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.


What's it all about?

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. 

All the details of this exciting project are on our special Memorial Page.

NMA photo by kind permission of The National Memorial Arboretum which retains its copyright.


What will the memorial be like?

Shown on the right is a detail - visit the Memorial Page to see the whole thing!


Funding our memorial needs your assistance!

You can become a joint owner of our memorial by making a contribution to its cost. All the details of how you can make a gift towards it are on the Memorial Page. Anyone can make a donation and we hope you will do so! You can click the totalizer there to see how much we have raised and view a list of names of those of us who have contributed so far.

The Patron of our Memorial Appeal is HRH The Duke of Kent.
Our Vice Patrons are the Lord-Lieutenants of Devon and Dorset.

To all those who served in our three Regiments and to our 'Wider Regimental Family': 

Visit our Memorial Page to find out:

- How you can join in and contribute
- How much we have raised so far on our totalizer
- Who has made a donation

Mike Richardson, Fundraising Manager, says: 'Helping to fund this enduring memorial in the heart of our nation, and so becoming one of its joint owners, is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we need to get the ball rolling now! Once we unveil the memorial, I think we'll all be proud of what we have achieved.

Please take the opportunity to join us with your donation as soon as you can - and watch the totalizer turn!'


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.


This national memorial to our three proud Regiments will illustrate, to generations to come: 'Our Legacy'.

Association Programme - 01 August to 31 August

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

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

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

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

19 Tiverton F/P meeting, RBL Club, Tiverton at 7.30 pm.

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.

23 - 24 September 2016: Annual JBO, Exeter for more information click here.

29 July 2016: Summer Meet for Janners in London Friday the 29th July for more info click here.

25 June 2016: 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.

5 March 2016: Service of Rededication - Sherborne Abbey, 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.

November 2014: 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. Yake 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


Bapaume, France WW1 
24 August 1918

Bapaume was the second phase of the offensive that was the turning point of the war. Having pushed the Germans back on the Somme, the British launched a new assault further north. This began on a narrow front on 21 August. Then, despite German counter attacks, a general advance was ordered on 23 August.

On 29 August New Zealanders captured Bapaume (east of Amiens). On 01 September Péronne was captured. The Germans were forced to retreat back to the Hindenburg line, abandoning all of the territory won earlier in 1918.

1st Devons, in the 5th Division, were in the initial assault, advancing towards the Arras-Albert railway line.

At Achiet-le-Petit on 22 August, LCpl George Onions won the Victoria Cross for engaging 200 Germans, who appeared in a trench he was reconnoitring, and taking them prisoner.

In the 62nd Division, 5th Devons assaulted Vaulx supported by six tanks, then captured Haverincourt. 

1st Dorsets in the 32nd Division assisted in the Capture of Brie about 20 miles south of Bapaume.

 In the 17th Division, 6th Dorsets advanced to the east of Martinpuich, south of Bapaume.

These were all successful operations, but each at the cost of many casualties.

LCpl Onions


Le Cateau, France WW1 
26 August 1914

The Battle of Le Cateau was fought on 26 August 1914, after the British, French and Belgian armies had retreated from Mons in the face of the mass German invasion, and had set up new defensive positions in France.

Le Cateau was predominantly an artilleryman's battle, demonstrating the devastating results which modern artillery could have on infantry. 

1st Dorsets took part in the battle, within the 15th Brigade of the 5th Division. The Germans attacked their positions at Le Cateau, but were kept at bay by rapid, accurate rifle fire.

The British held on, despite heavy casualties, and then after the battle withdrew to Saint-Quentin. The engagement at Le Cateau had achieved its objective, and enabled the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to retreat unmolested by the Germans for a further five days.

When the BEF conducted its general retirement, the Dorsets also withdrew. By 04 September, they had reached Gagny, near Paris, having marched over 100 miles, in good order. Here, the 5th Division reformed and prepared for offensive action.


Guillemont, France WW1
03 September 1916

Guillemont is situated 6 miles east of Albert, France. Throughout July and August 1916, the village defied repeated British assaults in face of German counter attacks and artillery. At 08.50 am on 3 September, in driving rain and after a preliminary bombardment, another attack went in. This time it succeeded.


Operation Baytown, Italy WW2
03 September 1943

The 1st Devons, in the 5th Division, took part and captured some German trenches south west of Guillemont. Most of the battalion’s casualties, of 35 killed and 158 wounded, resulted from a wood clearing operation towards the end of the assault. 

Having taken Sicily in July and August, the Allies invaded the ‘toe’ of Italy on 3 September 1943 - Operation Baytown. 

On 9 September, US forces landed at Salerno, and British forces landed at Taranto. There followed a long, hard campaign northwards through Italy, against dogged resistance until the German forces finally surrendered on 2 May 1945.

The 231st (Malta) brigade, with 2nd Devons and 1st Dorsets, took part in Operation Baytown, but returned to England in October. Some of the Devons and Dorsets had been abroad for 6 years.

 

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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