Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

British Army - Devonshire and Dorset Regiment

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all


Badges above from left - Dorset Regiment Courtesy of British Military Badges - Daniel Baker, Devonshire Regiment (by User: Stavros1 - Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain, Wiki Commons and Devon and Dorset BadgesCourtesy of British Military Badges - Daniel Baker,

British Army - historical Regiment

1958 - 2007

Usually just known as the Devon and Dorsets

The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment (D and D) was formed on 17 May 1958 by the amalgamation of the Devonshire Regiment and The Dorset Regiment. The ancestry of this merge is detailed below. After the amalgamation, the Regiment fielded a Regular Army battalion, the 1st Battalion, and initially, two Territorial Army (TA) battalions. The two TA battalions were disbanded in 1967, but their companies in Dorchester and Exeter were reordered to The Wessex Volunteers. A new TA battalion, 4 D and D was raised in 1987, but was superseded by The Rifle Volunteers in 1999.

Please link profiles of those who served in the regiments Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, including those in the following list, regardless of rank, conflict or nationality. People of note can be individually listed in Alphabetical Order below.

Including ...

The Devonshire Regiment

The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry (DDLI)

11th (The North Devonshire) Regiment of Foot

The Dorsetshire Regiment later The Dorset Regiment

39th (The Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot

54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot

Recent changes

In 2006, the Regiment was re-titled The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry (DDLI)
On 01 February 2007 the following were merged ...

  • Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
  • The Royal Regiment of Gloucestershire,
  • Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry,
  • The Light Infantry and
  • The Royal Green Jackets

...forming a new, large infantry regiment - The Rifles where the infantrymen of Devon and Dorset now serve.

// - Semper Fidelis - "Always Faithful"

Image by Fdutil - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wiki Commons

Uniform - Scarlet, piping and facings Lincoln Green

Corps March -

Quick – Widdecombe Fair/We've Lived and Loved Together/The Maid of Glenconnel You Tube Devonshire and Dorset Regiment (Quick March)
Slow - The Rose of Devon

Nick-name - usually just known as the Devon and Dorsets

In recognition of the 2nd Bn The Devonshire Regiment's heroic defence of Bois des Buttes, 27th May 1918, when they lost 23 officers and 528 other ranks, the french authorities awarded the Regiment the Croix de Guerre with Palm (right). The ribbon is worn by all ranks in formal dress.

Getting Involved

Feel free to follow, request to collaborate


To join the project use the request link under "actions" at the top right of the page.


Geni's Project Plaza
Working with Projects
Wicked Wiki
Geni Wikitext, Unicode and images which gives a great deal of assistance.
See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!

Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Other links take you to external biographical web pages.


// - 1881Ancestry of 11th (The North Devonshire) Regiment of Foot

Image Adapted from eBay item for sale by CJB

June 1685 raised in Bristol as Duke of Beaufort's Musketeers
Also known by other colonels names until 1751

  • October 1685 - The Marquis of Worcester's Regiment of Foot Colonel -
    [Henry (Lord Herbert of Raglan) Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort Henry Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort, KG, PC (1629 – 21 January 1700)
  • 1687 - Montgomery (Viscount)
  • 1688 - Sir John Hammer
  • 1702 - Stanhope (Earl)
  • 1705 - John Hill
  • 1715 - Edward Montagu
  • 1738 - Stephen Cornwallis
  • 1743 - Robinson Sowle
  • 1746 - William Graham
  • 1747 - Maurice Bocland

1747 Ranked as 11th Regiment of Foot.
1751 Formally named 11th Regiment of Foot
1782 - Merged with 2nd Battalion, 11th Foot (raised in 1808, disbanded 1816 and re-formed 1858
... to become

28.1.1 - 11th (The North Devonshire) Regiment of Foot

Subsequent changes -

// - 1881// 1901//

// - 1807Ancestry of 39th (The Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot

1702 - Raised in Ireland as Colonel Richard Coote's Regiment of Foot
At the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the Dorsets, or Colonel Coote's Regiment, was raised by a Royal Warrant dated 12 February in Ireland in 1702. The Regiment, eventually numbered the 39th of Foot, was partly formed from soldiers of a disbanded regiment (Lisburne's) and was raised as a part of an increase in the size of the Army. Signing the officer's commissions was virtually William III's last act on his deathbed. Colonel Richard Coote was succeeded by Colonel Sankey, whose name the Regiment took.

Also known by other colonels names until 1751

1747 - Ranked as 39th Regiment of Foot
1751 - Formally named 39th Regiment of Foot
1782 - Re-designated 39th (East Middlesex) Regiment of Foot
1795 - Absorbed the 104th Foot (Royal Manchester Volunteers)

... with no name change
1807 - becoming ... - 39th (The Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot

The Dorsetshire Regiment was formed in 1881 under the Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot and the 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot. The 1st Battalion took part in operations in the Tirah Campaign on the North West Frontier of British India in 1897–98, and the 2nd Battalion fought in the Second Boer War, participating in the Relief of Ladysmith.

The Dorset Regiment - First World War

During the First World War, nine hostilities-only battalions were formed, six battalions serving overseas. The 1st Battalion and 6th (Service) battalion served on the Western Front throughout most of the war. Additional battalions (1/4th Battalion, 2/4th Battalion and 3/4th Battalion) were formed as part of the Territorial Force to meet the demand for troops on the Western Front.

1st Battalion

The 1st Battalion was in Belfast when war broke out: it landed at Le Havre in August 1914 forming part of the 15th Brigade in the 5th Division. It transferred to 95th Brigade in the 32nd Division in December 1915 and to the 14th Brigade in the same Division in January 1916.

2nd Battalion
The 2nd Battalion was in Poona, India, when war broke out and was shipped, as part of the 16th Indian Brigade, to Mesopotamia, where it was trapped in the Siege of Kut and captured by the Turks. (Of the 350 men of the battalion captured, only 70 survived their captivity.) During the siege, returning sick and wounded, and the few replacements who had been sent out, were unable to re-join their battalion, so they, and similar drafts of the 2nd Norfolk Regiment, were amalgamated into a scratch battalion forming part of the force attempting to relieve Kut. This battalion was formally titled the Composite English Battalion, more commonly known as The Norsets; it was broken up in July 1916, when the 2nd Dorsets was re-constituted. The battalion then served in Egypt as part of 9th Indian Brigade in the 3rd Indian Division.

Other battalions

The 1/4th Battalion of the Territorial Force served in India and Mesopotamia and 2/4th Battalion in India and Egypt. The 5th (Service) Battalion took part in the Gallipoli Campaign, and having been evacuated from there in December 1915, went to Egypt before joining the war on the Western Front in July 1916. The 6th (Service) Battalion was shipped to Boulogne in France in July 1915 as part of 50th Brigade in the 17th (Northern) Division and saw action on the Western Front.

// - 1782Ancestry of 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot

1755 - 2nd Battalion, 39th Foot raised, designated 56th Foot (Colonel John Campbell)
1757 - Re-designated 54th Foot
1782 - becoming ... - 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot

1881 - Amalgamation of ...

  • - 39th (The Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot and
  • - 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot

... becoming ...

1st and 2nd Battalions Dorsetshire Regiment

... which were amalgamated to form 1st Battalion Dorset Army in 1948.

Subsequent changes to 1st and 2nd Battalions The Dorset Regiment
The name of the Regiment stayed the same but there were some changes to the badge. (There was a change to the castle design on the badge between 1881 and 1900 not reflected in the following illustration). 1900//

Overview of Ancestry and Divisions

28.1 - The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
(11th, 39th and 54th)

Formed 17th May 1958 by amalgamation () of ..
28.1.1 The Devonshire Regiment (11th)
28.1.2 The Dorset Regiment (39th and 54th)

Formed 1881 by amalgamation of ... 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot
forming The Dorsetshire Regiment, the title changing in 1951 to The Dorset Regiment (28.1.2).

1952 Amalgamation of ...
28.1.1 - The Devonshire Regiment and
28.1.2 - The Dorset Regiment

Amalgamated in 1958 to form ...

Devon & Dorset Regiment in the Wessex Brigade

1958 Amalgamated with the following ...

  • Royal Hampshire Regiment
  • Gloucestershire Regiment
  • Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment in the Wessex Brigade

1958/9 by the amalgamation of ...

  • Royal Berkshire Regiment
  • Wiltshire Regiment

...formed Wessex Brigade Regiments

In 1969 the Wessex Brigade Regiments were split into ...

  • Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
  • Royal Hampshire Regiment
  • Merged with Queen's Regiment in 1992
  • Gloucestershire Regiment
  • Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment in the Wessex Brigade

In 1992 The Gloucestershire Regiment and The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment in the Wessex Brigade were amalgamated to form ...
The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire Regiment

Go to 28. -1st Battalion The Rifles (2006) at British Army - The Rifles

Colonels of 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot

  • 1689.03.08 Adam Loftus, 1st Viscount Lisburne
  • 1692.02.01 Col. Richard Coote
  • 1702.02.12 Col. Richard Coote
  • 1703.03.17 Lt-Gen. Nicholas Sankey
  • 1719.03.11 Brig-Gen. Thomas Ferrers (also 23rd Dragoons, 17th Foot, Ferrers's Foot)
  • 1722.09.28 Brig-Gen. William Newton
  • 1730.11.10 Lt-Gen. Sir John Cope, KB
  • 1732.12.15 Lt-Gen. Thomas Wentworth
  • 1737.06.27 Gen. John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll, KT
  • 1738.11.01 Lt-Gen. Richard Onslow
  • 1739.06.06 Col. Robert Dalway
  • 1740.12.28 Brig-Gen. Samuel Walter Whitshed
  • 1743.06.14 Maj-Gen. Edward Richbell (also 17th Foot, 61st Foot)
  • 1752.03.14 Lt-Gen. John Adlercron
  • 1766.08.06 Gen. Sir Robert Boyd, KB
  • 1794.07.02 Gen. Nisbet Balfour also 93rd Foot)
  • 1823.10.28 Lt-Gen. Sir George Airey, KCH
  • 1833.03.04 Lt-Gen. Hon. Sir Robert O'Callaghan, GCB
  • 1840.06.15 Gen. Sir Frederick Philipse Robinson, GCB (also 59th Foot; Governor of Tobago 1816-27)
  • 1852.02.11 Lt-Gen. George Burrell, CB
  • 1853.01.17 Gen. Sir Richard Lluellyn, KCB
  • 1867.12.08 Gen. Sir Charles van Straubenzee, GCB

Notable Personnel

(Other than those listed above)




















  • Wing Commander Louis Strange, D.S.O., O.B.E., M.C., D.F.C. Louis Strange was formally commissioned as a Second-Lieutenant in The Dorsetshire Regiment on 30 July 1914 - just five days before war broke out - and, still on his flying course, remained on attachment to the Royal Flying Corps.




  • Private (later Corporal) Samuel Vickery, VC (1873 – 1952) - Tirah Campaign WIKI Samuel Vickery
  • Lieutenant William Gervace Vizard - 4 Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment - served with the Battalion from July 1917 until February 1919. He rose to the rank of temporary major.


References, Sources and Further Reading // this project is in History Link