King's Own Royal Regiment Museum


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Regimental History - 20th Century

At the end of the Boer War the 2nd Battalion returned to England and the 1st Battalion was overseas in Malta and then moved to India in October 1903.  This was the typical pattern of service.  One battalion was based at home and the other overseas.  The 2nd Battalion was in Jersey between 1908 and 1912.  In December 1912 the 1st Battalion returned to England and were stationed in Dover - and the 2nd Battalion left Dover for Calcutta, and later Lebong and Barrackpore in India.

In 1905 the Regiment began the publication of the Journal, The Lion and The Rose.

In Lancaster the Regimental Depot at Bowerham Barracks, Lancaster, was responsible for the training of all recruits.  Also in Lancaster was the headquarters of the 5th Territorial Force Battalion.  The volunteer battalions of the regiment had been re-organised in 1908 and the old Volunteer Force was re-organised.  The 4th Battalion King's Own had their headquarters in Ulverston and recruited in the area around Barrow in Furness and Millom to Coniston and Grange over Sands.  The 5th Battalion King's Own recruited in an area from Carnforth to the north and Fleetwood to the south.

More on:

bulletUniforms of the period: 1903-1910
bulletThe Haldane Reforms
bulletMilitia and Reserve Force Camps ,1900-1914
bulletThe Territorial Force
bulletThe Territorial Army Centenary 1908-2008

Interwar Years

The First World War was hardly over when in 1919 the 1st Battalion were sent to Dublin.  They were to be one of the last British army units in Ireland before the creation of the Republic. 

In 1920 a new Army wide numbering system was introduced allocating a block of numbers to each regiment. The King's Own Royal Regiment had a series of numbers starting with 370xxxx.  All soldiers with previous service received a new number.  Once a soldier had been allocated a number, this was retained by him throughout his service, including when transferred to other units.

bulletDocuments from the Hand Over of Richmond Barracks, Dublin, December 1922

The 2nd Battalion was sent to garrison India and Burma - spending nearly ten years overseas.  In October 1930 the 1st Battalion left England for service in Palestine, Egypt, and India, not returning back to the UK as a battalion until 1950.  After eight years back in England - split between Lichfield and Aldershot, the 2nd Battalion were sent to Palestine to assist the fight against Arab terrorists.  It was here, in September 1939, that the battalion was located when the Second World War started.  All officers and men who served in Palestine were awarded the General Service Medal with the bar 'Palestine'  A roll listing these men can be found here

More on:

bulletThe 1st Battalion in Ireland in 1919-1922
bulletLMS Locomotive 6161 'King's Own' named in 1931
bulletThe General Service Medal
bulletBowerham Barracks during the Munich Crisis, 1938
bulletPalestine Operational Notes 1938-1940
bulletRoll of Honour of Soldiers of the King's Own who died between the end of the First World War and 1939.

Post War

At the end of the Second World War the 1st Battalion was in Northern Italy and within a year were based in the Trieste area on the Yugoslavian border.  The 2nd Battalion after service in Burma in 1944, had been based in India, eventually leaving Calcutta in October 1947 for a move to Egypt and service in Asmara in Eritrea and Khartoum.  It was here that the battalion heard the news it was to be amalgamated with the 1st Battalion.  The army was reducing in size and the Regiment was to have only one regular battalion.  On 22nd April 1949 the Amalgamation Parade took place at San Sabba Stadium in Trieste - and the two battalions became one.

The Regiment was full of National Servicemen when it returned to England and was based at Hadrian's Camp, Carlisle.  After services as part of the British Army of the Rhine the King's Own moved to Korea - and were employed on peace keeping duties, the conflict having just finished.  From Korea the 1st Battalion moved to Hong Kong in 1954 for a two year posting. 

In August 1953 the King's Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster, was presented with the Freedom of the City of Lancaster.

More on:

bullet1st Battalion as part of the British Army of the Rhine
bulletPhotos of the Presentation of the Freedom of the City of Lancaster
bulletKorea Medals
bulletNorth Korean/Chinese Propaganda Leaflet
bulletLancastrian Brigade Cap Badge designs

Talk of further reductions in the size of the army were confirmed and it was announced that the King's Own Royal Regiment would be amalgamated with the Carlisle based Border Regiment.  Just prior to amalgamation all the regiments of the Lancastrian Brigade dropped their own cap badges in favour of the newly introduced brigade cap badge.

The last overseas tours took the King's Own to Kenya, Aden and Bahrain in 1958 before a final return to England in July 1959.  In October 1959 the new King's Own Royal Border Regiment was created at Barnard Castle.

bulletThe Amalgamation Parade

The Territorial Army also underwent radical changes with the creation of Lancastrian Volunteers and the 4/5th King's Own reduced to cadre status of a handful of men. 

Roll of Honour of Soldiers of the King's Own who died between the end of the Second World War and 1959.

More on the Campaign Service Medal 1962-

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