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Regimental History - 20th Century

Second World War 1939-1945

10th Battalion, King's Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster

On the 10th January 1940 the 7th Holding Battalion was formed at Denbigh in North Wales containing a King's Own company. The 7th Holding Battalion divided on 2nd June and the King's Own company moved to Heysham Towers in Lancaster, to form the 50th Holding Battalion. The first operation of the 50th was to receive men just back from the British Expeditionary Force in France. In the autumn of 1940 the 50th Holding Battalion was converted to the 10th Battalion of the King's Own and joined the Northumberland Division, in 225th Infantry Brigade - along with battalions from the King's and Border Regiments. The 10th Battalion was responsible for coastal defence in Northumberland. In September 1940 the battalion did its first formation training as part of the 59th Division. After this training they returned to the beaches. In November 1941 the 10th Battalion learned that the Northumberland Division was to break up. 10th King's Own were to be converted to a heavy tank regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps - becoming the 151st Regiment Royal Armoured Corps in January 1942, receiving Churchill tanks shortly afterwards.

10th January 1940 - 7th Holding Battalion raised

2nd June 1940 - 50th Holding Battalion formed and moves to Heysham

9th October 1940 - 10th Battalion, King's Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster, formed.  It was comprised of 9 officers, and 840 other ranks, made up of 8 warrant officers, 29 sergeants, 31 corporals and 772 private soldiers.  The Battalion was based at Heysham Towers, less D Company which was based at Borwick Hall, near Carnforth.

11th October 1940 - The battalion was visited by Colonel Digby, Inspector of Infantry.

20th October 1940 - The battalion received the signal 'Ypres' which was Western Command's code word that a German invasion was imminent.  First contingents of the battalion were placed on half an hour's notice.

26th October 1940 - The battalion reverted to 'Altmark' the definition of which has not yet been established.

January 1941 - 10th Battalion, King's Own move to Northumberland and take over the defence of the coast from Craster to Bamburgh Castle.

Summer 1941 - 10th Battalion, King's Own move to the Tyne Valley to undertake training whilst away from coastal defence work.

September 1941 - 10th Battalion, King's Own move back to the beaches.

November 1941 - 10th Battalion, King's Own moves back to the Tyne Valley with Headquarters located in Prudhoe.

31st December 1941 - 10th Battalion converted to Heavy Tank Regiment

1st January 1942 151st Regiment Royal Armoured Corps established


The King's Own The Story of a Royal Regiment Volume 3 1914-1959 by Colonel Julia Cowper - the best history of the King's Own in the Second World War.  On a CD-rom, viewable through a computer with Internet Explorer or similar.  Price including UK postage 12.75

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