This section of the Long, Long Trail will be helpful for anyone wishing to find out about the history of the battalions of the British infantry.
The “Poor Bloody Infantry” had the deadliest role of all and also shouldered the burden of much carrying and labouring work. The history and affiliations of every battalion of every British infantry regiment can be found on these pages. All you need to do is find the regiment and click the link.
The basis of the detail shown in the pages linked below is the excellent work in Brigadier E. A. James “British regiments 1914-1918” (Samson Books, 1978) with corrections and additions by Chris Baker. These are mainly derived from battalion war diaries and published regimental histories.
The Guards Regiments
Considered by many to be the elite of the infantry of the regular army, the Guards had no battalions of the Territorial Force and raised none for Lord Kitchener’s New Armies. In common with all other infantry regiments regiments they eventually took in both “duration only” volunteers and conscripts but the Guards took care to maintain their pre-war standards of efficiency and were amongst the infantry most feared by the enemy.
|Regiments by alphabet||Regiments by army precedence|
|Coldstream Guards||Grenadier Guards|
|Grenadier Guards||Coldstream Guards|
|Irish Guards||Scots Guards|
|Scots Guards||Irish Guards|
|Welsh Guards||Welsh Guards|
|The Guards also raised a Machine Gun Regiment|
The Line Regiments
The majority of the infantry was made up of regiments with county or other regional affiliations. Most had two battalions of the regular army in 1914: one was usually overseas and the other trained recruits in the United Kingdom. Most regiments, except those in Ireland, also had two or more battalions of the Territorial Force. All raised battalions for Lord Kitchener’s New Armies and some also raised miscellaneous training and labouring units during the war.
The Territorial-only Regiments
Some infantry regiments were exclusively composed of part-time volunteer soldiers of the Territorial Force and had no Regular or New Army battalions.
Some infantry regiments just do not not fit into any of the classifications above.
|The Household Battalion|
|Channel Islands Militia – Royal Militia of Jersey and Royal Guernsey Light Infantry|
|The British West Indies Regiment|
|Royal Newfoundland Regiment|
Please note that the information shown on the Long, Long Trail includes many amendments and additions to that given in Brig. E. A. James’ book linked above.