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.
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.
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.
Shown on the right is a detail - visit the Memorial Page to see the whole thing!
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!'
'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'.
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.
23-24 Jolly Boy’s Outing – The Gypsy Hill Hotel Exeter
28 Gillingham Branch meeting, RBL Club, Gillingham, at 7.30 pm.
28 Purbeck Branch Meeting, Clay Pipe Inn, Organford Rd, Holton Heath, nr Poole at 8pm
30 Tiverton F/P meeting, RBL Club, Tiverton at 7.30 pm.
03 Honiton F/P meeting, The Heathfield Inn, Honiton at 1pm.
07 Plymouth (Late Devons) Branch meeting, Crownhill Families Club, Fort Road, Crownhill at 1030- 12 noon.
07 Plymouth D and D Branch meeting, RBL Crownhill, Tailyour Road, Crownhill at 7.30pm
07 Exeter Branch meeting, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30pm
07 Officers’ Club Sandwich Lunch, Wyvern Bks, Exeter
08 Torbay & Teignbridge F/P meeting, Lord Nelson Kingskerswell 1930 hrs
14 Poole Branch meeting, RBL Club, 66 North Road, Parkstone, Poole, at 2.15pm.
14 Veterans Regimental Lunch, Wyvern Bks, Exeter 12 noon
14 Tiverton F/P meeting, RBL Club, Tiverton at 7.30 pm.
17 Bridport Branch meeting, at The Haddon House Hotel, West Bay, Bridport at 11.30 am.
18 Southampton and District Branch meeting, Locksheath Working Men’s Club, Duncan Road, Park Gate at 12.00 pm.
19 Exmouth F/P meeting, Exmouth Football Club, Southern Road from 1 pm.
21 Gillingham Branch Annual Dinner – Olive Bowl Events Centre Gillingham
26 Tirah Ceremony Borough Gardens Dorchester 1100 hrs.
Visit our Calendar page for notice of meetings throughout the year.
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.
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.
The Retreat from Mons, in face of the German offensive of 1914, took the British Expeditionary Force south from Belgium into France. The invaders had made great territorial gains, but had exhausted themselves in the process. Thus, the British and French Allies decided to attack.
1st Dorsets, in the 5th Division, had arrived at Gagny, east of Paris, some 100 miles south of the Belgian battlefields. On 6 September, they marched north to the River Marne. On 7 September, they contacted the German forces at le Limon, and then attacked east of Montreuil towards Hill 189, on which the enemy was seen entrenching.
No supporting artillery was available and the Germans defended with accurate machine gun fire. In consequence, the attack did not succeed, but the Dorsets had suppressed the position and killed many defenders at the loss of 14 killed and missing, and 31 wounded.
The battalion withdrew, but so did the Germans, and the 5th Division advanced north towards the River Aisne.
The Hindenburg Line was a vast system of defences in north east France that stretched from Lens to beyond Verdun. It was constructed by the Germans during the winter of 1916-17 and was thought to be impregnable. The Allies moved up to the Line in 1917, then breached it between 12 September and 12 October 1918 during the ‘100 Days Offensive’, a period of mobile, combined arms warfare that brought WW1 to a close.
There were several phases to this massive assault: the Battles of Havrincourt; Epéhy, Canal du Nord; St Quentin Canal; Beaurevoir and Cambrai. Devon and Dorset battalions took part in them all, as we will relate on the battles' anniversaries.
At 5.25 am on 12 September 1918, three divisions of the advancing British Third Army attacked the village of Havrincourt, between Bapaume and Cambrai, following a considerable overnight bombardment of the German defences. Amongst the attacking force was the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division, which contained 5th Devons.
There was fierce close-quarter fighting and a series of German counter-attacks, but despite their numerical superiority and strong fortifications, the Germans were unable to hold their position. By the day's end the 62nd Division had taken the village and then held it. The Devons' casualties were considered light, at only 80.
This victory was not particularly showy or impressive, but it highlighted a growing lack of fighting spirit among the German soldiers on the Western Front, and encouraged the British to conduct further offensive operations to breech the Hindenburg Line.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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 Regimental Association of The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
The Rifle's Exeter Office,
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