Thursday, August 25, 2005


A TF infantry battalion on the Western Front, converted to divisional pioneers from 1 May 1916.
The Monmouthshire Regiment of the Great War was a Territorial Force regiment, formed in 1908 when the TF came into existence and in 1914 it consisted of three battalions. As in the case of the other TF regiments second and third line battalions were raised in 1914/1915 and the 1/2nd Battalion was the first to go to France, landing on 7 November 1914 thus becoming one of the few TF units to wear the 1914 Star. On arrival in France the battalion joined 12th Brigade, 4th Division but in May 1915, due to heavy casualties sustained by 1/1st and 1/3rd Battalions which arrived out in February, the three battalions were combined for a brief spell. In July 1915 1/2nd resumed its identity and returned to 12th Brigade. In May 1916 the battalion was converted to pioneers and from then on served as the pioneer battalion for the 29th Division (just returned from Gallipoli).This history is of particular interest in that it is the story of a battalion that fought as infantry in 1914/15 and then, for the rest of the war, as pioneers, and there are not too many histories of pioneer battalions. The 29th Division was one of those selected to march into Germany and its pioneer battalion went with it. Appendices give the list of Honours and Awards (they did well with twenty DCMs) and the Roll of Honour (540 dead) with names listed alphabetically by ranks. There is also the succession of Honorary Colonels, COs and Adjutants going back to 1861and other information. The first three chapters tell the story of the Monmouths from 1859, when the Volunteer Force, the predecessor of the TF, was formed, to the outbreak of war in 1914.


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