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 September to 30 September 2017​

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

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

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

22 - 23 Jolly Boy’s Outing – The Gipsy Hill Hotel Exeter

27 - Gillingham Branch meeting, RBL Club, Gillingham, at 7.30 pm.

27 - Purbeck Branch Meeting, RBL Wool at 7.30pm

Association Programme - 01 October to 31 October 2017​

02 - Honiton F/P meeting, The Heath eld Inn, Honiton at 1pm.

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

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

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

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

06 - Officers’ Club Sandwich Lunch, Wyvern Bks, Exeter

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

13 - Veterans Regimental Lunch, Wyvern Bks, Exeter 12 noon

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

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

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

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 

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

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​​​

Nederrijin, Arnhem, 1944
17 September

After advancing through France and Belgium, the Allies were poised to enter the Netherlands. The British aimed to make a single thrust north, so the Allies launched Operation Market Garden, dropping paratroopers to secure key bridges and towns along the axis of advance. Farthest north, the British 1st Airborne Division landed at Arnhem to secure bridges across the Nederrijn. British ground forces planned to reach the airborne forces within a few days.

The British landed some distance from their objectives and met unexpected resistance. Only a small force was able to reach the Arnhem bridge. Meanwhile, 30 Corps was unable to advance north as quickly as anticipated and failed to relieve the airborne troops. After four days, the small British force at the bridge was overwhelmed and the rest of the division became trapped north of the river. The shattered remains of the airborne forces were withdrawn.

4th Dorsets, in the 43rd Division, excelled on 24 September and afterwards. Ordered to cross the Nederrijn to evacuate the airborne survivors, they held a bridgehead under intense fire, but were reduced to half their strength.5th Dorsets were also there.

1st Dorsets and 2nd Devons in the 231st (Malta) Brigade were part of the follow up ground force.


The Battle of Épéhy, France, 1918
18 September

The Battle of Épéhy was an assault by the British Fourth Army to clear German outpost positions on the high ground before the Hindenburg Line. The objective consisted of a 20-mile wide fortified zone. The attack commenced at 5.20am and was notable for the success of two Australian divisions in the centre. However, our forebears also took part.

1st Devons in the 5th Division held the line at Gauzeaucourt, to the north of the objective.

5th Devons in the 62nd Division were also in the area, but did not take part in the actual assault.

6th Dorsets in the 17th (Northern) Division were in the thick of it. They attacked the German lines south of Gauzeaucourt with great success then proceeded further, under mortar and machine gun fire, ending the battle near Gauche Wood.

Although Épehy was not a massive success, it showed that the Germans were weakening, and encouraged the Allies to take further action before the Germans could consolidate their positions. 


Siege of Sevastopol, Crimea, 1855
19 September

The 39th of Foot (1st Dorsets) was moved from Gibraltar to the Crimea in 1855 to join the British force, and found itself taking part in the siege of Sevastopol. This investment lasted all summer, during which the Regiment suffered illness, snipers and the occasional Russian counter-attack. The main action was elsewhere. The winter closed in and the 39th moved off to Canada for three peaceful years.


The battle of Megiddo and Sharon, Paelstine, 1918​​
19 September

In September 1918, 2nd Dorsets were serving in the 3rd Lahore Division in Palestine. They took part in the Battle of Megiddo, the first part of which was the Battle of Sharon. These battles were designed to break into the Ottoman Turkish front line on the coastal plain and follow up with cavalry. The strong British Infantry assaults were supported by a Western Front-style artillery bombardment, supported by British destroyers.

The Dorsets advanced at 04.30 am and poured into the Turkish trenches in an area known as Brown Hill, taking many prisoners. The division reached all its objectives by nightfall then followed up the next day, advancing on Nablus as the cavalry took over. The battle was an overwhelming success and the British advanced towards Damascus.


Loos, France, 1915​​
25 September

The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives on the Western Front in 1915. Four corps was involved in the attack. It marked the first time the British used poison gas during the war, and is also famous for the first large-scale use of 'new' or Kitchener's Army units. Two of these were 8th and 9th Devons in the 7th Division. 

8th Devons were in the initial assault with 9th Devons following up. At once, things started to go wrong. Gaps in the German wire were few, causing the advancing infantry to bunch up, and the inevitable casualties occurred. In addition, 8th Devons got caught up in ‘friendly’ gas. Nevertheless, the battalion’s objective, a line of gun emplacements, was reached swiftly, and held until the Devons were relieved on the evening of 26th. The 8th Battalion had taken 640 casualties.

Overall the offensive was a failure. The German defences held firm and there were insufficient reserves and artillery to exploit any minor successes such as that of the Devons. The British had only made a dent in the German lines. 


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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