Dorset In The Great War 1914 - 1918


The Dorsetshire Regiment in the Great War

The amalgamation of the 39th and 54th Regiments of Foot during the reforms of the Army in 1881 would lead to the creation of a new Regiment. The newly formed Dorsetshire Regiment had two regular Battalions, the 1st Battalion formed from the 39th Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd Battalion from the 54th Regiment of Foot.

At the outbreak of the Great War, the Dorsetshire Regiment consisted of:

1st Battalion (Regular)

Stationed in Ireland.

2nd Battalion (Regular)

Stationed in India.

3rd Battalion (Special Reserve)

Based out of the Depot in Dorchester.

4th Battalion (Territorial Force)

Companies based in Bridport, Wareham, Dorchester, Poole, Shaftesbury, Wimborne, Sherborne and Blandford.

During the Great War, the Dorset Regiment expanded to meet the war time requirements. The following Battalions emerged:

1/4th Battalion (Territorial Force)

2/4th Battalion (Territorial Force)

5th Battalion (Service)

6th Battalion (Service)

7th Battalion (Reserve)

The Dorsetshire Regiment were the only Regular Infantry unit of the British Army to not be awarded a Victoria Cross in the Great War. This however was more down to misfortune rather than a lack of Valour, the Regiment serving with distinction throughout.