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 May to 31 May 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24 - Gillingham Branch meeting, RBL Club, Gillingham, at 7.30 pm.

26 - Officers’ Club West Country Dinner Wyvern Bks, Exeter

27 - Regimental Reunion Exeter

27 - Exeter Branch Reunion After Party – Ensign Club Exeter 1910 hrs

31 - Purbeck Branch Meeting, Clay Pipe Inn, Organford Rd, Holton Heath, nr Poole 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 

23 - 24 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

Neuve Chapelle 1915 - World War 1
10 March

After the 1914 German invasion of Belgium and France, the Allies wished to take advantage of the arrival of new British divisions by taking the offensive.

The British component was to attack in the area on Neuve Chapelle, a village that lies between Bethune and Armentieres. The ground here is flat with many small drainage ditches and overlooked by the long Aubers Ridge. This battle was the first large scale attack undertaken by the British during the war.

In wet, snowy weather the British 1st Army moved forward following a heavy artillery bombardment. 2nd Devons were in the 23rd Brigade in the 8th Division. Their job was to support an assault by two other battalions in the area of 'The Moated Grange’. This succeeded and the Devons moved forward to dig in. Over the next few days, they faced determined German counter-attacks, and attempts to move further forward were unsuccessful. Indeed, after initial success, the whole British assault became bogged down and little ground was gained.

The Battalion’s causalities were 9 officers and 274 soldiers, killed, missing or wounded. 

The British Army learned many lessons at Neuve Chapelle: the difficulty of breaking through enemy positions; the need for greater weight of artillery, the vulnerability of communications and the need to move reserves up swiftly.


Shabiba Mesopotamia 1915 - World War 1
12 March

In January 1915 the Turkish Army in Mesopotamia was threatening the port of Basra. To help defend the town, the British set up defences at Shaiba, 9 miles to the south west. This force included 2nd Dorsets within the 6th Indian Division.

The defensive operation commenced in March, but the Turks made their actual assault in April, with the Dorsets making a key counter-attack on 15 April. The Turkish attack did not succeed, but the Dorsets lost some 25 percent of their strength as casualties. You can read more about this campaign on The Keep Museum website –click here.


Ibbenburen 1945 - World War 2
1 April

Having crossed the River Rhine on 29 March 1945, under the command of 131 Lorried Infantry Brigade in 7th Armoured Division, 2nd Devons continued to take part in the British Army’s advance into Germany. On 01 April, the battalion had reached the outskirts of Rheine, about 12 miles east of Ibbenbüren and 20 miles from Osnabrück.

Advancing again, the Devons were ordered to protect a threatened Bailey bridge over the Dortmund-Ems Canal and restore a hill position occupied by 3rd Monmouths, who were surrounded by German troops. Devon companies were dispatched to conduct the two tasks, and the plan succeeded with 200 prisoners taken and the Monmouths relieved. 


Twente Canal 1945 - World War 2
2 April

In late March 1945, 43rd Wessex Division was advancing north east through Holland. Ahead lay the Twente Canal and beyond it the town of Helgelo. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to capture crossings over the canal, but it was finally outflanked on 02 April by the 130th Brigade, containing both 4th and 5th Dorsets, which conducted a long forced march at night in heavy rain and mud.

The brigade passed through Enschede, then attacked Helgelo from the south east. Hengelo, liberated by 5th Dorsets, the adjoining town of Borne and the German canal defence line were cleared on 03 April against light opposition. 4th Dorsets, who captured Borne, were immediately given the freedom of the town.


Hill 60 1915 - World War 1
21 April

Hill 60 lies about 3 miles south east of Ypres in Belgium. It is formed from the soil taken from a railway cutting and although only a pimple, it provides an overview of the surrounding territory. It was fiercely contested by both the British and German armies in 1915.

On 10 April, the British detonated 6 mines under the German trenches on the hill and then captured it. On 21 April 1915,1st Devons, which was in the 5th Division, took over the defence and were soon subjected to intense German shelling and counter-attacks. On 23 April the Battalion was itself relieved, having sustained 120 casualties.

Returning on 25 April, the Devons continued to defend the hill, but were relieved by 1st Dorsets from the same division on 01 May. That day, the Dorsets suffered the first German poisonous gas attack of the war against British troops. They suffered badly but managed to hold on, being reinforced by several units, including 1st Devons. This force beat off a subsequent German infantry attack, and the Devons then defended the hill until relieved on 04 May.

Not long after, a new German gas attack overwhelmed the British force and the Germans then held the hill until March 1917.


Regimental Association 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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