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 

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.

Association Programme - 01 October to 31 October 2017​​

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

25 - Tirah Ceremony Borough Gardens Dorchester 1045 hrs.

27 - Gillingham Branch Annual Dinner

28 - Salisbury F/P meeting, RBL Andover at 7.30pm 

Association Programme - 01 November to 30 November 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

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.

11 - Armistice Day

12 - Remembrance Day – Exeter Catherdral

12 - Exeter Branch Remembrance Day Parade

12 - Gillingham Branch Remembrance Day Service, Muster RBL, Gillingham 10:15hrs

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

15 - Bridport Branch meeting, at The Haddon House Hotel, West Bay, Bridport at 11:30am

16 - Southampton & 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 7:30pm.

25 - Salisbury F/P meeting and annual Quiz night, RBL Andover at 7:30pm

27 - Honiton F/P Christmas Lunch

29 - Purbeck Branch Meeting, Clay Pipe Inn, Orangeford Rd, Holton Heath, Nr Poole at 8pm 

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.

New Information

17 September 2017: Memorial dedication service at the National Memorial Aboretum 

22 - 23 September 2017: Annual JBO, Exeter for more information click here.

13 October 2017: Members of the Kenya Vets / 4th Devons / 1st RV / D and D’s combined lunch, Wyvern Bks. More information here.

19 May 2018: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion.

19 May 2018: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion after party at the Exeter White Ensign Club

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.

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​​​

The Battle of Selle, France 1918
20 October

The Battle of the Selle was fought during the last ‘Hundred Days’ of WW1, when the Allies advanced across the Hindenburg Line and forced the November armistice. 

Having captured Cambrai, the British closed up on the retreating German Army, which had taken up a position to the east of the Selle river. The Allies had to cross the river, a railway embankment and then a ridge on the far side. After artillery bombardments, British troops attacked with infantry and tanks. Fighting was fierce but by nightfall enemy defences had been broken and Le Cateau captured. 

Severe fighting continued, then on 20 October in a surprise night attack, the British secured the high ground east of the Selle.

During the battle, 1st Devons in the 5th Division crossed the Selle and assaulted an area south of Solemes in heavy rain, shell and machine gun fire but captured their objectives, taking 90 casualties.

The 62nd Division containing 5th Devons, took Solemes itself, but the battalion was not seriously engaged. 

In the 17th Division, 6th Dorsets took a sector of the railway line then captured a ridge near Neuvilly taking about 50 casualties.

The attack was renewed on 23 October with a major combined assault and the German Army retreated. 


Vittorio Veneto, Italy 1918
24 October

This battle was fought on the Italian front during WW1, when the Italian Army faced the Austro-Hungarians in northeast Italy. The Italians made a number of costly advances against the invaders during 1918, but were then bolstered by other Allied divisions. These included the 7th British Division in which 8th and 9th Devons served. The 9th returned to the Western Front in September, but 8th Devons took part in the final advance against the Austrians in the autumn of 1918. 

On 23 October, the Devons reached Maserada. They then carried out a number of attacks in flat-bottomed boats to secure a start line for the Allied force on the Grave de Papadopoli, an island in the River Piave. The objective was taken with comparative ease against the demoralised enemy. It was the 8th's last battle. An Armistice was signed between the Italians and the Austrians on 04 November.


Gaza, 1917
27 October

In 1916, three British corps began pushing across the Sinai Peninsula to attack the Turkish-Ottoman Empire in Palestine. In early 1917, they advanced towards Gaza. Strong Turkish defences created a stalemate. This was broken when General Allenby conducted a flanking attack against the lightly-defended Beersheba, masked by deceptive feints at Gaza. 

On 31 October Beersheba was taken and on 2 November a night attack was launched along the coast to Gaza, which finally succeeded 6 days later. 

1/5th Devons took part in this battle in the 75th Division. They were in reserve for most of the time, but in action from 7 November at Junction Station and thereafter on the route to Jerusalem. 

Also in the 75th Division, 2/4th Dorsets manned the front line south of Gaza and defeated three determined Turkish night attacks, supported by heavy shelling, before they were relieved. Gaza was a decisive victory, which opened the road to Jerusalem.


Defence of Ladysmith, 1899
29 October

1st Devons arrived in South Africa from Bombay at the commencement of the Anglo-Boer War in 1899. They travelled in a British force to the town of Ladysmith in cattle trucks in early October to defend it against the Boers, who were advancing across the Natal border.

The British forced checked the enemy at Elandslaagte, then withdrew into Ladysmith on 22 October, which the Boers then invested with a force of some 17,000. The British force and the townspeople were trapped. They suffered from Boer attacks and severely reduced rations. The Devons sallied forth on 6 January 1900 to clear the enemy from a position on Wagon Hill that overlooked the town.

The garrison was relieved by a British column which arrived in early March and included 2nd Devons.


Afghanistan, 1878
30 October

In 1878, Britain wished to prevent the expanding Russian Empire from occupying Afghanistan and threatening India. A British force left India, advanced into the country, occupied Kandahar and established an envoy in Kabul. This envoy was killed by a mutinying Afghan army, so the British occupied Kabul.

In the south of Afghanistan, the Kandahar Field Force advanced west to the Helmand River to confront 20,000 Afghans who were moving towards the town, but it was defeated in July 1880 at the Battle of Maiwand and withdrew. The Kabul garrison marched southwards to intervene, and the British also moved a division westwards from India, which included the 2/11th of Foot (Devons).

After a demanding march, this division arrived after the Afghans had been defeated and thereafter garrisoned Kandahar until May 1881, suffering badly from dysentery and losing over 100 men as a result. With the British now occupying much of the country, having attained all their geopolitical objectives, the war ended in a treaty. The Afghans were permitted to maintain internal sovereignty but they had to give control of their nation's foreign relations to the British.


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 2017