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 March to 31 March 2017

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

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

03 Exeter Branch meeting, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30pm

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

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

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

15 Exmouth F/P meeting, Exmouth Football Club, Southern Road from 1 pm.

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

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

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

22 Gillingham Branch meeting, RBL Club, Gillingham, at 7.30 pm.

25 Salisbury F/P meeting RBL Andover at 7.30pm

29 Purbeck Branch Meeting (AGM), 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

Relieg of Ladysmith 1900
25 February

In October 1899, a Boer force invaded British-held Natal Province in South Africa and succeeded in surrounding a number of towns, including Ladysmith. 1st Devons was part of the besieged force. Britain transported thousands of troops to South Africa from the United Kingdom and the Empire and set about mounting a relief. 

Mobilised from England, 2nd Devons, within the 1st Division, and 2nd Dorsets, in the 5th Division, were amongst this relieving force, which advanced from Durban northwards into Natal and confronted the Boers in a number of difficult, rocky strongholds. After a number of setbacks, the British succeeded in reaching the ground overlooking Ladysmith, from whence the Boers withdrew on 28 February. The two Devon battalions met up on 01 March.


Egypt 1800, Napoleonic Wars
08 March

On this day both the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 54th of Foot (Dorsets) were part of a British expeditionary force that landed at Aboukir Bay, close to Alexandria, in Egypt. The British then conducted a five-month campaign against Napoleon’s Armée de l’Orient. This was a tough operation. In addition to battle casualties, the battalions suffered badly from a variety of diseases. Nevertheless, the British prevailed.


Tell 'Asur 1918 - World War 1​
08 March

This action took place between 8 and 12 March 1918, during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. Fighting against the Turkish Army took place over an area which extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the edge of the Jordan Valley.

2/4th Dorsets were in the 75th Indian Division and operating within sight of the Jordan Valley. Their final objective was near the ancient town of Arsuf, some 10 miles north of modern-day Tel Aviv. The 75th took the Turkish positions following a creeping artillery barrage. 


Kyaukse 1945 - World War 2​
08 March

In March 1945, 1st Devons were part of the British 20th Indian Division, which was advancing through Burma to capture Mandalay from the defending Japanese. The flat plain on which the Battalion found itself was dotted with villages and hamlets, each of which had to be cleared of enemy strong points.

The Devons did particularly well in the severe fighting between the Irrawaddy and their objective Kyaukse, to the south of Mandalay.


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. 

 

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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