2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) In the Great War 1914-19

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9781843423690: 2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) In the Great War 1914-19
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In his preface the author, who took three years over this history, makes the point that material that should have been preserved in the regimental archives had disappeared, and that personal diaries, letters and memoranda had been very hard to come by, making his task not an easy one. One result is that there is no list of honours and awards but rather a summary, nor could he get reliable casualty figures for some of the battles. Nevertheless, despite the handicaps, he acknowledges plenty of help and advice and he has produced a very commendable piece of work which certainly ranks with other histories and is a good deal better than some. It was his intention to present a connected or continuous story so he has not adopted the pattern of separate parts for each battalion. He follows the chronology of the war with each battalion being brought into the story at the appropriate time. Each chapter covers a specific period/battle and a specific battalion, as is made clear in the list of contents. 'The 1/2nd was with the 1st London Brigade, 1st London Division when war broke out, and a month later the brigade was sent to Malta to replace the regular battalions. In February 1915 they in turn were replaced by their second line battalions (2/2nd had been formed in September 1914) and left for France where the 1/2nd was posted to 17th Brigade 6th Division at Armentieres and for the rest of the war it remained on the Western Front. In October 1915 the brigade was transferred to the 24th Division and in February 1916 it was moved again - to the re-formed 56th (previously1st London) Division, part of 169th Brigade, and there it stayed to the end. After Malta the 2/2nd was sent to Gallipoli where it arrived on 13 October and was attached to the 2nd Naval Brigade. In January 1916 it went to France where it was disbanded and the 3/2nd (formed in December 1914), which was in the UK at the time with 173rd Brigade, 58th Division, was renamed 2/2nd. The division landed in France in January 1917 and the battalion fought its first major action at Bullecourt in May; it, too, remained with the brigade throughout the fighting to the end of the war. Finally there was a fourth line battalion, 4/2nd, which was formed in May 1915 but did not serve overseas; its function was to supply drafts for the two overseas battalions. The Roll of Honour lists 1,345 dead and the summary of awards shows 65 British decorations to officers and 246 to other ranks, excluding MiD. I can certainly recommend this history, it is well written with plenty of operational detail which includes, in many places, honours awarded for specifc actions and names of officer casualties.

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