In 1881 The 37th North Hampshire Regiment & the 67th South Hampshire Regiment where united to form the 1st & 2nd Battalions the Hampshire Regiment. the 37th to be known as the 1st Battalion and the 67th to be the 2nd Battalion. Below is a time line of The Hampshire Regiment from 1885-1946 It shows the Date, Campaign, and Battles, some have pictures. Click on the blue links to read about the Battle itself, see the pictures, and the role the Regiment played. I am trying to research all the battles and as I do I will be updating the Information I have. For WW1 I have created a special section it is not complete but contains alot of information.
On March the 30th the 1st Battalion went to Turkey to implement the Treaty of Sevres. The Battalion arrived in Istanbul on the 9th of April with fixed bayonets they marched through Galata to their quarters, at Halidji-Oglu. The 1st Bn. Became part of the 83rd Infantry Brigade in the 28th Division There mission was to keep the peace and support the treaty in an area of civil unrest. On December 16th 1921 The Bn. Sailed for Egypt
The 1st Bn. Left Turkey and headed for Egypt on December 16th 'C' Company disembarked at Cyprus on attachment for two years. The rest of the 1st Bn. Landed at Alexandria on December 21st and headed for Sidi Bishr where they relieved the 1/76th Punjabis and served next to the 2nd Sherwood Foresters in the Alexandria Brigade. In November 26th 1923 The 1st Bn. Moved back from Alexandria to Cairo and 'C' Company returned to the 1st Battalion from Cyprus. On the 17th of January the 1st Battalion left Egypt and headed for India.
1st Battalion the Hampshire Regt. WW II
When World War II began The 1st Battalion was in Egypt , and were then sent to Malta which came under siege and gained the Island the George Cross. After Malta they again went back to Egypt in March of 1942. They became part of the Spearhead units for the invasion of Sicily . Eighteen months later the 1st Battalion returned home to England and started intensive training for the invasion of North West Europe Operation Overlord.
On June 6th 1944 The Hampshire's, The Devon's, and The Dorset's, formed one of the Spearheads that was to land on the Arromanches Beach. They were to be preceded by amphibious and fail tanks to clear mines, and artillery support. Things did not go as planned the tanks bogged down on the beach and were hit by heavy defensive fire. The Hampshire's hit the beach on time 0725 and were the first British Infantry to land in France . By the end of the day they had cleared Arromanches itself two miles east of there landing point having forced the enemy to retreat inland, even though they lacked much of the expected support. Near two hundred officers and men had been lost, and the Germans never took a Hampshire prisoner.
On the 1st of August 1944 Minden Day two months after landing The Hampshire's helped force the enemy's surrender of Villers Bocage. The Corps Commander, General Horrocks, congratulated the Hampshire's when they were withdrawn with the rest of the 50th Division from the front line on August 4th. Only four days later they were back in action in the climactic battle of Normandy to close the Falaise Gap, through which the enemy was withdrawing.
The sweep across France began, and a few days later the allies were in Belgium, 'C' Company 1st Hampshire's being the first British Infantry to enter. There were still great battles to come Arnham, Ardennes and the Reuchswald Forest . By the end of the War two thousand and ninety-four men of the Regiment had given there life for there country.
The 7th Hampshire
The 7th Hampshire landed near Le Hamel France sixteen days after D-Day. Commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel D.W.G. Ray. Second-in-Command Major J.R.C. Mallock. The 7th was brigaded with the 4th and 5th Battalions the Dorset Regiments in the 130th Brigade, in the 43rd ( Wessex ) Division. By June 24th the Division was concentrated in the Bayeux area, where they took over various sectors of the line. They moved forward to a defensive position on the Bayeux-Caen road near Bretteville L'Orgueilleuse.
After a few days they went forward to act as a counter attack battalion on Cheux this was where Private Hayes was killed, the first of the 7th to die in action in the North-West Europe. From Cheux the battalion moved up to the line at Baron, south west of Caen on July 5th. During this moved they where heavily mortared and lost a number of men. Out of necessity the 130th Brigade had been kept in reserve, their first battle being on the 10th of July. July 10th the battalion was tasked with capturing and holding the village of Maltot . Maltot was the third and last objective in a brigade operation, in itself part of a divisional operation. The 130th brigade's task was to capture part of a ridge including the Chateau de Fontaine to the west of Hill 112. The 5th Dorset on the right and the 4th on the left achieved this. The 7th Hampshire was task to exploit this and take Maltot and the woods beyond it. At 8:15 am a heavy barrage stopped and the Hampshire moved forward supported with tanks of the 44th R.T.R Dew to the terrain and the amount of enemy armour 44th R.T.R suffered very heavy casualties.
The 7th advanced on and met strong opposition and sustained severe losses. Part of the battalion did reach Maltot and attempted to set up a defensive position only to find that they had superimposed themselves onto a strong enemy defended locality, with many tiger tanks dug in on the outskirts of the village. The enemy counter-attacked with a strong force, and a few companies held out but the situation was near hopeless. The 4th Dorset 's were ordered to reinforce the Hampshire but this turned out to be impossible due to the strong defences of the crack troops of the S.S. Divisions. Later the battalions withdrew, and the Hampshire reorganized into three rifle companies. The losses of the 7th Hampshire were 18 officers 208 men killed, wounded or missing.
In 1945-46 The Hampshire's received the freedoms of Aldershot , Bournemouth , Southampton , and Winchester . Then in 1946 an order dated 28th November gave the Hampshire's its highest accolade. The battalions did not wear the Cap badge with the Kings Royal crown upon it until sometime after 1946.
The Citation Read.
"In Recognition of past services His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve that the following Regiments shall in future enjoy the distinction "ROYAL."
The regimental honours list was short and the Hampshire's were one of them. Meredith's had finally been crowned.
After Demobilization the 37th and 67th went back to its two regular Battalions 1st and 2nd, and in 1949 they were amalgamated, numerically, the
1st Battalion The Royal Hampshire Regiment.