Story of the 7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. With the creation of the Territorial Force in 1908 the battalion was re-designated as the 7th Battalion. It went to France in April 1915 with the rest of the Northumbrian Division seeing action almost immediately at the Second battle of Ypres. In November 1915 the battalion was picked to become the divisional pioneers. The 1/7 Battalion suffered 600 fatalities. In 1920 when the Territorial Army was reformed it was re-raised in its original role as infantry. The story concludes on 10 December 1936 when the 7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry became the 47th (Durham Light Infantry) A.A. Battalion R.E. (T.A.), whose personnel went on to serve in the Second World War.
FIGHTING PIONEERS The Story of the 7th Battalion DLI
Clive Dunn has assembled an admirable history of an unsung unit of the Territorial Force, the 7th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. This battalion went to France in April 1915 as part of 151st Infantry Brigade of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, but in November of that year was converted into the Division’s Pioneer Battalion. It subsequently served with 8th Division after the 50th was reorganised in mid-1918. The title ‘fighting pioneers’ refers to the fact that despite its role as a unit that provided manual labour for front line work, it certainly played its part in fighting. The loss of 600 dead and many more wounded through the years of the war are testimony to it.