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 December to 31 December 2017 

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

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

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

01 - Exeter Branch meeting and Christmas Draw, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30pm

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

13 - Exmouth F/P Annual Christmas Buffet, RAFA Club, Imperial Rd, Exmouth at 1pm in aid of Care for Casualties

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

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

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

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​​​

Jerusalem, Palestine, WW1
7 December 1916

In 1916, three British corps began pushing across the Sinai Peninsula to attack the Turkish-Ottoman Empire in Palestine. By mid-November, the force was advancing on the Judea Hills. The Turkish defenders reinforced, then launched a number of attacks, forcing the British to advance on Jerusalem earlier than they wished. Both armies specifically avoided fighting either in or immediately around the holy city itself.

The British attack began on 8 December in two directions: a central thrust from Nebi-Samweil west of Jerusalem, which the 75th Division containing 1/5th Devons and 2/4th Dorsets, had captured in November; and a secondary attack in the south at Bethlehem. Jerusalem fell after a single day's fighting, with morale in the Turkish army having plummeted in the face of continual British successes. Sporadic fighting continued in the surrounding hills in the days following.


Defence of Kut ak Amara, WW1
7 December 1915

In 1915 elements of the British Army were sent to secure the strategically vital oilfields at the head of the Persian Gulf. The 6th Indian (Poona) Division was then ordered to advance up the Tigris valley to Baghdad against Turkish opposition. The division included 2nd Dorsets.

The British force was checked after its final battle at Ctesiphon. Now reduced to 50 percent of its original strength, it withdrew to Kut-al-Amara, about 70 miles south east of Baghdad. The Turks followed and by 07 December had invested the town.

Besieged in Kut and unable to be relieved, the division was forced to surrender on 29 April 1916 after 100 days of resistance. The survivors then suffered cruelly on a long 'death march' to prisoner of war camps in Turkey. Of the 350 Dorsets who started, only about 140 survived the journey. 

Once they arrived, they were put to work on the railway or similar tasks, on inadequate rations, in insanitary conditions and herded together in filthy quarters. They were also brutally treated. By the time of the Armistice in 1918, the vast majority of those captured at Kut had perished. Of the 2nd Dorsets, only 70 are recorded to have survived


Nive, France, Peninsula War
9 December 1813

The River Nive is near Bayonne in South West France. The Battle of the Nive commenced on 9 December 1813, towards the end of the Peninsula War. British forces under Wellington had recently entered France from Spain. 

Early that morning, the light companies of the British regiments in the 6th Division, including the1/11th of Foot (Devon), crossed the river by pontoon bridge and fell upon the unsuspecting French defenders on the far bank. The French withdrew north and the British followed up through thick mud. An assault was then mounted on the village of Villefranque by the 6th Division’s line companies, defeating a French counter-attack.

After this success, the division was relieved by the 2nd Division, which contained the 1/39th of Foot(Dorset), and withdrew to quarters.


Kut al Amara, Mesopotamia, WW1
13 December 1917

Kut al Amara is on the River Tigris in present-day Iraq. Kut had fallen to the Turkish army in April 1916, and the British survivors marched into captivity. The British prepared a new attack and it was launched 13 December 1916 by two corps.

Progress was slow due to heavy rain and a concern about casualties. The 3rd Indian (Lahore) Division took part in the battle. In January 1917, it was joined by 2nd Dorsets, which had been reformed after the original battalion had been decimated at Kut in 1916. After taking part in a series of engagements that saw British forces advance 12 miles to Bessouia Ford on the Shatt al Hai, they were then employed to guard the rear.

It took two months to clear the west bank of the Tigris, but on 17 February 1917, a British assault on the town, supported by gunboats, forced the Turks retreat. The British then advanced towards Baghdad.


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

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