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 June to 30 June 2018

01        Plymouth (Late Devons) Branch meeting, Crownhill Families Club, Fort Road, Crownhill at 10:30-12 noon.

01        Exeter Branch meeting, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30pm

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

02        H Jones Dartmoor Walk & camping. RV Hay Tor car park 11.15 am

03        Bath Branch meeting, Bathford RBL, 12:30pm

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

06        Dorchester D-Day celebrations, outside The Keep Mil Museum 10:30am

08        Poole Branch meeting, RBL Club, 66 North Road, Parkstone, Poole, at 2:15pm.

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

18        Bridport Branch meeting, Haddon House Hotel, West Bay, Bridport 11:30am

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

24        Veterans’ Parade Weymouth.​​

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

30 June 2018: 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.

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

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

** May 2019: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion after party at the Exeter White Ensign Club

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​​​

Malta 1940-1942
11 June

The WW2 fight for the control of the island of Malta took place from June 1940. Malta was strategically important as British air and sea forces based there could attack German and Italian ships transporting supplies and reinforcements to North Africa.

The Axis resolved to bomb or starve Malta into submission by attacking its ports, towns and airfield, and Allied shipping supplying the island. The German and Italian Air Forces flew thousands of intensive bombing raids in an effort to destroy the defences and facilitate an amphibious landing. This never happened as the island held out, but there was great cost in material and lives.

Both the 2nd Devons and 1st Dorsets were on the island at the start of WW2, in 231st (Malta) Brigade. They manned the defences, built aircraft pens, crewed anti-aircraft guns, repaired runways and unloaded ships. This was done against a background of intensive aerial bombardment and, at times, starvation rations when convoys could not get through. Despite this, they continued to train to meet an Axis airborne and amphibious assault. After the Battle of El Alamein, attacks on Malta declined and had all but ceased by the end of 1942.

The people of Malta were awarded the George Cross in recognition of their continuing heroic struggle against enemy attack. It appears on the Maltese national flag.


Tilly-Sur-Seules,  France
14 June 1944

Operation Perch was an attempt to capture the Normandy town of Caen. 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, containing 231st (Malta) Brigade in which 1st Dorsets and 2nd Devons served, was ordered to strike south to the west of Caen to capture Bayeux, then the village of Tilly-sur-Seulles.

The village was taken on 11 June, but re-captured by the Germans the next day. On 13 June, the British attempted a right-flanking manoeuvre through Livry toward Villers-Bocage. 

The 321st Brigade took part in this envelopment, capturing La Senaudiere (1st Dorsets), knocking out some enemy Panther tanks, and La Belle Epine (2nd Devons). Another brigade took over the advance and captured Lingevres.

On 19 June, in appalling weather, the 231st Brigade assaulted the village of Hottot. Sadly, amongst many casualties, the Dorset’s Commanding Officer, Lt Col Norie, was killed.

After a ferocious battle against machine gun positions, self-propelled artillery and dug-in tanks, 231st Brigade took Hottot on 20 June.


Vittoria, Peninsular War
21 June​ 1813

Vittoria lies in rugged country in north east Spain. It was the scene of a decisive battle against Napoleon's Army that opened the way for the Allied forces under Lord Wellington to invade France. Wellington's plan was to outflank the French and seize the port of Santander, thus shortening his supply lines. 

The French took up a defensive position and, after some superb manoeuvring, Wellington attacked. The battle began about 8am on a clear morning with good visibility.

The 1/39th of Foot (Dorsets) was in the 2nd Division on the British right. The Division steadily drove the French back along the foot of the Puebla hills undergoing severe fighting. The British attack then developed in the centre and at about 4pm the French started to retreat.

The Allies lost around 5,000 men. The French lost around 8,000, but also 150 guns and a vast amount of resources.


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

Links & Copyright

Website designed by Alacrify

© Copyright 2018