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Regimental History - 20th Century

Second World War 1939-1945

6th Battalion, King's Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster

Formed in February 1940 the 6th Battalion went to France with the aim of assisting with the construction of defence works for the British Expeditionary Force. They joined the BEF in April 1940. Following the German invasion on 10th May the 6th Battalion, poorly equipped as an infantry battalion, was ordered to make their way back to Dunkirk. On the way they fought a determined rearguard action at Merville. On their return to the UK they were employed on anti-invasion duties. The 6th Battalion remained in the UK until they were disbanded in July 1944.

February 1940 6th Battalion Formed

26th April 1940 Battalion arrive in France

The 6th Battalion King's Own arrive in France and within days move to Templeuve and start work on defensive works.

10th May 1940 German attack and advance begins

27th May 1940 Battalion at Merville and engage German forces

28th May 1940 Battalion withdraws to Meteren

29th May 1940 Withdraw from Dunkirk

The majority of the 6th Battalion have withdrawn to Dunkirk and embark on SS Prague and arrived in Folkestone at 2pm.

June 1940 Home Defence begins

The 6th Battalion move to South Devon in a Home Defence role and later move to Yorkshire. The battalion are mobile operating in camouflaged buses.

July 1941 Switch from beach to aerodrome defence

In July 1944 the 6th Battalion was disbanded, but a nucleus of officers and men went to Northern Ireland to form an infantry training centre.  In addition to the normal primary, corps and reserve divisional training, the battalion did much in the way of conversion  courses for ex-Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel and others returned from the British Liberation Army in North West Europe

January 1946 the 6th Battalion finally disbands

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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