Archiver > GREATWAR > 2000-07 > 0962602468

From: Iain Kerr <>
Subject: Re: [WW1] Durham Light Infantry
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2000 06:34:28 +0100

At 10:02 02/07/00 , Maurice Burns wrote:
>Greetings All,
>My father (William "Paddy" BURNS) served as a Bandsman in the DLI during
>the period 1915 to 1925. I have obtained details (somewhat limited)
>of my Father's army records from the Ministry of Defence in Hayes,
>His army records indicate that he served the first four years in the
>UK, followed by postings in Turkey and India. The MoD were unable to
>provide me with any other details as to precisely where he was
>Any offers please, as to where I might go in order to fill in the
>details of his army service?
>Whereabouts in Co Durham would the various Battalions of the DLI have
>been based?
>Whereabouts in Turkey and again in India would the 2nd Battalion have
>been based?
>Where would my father have received his musical training as a bandsman?
>I have contacted the Royal Military School of Music, at Kneller Hall,
>Twickenham, Middx. ... No joy!
>Are there any other members of this List, who also have an interest in
>the Durham Light Infantry?


The answers to your question are complicated by the size to which the
regiment grew during WWI. During the Great War, The Durham Light Infantry
formed a total of 42 battalions from its pre-war structure of two regular,
two reserve and five territorial battalions. The regiment was awarded a
total of 59 battle honours and six of its officers and men were awarded
Victoria Crosses. The DLI lost 12,530 casualties during the years
1914-19. Thirteen battalions of the DLI took part in the Battle of the Somme.

The two regular battalions moved as follows:

The 1st Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry was based in Nowshera, India
on the outbreak of war on 4 Aug 1914. It was one of the few British
infantry battalions that was retained in India for the duration.

The 2nd Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry was based in Lichfield,
Staffordshire on the outbreak of war, serving in 18th Brigade and 6th
Division. On 8 Aug it was moved to Dunfermline and on 13 Aug to
Cambridge. The battalion embarked for France and Flanders with the British
Expeditionary Force, Landing at St Nazaire. The 2nd Battalion spent the
duration of the war in the same formations in France and Flanders ending it
on 11 Nov 1918 at Busigny, France.

As a bandsman, when on active service, your father will have been employed
as a stretcher bearer or medical orderly. But if he spent the four years
1915 to 1919 in UK, he must have been medically unfit for overseas service
or (unlikely) under age.

You may be able to learn more of unit history and movements (but not
personnel records) by contacting the regimental museum.

Durham Light Infantry Museum and Durham Art Gallery, Aykley Heads, Durham,
Co. Durham DH1 5TU, United Kingdom. Phone: (0191) 3842214; Fax: (0191)
3861770. Uniforms, weapons and pictures illustrating the history of the
Regiment 1758-1968, Rifle Volunteers and Militia. Models, a few vehicles
and 1000 medals, including 7 Victoria Crosses. Museum Secretary: Lt Col
(Retd) J G T Lightley, Secretary, DLI Museum, Aykley Heads, Durham City, Co
Durham DH1 5TU, United Kingdom.

or you can try these sources:

Web Site:

The British Light Infantry has a web-site at

Official web site at

Regimental Histories:

"Durham Light Infantry"; by W. Moore: published by Leo Cooper (Famous
Regiments Series) in 1975.

Yours aye,

Iain Kerr
In Windsor, Berkshire
Web Page at:
Rootsweb Sponsor Listowner for the KERR; McTURK and SOUTHON lists.
Maintainer of the Ayrshire Surnames Database at:
Maintainer of the GENUKI Ayrshire pages at:

This thread: