The Durham Light Infantry

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1881 to 1969

1881 - 68th and 106th become 1st and 2nd Battalions The Durham Light Infantry, Militia Battalions renamed 3rd and 4th Battalions The Durham Light Infantry

1882 - 2nd Bn. went to Gibraltar and thence to Egypt in 1884.

1884 - Depot moved from Sunderland to Newcastle, shared with Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

1885 - 2nd Battalion had been at home, Gibraltar and Malta, and now moved to Egypt, Battle of Ginnis, 30th December, 1885. It was employed with the force under General Stephenson.

1887 - 2nd Battalion returned to India and was still there in 1899.

1890-1899 - 2nd DLI dominate Indian polo scene

1899 - 1st Battalion in South African War, 2nd Battalion sent company of Mounted Infantry from India, 3rd and 4th Battalions fought in war also. 1st Bn. at relief of Ladysmith, Colenso, Spion Kop and Vaal Krantz.

1900 - The 3rd and 4th Battalions of the regiment were formerly the 1st Durham Militia Fusiliers, and the 2nd or North Durham Militia. The head-quarters were at Barnard Castle and Newcastle respectively. The 1st volunteer battalion was at Stockton-on-Tees, the 2nd at Bishop Auckland, the 3rd at Sunderland, the 5th at Durham and the 5th at Gateshead.

1908 - 3rd and 4th Battalions exchanged numbers and designated Special Reserve Battalions, they trained the bulk of recruits for Regiment during 1914-18 War, never reformed after war and disbanded in 1958. 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Battalions merged to form the 151st Brigade of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. Territorial Force created - 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th DLI formed.

1914-18 - 1st Battalion in India, remained there during 1914-18 War. 37 Battalions raised. Six VC's.

  • 1st - India throughout the war. N. W. Frontier 1915, 1916-17 (Afghanistan 1919). Upper Silesia 4 June 21 to 3 July 22. -

  • August 1914 : in Abbottabad Brigade, Rawalpindi Division in India.
    Moved to Nowshera Brigade, Peshawar Division, August 1914.
    Left November 1917. Remained in India throughout the war.
  • 2nd - France and Flanders 10 Sept. 14. 2nd was part of 18th Infantry Brigade, 6th Division, Third Corps. South Russia, Batum, Oct 19 to 7 July 20. Turkey 10 July 10 to 10 Nov 20 and thence to India.

  • 1/5th - France and Flanders Apr 15 - reduced to training cadre 15 July 18 and disbanded 9 Nov 18. 1916 - 50th (Northumbrian) Division (T.F.), 150th Brigade.

  • 2/5th - Salonika 15 Nov 16 as garrison bn. South Russia, Batum, Jan to May 19.

  • 1/6th and 1/8th - France and Flanders 17 Apr 15. Owing to heavy casualties at Second Ypres, 1915 (the 1/8th alone lost 19 officers and 574 other ranks), both battalions amalgamated on 3 June 15 and became 6/8th bn. Resumed separate identities on 11 Aug 15. Both reduce to training cadres on 16 Aug 18 and disbanded 6 Nov 18. 1916 - both in 50th (Northumbrian) Division (T.F.), 151st Brigade.

  • 1/7th - France and Flanders 17 Apr 15 and becoming pioneer bn. 16 Nov 15. 1916 - 50th (Northumbrian) Division (T.F.), Pioneers.

  • 2/6th - France and Flanders 6 May 18 as Garrison Guard Bn. Dropped 'Garrison Guard' by 16 July 18.

  • 2/7th - Home defence until 7 Oct 18 when embarked for North Russia, Archangel Force. (Last war diary 29 Aug 19).

  • 1/9th - France and Flanders 17 Apr 15 - became a pioneer bn. on 12 Feb 18. 1916 - 50th (Northumbrian) Division (T.F.), 151st Brigade.

  • 2/9th - Salonika 15 Nov 16 until Jan 19.

  • 10th - France and Flanders 21 May 15 - disbanded in France 12 Feb 18. 1916 - 14th (Light) Division, 43rd Brigade.

  • 11th Pioneers - France and Flanders 20 July 15. 1916 - 20th (Light) Division. Pioneers.

  • 12th - France and Flanders 26 August 15. Italy 13 Nov 17. 12th were part of 68th Brigade, 23rd Division.

  • 13th - France and Flanders 26 Aug 15. Italy 13 Nov 17. 13th were part of 68th Brigade, 23rd Division. France and Flanders 16 Sept 18.

  • 14th - France and Flanders 11 Sept 15 - disbanded in France 1 Feb 18. In 1916, 6th Division, 18th Brigade.

  • 15th - France and Flanders 11 Sept 15. 1916 - 21st Division, 64th Brigade.

  • 16th (Reserve) Battalion
    Formed in Durham, October 1914, as a Service battalion, part of K4.
    October 1914 : attached to 89th Brigade, original 30th Division.
    10 April 1915 : became a second Reserve battalion (after the 4th Bn).
    September 1916 : became 1st Training Reserve battalion of 1st Reserve Brigade
  • 17th (Reserve) Battalion
    Formed in Barnard Castle, October 1914, as a Service battalion, part of K4.
    October 1914 : attached to 89th Brigade, original 30th Division.
    10 April 1915 : became a second Reserve battalion.
    September 1916 : became 2nd Training Reserve battalion of 1st Reserve Brigade.
  • 18th - "Durham Pals" - Egypt 21 Dec 15. France and Flanders 11 Mar 16. 1916 - 31st Division, 93rd Brigade.
  • 19th - France and Flanders 1 Feb 16. 1916 - 35th (Bantam) Division. 106th Brigade.
  • 20th - France and Flanders 5 May 16. Italy 19 Nov 17. 20th were part of 123rd Brigade, 41st Division. France and Flanders 17 Mar 18.

  • 21st (Reserve) Battalion
    Formed at Cocken Hall, in July 1915, as a local Reserve Bn.
    1 September 1916 : became 87th Training Reserve Bn, in 20th Reserve Brigade.
  • 22nd (Service) Battalion (3rd County Pioneers)
    Formed in County Durham on 1 October 1915, by the Durham Recruiting Committee.
    17 June 1916 : moved to France, and attached to 19th Division.
    2 July 1916 : transferred to 8th Division.
    3 July 1918 : absorbed by 1/7th Bn.
  • 23rd (Reserve) Battalion
    Formed at Catterick in October 1915, as a local Reserve Bn.
    1 September 1916 : absorbed into Training Reserve Bns, in 20th Reserve Brigade.
  • 24th Battalion
    No 24th Battalion was formed.


    25th (Works) Battalion
    Formed at Pocklington in May 1915.
    August 1917 : became 7th Labour Bn, the Labour Corps. Remained in England throughout the war.


    28th (Home Service) Battalion
    Formed in Frinton, 27 April 1918.


    29th (Service) Battalion
    Formed in Margate on 1 June 1918, and absorbed the cadre of 2/7th Duke of Wellington's.
    1 June 1918: attached to 41st Brigade, 14th Division.

  • August-September 1914 -  B.E.F., III Corps (Pulteney), 6th Division (Keir), 18th Infantry Brigade included 2/Durham Light Infantry.

19 Sept. 1914 - 2nd Battalion with 6th Infantry Division at Battle of the Aisne. Then around Armentieres for winter.

April 1915 - Territorial Battalions arrived in France as part of 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

26 April 1915 - Ypres, 50th Division prevented capture of the city. 2nd Battalion at Yser Canal until July.

August 1915 - 10th Battalion reached France, followed by 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th. Battle of Hooge - 2nd Battalion suffered nearly 500 casualties.

24 Sept. 1915 - 18th Battalion raised and equipped by county.

19th Battalion started as a "Bantam" Battalion in 35th Bantam Division, 106th Brigade. 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Battalions brigaded together as 151st (Durham Light Infantry) Brigade. The 5th Battalion form part of York and Durham Infantry Brigade.

July 1916 - Somme - multiple DLI Battalions (see above). 2nd Battalion at Ginchy.

1 July 1916 - (First day of Somme) - Fourth Army (Gen. Sir H. Rawlinson), III Corps (Lieut.Gen. Sir W. P. Pulteney), 8th Division (Maj.-Gen. H. Hudson), Pioneers, 22nd Durham Light Infantry.  XV Corps (Lieut.-Gen. H. S. Horne), 21st Division (Maj.-Gen. D.G.M. Campbell), 64th Brigade, 15th Durham Light Infantry. VIII Corps (Lieut.Gen. Sir A. G. Hunter-Weston), 31st Division (Maj.-Gen. R. Wanless O'Gowan), 93rd Brigade, 18th Durham Light Infantry (Durham Pals). XV Corps (Lieut.-Gen. H. S. Horne), 21st Division (Maj.-Gen. D.G.M. Campbell), 63rd Brigade, 8th Somerset Light Infantry. Both battalions heavily involved in fighting. 15th & 18th both heavily involved in fighting.

October 1916 - 50th Division, 6th Battalion suffered heavily, CO wounded. 9th Battalion CO took command of both Battalions.

Butte de Warlincourt. 6th, 8th and 9th Battalions.

November 1917 - Battle of Cambrai, 2nd and 14th Battalions. Hindenburg Line broken.

1917 - At home, the 53rd (Young Soldiers) Battalion formed. After war, part of the Army of Occupation in Rhineland.

21 March 1918 - 2nd Battalion at Qveant-Pronville. Only 2 officers and 25 other ranks survived. 50th Division move to Rouen.

November 1918 - 2nd Battalion represented Regiment in victorious march to the Rhine and crossed into Germany.

After 8 months in Germany, 2nd Battalion returned to Catterick. Stationed in Batoum in South Russia, then Anatolia. From here they went to India for final tour of duty in that country, staying until 1937.

1919 - 1st DLI in 3rd Afghan War.

1st Battalion, abroad for 20 years, in India throughout war, returned to England. Then to Cologne, Upper Silesia and Hungary. In 1929 moved to Waziristan (at Razmak). Relief of Datta Khel, cleaning up of Mahoud stronghold of Makin. Returned to England at end of 1937 after 1 year in Khartoum. Then sent to Shanghai, passing 2nd Battalion in Red Sea.

See McGrory Album for pictures of time in Khartoum.

1920 Germany Army of Occupation
1921 England: York
1925 Northern Ireland: Ballykinlar
1927 Egypt
1930 England: Catterick
1935 Blackdown 6 Bde
1937 China: Shanghai
1938 Tientsin
1940.01 Egypt 23 Bde, BTE
1941.06.28 Syria 23 Bde, 6 Div
1941.10.06 Egypt?
1942.05 Malta 234 Bde, 10 Ind Inf Div
1943.06.19 Egypt 234 Bde, 10 Ind Inf Div
1943.08.24 Palestine 234 Bde, 10 Ind Inf Div
1943.10 Aegean
1943.10 Italy
1944.05 Italy 10 Ind Bde, 10 Ind Inf Div
1944.12 Greece 10 Ind Bde, 10 Ind Inf Div
1945.05 ?
1946.07? Greece
1948 UK
1948.09.25 amalgamated with 2nd Battalion without change of title
1949 Dortmund
1951 Berlin
1952.09 Korea 28 Commonwealth Bde
1953.09 Egypt
1955.04 England: Barnard Castle
1957.11 Aden
1958.07 Cyprus
1959.07 England: Honiton
1961.05 Berlin
1963.06 Hong Kong
1966.06 England: Colchester
1968.07.10 4th Battalion, The Light Infantry
redesignated upon formation of "large" regiment from Light Infantry Brigade
1968 England: Colchester
Cyprus UN
England: Colchester
1969.03.31 disbanded at Colchester


Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 19:22

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