The Dorsetshire Regiment

Battalions of the Regular Army

1st Battalion
August 1914 : in Belfast. Part of 15th Brigade in 5th Division.
Landed at Le Havre 16 August 1914.
31 December 1915 : transferred to 95th Brigade in 32nd Division.
7 January 1916 : transferred to 14th Brigade in same Division.

2nd Battalion
August 1914 : in Poona, India. Part of 16th Indian Brigade in Poona Division.
6 November 1914 : landed in Fao, Persian Gulf, for campaign in Mesopotamia, as part of Indian Expeditionary Force 'D'.
29 April 1916 : Bn captured at Kut-el-Amara. During the siege at Kut, a composite battalion, composed of returned wounded and other details from the 2nd Dorsets and 2nd Norfolks, was formed at El Orah. It was called the "English Compsoite Battalion" or the "Norsets" and was under command of the 21st Indian Brigade, 7th Indian Division. It was broken up on 21 July 1916 and the 2nd Dorsets re-established. It transferred to 9th Indian Brigade, 3rd Indian Division in January 1917 and moved to Egypt in April 1918.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : in Dorchester. A depot/training unit, it remained in UK throughout the war. Moved on mobilisation to Weymouth and in June 1915 went on to Wyke Regis for a role with the Portland garrison.

Battalions of the Territorial Force

1/4th Battalion
August 1914 : in Dorchester. Part of South Western Brigade in Wessex Division. Moved to Salisbury Plain.
9 October 1914 : sailed for India, landing Bombay 10 November 1914.
23 February 1916 : landed at Basra with 42nd Indian Brigade and remained in Mesopotamia for the rest of the war.

2/4th Battalion
Formed at Dorchester in September 1914. Became part of 2nd South Western Brigade in 2nd Wessex Division. Moved to billets in Dorchester in October 1914.
12 December 1914 : sailed for India.
15 August 1917 left Bombay for Egypt, landing at Suez on 29 August.
13 December 1917 : came under command of 234th Brigade in 75th Division.Moved to 233rd Brigade in same Division on 2 May 1918.
August 1918 : disbanded in Egypt.

3/4th Battalion
Formed at Bath in April 1915 and moved to Cheddar. Moved on to Bournemouth in autumn 1915 and on to Romsey in spring 1916.
April 1916 : became Reserve Battalion. In October 1916 it moved to Bournemouth, went on to Sutton Veny in February 1917 and Larkill in October 1917. Finally moved to Londonderry in April 1918.

Battalions of the New Armies

5th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Dorchester in August 1914 as part of K1 and moved to Belton Park (Grantham), initially attached as Army Troops to 11th (Northern) Division.
8 January 1915 : transferred to 34th Brigade in same Division.
Sailed from Liverpool on 3 July 1915, going via Mudros to land at Suvla Bay on 6 August 1915.
16 December 1915 : evacuated from gallipoli and went to Egypt via Mudros.
Moved to France, arriving Marseilles 9 July 1916.

6th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Dorchester on 6 September 1914 as part of K2. Moved to Wareham and initially attached as Army Troops to 17th (Northern) Division.
March 1915 : transferred to 50th Brigade in same Division. Moved to Romsey in May 1915.
Landed at Boulogne on 14 July 1915.

7th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed in Weymouth in November 1914 as a Service battalion, part of K4. Came under command of 102nd Brigade, original 34th Division.
10 April 1915 : converted into a Reserve Battalion. Moved to Wool in May 1915 and in July went on to Wareham before returning to Wool in October.
1 September 1916 : converted into 35th Training Reserve Battalion of 8th Reserve Brigade.

Other Battalions

1st (Home Service) Garrison Battalion
Formed in Wyke Regis in June 1916. Moved to Weymouth in August 1916 and on to Portland in November 1916. Disbanded January 1917.

8th (Home Service) Battalion
Formed in Wool on 1 September 1916 as the 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn. Renamed 1 November 1916 after moving to Portland. Came under command of 219th Brigade in 73rd Division and moved to Blackpool. Moved to Danbury (Essex) in January 1917 and remained there until disbanded by 3 December 1917.

9th Battalion
Formed at Aldeburgh on 1 June 1918 but aborbed into the 6th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment on 18 June.

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Related information


A new memorial to the regiment, erected near Authuille on the Somme and inaugurated 7 May 2011. From the website of the Dorset Echo, with my thanks. Full article


See more regimental titles here


In remembrance

This page is dedicated to the memory of men like

William Sands, an "Old Contemptible" of the 1st Battalion;
Edgar Ellis, a former ASC soldier who, after being transferred to the 6th Dorsets, was captured and died in enemy hands at Valenciennes on 2 April 1918;
Charles Davis MM, of the same battalion, who was wounded at The Bluff;
and Arthur King, who saw service in Mesopotamia with 2nd Battalion.

All of these men were researched in detail by Chris Baker at fourteeneighteen|research

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