The South Wales Borderers

Battalions of the Regular Army

1st Battalion
August 1914 : in Bordon. Part of 3rd Brigade in 1st Division.
Landed at Le Havre 13 August 1914.
War diary extract on this site

The 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment is often remembered for its gallant "lone" advance to recapture Gheluvelt at the height of a crisis on 31 October 1914. It could be argued that this action halted the enemy break through to the Channel Ports and saved the war for the Entente. It is much less well-known that the 1st South Wales Borderers also played a part in this action. The battalion has a memorial on the spot, right next to that of the Worcesters.

2nd Battalion
August 1914 : in Tientsin, China.
23 September 1914 : landed at Lao Shan Bay for operations against the German territory of Tsingtao.
4 December 1914 : embarked at Hong Kong, landing at Plymouth 12 January 1915.
12 January 1915 : came under orders of 87th Brigade, 29th Division. Moved to Rugby.
17 March 1915 : embarked at Avonmouth for operations at Gallipoli. Landed at Cape Helles 25 April 1915.
11 january 1916 : moved to Egypt and went on to France, arriving Marseilles 15 March 1916.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : in Brecon. A training unit, it remained in UK throughout the war. Moved on 8 August 1914 to Pembroke Dock. A detachment was sent between November 1914 and March 1915 to Edinburgh. Moved in June 1915 to Hightown near Liverpool for duty as part of Mersey Garrison.

Battalions of the Territorial Force

1/1st Brecknockshire Battalion
August 1914 : in Brecon. Part of South Wales Brigade, Welsh Division.
29 October 1914 : left Brigade and sailed from Southampton with the Home Counties Division, arriving Bombay.
3 December 1914 : moved to Aden, arriving 16 December 1914 and coming under orders of the Aden Brigade.
August 1915 : returned to Bombay. Joined Mhow Brigade in 5th (Mhow) Division and remained in India throughout the war.

2/1st Brecknockshire Battalion
Formed in Brecon in September 1914 as a home service ("second line") unit.
Late 1915 : attached to 68th (2nd Welsh) Division at Bedford.
November 1916: absorbed by 2/7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Wrentham.

3/1st Brecknockshire Battalion
Formed in Brecon in April 1915 as a depot/training unit. Moved to Milford Haven.
8 April 1916 : became 1st Reserve Bn.
August 1917 : merged with 1st Reserve Bn., the Monmouthshire Regiment.

Battalions of the New Armies

4th (Service) Battalion
August 1914 : formed at Brecon as part of K1 and came under orders of 40th Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. Moved to Park House Camp at Tidworth and in October 1914 went on to Chisledon. Was in billets in Cirencester by December 1914.
Moved to Woking in March 1915 and embarked at Avonmouth on 29 June 1915, going to Gallipoli via Mudros and landing on Gallipoli on 15 July 1915.
Moved to Mudros in January 1916 and subsequently served in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

5th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)
Formed at Brecon in September 1914 as part of K2 and came under orders of 58th Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. Moved to Park House Camp at Tidworth. Was in billets in Basingstoke by December 1914.
10 January 1915 : converted into a Pioneer Bn. Moved to billets in Burnham in January 1915 and to Bulford in March 1915. Moved again in April 1915 to Perham Down.
Landed at Le Havre on 16 July 1915.

6th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)
Formed at Brecon on 12 September 1914 as part of K3 and came under orders of 76th Brigade, 25th Division. Moved to Codford but was in billets in Bournemouth by November 1914.
February 1915 : converted into a Pioneer Bn. Moved to Hursley Park in April 1915 but went on to Aldershot soon after.
Landed at Le Havre on 25 September 1915.
2 July 1918 : transferred to 30th Division.

7th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Brecon on 14 September 1914 as part of K3 and came under orders of 67th Brigade, 22nd Division. Moved to Seaford but by December 1914 was in billets in St Leonards. Returned to Seaford in April 1915 and moved to Aldershot by the end of May.
Landed at Boulogne on 6 September 1915 but sailed at Marseilles on 10 October for service in Salonika.

8th (Service) Battalion
Formed at Brecon on 19 September 1914 as part of K3 and came under orders of 67th Brigade, 22nd Division. Record same as 7th Bn but sailed from Marseilles 30 October 1915.

9th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed at Pembroke Dock on 31 October 1914 as a Service Battalion of K4 and came under orders of 104th Brigade, original 35th Division.
10 April 1915 : became a Reserve Battalion and moved to Kinmel Park (Rhyl).
1 September 1916 : converted into 57th Training Reserve Battalion of 13th Reserve Brigade.
Later, became 52nd (Graduated) Battalion (see below).

10th (Service) Battalion (1st Gwent)
Formed at Brecon in October 1914 by the Welsh National Executive Committee. Moved by end of December 1914 to Colwyn Bay and came under orders of 130th Brigade, 43rd Division.
29 April 1915 : formation renamed 115th Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division.
Moved to Hursley Park (Winchester) in July 1915 but thence to Hazeley Down.
Landed at Le Havre on 4 December 1915.

11th (Service) Battalion (2nd Gwent)
Formed at Brecon on 5 December 1914 by the Welsh National Executive Committee. Record same as 10th Bn.
27 February 1918 : disbanded in France.

12th (Service) Battalion (3rd Gwent)
Formed at Newport in March 1915 by the Welsh National Executive Committee as a Bantam Battalion.
March 1915 : came under orders of Welsh Bantam Brigade. Moved in July 1915 to Prees Heath.
September 1915 : moved to Aldershot, where formation was renamed as 119th Brigade, 40th Division.
Landed at Le Havre on 2 June 1916.
10 February 1918 : disbanded in France.

13th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed at St Asaph in July 1915 as a Reserve Battalion. Moved in September to Kinmel Park (Rhyl).
1 September 1916 : converted into 59th Training Reserve Battalion of 13th Reserve Brigade.

14th (Reserve) Battalion
Formed at Prees Heath in September 1915 as a Reserve Battalion. Moved to Conway in October 1915 but moved on to Kinmel Park (Rhyl) in January 1916.
1 September 1916 : converted into 65th Training Reserve Battalion of 14th Reserve Brigade.

15th (Service) Battalion
Formed at North Walsham in June 1918 and next month absorbed the cadre of the 10th Cheshires.
Moved to Aldershot around September 1918 and possibly disbanded by November 1918.

Other Battalions

51st (Graduated) Battalion
Up to 27 October 1917, this was known as 230th Graduated Battalion and had no regimental affiliation. Before that it had been 58th Battalion of the Training Reserve and up to September 1916 had been the 12th (Reserve) Battalion of the Welsh Regiment. A training unit based at Aldeburgh, it was part of 204th Brigade of 68th Division . By April 1918 it had moved to Stowlangtoft in Suffolk.

52nd (Graduated) Battalion
Up to 27 October 1917, this was known as 282nd Graduated Battalion and had no regimental affiliation. Before that it had been 57th Battalion of the Training Reserve and up to September 1916 had been the 9th (Reserve) Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. A training unit based at Patrickbourne near Canterbury, it was part of 201st Brigade in 67th Division. By January 1918 it had moved to Broadstairs and in April went to Foxhall Heath (Ipswich).

53rd (Young Soldier) Battalion
Up to 27 October 1917, this was known as 59th Young Soldier Battalion and had no regimental affiliation. A basic recruit training unit based at Kinmel Park, it was part of 14th Reserve Brigade.