Durham Brochure Final(4) - Flipbook - Page 6
DURHAM'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.
Peninsula War (1808-14) - The 68th arrived late in the Peninsula War in 1811, still suffering
from the effects of malaria contracted in the Walcheren Campaign in the Netherlands.
After several minor engagements they took part in the Battle of Salamanca.
Vittorio Veneto (1918) - The 12 DLI fought at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which saw
them battling their way across the Piave River.
South Africa (1899-1902) - The 1 DLI played a supporting role in many of
the early battles of the war. The Regiment was more active during the later
guerrilla phase of the campaign, which also saw a mounted company from the
2 DLI, and 3 & 4 DLI, being deployed.
Somme (1916, ’18) - Sixteen battalions of the DLI took part in Somme Offensive
in 1916. The ten battalions of the Regiment fought again on the Somme in 1918.
Ypres (1915 '17 '18) - Multiple battalions of the DLI fought at the Second, Third
and Fourth Battles of Ypres (1915, ’17 & ’18).
Inkerman (1854) - The 68th successfully charged a superior Russian
force, driving them back. During the action Private Byrne won the
Victoria Cross. The anniversary, Inkerman Day, was afterwards
celebrated by the Regiment. The Inkerman Whistle and Chain is still
worn today in The Rifles on parade uniforms.
New Zealand (1863-66) - The 68th arrived in New Zealand to
take part in the Invasion of the Waikato. The Regiment took part
in many skirmishes against the Mori. In a night attack on the
fort of Te Ranga, Sjt Murray won a Victoria Cross. Today an area
of Auckland where the 68th built a fortified position is named
Iraq (2003) - The most recent of The Rifles battle honours was
won by The Light Infantry during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. 1LI
advanced on and captured Basra.
Afghanistan (1919) - 1 DLI had spent the duration of WWI
garrisoning India, primarily serving on the North West
Frontier. With the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Afghan War
in 1919, it was one of the units tasked with driving back the
El Alamein (1942) - 6, 8 & 9 DLI fought at the Second Battle
of El Alamein, taking part in Operation Supercharge – the
offensive push designed to achieve a breakthrough. The
battalions successfully captured and held their objectives.
Italy (1943–45) - 16 DLI landed at Salerno on the 9th
September 1943. Over the next two years they fought their way
up the Italian Peninsula, gaining various battle honours.
Kohima (1944) - 2 DLI arrived at Kohima in April 1944. The
Battalion suffered heavy casualties but succeeded in holding
the line against Japanese assaults. They were the first troops to
relieve the Siege of Imphal.
Korea (1952-53) - 1 DLI were involved in frequent raids and
skirmishes against the Chinese/North Koreans. On the 2nd June
1953, to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, men from the
Battalion crossed no-man’s land under the cover of dark and laid out
‘EIIR’ in front of the Chinese trenches in fluorescent aircraft recognition
panels, before the Division artillery bombarded them with red, white
and blue smoke!
Normandy (1944) - 6, 8 & 9 DLI were selected to be part of
the Normandy landings by General Montgomery, who wanted
experienced troops. They landed on Gold Beach as part of the second
wave and were later joined by 10, 11 and 12 DLI, seeing hard fighting
throughout the campaign.
Abridged timeline of historical names and amalgamations of Durham regiments from 1756 to the formation in 2007
2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment of Foot
68th (Durham) Regiment (Light Infantry) (68th)
The Durham Light Infantry (DLI)
The Light Infantry (LI)
The Rifles (RIFLES)