The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)

Battalions of the Regular Army

1st Battalion
August 1914 : in Dover. Part of 12th Brigade, 4th Division.
Landed at Boulogne 23 August 1914.

2nd Battalion
August 1914 : in Lebong in India. Returned to England 22 December 1914. Moved to Hursley Park and joined 83rd Brigade in 28th Division.
Landed at Le Havre 16 January 1915.
Moved to Egypt October 1915 and thence to Salonika.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : in Lancaster. A training unit, it remained in UK throughout the war.
Moved to Saltash and Sunderland in August 1914, then to Plymouth in 1915 and finally Harwich in November 1917.

Battalions of the Territorial Force

1/4th Battalion
August 1914 : in Ulverston. Part of North Lancs Brigade, West Lancs Division.
April 1915 : Brigade joined 51st (Highland) Division and become 154th Brigade.
Landed at Boulogne in May 1915.
6 January 1916 : transferred to 164th Brigade, 55th (West Lancashire) Division.

2/4th Battalion
Formed at Blackpool in February 1915 as a Second Line battalion.
18 January 1916 : amalgamated with 3/4th Bn.
8 April 1916 : became 4th Reserve Battalion at Oswestry and on 1 September 1916 absorbed the 5th Reserve Battalionn.
Moved to Dublin in June 1918.

1/5th Battalion
August 1914 : in Lancaster. Part of North Lancs Brigade, West Lancs Division.
Landed at Le Havre on 15 February 1915.
3 March 1915 : came under command of 83rd Brigade, 28th Division.
21 October 1915 : transferred to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division.
7 January 1916 : transferred to 166th Brigade, 55th (West Lancashire) Division.

2/5th Battalion
Formed at Lancaster in September 1914 as a Second Line battalion.
February 1915 : came under command of North Lancs Brigade, 55th (West Lancashire) Division.
April 1915 : transferred to 170th (2nd North Lancs) Brigade, 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division.
Landed in France in February 1917.

3/4th and 3/5th Battalions
Formed in June 1915, respectively. 3/4th then absorbed by 2/4th.
8 April 1916 : 3/5th became 5th Reserve Battalion and was absorbed by 4th Reserve Battalion on 1 September 1916.

12th Battalion
Formed on 1 January 1917 from what had previously been the 41st Provisional Battalion of the TF, and placed under command of 218th Brigade in 73rd Division. It had been formed in 1915 from "Home Service only" personnel. Disbanded in England on 29 March 1918.

Battalions of the New Armies

6th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Lancaster in August 1914 as part of K1 and came under command of 38th Brigade, 13th (Western) Division.
Moved to Gallipoli in July 1915. Went to Egypt in January 1916 and thence to Mesopotamia.

7th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Lancaster in September 1914 as part of K2 and came under command of 56th Brigade, 19th (Western) Division.
Landed in France in July 1915.
Disbanded in France on 22 February 1918.

8th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Lancaster in October 1914 as part of K3 and came under command of 76th Brigade, 25th Division.
Landed in France 27 September 1915.
15 October 1915 : Brigade moved to 3rd Division.

9th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Lancaster in October 1914 as part of K3 and came under command of 65th Brigade, 22nd Division.
Landed in France September 1915.
October 1915 : moved to Salonika.

10th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed in Saltash in October 1914 as a Service battalion, part of K4.
November 1914 : came under command of 99th Brigade, original 33rd Division.
April 1915 : became a Reserve battalion.
September 1916 : converted into 43rd Training Reserve Battalion of 10th Reserve Brigade.

11th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Lancaster in August 1915 as a Bantam Bn.
Came under command of 120th Brigade, 40th Division.
2 March 1916 : absorbed the 12th (Service) Bn, South Lancashire Regiment.
7 February 1918 : disbanded in France.

12th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed in Lancaster in January 1916 as a Reserve battalion.
September 1916 : converted into 76th Training Reserve Battalion in 17th Reserve Brigade.


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Related information

OWM
Men of the 6th Battalion bathing in a creek near Basra (Mesopotamia) during the summer of 1916. From the Imperial War Museum collection, with my thanks.

Pic
The standard badge of the King's own as depicted on a CWGC headstone. This is the grave of Pte James Miller VC, 7th Battalion, who died on 30 July 1916. The citation to his Victoria Cross reads, "”For most conspicuous bravery. His battalion was consolidating a position after its capture by assault. Private Miller was ordered to take an important message under heavy shell and rifle fire and to bring back a reply at all costs. He was compelled to cross the open, and on leaving the trench was shot almost immediately in the back, the bullet coming out through his abdomen. In spite of this, with heroic courage and self-sacrifice, he compressed with his hand the gaping wound in his abdomen, delivered his message, staggered back with the answer and fell at the feet of the officer to whom he delivered it. He gave his life with a supreme devotion to duty".

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In remembrance

This page is dedicated to the memory of men like

Thomas Harling, who served in France with 2/5th Battalion;
Albert Wilkinson, who started his war with the Royal Army Medical Corps and transferred into 9th (Service) Battalion in 1918;
William Lester, conscripted into C Company of 1st Battalion, who died of trench foot just 182 days after being enlisted as a perfectly healthy young man, and
Edward Birmingham who served with 4th Battalion before being transferred to the Army Service Corps.

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

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