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The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment

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A Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry vehicle checkpoint near Umm Qasr port, Iraq, July 2006


In May 1958, The Devonshire Regiment and The Dorsetshire Regiment - both then stationed at Minden in Germany - were merged to form The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. Six months later, the new unit was sent to face EOKA paramilitaries on Cyprus, where it stayed for the next four years.

Following a year in Plymouth, the regiment was sent on its first postings to the still relatively quiet Northern Ireland between 1963 and 1966. This was interrupted by a spell in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1964 to help control civil unrest there.

Cap badge, The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, c1970 

Mortar crew, The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, c1960


In February 1966, the unit joined the British Army of the Rhine in West Germany. It stayed there for the rest of the decade, apart from a year in Libya in 1967 during civil unrest triggered by the Arab-Israeli War.

After a short posting on Malta, the regiment returned to Northern Ireland in 1970 as the situation there worsened. It returned to Northern Ireland a further ten times over the next 20 years. This period was interspersed with home service and several spells in Germany, which included garrisoning West Berlin in 1985.

Devonshire and Dorset Regiment troops training with a 3.5 inch 'Bazooka' rocket launcher, c1960

Lance Corporal Hassam Judoo, The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment (right) relieving Welsh Guardsman, Buckingham Palace, 1975

Corporal Hassam Judoo, The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, (right) relieving a Guardsman, Buckingham Palace, 1975

Final years

In 1995, the regiment was sent to join the United Nations peacekeeping force in Bosnia. Its final German posting ended in 1998 and its final tour of Northern Ireland came in 2004.

A 2003 defence white paper laid out plans to merge it with The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (RGBWR). Two years later, it was re-equipped as light infantry and renamed The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry.

The regiment's final independent posting was an eight-month tour in Iraq in 2006 during Operation Telic.


The amalgamation with the RGBWR eventually took place in February 2007. However, instead of forming a new battalion of The Light Infantry, as previously planned, the merged units became the 1st Battalion of a new enlarged unit called The Rifles. The other battalions of this new regiment were provided by The Royal Green Jackets and The Light Infantry.

Regimental museums

The National Army Museum works with a network of Regimental and Corps Museums across the UK to help preserve and share the history and traditions of the Army and its soldiers.

Discover more about The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment by visiting The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester.

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