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 July to 31 July 2017

01 - Dorchester Armed Forces & Veterans’ Day.  Corn Exchange 13.15 hr

02 - Fovant Badges Memorial Service 1415 hrs

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 - The last Minden Dorsets Reunion Dorchester ARC 1145-1700hrs

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

19 - Exmouth F/P meeting, RAFA  Club, Imperial Rd Exmouth from 1 pm.

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

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

26 - Purbeck Branch Meeting, RBL Wool at 7.30pm

26 - Gillingham Branch meeting (AGM), RBL Club, Gillingham, at 7.30 pm.

28 - D and D Regimental Association London gathering – 1200 hrs at Duke of Kendal, 38 Connaught Street, London W2 2AF.  All are welcome

29 - Salisbury F/P meeting, RBL Andover 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 

22 - 23 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

Somme, Albert 1916 - World War 1
01 July

Around 7.30 am on 01 July 1916, 11 British divisions advanced towards the German lines on a 15-mile front between the rivers Ancre and Somme. French forces advanced to their south. This major offensive was preceded by a massive, week-long artillery barrage, designed to decimate the German defences. The intention was that once the infantry had secured the objectives, cavalry forces would then pour through in pursuit.

The barrage failed to dislodge the defenders who moved underground until it ceased. There followed a massacre of the advancing British forces. Only a few units managed to reach the German trenches but were then driven back. By nightfall, the British had taken 60,000 casualties, of whom 20,000 were dead. In the following weeks, part of the German lines were captured in the southern British sector, but the advance could not continue.

Of our regiments, 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th Devons and 1st, 5th and 6th Dorsetstook part. You can read the full story on the pages of the website of The Keep Museum, Dorchester – click here.


Landing in Sciliy 1943 - World War 2
09 July

The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Italian and German Axis forces. A large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat, this endevour launched the Italian Campaign.

Husky began on the night of 09 July 1943 and ended on 17 August. The operation achieved the goals set out for it by the Allied planners, opening the way for the Allied invasion of Italy.

Amongst the great armada that sailed for Sicily was 321 (Malta) Brigade, containing 2nd Devons and 1st Dorsets. They landed in the early morning of 10 July near Cape Passaro in a Force 8 gale, meeting little opposition. They then marched and fought their way to the foot of Mount Etna, and took part in the battles of Agira and Regalbutto. These are regimental battle honours in their own right and will be described here on their anniversaries.


Hill 112 1944 - World War 2
10 July

In July 1944, the Allies sought to capture high ground to the west of the city of Caen. In Operation Jupiter, 43rd Wessex Division was to take Hill 112, a low feature which dominated the surrounding countryside. 

The division already held crossings over the River Odon approaching the Hill, and on 10 July it advanced before dawn, under an impressive artillery barrage, against the panzer divisions that held it.

By 0630 hours 129th Brigade had taken its objectives at the crest of the hill. Then 130th Brigade advanced towards the villages of Eterville and Maltot. From a firm base provided by 5th Dorsets4th Dorsets captured Eterville, then 7th Hampshires attacked Maltot. The enemy defended fiercely, with dug in tanks, and even when the Hampshires were reinforced by 4th Dorsets no further progress could be made. Meanwhile, 5th Dorsets and 7th Somersets held off savage counter-attacks at Eterville.

The 214th Brigade renewed the attack that evening but it failed to secure the hill. Nevertheless, important surrounding villages had been taken and the German 9th SS Panzer Division was unable to withdraw to the reserve. Thus, Operation Jupiter is considered a significant success.

In the twelve days of the operation 43rd Wessex Division had suffered 7,000 casualties out of a total strength of 16,000, over 40% of the Division. Hill 112 was finally taken in August.

You can read more about Hill 112 in a book by Tim Saunders - click here.


Bazentin Ridge, Somme 1916 - World War 1
14 July

The Battle of Bazentin Ridge ran from 14 -17 July 1916. It was part of the second phase of the 1916 Somme Offensive.

The attack opened at dawn, preceded by a short artillery bombardment which forced the German defenders to seek cover. It was a notable success, Bazentin-le-Grand and Bazentin-le-Petit were secured within a matter of hours, with the village of Longueval following shortly afterwards. 

During the assault, 8th Devons, in the 20th Brigade of the 7th Division, was given an objective of ‘the Snout’, the German second position in Bazentin Wood. After a 4-mile approach march, they conducted a successful night attack and, after consolidation, were withdrawn to the reserve.

The battle for a feature known as High Wood followed, but the Germans moved up to plug this hole in their lines and the British assault was beaten off. On 20 July 8th Devons attacked the ridge between High Wood and Longueval, but only the first objective was taken. Here, Private Veal won the VC for rescuing a wounded officer from no-man's-land. The Battalion then moved back into reserve.

9th Devons, in the same Brigade, remained in reserve during these attacks, but also earned the battle honour.


Deville Wood, Somme 1916 - World War 1
19 July

Delville Wood was a subsidiary attack of the July 1916 Somme Offensive. It was fought from 15 July until 3 September and concerned the capture of a feature that had been skirted during the Battle of Bazentin Ridge on 9 July.

The task of capturing the wood was handed to the South African Brigade in the 9th Scottish Division. It was a prolonged and costly battle and, despite some success, the wood was never entirely taken by the South African forces, despite huge efforts to do so. It wasn't until after another month of fierce fighting had taken place that the 14th Division finally took the wood and overcame German resistance.

1st Devons in the 95th Brigade, 5th Division played a part in the battle. They took up a position facing the wood from 19 July. Despite receiving heavy shell fire, they defeated a German attack which was attempted on 23 July through sustained, rapid rifle fire. 


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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