Between and , the regiment lost men: 22 killed in action or died from wounding, 12 by accident, and from disease.
A memorial for those who died in service exists in All Saints Church, Maidstone , which is located next to the regiment's barracks. By the time the Territorial Force was created in , the suburban area of West Kent had been transferred to the County of London, so the 2nd and 3rd Volunteer battalions became the 20th County of London Battalion Blackheath and Woolwich in the new London Regiment.
Three VCs were awarded. However, 6, officers and other ranks lost their lives, with many thousands more wounded.
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The 1st Battalion, which was a Regular Army unit stationed in Dublin at the outbreak of war in August , was one of the first units to be moved to France where it became part of the 13th Brigade in the 5th Division. In October, the battalion made a heroic stand at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle ; being the only unit not to fall back. Out of men, only commanded by a lieutenant and a second lieutenant survived. The 2nd Battalion was shipped from Multan to Mesopotamia , via Bombay , arriving in Basra in February , where it was attached to the 12th Indian Brigade.
The remaining companies were attached to 34th Indian Brigade part of 15th Indian Division , and were transferred to 17th Indian Division in August The 2nd Battalion remained in Mesopotamia for the duration of the war. At the Battle of Loos in September , the 8th Service Battalion, raised the previous September, lost all but one of its officers, and men. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens , who was responsible for the Cenotaph in London among many other war memorials, the memorial is a cenotaph almost identical to that on Whitehall but reduced to two-thirds scale and lacking adorning flags.
It spent the next decade in India and returned home to the United Kingdom in The 2nd Battalion returned to India from Mesopotamia in , and to the United Kingdom in , briefly becoming part of the British Army of the Rhine. It was stationed at various garrisons in the United Kingdom until , when it moved to Palestine to help with the suppression of the Arab revolt.
In , it was moved to Malta. The London Regiment had ceased to function in , the battalions reverting to the administrative control of their pre affiliated Regular regiments — the QORWK in the case of the 20th Londons, which reformed in the new Territorial Army as the 20th London Regiment The Queen's Own. In early May the battalion was transferred to the nd Infantry Brigade of the 44th Home Counties Infantry Division , a TA formation which also included the 4th and 5th Battalions.
It remained in the United Kingdom, mainly engaged in anti-invasion duties , coastal defence, and training for future combat operations until February , where the battalion left for French North Africa , arriving in Algeria in March, to take part in the final stages of the Tunisian Campaign.
The battalion, in late April, suffered over casualties assaulting Peter's Corner and Cactus Farm. The battalion remained in North Africa, were, due to its heavy losses in Tunisia, it served as a reserve battalion, sending drafts of soldiers to other units as battle-casualty replacements.
It remained in this role until late , and in February , the battalion, now up to strength again, was sent to the Italian Front , and fought in the Fourth Battle of Monte Cassino and, after pursuing the retreating German Army , where they helped breach the Trasimene Line , took part in the battles for the Gothic Line. The 2nd Battalion was part of the garrison of Malta during its protracted siege. It then formed part of the th Infantry Brigade in the abortive assault on the Italian-held Dodecanese islands in , being captured by the Germans on the island of Leros.
They were liberated by the advancing Russian Army on 23 April The battalion was reconstituted in by amalgamating the few remaining survivors less than officers and men with the 7th Battalion and redesignating it as the new 2nd Battalion. In July , the new 2nd Battalion was assigned to the th Infantry Brigade attached to the 61st Division , with which it remained for the rest of the war on home defence duties. In August , the battalion-as well as the division-was preparing to be sent to the Far East , but the move was cancelled when Imperial Japan surrendered ending the war.
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About a month after arriving, it was involved in the battles of France and Dunkirk and was evacuated to England. After returning to England, the battalion spent almost the next two years on home defence against a German invasion. The 5th Battalion of the regiment, recruiting from Bromley , had virtually the same service history as the 4th, with the exception that, when the 44th Division was disbanded, the 5th Battalion was transferred to the 21st Indian Infantry Brigade , now serving alongside two battalions of the Indian Army , of the 8th Indian Infantry Division.
With the rest of the division, the battalion fought in the Italian Campaign , alongside the 1st until it was sent to Greece and 6th battalions for the rest of the war, and landed in Taranto , Italy on 24 September , shortly after the initial invasion. Browse Wishlist. The product is already in the wishlist!
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