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 categorie 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. 

Battle of Bois des Buttes 27 May 1918 Centenary Commenerations

In early May 1918, the depleted British 8th Division, including 2nd Devons, moved to a previously tranquil area of the Western Front north west of Reims to rebuild. On 26 May, their peace was shattered by a major German assault in the Aisne area - ‘Operation Blucher’.

The 2nd Devons gallant stand against this German advance at Bois de Buttes is legendary. After the battle, the French awarded the whole battalion with the Croix de Guerre. The ribbon, shown above, was worn thereafter on the uniforms of Devons, Devon and Dorsets, and now our successors in The Rifles. 

The Devonshire and Dorset Regimental association organised a centenary commeration that took place at the memorial for the battle of Bois Des Buttes in La Ville-aux-Bois-Les-Pontavert in France. Click on the Croix de Guerre ribbon for more.

Association Programme - 01 July to 31 July 2018

01        Fovant Badges Memorial Service at 1445hrs.

02        Honiton Focal Point meeting, Heathfield Inn, Honiton 1pm.

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

06        Exeter Branch meeting, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30pm

06        Plymouth D and D Branch meeting, RBL Crownhill, Tailyour Road, Crownhill at    7.45pm.

07        Dorchester armed Forces and Veterans’ Day.

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

14        Purbeck Branch Fun Band Concert.

16        Bridport Branch meeting, Haddon House Hotel, West Bay, Bridport 11.30am.

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

20        Books of Remembrance Page Turning Service, Sherborne Abbey 11am.

22        Salamanca Day – The Battle of Salamanca 1812

25        Gillingham Branch meeting AGM, RBL Club, Gillingham, at 7.30 pm.

25        Purbeck Branch Meeting, Wool RBL, Colliers Lane, Wool 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.

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.

New Information

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.

** October 2018: Members of the Kenya Vets / 4th Devons / 1st RV / D and D’s combined lunch, Wyvern Bks. More information here.

** May 2019: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion.

** May 2019: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion after party at the Exeter White Ensign Club

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​​​

Albert, Somme WW1
01 July 1916

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 Dorsets took part. You can read the full story on the pages of the website of The Keep Museum, Dorchester – click here.


Landing in Sicily
09 July 1943

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, WW2
10 July 1944

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 Dorsets, 4th 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.


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 2018