Tuesday, January 15, 2008

9th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.

The call to arms in 1914 given by Lord Kitchener was answered by the men of Sussex. In Chichester in September of that year the 9th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment was formed.

The newly recruited battalion went into camp on the South Downs around Brighton. It became part of the 73rd Brigade of 24th Division.

(The British 24th Division was a New Army division that was sent to France between August and September, 1915. It served on the Western Front for the duration of the First World War. From its arrival in France to May 1917, it was commanded by Major-General John Capper.

17th Brigade (from October 11, 1915)

1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
3rd Battalion, the Rifle Brigade
12th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (from 73rd Bde. disbanded February 1918)
8th Battalion, The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment (from 72nd Bde. February 1918)
8th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment (from 72nd Bde. disbanded February 1918)
1/2nd (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (until February 1916)
The brigade joined the division from the 6th Division in October 1915, swapping with the 71st Brigade.

71st Brigade (until October 11, 1915)

9th Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment
9th Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment
8th Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment
11th Battalion, The Essex Regiment
The brigade moved to the 6th Division in October 1915, swapping with the 17th brigade.

72nd Brigade

8th Battalion, The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment (to 17th Bde. February 1918) 8th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment (to 17th Bde. October 1915)
9th Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment
8th Battalion, The Royal West Kent Regiment
1st Battalion, The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment) (from October 1915)

73rd Brigade

12th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (to 17th Bde. October 1915)
9th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment
7th Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment
13th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment
2nd Battalion, The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) (from 17th Bde. October 1915 until February 1918)).

The 9th Battalion landed in France, at Boulogne, on 31st August 1915. Just a few weeks later on September 25th the battalion tasted it first action, as it went into the hell that was the Battle of Loos, it suffered heavy losses.

In 1916 it was at Hooge (14th February), Wulverghem (30th April). During the battle of the Somme it fought at the Battle for Delville Wood (11th -22nd, 31st August – 2nd September) and the Ballle for Guillemont (3rd – 5th September).

1917 saw the battalion take part in the attack on Bois en Hache at the Vimy Ridge (9th -14th April), the balle for Messines Ridge (7th – 14th June) and in the Third battle of Ypres, Pliken Ridge (31st july – 13th September) and Langemarck (16th – 18th August).

1918 saw the 9th battalion take part in the defence of the Somme from 21st – 27th March and the Battle for Avre on 4th April. October 8th – 12th they were at the Battles of Cambrai and Selle. Finnally on 4th November the Battle of the Sambre and the Passage of the Grande Honnell on 5th – 7th November.

For more information

Royal Sussex Regiment - 9th Battalion.

The Long, Long Trail - 24th Division.

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