Dorset Brochure Final(4) - Flipbook - Page 6
DORSET'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
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.
Gibraltar (1779–83) - The 39th took part in the defence of Gibraltar
during the Great Siege, the British garrison held out for over 3
years and 7 months – the longest siege in British military history.
Robert Boyd, the Colonel of the Regiment, acted as Deputy
Governor of Gibraltar during the siege.
Plassey (1757) - The 39th departed for India in 1754 to
support the East India Company. During the Seven Years'
War, the Regiment fought at the Battle of Plassey, which saw
an Anglo-Indian army of 3,000 men win a decisive victory
over a Bengal army, supported by the French East India
Company, 50,000 strong. Plassey earnt the 39th the motto
'Primus in Indis' (First in India).
Kohima (1944) - 2 DORSETS saw heavy fighting throughout
the Battle of Kohima, most notably around the District
Commissioners tennis courts. Here the Dorsets, often as little as
50 yards from the Japanese lines, engaged in brutal hand-tohand fighting. After a battle that lasted for weeks, 2/DORSETS
finally defeated their foes, launching a highly effective bayonet
charge which dislodged them. With the position of the tennis
courts in British hands, victory at Kohima was in sight.
Abridged timeline of historical names and amalgamations
39th Regiment of
Regiment of Foot (39th)