The Somerset Light Infantry

Regiment Home
Battle Honours
Territorial Battalions
Regimental Chapel
Badges & Insignia
Commanding Officers
WW1 Battalions
Zulu & Basuto Wars
Boer War
Cording Diary
WW1 Honour Roll
WW2 Honour Roll
Army List
Photo Album
Newspaper Articles
Research Interests
Military Links

1685 - Raised, at the request of James II, by Theophilus, 7th Earl of Huntingdon. The headquarters were at Buckingham.

1689 - Now known as Hastings' Regiment of Foot, distinguished itself at Killiekrankie. Regiment went to Ireland until 1701, fought at the battle of Boyne. With Marlborough at sieges of Cork and Kinsale, then on French coast and in Flanders until peace of Ryswick.

1694 - The Regiment's Grenadier Company was lost to a man at the disatrous amphibious operation at Camaret Bay, near Brest.

1695 - Colonel Hastings cashiered for peculation. Regiment passed to Sir John Jacob, Bart. Then in 1701 became The Earl of Barrymore's Foot.

1701-03 - Holland - In the Lowlands with Marlborough. The  of Kaiserwerth, the siege of Venloo on the Meuse and sieges of Ruremonde, Huy and Limberg.

1704-05 - Lisbon. Then to first siege in the newly-captured fortress of Gibraltar and the Regiment's first Battle Honour.

1705-10 - With Lord Peterborough and the Earl of Galway in Spain.

1705 - Capture of Barcelona. Tortosa. San Mateo.

1706 - 'Barrymore's Foot' were mounted and became Pearce's Dragoons; but Lord Barrymore himself, with 5 Officers, 10 Sergeants and 10 Corporals formed the nucleus of the new Foot Regiment; so it was never disbanded.

1708 - Portugal.

1709 - River Caya.

1711-28 - Garrison duty at Gibraltar.

1728 - Returned to England.

1743 - Battle of Dettingen. (Now Pulteney's Foot).

1745 - Battles of Fontenoy and Culloden.

1745 - Flanders - Roucoux and battle of Val. Gibralter.

1751 - The 13th Regiment of Foot.

1769 - Minorca

1776 - England, stationed at Wells

1780-82 - West Indies

1782 - 13th (or the 1st Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot.

1791 - Jamaica

1792-94 - During the Revolutinary Wars against France, employed to aid French planters in Santo Domingo against rebel slaves. Sickness reduced the regiment to 60 men. Returned to England - Somersetshire, at Bath and Frome.

1798 - Ireland

1800 - Ferrol

1801 - Defeat of Napoleon's "Armee de l'Orient" at Aboukir Bay and Alexandria. 'Egypt' and 'The Sphinx' added to Colours.

1802 - Malta

1803- 05 - Gibralter. England.

1808 - Bermuda, West Indies. Martinique captured in three weeks.

1809 - Guadeloupe captured in ten days. In both these campaigns, as at Barcelona, Dettingen, Fontenoy and Santo Domingo, the XIIIth fought alongside the 32nd Foot - the D.C.L.I.

1813-15 - The American War. Colonel William Williams trains the 13th as Light Troops. Plattsburg, Burton Ville, Battle of Lacolle Mills, 1814. Then to England, Scotland and Ireland.

1822 - 13th (1st Somersetshire Light Infantry) Regiment. Regiment formed into a 'Corps of Light Infantry':

1823 - India.

1824-26 - First Burma War. Battle Honour - 'Ava'.

1826-45 - Calcutta, India. 'Fighting Bob' Sale becomes Colonel. Dinajpur. Agra.

1838-42 - Left Kurnaul for Ferozepore. First Afghan War. Kandahar. Ghuznee. Khoord Kabul Pass.

1842 - 13th (1st Somersetshire) (Prince Albert's Regiment of Light Infantry). 13th besieged in Jellalabad. On 7 April 1842 they sallied out and routed the forces of Akhbar Khan. For their conduct during the siege, "The Illustrious Garrison' were given the title 'Prince Albert's Regiment of Light Infantry', and their facings changed from yellow to royal blue, making it the only non-Royal regiment to hold this honour.

1845 - Heights of Truckee. England.

1851 - 55 - Gibraltar.

1855 - With Lord Mark Kerr as Colonel, briefly at Sevastopol. In 1st Division (Lord Rokeby), 2nd Bde. (Ridley) with 9th, 31st, 2nd Bn. Rifle Bde.

1855 - Gibraltar

1856 - Cape Colonly, Eastern Frontier

1857 - Indian Mutiny. Calcutta. Battle of Azimghur. Nugger. Hurrya.

1858 - 2nd Battalion raised in Winchester, England. Served at Cape and Mauritius 1859-1867. Malta 1877. Then India. Returned to England 1894.

1858 - 59 - Jugdespore jungle, trans-Gorga districts.

1864 - England

1867 - Gibraltar, Malta, Cape

1875 - 1st Battalion in S. Africa.

1877-1878 - Battle Honour awarded for 'The 9th Kaffir War, 1877-1878'.

1878-1879 - Battle Honour awarded for the Zulu Campaign. First Zulu War. Major W. Knox-Leet won the V.C. Khambula.

1879-1880 - Campaigns against the Basutos. Then to England.

1881 - Prince Albert's (Somersetshire Light Infantry)

1884 - Relief of General Gordon at Khartoum - 1 officer and 27 men of the 13th.

1885-7 - Burma War, 2nd Bn. commanded by Lt. Col. William Knox Leet VC. 144 men lost their lives and are listed on the Burma Memorial in Taunton, Somersetshire. This was the 2nd Battalions first operations.

1887-1894 - 2nd Battalion in India.

1891 - 1st to Gibraltar

1893 - 1st to India

1894 - 1st Battalion arrived in India to relieve 2nd. 2nd Battalion to England. Lahore, Umballa, Dalhousie.

1896 - 1st to Peshawar.

1897 - 98 - Tirah Expedition

1899-1902 - 2nd Somersetshire Light Infantry despatched to South Africa in Oct.-Nov. Relief of Ladysmith. Battle Honour for 'South Africa 1899-1902' awarded. Battle Honour of 'South Africa 1900-1901' awarded to 4th Bn. The Somerset Light Infantry and 5th Bn. The Somerset Light Infantry. 2nd at Spion Kop. Tugela. 4th Militia arrive April 1900.

1903 - 2nd in England.

1908 - 1st & 2nd meet in Malta. 2nd to stay until 1911.

1911 - 2nd in North China. To India in 1913. Quetta.1st in South Wales during great coal strike.

1912 - Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry)

1914 - 1st at Colchester.

1914-18 World War 1 - 19 battalions raised. Fought in France, Palestine and Mesopotamia. Five thousand men were killed.

  • 1st - France and Flanders 22 Aug 14. 1st was part of 11th Infantry Division, 4th Division, Third Corps. On the evening of 1 July 1916, after the first day of the Somme, one warrant officer and 57 unwounded privates answered the roll call. ((Ireland)) Oct 19 to Apr 21.
  • 2nd - India, throughout the war (Afghanistan 1919). Palestine Oct 19. Egypt Sept 20. India 19 Dec 20 to 1924.
  • 4th - India 9 Nov 14, N.W. Frontier 1915. Mespot 21 Jan 16. Demobilized Apr 19.
  • 2/4th - India 23 Jan 15. Andaman Islands Aug 15. India Jan 16. Egypt 25 Sept 17. 2/4th was part of 232nd Infantry Brigade, 74th Division, XXI Corps. Palestine 1917-18. France and Flanders 1 June 18.
  • 5th - India 10 Nov 14. Egypt 11 May 17. 1/5th was part of 233rd Infantry Brigade, 74th Division, XXI Corps. Palestine 1917-18. Egypt 6 Dec 18 to Dec 19.
  • 2/5th - India 23 Jan 15 and into Burma. India 1916 until Nov 19.
  • 6th - France and Flanders 21 May 15. Reduced to a cadre 27 Apr 18 and to U.K. 18 June 18. Reconstituted and returned to France and Flanders 1 Aug 18. 1916 - 14th (Light) Division, 43rd Brigade. They went into the front line at Delville Wood on 12th August 1916. On the 15th September they were at Pommiers Redoubt and on the 16th attacked Gird Trench north-east of Flers. All 17 officers and 387 men became casualties, they withdrew at daybreak on the 17th and moved to Fricourt Camp. On the 27th they left for the Arras sector.
  • 7th - France and Flanders 24 July 15. 1916 - 20th (Light) Division, 61st Brigade.
  • 8th - France and Flanders 10 Sept 15. 1916 - 21st Division, 63rd Brigade. (Exchanged with 110th Bde. of 37th Division, 7th July 1916).
  • 11th - France and Flanders 6 May 18.
  • 12th - Formed in Egypt 4 Jan 17 from the West Somerset Yeomanry. 12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Bn, was part of 229th Infantry Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division, XXI Corps. Palestine 1917-18. France and Flanders 7 May 18.

British Expeditionary Force, August-September 1914. Commander in Chief: Field Marshal Sir John French
Chief of Staff: Lt. General Sir Archibald Murray III Corps (Pulteney) Formed in France, 31 August 1914. 4th Division (Snow) Reached la Cateau, 24 August 1914. 11th Infantry Brigade: 1/Somerset Light Infantry, 1/East lancs., 1/Hampshires, 1/Rifle Brigade.

1 July 1916 - (First day of Somme) - Fourth Army (Gen. Sir H. Rawlinson), VIII Corps (Lieut.Gen. Sir A. G. Hunter-Weston), 4th Division (Maj.-Gen. Hon. W. Lambton), 11th Brigade, 1st Somerset Light Infantry. 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.

1919 - 2nd Battalion Somerset Hill, Afghanistan. Back to India until 1925.

1920 - The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's)

1926 - 1st Battalion in Egypt.

1927 - 2nd Battalion to England.

1939-45 World War 2 - The 1st Battalion was in India. Firstly fighting tribesmen on the North-West Frontier, then acting as riot squads in Delhi during the Quit India movement in 1942 and finally serving with the 7th Indian Division during the fierce fighting against the Japanese in the Arakan. 10 battalions were raised. Fought in Burma, Italy, Greece, and from Normandy to the Baltic. The 10th became 7th Battalion (L.I.), 6th Airborne, and were among the first Allied troops to land in Normandy on D-Day.

28 February 1948 - last troops to leave India on the Empress of Australia. The arrived in Liverpool on 17 March. After Taunton the regiment went into a training role at Bordon in Hampshire. The 1st and 2nd Battalions were amalgamated in 1948. 2nd Battalion had been in Thrace and Macedonia, then Karawanken Mountains and Austria.

1951 - 1st Battalion in Munster, Germany. 4th Battaion was reformed in 1947.

1952-55 - 1st Battalion in Malaya during the 'Emergency'. Then to England.

1955 Cyprus - counter-insurgency operations in Cyprus (where Field Marshal Harding was the Governor) in 1956

1957- 1959 - Warmister

6 October 1959 - Named Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry.

The Somerset Light Infantry (13th Foot, Prince Albert's) and The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry amalgamated on 6 October 1959 to form the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry (SCLI). This took place at Osnabruck.

1968 - Light Infantry.

The Light Infantry (LI), was formed on Vesting Day 10 July 1968 from the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (51st Foot & 105th Foot), the King's Shropshire Light Infantry (53rd Foot & 85th Foot), the Durham Light Infantry (68th Foot & 106th Foot) and the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry to form the Light Infantry in the Light Division.


Still the largest infantry regiment in the Order of Battle, there are six Light Infantry Battalions today.

The Light Infantry

Regular Army

1st Battalion The Light Infantry - Airmobile role in 24 - Airmobile Brigade - Colchester

2nd Battalion The Light Infantry - Armoured Infantry - (Warrior) in 20 - Armoured  Brigade - Paderborn, Germany


Territorial Army

5th Battalion The (Shropshire & Herefordshire) Light Infantry - Headquarters in Shrewsbury

6th Battalion The (Somerset & Cornwall) Light Infantry - Headquarters in Taunton

7th Battalion The (Durham) Light Infantry  - Headquarters in Durham

8th Battalion The (Yorkshire) Light Infantry  - Headquarters in Wakefield

- The Regimental Headquarters is in Winchester


Sunday, 19 February, 2017 14:14

Site by Severn Beach