King's Own Royal Regiment Museum


Museum & Collections
Contact Us

17th Century
18th Century
19th Century
20th Century
First World War
Second World War
Actions & Movements
Battle Honours

Further Reading


First World War

 2nd/5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

7 February 1917

Arrived in France at Le Havre

February 1917 Joined 170th Infantry Brigade of the 57th Division
July to October 1917 Third Battle of Ypres

October 1917

3rd Battle of Ypres: Battle of Poelcappelle

26 October 1917 Attack on Shaap-Balie

December 1917

Houlthoust Wood

  Attack on Hindenburg Line

25 August 1918

Battle of the Scarpe: Hendicourt, Cagnicourt

29 August 1918

Battle of the Scarpe: Riencourt

September 1918 Advance near Marcoinge

27 September 1918

Battle of Canal du Nord

8 October  1918

Battle of Cambrai
Capture of Riencourt

8 October 1918 Attack near Paris Copse

May 1919

Returned to United Kingdom



What does 1st/4th, 1st/5th or 2nd/5th mean?


2nd/5th Battalion, The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

This unit started its life in Lancaster on the 15th August 1914, and was then known as the 5th Reserve Battalion.

The Mother Battalion having undertaken the Foreign service obligations it was thought desirable to form a reserve unit, for the dual purpose of supplying drafts to the 5th Battalion and to take its place as a Home Defence Unit.

This duty was given to Captain F W Seward who was left behind as Officer Commanding Depot of the 5th Battalion.

Recruiting started in earnest and no fewer than 82 men joined in one day from the same firm. When the 5th Battalion made their first call for men at the beginning of September 1914 it received a draft of 200 of the fines recruits that ever paraded. They enabled the 5th Battalion to weed out all their unfit men.

The main recruiting areas were Lancaster, Morecambe, Fleetwood and the surrounding districts.

In spite of the strenuous life which was made up of 9 hours drill per day and 3 hours fatigue duty every other day, the Battalion grew and it speaks well for the keenest of men when it is realised that the New Battalion was some 600 strong before an extra officer was posted to it in the person of Major Keen. In these early days the work was hard. Starting at 6 a.m. with Physical Training on the green in front of the Castle. 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast in the Drill Hall, 9.30 a.m. General Training on the Giant Axe Field on a route march until Dinner at 3. p.m. Tea 6 p.m. Lights out 10.30 p.m.
Between 3 pm and 7 pm the job of attestation went on, plus recruiting meetings from 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.

Once a week we did as an extra a short night march between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

In spite of this work men continued to enrol, and many were cases of youths who, when told they were too young to enlist, came back next night one or two years older, but the keenest man the writer knew was an old regular who after leaving the army joined the volunteers and was for many years my fathers batman.

This man whose name was Schofield, and incidentally a very good shot came three times to join each time his age dropped by five years but even then he was over age. He was a soldier through and through and finally joined the National Reserves, and after a period of guarding roads etc. He finished his military career as a guard to German prisoners.

At the end of October 1915 the Reserve Battalion was given a Commanding Officer. Lieutenant Colonel W Compton Hall VD and other officers were appointed.

On 12th November 1914 we left Lancaster to undergo Divisional training at Blackpool. Arriving in Blackpool we became part of the North Lancashire Brigade.

Our marching showed our strength as 23 Officers and 840 other ranks.

At Blackpool the troops were all billeted in Boarding Houses and fed in their billets by the owner. The training was of a preliminary nature and consisted mainly of company training. Recruits kept adding to our strength but we were still being called upon for drafts to the 5th Battalion.

Here the Battalion was formed into separate Companies and trained under their own officers and it was a great day when uniform and equipment were issued out to us. Up to this time all the men had been wearing their own clothes and the first parade of the Battalion after the issue of uniform, gave us a very much better opinion of ourselves.

Photographs: 2nd/5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

bullet2nd/5th (TF) Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
bullet2nd/5th (TF) Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment - Groups

Collections: 2nd/5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

bulletSign of the 2nd/5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

Books: 2nd/5th Battalion in the First World War

The First World War Diaries and Letters of Private William Hodgson, 2nd/5th Battalion, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment).  Account of his training, leave, and overseas service on the Western Front by Private William Hodgson, of Lancaster, who was killed in action on 24th May 1917.  Price including UK postage £9.00.

How to order this item.


A digital version of the Battalion War Diary is available on cd-rom from the Museum Shop.



© 2015 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum