Brigade, arrived by glider near Pegasus Bridge. The company then engaged the enemy before rejoining the rest of its battalion, which had arrived by sea and was fighting at Le Bas de Ranville.

Subsequently, the battalion fought its way eastwards along the River Seine, ending the year taking part in operations in the Ardennes.

43rd Wessex Division contained the 4th and 5th Dorsets, and the 86th Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery, formed from 5th Devons. The division landed at Arromanches in late June, and was involved in heavy fighting south east of Caen, particularly at Hill 112.

The division took part in the breakout from Normandy in August 1944, and distinguished itself in numerous actions in Holland, eventually reaching Nijmegen by the end of the year. 


Port-en-Bessin, France
7 June 1944

The day after the Normandy landings commenced, 2nd Devons, in 231 (Malta) Brigade, made their way to Longues-sur-Mer, midway between Arromanches and Port-en-Bassin, to attack the heavily encased German artillery Longues Battery. The site consisted of four protected 152-mm guns. After a bombardment by HMS Ajax, the Devons took the battery and some 200 prisoners.

Meanwhile, Port-in-Bessin was under assault by 47th Royal Marine Commando, which had infiltrated to the town from Arromanches and was being severely pressed. 2nd Devons dispatched its Carrier Platoon to assist. It became embroiled in heavy fighting on the town’s outskirts. In a stiff battle, the Commando lost about 40 men but the force took the position on 8 June. 


Caen, France
7 June 1944

The Battle for Caen took place during the Battle of Normandy. Originally, the Allies aimed to take the city on D-Day, but instead, the assault dragged on for two months, because German forces devoted most of their reserves to holding it. There were several operations on the peripheries of Caen.

Operation Perch, launched on 09 June, was intended to create the threat of a British breakout to the southeast of Caen, and the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, containing the 231st (Malta) Brigade (1st Dorsets, 2nd Devons) was tasked with capturing Bayeux and the road to Tilly-sur-Seulles.

There followed successive operations with mixed results. On 10 July Operation Jupiter was launched, in which 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division attempted to capture Hill 112. Operation Goodwood followed on 18 July.

By 6 August the battle for Caen, which had suffered severe destruction from Allied bombing, was over.

 


Regimental Association Newsletter

Online Newsletter 2017

Online Newsletter 2016


Regimental Memorial Dedication

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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