History of the Herefordshire Regiments


HEREFORDSHIRE REGIMENT I


1701.06.28  Charlemont’s Regiment of Foot - The regiment was first raised in Ireland by General William Caulfield, 2nd Viscount Charlemont in May 1701 made Colonel in June 1701. After May 1706 was renamed when each of ten different colonels were in charge until numbering started in 1751.

1751.07.01  Renamed the 36th Regiment of Foot. First Colonel was General Lord Robert Manners who had taken charge 0n 13th March 1751.

Around this time the Herefordshire Regular Militia was raised but this was not related directly to the Herefordshire Regiment and in 1881 it was reformed as the 4th Militia Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry.

1782.08.31  County titles were conferred on the infantry to aid recruitment and the regiment became the 36th (The Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot.

36th Herefordshire Regiment 1792

The Regiment took part in the Anglo-Mysore Wars in 1782 and 1789 fighting in Hindustan against Tippoo Sahib at the battle of Seringapatam and shortly after in the Peninsular War (1808-1814) in battles at Roleia and Vimiera in 1808, Corunna in 1809, Salamanca in 1812 and just west of the Pyrennes in 1813. The following year they pursued Bonaparte into France fighting battles at Nivelle, Orthes and Toulouse. They just missed the battle of Waterloo but stayed on in France with the army of occupation for the next four years.

[Around 1800, First, Second & Third Herefordshire Troops of Volunteer Cavalry were in training. The Adjutant of the Corps was one Williams Allen of Hereford and the volunteers numbered around 150 gentlemen and yeomanry all providing their own mounts.]

1817.04.06  The College of Arms accepted a request from the Regiment to add the motto ‘FIRM’ to the Regimental Colours.

1863.08.03  Richard Cannon notes that the regiment embarked for India. They served in Lucknow, Peshawar and Rawlpindi, mainly as a presence rather than engaged in military action. The regiment returned to England from Bombay arriving back on 18th December 1875. In Hereford Cathedral it is recorded that, during the service in India a total of nine officers, seventeen corporals, two drummers and 307 privates died. The majority of deaths were from cholera.

1878.04.03  Army reserves were mobilised at the threat of war with Russia and 196 men of the Hereford militia joined the regiment.

1881.07.01  The 36th 'relinquished the old regimental connection with the county of Hereford and its reserve forces' (quoted from Lieut.-Colonel Ralph Carr's regimental order) and became the 2nd Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment uniting with 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot, which became the 1st Battalion, and also with some former members of the Herefordshire Militia. The Worcestershire Militia formed the 3rd and 4th Battalions. The whole formed the 22nd Brigade based at barracks at Norton near Worcester. This relocation came about in part because the citizens of Hereford opposed the establishment of a county regimental depot in the city.

1899.12  The 2nd Battalion which, despite the official severing of the ties with the county, did include volunteers from the Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, Herefordshire Yeomanry and the former Herefordshire Regular Militia, set off for South Africa to take part in the Boer War. The few survivors returned in May 1901.

1948.12.17  The 2nd Battalion was disbanded by amalgamating with the 1st Battalion.



HEREFORDSHIRE REGIMENT II

Herefordshire Regiment cap badge 1908 to 1947

The badge is taken from the crest
of the coat-of-arms of the City of
Hereford -‘a lion passant guardant
holding in dexter paw a sword’.


1861.02.20  1st Administrative Battalion, Herefordshire and Radnorshire Rifle Volunteers
  * 1st Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at Hereford, raised April 1860
  * 2nd Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at Ross, raised March 1860
  * 3rd Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at Ledbury, raised May 1860, Captain - the Earl Somers
  * 4th Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at Bromyard, raised May 1860
  * 5th Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at South Archenfield, raised 1860; disbanded 1873; replaced by 2nd Ross 1878
  * 6th Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at Leominster, raised May 1860
  * 7th Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at Kingston, raised May 1860
  * 8th Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps at Hereford (Oddfellows), raised August 1860

1891.12  1st Herefordshire (Hereford and Radnor) Rifle Volunteer Corps. The eight Corps were renamed Companies A to H.

1908.04.01  The Herefordshire Battalion, The King’s (Shropshire Light Infantry) was raised and transferred to the Territorial Force with HQ at the Barracks, Hereford. It was made up of members of the old Volunteer Corps and the Herefordshire Regular Militia.

1909  1st Battalion, The Herefordshire Regiment (part of the corps of The King's (Shropshire Light Infantry)

1914.8.22  A Second line battalion for service at home was raised. To be known as the 2nd/1st Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment. It was absorbed into the 205 Brigade of 68 (Welsh) Division in 1917 and subsequently into the 4th (Reserve) Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. In 1915 a Third line battalion for service at home was raised to be known as the 3rd/1st Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment.

1918.9.20  The 3rd/1st became the 1st Reserve Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment but was absorbed into the 4th (Reserve) Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry in 1919. In turn the K.S.L.I. battalion was disbanded after the Armistice.

The 1st/1st Herefordshire Regiment fought in Europe in the First World War (1914-18) but had no battalions of the regular army. In August 1914 it was part of the 160th (Welsh Border) Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division and the following month joined the 205th (2nd Welsh Border) Brigade, 68th Division. On 24 April 1915 they transferred to North Wales Brigade, Welsh Division and on 13 May 1915 they became 158th (North Wales) Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division.

They embarked at Devonport on the SS Euripedes on 16th July 1915. There were 29 officers and 969 other ranks set out but had sustained losses by the time they had landed at ‘C’ beach at Suvla Bay on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on the 9th August at 7.20 am. After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, they set off for Alexandria in Egypt travelling via Lemnos on 12th December 1915. The Battalion was involved in the defence of the Suez Canal at the battle of Rumani in July 1916 and they then took part in the Palestine Campaign under General Allenby, to drive the Turks out of Palestine. The Battalion was at all three battles of Gaza, and also at Beersheba, reaching Jerusalem in December 1917. On 1 June 1918 they left the Division and moved to France, landing at Taranto (Italy) on 22 June 1918. On 30 June 1918 they were attached to 102nd Infantry Brigade of the 34th Division.

Lala Baba War Cemetery

Of the many cemeteries where men from the Herefordshire Regiment are buried, Lala Baba in Gallipoli, Turkey is a hill 48 metres high, between the southern side of Suvla Bay and the Salt Lake. 1 kilometre south-west of it is the lower hill known as Little Lala Baba. The cemetery is on Little Lala Baba, facing west towards the sea.

1920.02.07  1st Battalion, The Herefordshire Regiment reconstituted in Territorial Army with HQ at the Barracks, Hereford

1932  Lord Somers KCMG DSO MC of Eastnor Castle, Ledbury was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Regiment and he remained in this position until 1945.

The Herefordshire Regiment fought in the Second World War (1939-45). In April 1939 the 1st. Battalion divided to form 1st/1st and 1st/2nd Battalions. 1/1 was part of the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division and served in Northern Ireland; the 1/2 formed part of the 38 (Welsh) Division and concentrated on home defence duties throughout the war. Then, in 1942, the 159th Infantry Brigade was transferred from the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division to 8th Corps 11th Armoured Division and on D-day + 7 were part of the second wave of Normandy landings. They broke out of the beach-head at Caumont on 30th July 1944 and took part in battles at the Falaise Pocket, Antwerp, Hechtel, Hochwald and Aller.

1946  The 11th Armoured Division was disbanded and the 159th Infantry Brigade consisting of the 4th Battalion the KSLI and the 1st Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment rejoined the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division in the Ruhr in Germany.

1947.01.01  The 1st and 2nd Battalions were amalgamated to form the 1st Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment.



Herefordshire Light Infantry cap badge 1947 to 1999

The Light Infantry bugle horn came
originally from the Prussian Field Jaeger
Corps. Acting as fast-moving advance scouts,
Light Infantry used a bugle to pass orders.


1947.04.01  renamed the 1st Battalion, The Herefordshire Light Infantry (TA) with a new cap badge. The motto ‘MANU FORTI’ means ‘with a strong hand’. It still served as part of the 159th Infantry Brigade of the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division TA.

1967.04.01  Light Infantry Volunteers formed in TAVR II with HQ at Shrewsbury with companies serving as successors to T.A. battalions of the Light Infantry Brigade:

  * HQ Company (Shropshire) at Shrewsbury, successor to 4th Bn The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
  * A Company (Cornwall) at Truro, successor to The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
  * B Company (Yorkshire) at Wakefield, successor to 4th Bn The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
  * C Company (Herefordshire) at Hereford, successor to 1st Bn The Herefordshire Light Infantry

1972.08.01  renamed 5th Battalion, The Light Infantry (Volunteers)

1993.02.26  reformed as 5th Battalion, The (Shropshire and Herefordshire) Light Infantry (Volunteers)

  * HQ Company at Shrewsbury
  * A (The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment) Company at Kidderminster
  * B Company at Wellington
  * C Company at Hereford

1999.07.01  amalgamated with 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (V), and 3rd (V) Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment to form The West Midlands Regiment



Acknowledgments:

Information drawn from the following sources:

William Collins  Herefordshire and the Great War. Jakeman and Carver 1919.
http://www.roll-of-honour.org.uk/Cemeteries/
http://www.regiments.org/regiments/uk/inf/036-701.htm
http://www.regiments.org/regiments/uk/volmil-england/vinf-mi/he-1908.htm
http://www.1914-1918.net/hereford.htm
All accessed 20/06/2007.
Lt Col T.J.B.Hill MBE, KSLI  Manu Forti, A History of the Herefordshire Regiment. Alan Sutton Publishing 1996. ISBN 0 7509 1182 4.
Richard Cannon  Historical Record of the Thirty-sixth or the Herefordshire Regiment. Parker , Furnivall and Parker, London 1853. Reprinted in a limited edition by Golden Valley Publications, 2003 ISBN 0-9542578-3-9

© B S Sharples, Bosbury, Herefordshire June 2007