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 October to 31 October 2018

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

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

05    Exeter Branch meeting, Whipton Institute Club at 7.30 pm 

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

05    Officers’ Club Sandwich Lunch, Wyvern Bks, Exeter

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

12    Veterans Regimental Lunch, Wyvern Bks, Exeter 12 noon

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

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

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

24    Memorial Service at LCpl Samuel Vickery VC Tirah Memorial, Dorchester Borough Gardens 1045 hrs.

26    Gillingham Branch Annual Dinner

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

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

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

11 May 2019: Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association annual reunion after party venue tbc.

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.

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​​​

South Africa 1899-1902, Second Boer War
12 October

This war was fought between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. It ended with a British victory and the annexation of both republics by the British Empire.

1st Devons were based at Ladysmith. The garrison was besieged there from late 1899, but the Devons sallied out to take Waggon Hill from the enemy in January 1900. They were relieved in March by a force containing 2nd Devons. 

2nd Dorsets also advanced towards Ladysmith and distinguished themselves by beating the Boers off the Drakensberg feature. 

All three battalions served throughout South Africa until the treaty of 1902. 


Passchendaele 1917, World War 1
12 October

The two battles of Passchendaele took place in a sea of mud, as part of the 3rd Battle of Ypres. Convinced that German morale was crumbling, the British advanced to Passchendaele Ridge. The Germans resisted strongly and the attempted breakthough failed.

Passchendaele village was taken in November and the attack was called off. For the sake of a few kilometres, the British had lost 310,000 men and the Germans 260,000.

6th Dorsets in the 17th Division took part in both phases. They were in reserve during the 17th Division’s only major attack, then held part of the newly captured line until 22 October.

8th and 9th Devons in the 7th Division took part in the second battle from 26 October. In dreadful conditions, their weapons blocked by mud, they advanced with tremendous spirit and discipline towards the village of Gheluvelt, but took appalling casualties. The 8th lost 258 killed; the 9th 294.

1st Devons in the 5th Division were also present, but out of the front line.

 


The Battle of Selle, France 1918
20 October

The Battle of the Selle was fought during the last ‘Hundred Days’ of WW1, when the Allies advanced across the Hindenburg Line and forced the November armistice. 

Having captured Cambrai, the British closed up on the retreating German Army, which had taken up a position to the east of the Selle river. The Allies had to cross the river, a railway embankment and then a ridge on the far side. After artillery bombardments, British troops attacked with infantry and tanks. Fighting was fierce but by nightfall enemy defences had been broken and Le Cateau captured. 

Severe fighting continued, then on 20 October in a surprise night attack, the British secured the high ground east of the Selle.

During the battle, 1st Devons in the 5th Division crossed the Selle and assaulted an area south of Solemes in heavy rain, shell and machine gun fire but captured their objectives, taking 90 casualties.

The 62nd Division containing 5th Devons, took Solemes itself, but the battalion was not seriously engaged. 

In the 17th Division, 6th Dorsets took a sector of the railway line then captured a ridge near Neuvilly taking about 50 casualties.

The attack was renewed on 23 October with a major combined assault and the German Army retreated. 

 

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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