Archiver > GREATWAR > 2000-06 > 0960272765

From: Iain Kerr <>
Subject: Re: [WW1] London Regiment - Queens Westminster Rifles
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 07:26:05 +0100

At 23:48 05/06/00 , Huppert Family wrote:
>Can someone plesae give a brief 'bio' of the Queens Westminster Rifles? In
>WWI a family member (formerly a bank clerk) saw France, Egypt, Palestine,
>Greece and Bulgaria with this regiment. My understanding is that they were
>part of the force that took Jerusalem from the Turks. At the end of the
>war they were sent to Ireland for a while.


That sounds as if he was in the 2/16th Battalion. But I am unsure as to
how much time it spent in Palestine between Jul 1917 and Jun 1918.

The 16th County of London Battalion (Queen's Westminster Rifles), County of
London Regiment (Territorial Force).

The 22nd Middlesex Rifle Volunteer Corps was formed in 1860. In 1880, when
the Volunteer Force was reorganised, the unit was renumbered as the 13th
Middlesex RVC. With the creation of the Territorial Force in 1908, the
regiment became The 16th County of London Battalion (Queen's Westminster
Rifles). In common with other territorial regiments the battalion split
into two, and later three, lines during WWI; these were known as the
1/16th, 2/16th and 3/16th Battalions.

The 1/16th County of London Battalion (Queen's Westminster Rifles)
(Territorial Force) mobilised on 4 Aug 1914 at Queen's Hall, Buckingham
Gate, Westminster. The battalion was assigned to 4th London Brigade in the
2nd London Division and moved to the Hemel Hempstead area. On 3 Nov 1914,
the battalion left the 2nd London Division and went to France, landing at
Le Havre. On 12 Nov 1914 it was assigned to 18th Brigade in 6th
Division. On 10 Feb 1916, the battalion transferred to 169th Brigade in
56th (London) Division then forming in the Hallencourt area. The 1/16th
ended the war on Armistice Day in the same formation at Athis, north of
Bavai, Belgium.

The 2/16th County of London Battalion (Queen's Westminster Rifles)
(Territorial Force) formed in London Sep 1914. In Jan 1915 it moved to
Maidstone within 179th Brigade and 60th Division. In Feb 1915 it was in
billets in London; in Mar in Watford and in May 1915 in Saffron Walden. In
Oct 1915 it moved again to Bishop's Stortford and in Jan 1916 to Sutton
Veny. On 28 Apr 1916, the battalion was despatched with 179th Brigade to
Ireland for security duties after the Easter rebellion. On 12 May 1916 it
sailed from Fishguard to return to Sutton Veny. On 22 Jun 1916 the
battalion landed in France at Le Havre. On 23 Nov 1916 the battalion left
from Marseilles for Salonika, landing on 29 Nov 1916. On 30 Jun 1917, it
was then moved to Alexandria arriving on 3 July. The battalion left 60th
Division and went to France via Taranto on 30 May 1918. There it was
assigned to 90th Brigade in 30th Division. The 2/16th ended the war on 11
Nov 1918 at Avelghem, south-east of Courtrai, Belgium.

The 3/16th County of London Battalion (Queen's Westminster Rifles)
(Territorial Force) was formed in Nov 1914 at Richmond Park and placed in
billets for the winter. In Jan 1916 it was sent to Winchester. On 8 Apr
1916 it was retitled 16th Reserve Battalion. On 1 Sep 1916 the battalion
was assigned to 2nd London Reserve Brigade. In Dec 1917 it moved to
Wimbledon and the newly formed 3rd London Reserve Brigade (TF). The 16th
Reserve Battalions remained at Wimbledon.

After the Great War, the 15th and 16th Battalions, The London Regiment were
merged into one battalion and named the 16th County of London Battalion
(Queen's Westminster and Civil Service Rifles) Territorial Army. The name
was changed in 1937 to The Queen's Westminsters, The King's Royal Rifle
Corps Territorial Army. In the months before the outbreak of war in 1939,
the Queen's Westminsters split into two battalions for war service. In
1941 these two battalions were renamed as 11th and 12th Battalions (Queen's
Westminsters), The King's Royal Rifle Corps, Territorial Army. The 11th
Battalion served in Egypt, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Palestine and
Greece. The 12th Battalion remained at home until 1944 when it took part
in the assault landings in Normandy.

In the peacetime restructuring of the Territorial Army in 1947, the two
battalions were merged once more into The Queen's Westminsters, The King's
Royal Rifle Corps Territorial Army. In 1961, the Queen's Westminsters were
amalgamated with the Queen's Victoria Rifles to form The Queen's Royal
Rifles Territorial Army. The battalion was later represented by 4th
(Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Greenjackets.

Yours aye,

Iain Kerr
In Windsor, Berkshire
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