The story of the Durham Light Infantry

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

The story of the DLI begins in 1758 when General John Lambton of County Durham first raised the 68th Regiment of Foot as part of the British Army.

The Durham Light Infantry was formed in 1881 with the 1st Battalion - formed from 68th (Durham) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry) and 2nd Battalion, the 106th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Light Infantry).

It saw action against in Egypt and against the Boers in South Africa.

During the First World War 43 Battalions were raised and some 13,000 members of the DLI were killed or died of wounds.

During the Second World War, nine battalions of the DLI fought with distinction in every major theatre of war.

Casualties of war were far lower than the Great War, but in several fierce battles, including Arras, Mareth, Primosole Bridge and Kohima, the DLI suffered heavy losses.

1 DLI fought as part of the United Nations forces in Korea from 1952 to 53.

It was a platoon of 1 Battalion DLI buglers who sounded the ceasefire for the whole of Commonwealth Division from a hilltop on the frontline.

Finally, in 1968, it was announced the DLI would joined with three other county light infantry regiments to form The Light Infantry.

The Rifles are the successors of the DLI and continue to recruit significant numbers from County Durham and the North-East.

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