Devon Brochure Final(4) - Flipbook - Page 6
DEVON'S PART IN
Most infantry regiments carry
their battle honours on Colours
(ceremonial flags). RIFLES Battalions
do not have Colours, but all Riflemen
carry 34 representative battle
honours (of 913 awarded) on their
belt badge. Some honours were for
On 27 May 1918, 2nd Battalion The Devonshire Regiment was in defensive trenches
at Bois des Buttes, near the River Aisne in France. A huge German surprise offensive
swept away British and French forces, but the DEVONS held out, winning vital hours to
reorganise the Allied defences. A report said that “2nd DEVONS refused to surrender
and fought to the last.” For the Battalion's courage and steadfastness, the Government
of France awarded it the Croix de Guerre avec Palme, the highest French gallantry
award. The ribbon was worn by all ranks in the DEVONS, and later in The Devon and
Dorsets. It is now worn on every Rifleman's sleeve.
Dettingen (1743) - The 11th fought under the command of King George II.
great battles of national significance,
like Waterloo, the Somme, El
Alamein and Normandy. Others
are unique to The Rifles, such as
Marabout and Pegasus Bridge. One
scroll on the belt badge is left blank
for a battle honour yet to be won.
Vittorio Veneto (1918) - The 8/DEVONS played a prominent role in the battle
at the River Piave in Italy, helping to defeat the Austro-Hungarian Army.
South Africa (1899-1902) - In the 2nd Boer War, 1/DEVONS was beseiged
for 3 months with the garrison of Ladysmith. On 6 January 1900 it fought a
notable action at Wagon Hill to regain defences captured by the Boers, in
which Lieutenant James Masterson won the Regiment's first Victoria Cross.
The garrison was relieved by a force including 2/DEVONS.
Peninsula War (1808-1814) - The 11th fought in the campaign against
France in Spain and Portugal. The Regiment fought particularly
bravely at the Battle of Salamanca in Spain on 22 July 1812, earning
the nickname The Bloody Eleventh. Salamanca Day is The Rifles'
Ypres (1914 ’15 ’16 ‘17) - 1/DEVONS fought in the First Battle of
Ypres, in which it suffered heavy casualties holding back the
German advance. During the winter of 1914-15, it endured terrible
conditions in the trenches of the Western Front. The Battalion
saw action again at Second Ypres, where it defended Hill 60
from German counterattacks. 2/DEVONS took part in Third
Ypres. 1/DEVONS helped to hold back the German offensive at
Afghanistan (1878-80) - The 2/11th Foot took part in the
Second Anglo-Afghan War, which saw the Battalion engaged
in many long marches across difficult country. They formed
part of the Reserve Division of the Kandahar Field Force.
The names of two officers and 137 men of the Regiment
appear on the memorial to the war in Exeter Cathedral.
Somme (1916) - 8 & 9 DEVONS were two of the DEVONS units
involved in the Battle of the Somme. At 'zero hour' on 1 July
1916, they attacked German positions at Mametz, achieving
their objective. 161 of their soldiers killed that day are buried in
the Devonshire Cemetery at Mansell Copse. One of them was
Lieutenant Noel Hodgson MC, whose poem Before Action had
just been published. The inscription at Mansell Copse reads:
'The Devonshires held this trench, the Devonshires hold it still.'
Kohima (1944) - The twin battles of Kohima and Imphal
in 1944 were decisive victories over the Japanese in the
campaign in Burma (now Myanmar). 1/DEVONS fought
at Imphal with the Indian Army and won six more battle
honours over the following months in the bitter jungle war.
Normandy (1944) - 2/DEVONS landed on Gold Beach early
on D Day, 6 June 1944, and fought their way inland. Many
soldiers were killed and wounded that day. 12/DEVONS arrived
in Normandy by glider and ship near Sword Beach and both
battalions fought several battles over the weeks that followed.
Italy (1943-45) - 2/DEVONS landed in Sicily in the first wave of Allied
troops on 10 July 1943. The Battalion fought through the campaign,
notably at Regalbuto on the slopes of Mount Etna.
Abridged timeline of historical names and amalgamations of Devon regiments from 1685 to the formation in 2007
Duke of Beaufort's
11th Regiment of
11th (North Devonshire)
Regiment of Foot (11th)
The Devonshire & Dorset
Regiment (DEVONS & DORSETS)
The Devonshire &
Dorset Light Infantry