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. 

Association Programme - 01 October to 31 October 2019

01  Honiton Focal Point meeting, Heathfield Inn, Honiton 1pm

04  Plymouth (Late Devons) Branch meeting, at 10.30-12 noon.

04  Exeter Branch meeting, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30pm

04  Plymouth D and D Branch meeting, RBL Crownhill, at 7.45pm

04  Officers’ Club Exeter Sandwich Lunch

11  Veterans Regimental Lunch, Wyvern Bks, Exeter 12 noon

14  Bridport Branch meeting, Haddon House Hotel, West Bay, Bridport 11.30am

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

18  Books of Remembrance Page Turning Service, Sherborne Abbey 11am

23  Tirah Ceremony. Borough Gardens, Dorchester 11.00 am

26  Salisbury FP Meeting – Andover RBL

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.

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.

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

29 June 2019: 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.

16 May 2020: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion.

16 May 2020: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion after party venue tbc.

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​​​

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.


Sambre, France WW1
04 November 1918

This battle was the last attempt by the German Army to defend against the advancing Allies in WW1. The Germans lined the Sambre-Oise Canal on a 40 mile front running north-south from Condé to Oisy. Against this position the British Armies launched a major offensive designed to bring about the utter collapse of the enemy.

Just before dawn, infantry advanced through thick mist across difficult country behind a vast supporting bombardment. Fourth Army formations, on the right, faced the great obstacle of the Sambre Canal. Early assaults met violent resistance, but eventually bridgeheads were created. Farther north, the Fourth and Third Armies successfully assaulted Germans dug-in within the densely wooded Forest of Mormal. Le Quesnoy was captured and the Allies commenced the pursuit.

9th Devons had recently returned from a period on the Italian Front and were now in the 25th Division. At 11.00 pm on 04 November the battalion took some outpost positions near Landrecies prior to a divisional attack.

1st Dorsets in the 32nd Division were given the important task of forcing the passage of the canal between Landrecies and Catillon at Ors. This attack commenced at 5.45 am and the canal was crossed via a floating bridge, supported by mortars, machine guns and a field gun firing at point blank range.

By nightfall and in worsening weather, the enemy, on the brink of defeat, reeled back in disorder.


Regimental Association Newsletter

Online Newsletter 2017

Online Newsletter 2016


Regimental Memorial Dedication

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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