King's Own Royal Regiment Museum

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First World War

 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

4 August 1914

Mobilised at Barrow in Furness

Winter 1914-1915 Stationed in Southern England
Death of Private John Wilkinson, January 1915
3rd May 1915 Arrived in France  Landed at Boulogne. Joined 154th Infantry Brigade, 51st Infantry Division

15 June 1915

Battle of Festubert

7 January 1916 Joined 164th Infantry Brigade of 55th West Lancashire Division

8 August 1916

The Somme: Battle of Guillemont
Attack on Trones Wood

11 September 1916

The Somme: Battle of Ginchy
Attack on Delville Wood

27 September 1916

The Somme: Battle of Flers

28 September 1916 Attack near Mametz
23 December 1916 Raid on Cameroon Trench
9 June 1917 Raid on Ibex Trench

31 July 1917

3rd Battle of Ypres: Battle of Pilckem Ridge
Attack on Wieltje

20 September 1917

3rd Battle of Ypres: Battle of the Menin Road Ridge

November 1917

Battle of Cambrai

20 November 1917 Attack near Guillemont Farm
30 November 1917 Repulse of Counter attack near Epéhy
March and April 1918 Retreat

9 - 11 April 1918

Battle of Estaires - First Defence of Givenchy

26 April 1918 Counter attack on Givenchy Craters

24 August 1918

Givenchy Craters

October and November 1918

Advance to Victory

4 November 1918

Battle of the Sambre - Advance on Ath

12 December 1918 Moved to Brussels
April 1919 Returned to England

 

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Autograph album of officers of the 1st/4th Battalion, April/May 1915

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Renumbering of Territorial Force Battalions

The Armistice, 11th November 1918:

Newspaper cutting from 12 Nov 1918 with report of the 1st/4th King’s Own in Leuze.

THE NEWS IN LEUZE

Just at eleven o’clock I entered the little town of Leuze, which had been on of the headquarters nearest the uncertain front. In the market place were British troopers on their horses drew up in a hollow square, 3rd Dragoons, Royal Dragoons, and 10th Hussars, of the 6th Cavalry Brigade, all in fighting kit. In the centre was the 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own, Barrow men of the 55th Division, their Colonel at their head, and the old Mayor of Leuze beside him. From the windows of all the houses roundabout and even from the roofs the inhabitants looked down on the troops and heard uncomprehendingly the words of the Colonel as he read from a sheet of paper the order that ended hostilities. A trumpeter sounded the “Stand Fast.” In the narrow high street at one of end of the little square were other troops moving slowly forward, and as the notes of the bugle rose clear and crisp above the rumble of the gun carriages, these men turned with smiles of wonder and delight, and they shouted to each other; “The war is over.” For many of them this was the first news of the armistice. They passed on, without even a glimpse of the historic scene, beyond the screen of Hussars, but the tidings flashed back from the file to file, “The war is over.”

The band of the Barrow men played “God Save The King.” None heard it without a quiver of emotion. The mud stained troops paused in the crowded street, the hum of the traffic was stilled. A rippling cheer was drowned in the first notes of the Belgian hymn; the “Marseillaise” succeeded it, and the army of each Ally was thus saluted in turn. I do not think anyone heard the few choked words of the old Mayor when he tried to voice the thanks of Belgium for this day of happiness.

It was five minutes passed eleven o’clock. The Dragoons and Hussars wheeled aside and made a lane into the High Street, and through them came the Lancashire men, stepping blithely behind their band. They wore, every man of them, a Belgian or French tri-coloured ribbon; a great Belgian flag tied to an improvised staff – a branch cut from a poplar – was borne by a tall sergeant. The battalion passed into the busy street and disappeared towards Ath, and after it the cavalry flowed through Leuze as though on parade a sight to gladden the heart. The Army “carried on” briskly as though a little ashamed of the emotions which had seized us all for one unforgettable moment.”
Accession Number: KO2956/36

Photographs: 1st/4th (Territorial Force) Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

bullet1st/4th (Territorial Battalion), King's Own, 1914
bullet1st/4th (Territorial) Battalion, King's Own - 1915-1919

Collections: Records of the 1st/4th Battalion, King's Own, First World War

Collections: 55th West Lancashire Division


Cartoon, circa 1918:  New Officer: "I suppose that is a Labour Company working there?"
Veteran: "No, it is the 1/4 King's Own on Rest."

A digital version of the Battalion War Diary is available on cd-rom from the Museum Shop.

Also available: The Fourth Battalion, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) and The Great War by Lieutenant Colonel W F A Wadham and Captain J Crossley, published Ulverston, 1935.  This book has now been reprinted by the Museum and is available for £9.00 including UK postage.  More details from the Museum Shop.

 

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