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5th Londons F & F 1914-18 Plugstreet, 2nd Ypres, 1/7/16 at Gommecourt . Detailed & readable history with num. anecdotes . Appendices inc. officers' services, awards.
The London Rifle Brigade (LRB) began life in 1859 as a Volunteer Rifle Corps with the title London Rifle Volunteer Brigade and the motto “Primus in Urbe.” It was a sore point that when the London Regiment was formed in 1908 as part of the new Territorial Force, the four Royal Fusilier Volunteer battalions (also London battalions) were given precedence relegating the LRB to fifth place, despite its motto; it became the 5th (City of London) Bn The London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade). The first 60 or so pages deal with the pre-war history; they sent five officers and 145 NCOs and men to S Africa and the names are given in an appendix. The rest of book is devoted to the Great War in which three battalions served, the 1st and 2nd Battalions on the Western Front, the 3rd was a training battalion. Each battalion is covered separately concluding, in the case of the active service battalions, with a detailed itinerary. On the outbreak of war the LRB was in the 2nd Brigade of the 1st London Division, which was effectively broken up in the early months to provide replacements for regular battalions coming home from abroad and reinforcements for the BEF. In September 1914 a second line battalion was formed and in November a third line giving 1/5th, 2/5th and 3/5th Battalions of the LRB. The 1st Battalion was soon in France where it arrived on 5 November 1914. During 1914/15 it was with 4th and 3rd Divisions and at GHQ; in February 1916 the 1st London Division was reformed in France and numbered 56th; the 1/5th LRB rejoined the division in 169th Brigade where it remained for the rest of the war. In all it suffered just under 4,200 casualties of whom 755 were dead. The 2nd Battalion arrived in France in January 1917 as part of 174th Brigade, 58th (2nd/1st London) Division. A year later, In the reorganisation of the BEF in which divisions were reduced from twelve to nine battalions the 2/5th LRB was broken up and the personnel distributed among other battalions. This is a very good history with many informative appendices including casualty lists by battalions, nominal roll of all officers who served between 1859 and 1919 with service, and in a number of cases biographical details (genealogists), honours and awards including mentions (medallists). The divisional report on the attack on Gommecourt on 1st July 1916, with casualty details is included as is the translation of the War Diary of the 55th Reserve Infantry Regiment which opposed them.


Product Code: 5476
Author: by Various contributors
Format: 2002 N & M reprint (original 1921). SB. xx + 515pp with 6 b/w photos and 17 maps Published Price £22
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