Royal Lincolnshire Regiment

Earl of Bath's Regiment
10th (North Lincoln) Regiment of Foot
Lincolnshire Regiment
Royal Lincolnshire Regiment

Lincolnshire Regiment Cap Badge
Active 1685–1960
Country  Kingdom of England (1685–1707)
 Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1960)
Branch  British Army
Type Line infantry
Role Infantry
Size Varied
Garrison/HQ Sobraon Barracks, Lincoln
Engagements War of the Grand Alliance
War of the League of Augsburg
War of the Spanish Succession (Blenhein, Ramillies & Malplaquet)
American War of Independence (Lexington, Bunker Hill, New York Campaign, Germantown, Monmouth, & Rhode Island)
French Revolutionary Wars
Napoleonic Wars
Peninsular War
First World War
Second World War

The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army raised on 20 June 1685 as the Earl of Bath's Regiment for its first Colonel, John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath. In 1751, it was numbered like most other Army regiments and named the 10th (North Lincoln) Regiment of Foot. After the Childers Reforms of 1881, it became the Lincolnshire Regiment after the county where it had been recruiting since 1781.

After the Second World War, the regiment was honoured with the name Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, before being amalgamated in 1960 with the Northamptonshire Regiment to form the 2nd East Anglian Regiment (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) which was later amalgamated with the 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk), 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot) and the Royal Leicestershire Regiment to form the Royal Anglian Regiment. 'A' Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglians continues the traditions of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment.


John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath, founder of the regiment, portrayed in stained glass


The regiment was raised on 20 June 1685 as the Earl of Bath's Regiment for its first Colonel, John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath.[1]

18th century

The regiment saw action during the Nine Years' War and at the Battle of Blenheim in August 1704, the Battle of Ramillies in May 1706 and the Battle of Malplaquet in September 1709 during the War of the Spanish Succession.[1] The regiment was given the title of the 10th (North Lincoln) Regiment of Foot|10th Regiment of Foot in 1751 when all British regiments were given numbers for identification instead of using their Colonel's name.[2] It then took part in the 1759-60 action to repel Thurot at Carrickfergus during the Seven Years' War.[3]

Soldier of 10th regiment, 1742

The regiment would next see action at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775, the New York Campaign in winter 1776, the Battle of Germantown in October 1777, the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778 and the Battle of Rhode Island in August 1778 during the American Revolutionary War.[1] In 1778, the 10th returned home to England after 19 years service overseas. In 1781, the regiment was linked to the County of Lincolnshire for recruiting. The regiment also took part in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars and in the Peninsular War.[1]

19th century

Badge of the Regiment at Sobraon Barracks, Lincoln

In 1842, the 10th Foot was sent to India and was involved in the bloody Battle of Sobraon in February 1846 during the First Anglo-Sikh War.[1] The 10th would also see action at the Relief of Multan in January 1849 and the Battle of Gujrat in February 1849 during the Second Anglo-Sikh War. In 1857, at the outbreak of the Indian Rebellion, the Regiment was stationed at Dinapore, taking part in the failed first relief of the Siege of Arrah and going on to play an important role in the relief of Lucknow where Private Denis Dempsey won the Victoria Cross.[4]

The 1st Battalion, 10th Foot served in Japan from 1868 through 1871. The battalion was charged with protecting the small foreign community in Yokohama. The leader of the battalion's military band, John William Fenton, is honoured in Japan as "the first bandmaster in Japan"[5] and as "the father of band music in Japan."[6] He is also credited for initiating the slow process in which Kimi ga Yo came to be accepted as the national anthem of Japan.[7][8]

In 1881, when all British regiments were given county names, the 10th Regiment of Foot became known as the Lincolnshire Regiment.[9] The 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment took part in the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898 during the Mahdist War and the 2nd Battalion saw action in South Africa during the Second Boer War.[10]

20th century

First World War

Badges of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, its successor, the Royal Anglian Regiment, its affiliate, the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps, and the Bermuda Rifles (as the BVRC was retitled between 1951 and 1965).
Bullock's Boys. The First Contingent of the BVRC to the Lincolns, training in Bermuda for the Western Front, Winter 1914–15. They reached France in June 1915, as an extra company of 1st Lincolns, and the survivors merged with a Second Contingent the following year.
The Roll of Honour 1914–1919 contains over 8000 names of men. It is displayed in a wooden case in the Services Chapel of Lincoln Cathedral

The regiment started the First World War with two regular battalions, one militia battalion and two territorial battalions. The 1st Lincolns were stationed in Portsmouth, the 2nd Lincolns on Garrison in Bermuda, and the 3rd in Lincoln. The 4th and 5th Battalions were the Territorial battalions, based throughout Lincolnshire.[11]

Regular Army

The 1st Battalion landed at Le Havre as part of the 9th Brigade in the 3rd Division for service on the Western Front in August 1914.[12] Notable engagements included the First Battle of Ypres in autumn 1914[13] and the Battle of Bellewaarde in May 1915, during which the commanding officer of the battalion, Major H E R Boxer, was killed.[14]

A contingent from the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps was detached in December 1914 to train for the Front. It was hoped this could join 2nd Lincolns, but 1 Lincolns need for reinforcement was greater and it was attached to that battalion as an extra company (at least one Bermudian, though not from the BVRC, Corporal G.C. Wailes, did serve with the 2nd Lincolns).[15][16] Although commanders at the Regimental Depot had wanted to break the Contingent apart, re-enlist its members as Lincolns, and distribute them throughout the Regiment as replacements, a letter from the War Office ensured that the BVRC contingent remained together as a unit, under its own badge. The contingent arrived in France with 1 Lincolns on 23 June 1915, the first colonial volunteer unit to reach the Western Front. It remained an extra company of 1 Lincolns til the following summer, by when its strength had been too reduced by casualties to compose a full company (having lost 50% of its then remaining strength at Gueudecourt on 25 September 1916). The survivors were merged with a newly arrived Second BVRC Contingent, of one officer and 36 other ranks, who had trained in Bermuda as Vickers machine gunners. Stripped of their Vickers machine guns (which had been collected, for the new Machine Gun Corps), the merged contingents were retrained as Lewis light machinegunners, and provided 12 gun teams to 1 Lincolns headquarters. By the War's end, the two contingents had lost over 75% of their combined strength. Forty had died on active service, one received the O.B.E, and six the Military Medal. Sixteen enlisted men from the two contingents were commissioned, including the Sergeant Major of the First Contingent, Colour-Sergeant R.C. Earl, who would become Commanding Officer of the BVRC after the War (some of those commissioned moved to other units in the process, including flying ace Arthur Rowe Spurling and Henry J. Watlington, who both went to the Royal Flying Corps).[17][18]

The Commanding Officer of 2nd Lincolns, Lieutenant-Colonel George Bunbury McAndrew, found himself acting Governor, Commander-In-Chief, and Vice-Admiral of Bermuda in the absence of the Governor, Lieutenant-General Sir George Bullock, and oversaw that colony's placement onto a war footing.[19] The battalion returned to England on 3 October 1914, and was sent to the Western Front as part of the 25th Brigade in the 8th Division soon after, arriving in France on 5 November 1914.[12] Major engagements included the Battle of Aubers Ridge in May 1915 where the battalion incurred heavy losses and the Battle of the Somme in Autumn 1916 where the second-in-command of the battalion, Major F W Greatwood, was injured.[13]

At the end of the war in 1918, the 1st Lincolns, under Frederick Spring, and the 3rd Lincolns were sent to Ireland to deal with the troubles in the unrecognised Irish Republic.[12]

Territorial Force

The 1/4th Battalion and 1/5th Battalion landed as landed at Le Havre as part of the 138th Brigade in the 46th (North Midland) Division in March 1915 for service on the Western Front.[12] The 2/4th Battalion and 2/5th Battalion moved to Ireland as part of the 177th Brigade in the 59th (2nd North Midland) Division and took part in the response to the Easter Rising before landing in France in February 1917 for service on the Western Front.[12]

New Armies

The 6th (Service) Battalion landed at Suvla Bay in Gallipoli as part of the 33rd Brigade in the 11th (Northern) Division in August 1915 and, having been evacuated at the end of the year, moved to Egypt in January 1916 and then to France in July 1916 for service on the Western Front.[12] The 7th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne as part of the 51st Brigade in the 17th (Northern) Division in July 1915 also for service on the Western Front.[12] The 8th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne as part of the 63rd Brigade in the 21st Division in September 1915 also for service on the Western Front.[12] The 10th (Service) Battalion (Grimsby, often known as the Grimsby Chums, landed in France as part of the 101st Brigade in the 34th Division in January 1916 also for service on the Western Front and saw action at the First day on the Somme in July 1916 and the Battle of Passchendaele in Autumn 1917.[20]

Second World War

Men of the 4th Battalion at Skage, Norway after marching 56 miles across the mountains to escape being cut off, April 1940. A Norwegian soldier is seen examining one of their rifles.

The Second World War was declared on Sunday, 3 September 1939 and the two Territorial Army battalions, the 4th and the 6th (a duplicate of the 4th), were called-up immediately. The 2nd Battalion embarked for France with the 9th Infantry Brigade attached to the 3rd Infantry Division commanded by Major-General Bernard Montgomery in October 1939.[21] They were followed by the 6th Battalion, part of 138th Brigade with the 46th Infantry Division, in April 1940; both served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and managed to return from Dunkirk after the battles of France and Belgium.[22] After returning to England, both battalions spent years in the United Kingdom on home defence anticipating a possible German invasion of the United Kingdom.[23]

The 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment was stationed in British India and saw no active service until 1942. They remained in India and the Far East throughout the war and were assigned to the 71st Indian Infantry Brigade, part of 26th Indian Infantry Division, in 1942. fighting the Imperial Japanese Army in the Burma Campaign and during the Battle of the Admin Box, the first major victory against the Japanese in the campaign, in early 1944 where Major Charles Ferguson Hoey was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the only one to be awarded to the regiment during the Second World War.[24]

The Territorials of the 4th Battalion, part of 146th Brigade attached to 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division, were sent to Norway and were among the first British soldiers to come into contact against an advancing enemy in the field in the Second World War. Ill-equipped and without air support, they soon had to be evacuated. Within a few weeks, they were sent to garrison neutral Iceland.[25] They trained as Alpine troops during the two years they were there. After returning to the UK in 1942, when the division gained the 70th Brigade, they were earmarked to form part of the 21st Army Group for the coming invasion of France and started training in preparation.[26]

After two years spent on home defence, the 6th Battalion left the United Kingdom, still as part of the 138th (Lincoln and Leicester) Brigade in the 46th Infantry Division, in January 1943 to participate in the final stages of the Tunisia Campaign. In September 1943, the battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel David Yates, took part in the landings at Salerno in Italy as part of Mark Clark's U.S. Fifth Army, suffering heavy losses and later captured Naples, crossed the Volturno Line and fought on the Winter Line and in the Battle of Monte Cassino in January 1944. The battalion returned to Egypt to refit in March 1944, by which time it had suffered heavy casualties and lost 518 killed, wounded or missing. It returned to the Italian Front in July 1944 and, after more hard fighting throughout the summer during the Battles for the Gothic Line, it sailed for Greece in December to help the civil authorities to keep order during the Greek Civil War. In April 1945, the 6th Lincolns returned to Italy for the final offensive but did not participate in any fighting and then moved into Austria for occupation duties.[22]

The Lincolnshire Regiment also raised two other battalions for hostilities-only, the 7th and 8th, both created in June and July 1940. However, both were converted into other arms of service, the 7th becoming 102nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery[27] on 1 December 1941 and the 8th becoming the 101st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.[28]

The Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps again provided two drafts; one in June 1940, and a full company in 1944. Four Bermudians who served with the Lincolns during the war (three from the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps) reached the rank of Major with the regiment: Major General Glyn Gilbert (later of the Parachute Regiment),[29] Lieutenant Colonel Robert Brownlow Tucker (the first Commanding Officer of the Bermuda Regiment, amalgamated from the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps and the Bermuda Militia Artillery in 1965),[30] Major Anthony Smith (killed-in-action at Venrai, in 1944, and subject of an award-winning film, In The Hour of Victory),[31][32][33][34] and Major Patrick Purcell, responsible for administering German newspapers in the British area of occupation.[30]

Post-war years

After the war both the 4th and 6th battalions were placed in 'suspended animation' in 1946 but were both reformed on 1 January 1947. However, on 1 July 1950, the 6th was merged with the 4th to create the 4th/6th Battalion.[35] On 28 October 1948 the 2nd Battalion was amalgamated with the 1st Battalion.[36] In 1960 the regiment amalgamated with the Northamptonshire Regiment to form the 2nd East Anglian Regiment (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) which was later amalgamated with the 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk), 3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot) and the Royal Leicestershire Regiment in September 1964 to form the Royal Anglian Regiment.[37]

Currently, 674 Squadron Army Air Corps uses the Sphynx as an emblem within its crest in honour of its local connections with the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment.[38]

The Royal Anglian Regiment maintains the same parental relationship with the Royal Bermuda Regiment that the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment had maintained with the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (retitled Bermuda Rifles in 1951, before amalgamating into the Bermuda Regiment).[30]

Battle honours

The regiment's battle honours are as follows:[39]

Victoria Crosses

Victoria Crosses awarded to men of the Regiment were:


1888–1902: F.M. HSH Prince William Augustus Edward of Saxe-Weimar, KP, GCB, GCVO

Colonels of the Regiment

Colonels of the regiment were:[2]

10th Regiment of Foot

10th (North Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot

The Lincolnshire Regiment

The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "His Majesty's 10th Regiment of Foot in America". Red Coat. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  2. 1 2 "The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  3. Norman Vance, ‘Vallancey, Charles (c.1726–1812)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 22357. p. 557. 10 June 1948.
  5. "Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan". Asiatic Society of Japan. 1980. p. 14.
  6. Joyce, Colin; Ryall, Julian (14 October 2008). "British Soldier who Wrote Japanese National Anthem Honoured". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  7. Joyce, Colin (30 August 2005). "Briton who gave Japan its anthem". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  8. Sabadus, Aura (14 March 2006). "Japan Searches for Scot who Modernised Nation". The Scotsman. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 24992. pp. 3300–3301. 1 July 1881.
  10. "Frederick William Smith". The Royal Anglian & Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Association. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  11. Spring, p. 6
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Lincolnshire Regiment". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  13. 1 2 Simpson, C R (1931). "The History of the Lincolnshire Regiment 1914 - 1918". The Medici Society. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  14. Brice, p. 56
  15. "Corporal Wailes Wounded". The Royal Gazette. 29 December 1914. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  16. "Corporal Wailes: the First to Return". The Royal Gazette. 27 April 1915. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  17. A short study of Henry Joseph Watlington Lieutenant R.F.C. with letters from the Front The First World War, Page 105, Watlington Family Narrative, by Hereward T. Watlington. Printed and bound in Canada by The Hunter Rose Company Ltd
  18. POTSI (archived): H. Joe Watlington
  19. "Government notices: a proclamation (matial law regulations)". The Royal Gazette. 6 August 1914. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  20. "Grimby Roll of Honour". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  21. Heathcote, p. 215
  22. 1 2 "46th Infantry Division" (PDF). British Military History. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  23. Operation Instruction No. 7: "Defence Scheme", 24 September 1940, issued by the Adjutant of the 7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
  24. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36518. p. 2269. 18 May 1944. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  25. "John Crook's service in Iceland.". Independent Radio Drama Productions. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  26. "49th (West Riding) Infantry Division" (PDF). British Military History. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  27. "102 Light AA Regiment RA (TA)". Blue Yonder. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  28. "101 Anti-Tank Regiment RA". Blue Yonder. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  29. "Obituary: Major-General Glyn Gilbert". The Telegraph. 24 October 2003. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  30. 1 2 3 "The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment and the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps: The Royal Anglian Regiment and the Bermuda Regiment 1914 to 2014". The Royal Anglian & Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Association. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  31. "In The Hour Of Victory". Bernews. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  32. Official Trailer: In The Hour Of Victory on YouTube
  33. "Lucinda Spurling's In The Hour of Victory wins at Houston film festival". The Royal Gazette. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  34. "Victory Film Claims Another Film Festival Award". Bernews. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  35. "4th Battalion, The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment [UK]". Archived from the original on 3 January 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  36. "1st Bn, The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment: Service". Archived from the original on 28 May 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  37. Swinson, p. 270
  38. "Cranwell heraldry Part III" (PDF). Heraldry Gazette. March 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  39. "Royal Lincolnshire Regiment". Archived from the original on 30 December 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2016.


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