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The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire) Regiment during WW1
Timeline

 

1st Battalion

4th August 1914 - Stationed at Bombay, India.

3rd September 1914 - Returned to England landing at Plymouth 2nd October 1914 moving to Hursley Park, Winchester to join the 24th Brigade of the 8th Division.

5th November 1914 - Mobilised for war and landed at Havre.

18th October 1915 - Transferred to the 24th Brigade of the 23rd Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1915
Trench familiarisation as part of the 20th (Light) and 27th Divisions and took control of the front line at Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart road and at Bois Grenier.

15th July 1916 - The 24th Brigade transferred to the 8th Division;

1916
The Battle of Albert.

1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemarck.

1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The actions of Villers-Bretonneux, The Battle of the Aisne 1918, The Battle of the Scarpe, The Final Advance in Artois.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war at Bermissart west of Mons, Belgium.

 

2nd Battalion

4th August 1914 - Stationed at Sheffield as part of the 18th Brigade of the 6th Division and then moved to Cambridge.

11th September 1914 - Mobilised for war and landed at St. Nazaire and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1914
The actions on the Aisne heights.

1915
The action at Hooge

27th October 1915 - Transferred to the 71st Brigade of the same Division;

1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.

1917
The Battle of Hill 70, The Cambrai operations.

1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Advance in Flanders, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war at Bohain, France.

 

3rd (Reserve) & 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions


4th August 1914 - Stationed at Derby and then the 3rd moved to Plymouth and then 4th moved to Sunderland.

May 1915 - The 3rd moved to Sunderland and both battalions part of the East Coast defences until the end of the war

 

1/5th & 1/6th Battalion Territorial Force


4th August 1914 - The 1/5th stationed at Derby and the 1/6th stationed at Chesterfield as part of the Notts & Derby Brigade of the North Midland Division and then moved to Harpenden and then Braintree.

25th February 1915 - Mobilised for war and landed in France.

12th May 1915 - Formation became the 139th Brigade and the 46th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1915
The German liquid fire attack at Hooge, The attack at the Hohenzollern Redoubt.

1916
The diversionary attack at Gommecourt.

1917
Operations on the Ancre, Occupation of the Gommecourt defences, The attack on Rettemoy Graben, The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The attack on Lievin, The Battle of Hill 70.

1918
The Battle of the St Quentin canal, The Battle of the Beaurevoir Line, The Battle of Cambrai, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of Sambre.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war at Cartignies S.W. of Avesnes, France.

 

1/7th & 2/7th (Robin Hood) Battalion Territorial Force


4th August 1914 - The 1/7th formed at Nottingham and the 2/7th formed at Nottingham both as part of the Notts & Derby Brigade of the North Midland Division and then moved to Harpenden and then Braintree.

25th February 1915 - Mobilised for war and landed in France.

12th May 1915 - Formation became the 139th Brigade and the 46th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1915
The German liquid fire attack at Hooge, The attack at the Hohenzollern Redoubt.

1916
The diversionary attack at Gommecourt.

1917
Operations on the Ancre, Occupation of the Gommecourt defences, The attack on Rettemoy Graben, The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The attack on Lievin, The Battle of Hill 70.

31st January 1918 - Absorbed the 2/7th Battalion to become the 7th Battalion and transferred to the 178th Brigade of the 59th Division;
The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge.

7th May 1918 - Reduced to cadre.

29th May 1918 - Transferred to the 30th Division.

19th June 1918 - Transferred to the 66th Division.

15th August 1918 - Transferred to the 116th Brigade of the 39th Division and ended the war near Etaples.

 

1/8th Battalion Territorial Force


4th August 1914 - Stationed at Newark as part of the Notts & Derby Brigade of the North Midland Division and then moved to Harpenden and then Braintree.

25th February 1915 - Mobilised for war and landed in France.

12th May 1915 - Formation became the 139th Brigade and the 46th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1915
The German liquid fire attack at Hooge, The attack at the Hohenzollern Redoubt.

1916
The diversionary attack at Gommecourt.

1917
Operations on the Ancre, Occupation of the Gommecourt defences, The attack on Rettemoy Graben, The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The attack on Lievin, The Battle of Hill 70.

1918
The Battle of the St Quentin canal, The Battle of the Beaurevoir Line, The Battle of Cambrai, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of Sambre.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war at Cartignies S.W. of Avesnes, France.

 

2/5th & 2/8th Battalion Territorial Force


11th September 1914 - The 2/8th formed at Newark.

16th October 1914 - The 2/5th formed at Derby.

January 1915 - Moved to Luton as part of the 178th Brigade of the 59th Division and then moved to Watford.

April 1916 - Moved to Ireland stationed at Dublin and then at Curragh.

January 1917 - Returned to England at Fovant, Salisbury Plain.

26th February 1917 - Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1917
The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The capture of Bourlon Wood, The German counter attacks.

6th February 1918 - the 2/8th disbanded in France.

1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge.

7th May 1918 - Reduced to cadre.

2nd June 1918 - Transferred to the 16th Division.

17th June 1918 - Transferred to the 34th Division.

28th June 1918 - Transferred to the 117th Brigade of the 39th Division.

3rd August 1918 - The 2/5th disbanded in France.

 

2/6th Battalion Territorial Force


14th September 1914 - Formed at Chesterfield and then moved to Buxton.

3rd February 1915 - Moved to Luton as part of the 178th Brigade of the 59th Division and then moved to Dunstable and then Watford.

26th April 1916 - Moved to Ireland stationed at Dublin and then Curragh.

12th January 1917 - Returned to England at Fovant, Salisbury Plain.

25th February 1917 -Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1917
The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The capture of Bourlon Wood, The German counter attacks.

1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge.

7th May 1918 - Reduced to cadre and part of the Lines of Communication.

31st July 1918 - Disbanded in France.

 

3/5th & 3/6th Battalions Territorial Force


1st March 1915 - The 3/6th formed Chesterfield.

29th March 1915 - The 3/5th formed at Derby.

October 1915 - Both moved to Grantham and became the 5th and 6th Reserve Battalions.

1st September 1916 - Moved to Grainthorpe and the 5th Battalion absorbed the 6th.

March 1917 - Moved to Louth and then Saltfleet as part of the North Midland Reserve Brigade Territorial Force until the end of the war.

 

3/7th & 3/8th Battalions Territorial Force


26th February 1915 - The 3/8th formed at Newark.

1st March 1915 - The 3/7th formed at Nottingham.

October 1915 - Both moved to Grantham and then Saltfleet and became the 7th and 8th Reserve Battalions.

1st September 1916 - The 7th Battalion absorbed the 8th as part of the North Midland Reserve Brigade Territorial Force.

March 1918 - Moved to Louth until the end of the war.

 

9th (Service) Battalion


24th August 1914 - Formed at Derby as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Grantham to join the 33rd Brigade of the 11th Division.

April 1915 - Moved to the Frensham area.

July 1915 - Embarked for Mudros from Liverpool.

20th to 31st July 1915 - At Helles and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army including;

7th August 1915 - Landed at Suvla Bay;

The Battle of Sari Bair

December 1915 - Deployed to Imbros.

February 1916 - Deployed to Egypt and took over a section of the Suez Canal defences.

July 1916 - Deployed to France and engaged in various action on the Western Front including;

The capture of the Wundt-Werk, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Thiepval.

1917
Operations on the Ancre, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Langemarck, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle.

1918
The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Quant Line, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war south of Mons, Belgium.

 

10th (Service) Battalion


13th September 1914 - Formed at Derby as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Wool to join the 51st Brigade of the 17th Division.

October 1914 - Moved to West Lulworth and then Wool.

March 1915 - Moved to West Lulworth and then to Winchester.

14th July 1915 - Mobilised for war and then landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1915
Holding front lines in southern area of Ypres salient.

1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Delville Wood.

1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Roeux, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.

1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war near Aulnoye, France.

 

11th (Service) Battalion


3rd October 1914 - Formed at Derby as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Frensham to join the 70th Brigade of the 23rd Division.

December 1914 - Moved to Stanhope Lines, Aldershot.

February 1915 - Moved to Shorncliffe Moved to Shorncliffe area and then to Bordon.

27th August 1915 - Mobilised for war and landed in France where the 70th Brigade was transferred to the 8th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1915
The Battle of Neuve Chapelle, The Battle of Aubers, The action of Bois Grenier.

1916
The Battle of Albert.

1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Battle of Pilkem, The Battle of Langemarck.

November 1917 - Transferred back to the 23rd Division and deployed to Italy to strengthen Italian resistance after a recent disaster at the Battle of Caporetto and enagaged in various actions including; The Fighting on the Asiago Plateau.

13th September 1918 - Transferred to the 74th Brigade of the 25th Division.

18th September 1918 - Returned to France, at St. Riquier;
The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai, The Pursuit to and Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war near Landrecies, France.

 

12th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)


1st October 1914 - Formed at Derby as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Shoreham area attached to the 24th Division.

April 1915 - Became a Pioneer Battalion of the 24th Division.

29th August 1915 - Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various action on the Western Front including;

1915
The Battle of Loos (the Division suffered severe losses and took the rest of the year to rebuild).

1916
The German gas attack at Wulverghem, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Guillemont.

1917
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The Cambrai Operations.

1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The First Battle of the Avre, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre, The passage of the Grand Honelle.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war at Le Louvion east of Bavai, France.

 

13th (Reserve) Battalion


October 1914 - Formed at Plymouth as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) and joined the 98th Brigade of the 33rd Division.

December 1914 - Moved to Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

10th April 1915 - Became a 2nd Reserve Battalion and moved to Lichfield and then Rugeley.

February 1916 - Moved to Brocton as part of the 3rd Reserve Brigade.

1st September 1916 - Became the 12th Training Battalion.

 

14th (Reserve) Battalion


October 1914 - Formed at Lichfield as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) and joined the 91st brigade of the 30th Division.

10th April 1915 - Became a 2nd Reserve Battalion and the Brigade became the 3rd Reserve Training Brigade.

March 1916 - Moved to Brocton and then became the 13th Training Reserve Battalion.

 

15th (Service) Battalion (Nottingham)


February 1915 - Formed by the Mayor and a Committee at Nottingham as a bantam battalion and then moved to Masham, Yorks to join the 105th Brigade of the 35th Division.

27th August 1915 - Taken over by the War Office.

August 1915 - Moved to Salisbury Plain.

1st February 1916 - Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1916
The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The fighting for Arrow Head Copse and Maltz Horn Farm, The fighting for Falfemont Farm.

1917
The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The fighting in Houthulst Forest, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.

1918
The First Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Ypres, The Battle of Courtrai, The action of Tieghem.

11th November 1918 - Ended the war N.E. of Renaix, Belgium.

 

16th (Service) Battalion (Chatsworth Rifles)


16th April 1915 - Formed by the Duke of Devonshire and the Derbyshire Territorial Forces Association at Derby.

4th May 1915 - Moved to Buxton and then Redmires, Sheffield.

2nd September 1915 - Moved to Hursley, Winchester and joined the 117th Brigade of the 39th Division.

30th September 1915 - Moved to Oudenarde Barracks, Aldershot and the Witley.

6th March 1916 - Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1916
An attack near Richebourg l'Avoue, The fighting on the Ancre, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre heights, The Battle of the Ancre.

1917
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.

1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme crossings, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Rosieres, The fighting on Wytschaete Ridge, The First Battle of Kemmel, The Second Battle of Kemmel, The Battle of the Scherpenberg.

16th May 1918 - Reduced to training cadre.

16th August 1918 - Transferred to the 66th Division.

20th September 1918 - transferred to the 197th Brigade to defend the Lines of Communication south of Aumale until the end of the war.

 

17th (Service) Battalion (Welbeck Rangers)


1st June 1915 - Formed by the Mayor and the Recruiting Committee at Nottingham.

October 1915 - Moved to Aldershot and joined the 117th Brigade of the 39th Division and then moved to Witley.

10th December 1915 - Taken over by the War Office.

6th March 1916 - Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;

1916
An attack near Richebourg l'Avoue, The fighting on the Ancre, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre heights, The Battle of the Ancre.

1917
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.

1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The actions at the Somme crossings, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Rosieres, The fighting on Wytschaete Ridge, The First Battle of Kemmel, The Second Battle of Kemmel, The Battle of the Scherpenberg.

12th February 1918 - Disbanded in France.

 

18th (Service) Battalion


28th July 1915 - Formed at derby as a bantam battalion and then moved to Aldershot to join the 121st Brigade of the 40th Division.

2nd April 1916 - Moved to Woking and absorbed into the 13th Yorks. Regiment.

 

19th (Reserve) Battalion


August 1915 - Formed from the depot companies of the 15th 16th & 17th Battalion as a local reserve battalion at Brocklesby.

November 1915 - Moved to Ripon as part of the 19th Reserve Brigade.

January 1916 - Moved to Harrogate and then Durham.

1st September 1916 - Moved to Newcastle and absorbed into the Training Reserve Battalions of the 19th Reserve Brigade.

 

20th (Labour) Battalion


May 1916 - Formed at Derby and then deployed to France as part of the 5th Army Troops.

April 1917 - Transferred to the Labour Corps as the 28th & 29th Labour Companies.

 

21st Battalion Territorial Forces.


1st January 1917 - Formed at Walton-on-the-Naze from the 29th Provisional Battalion and then moved to Frinton and then Clacton.

12th January 1918 - Disbanded.

 

1st Garrison Battalion


July 1915 - Formed at Lichfield and then deployed to Malta and Egypt where it remained.

 

51st (Graduated) Battalion


27th October 1917 - Formed at Thoresby from the 246th Graduated Battalion (previously the 15th Training Reserve Battalion) as part of the 208th Brigade of the 69th Division.

April 1918 - Moved to Doncaster and then to Welbeck where it remained.

 

52nd (Graduated) Battalion


27th October 1917 - Formed at Canterbury from the 278th Graduated Battalion (previously the 14th Training Reserve Battalion) as part of the 200th Brigade of the 67th Division.

January 1918 - Moved to Willsborough near Ashford.

February 1918 - Moved to Clipstone and then transferred to the 207th Brigade of the 69th Division.

April 1918 - Moved to Welbeck as part of the 208th Brigade of the same Division where it remained.

 

53rd (Young Soldier) Battalion


27th October 1917 - Formed at Rugeley, Cannock Chase from the 13th Young Soldier Battalion (previously the 14th Sherwood Foresters) as part of the 1st Reserve Brigade.

October 1918 - Moved to Clipstone.

 

Glossary

Cadre - In the British Armed Forces, a cadre is a group of instructors, or a unit that trains potential instructors or non-commissioned officers (NCOs), in which case it usually also includes the trainees themselves.

 

Medals awarded in WW1

14 - Star

The 1914 Star was awarded to personnel who served in France and Belgium between 5 August and 22 November 1914.

14 - 15 Star

The 1914-15 Star was awarded to personnel who saw service in any theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915, other than those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star.

The British War Medal

The British War Medal was awarded to personnel in recognition of the successful conclusion of World War 1. It was later extended until 1920 to cover mine-clearing services and operations in North and South Russia, the eastern Baltic, Siberia, the Black Sea and Caspian.

The Allied (British) Victory Medal

The Victory Medal was awarded to all personnel who served in a theatre of war between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 and automatically qualified for the British War Medal. If a soldier was Mentioned-in-Despatches, then a single oak leaf clasp could be worn on the ribbon.

The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire) Regiment during World War 2
Timeline

The 2nd Battalion landed in France with the British Expeditionary Force in September 1939 and took part in the early stages of the 'Phoney War' and the advance into Belgium. The 1/5th, 2/5th, and 9th Battalions also joined the BEF, the former as lines of communication troops and the latter two for pioneer duties. All three of these Battalions were totally ill-equipped for the operational tasks they eventually had to perform in the retreat to the Channel Coast. At one period the 2nd, 2/5th and 9th Battalions were together defending the Dunkirk perimeter before the successful evacuation. At the same time the 1/5th Battalion, after a period of fighting alongside the 51st Highland Division, was evacuated from Cherbourg.

In April 1940, the 8th Battalion had landed in Norway as part of the ill-fated attempt to assist the Norwegian Army against the Germans. This Battalion had had little training and was not fully equipped; a situation made worse when the ship carrying its vehicles and heavy equipment was sunk. The Battalion became involved in a withdrawal through mountains and deep snow pursued by ski troops supported by aircraft and tanks; the remnants eventually being evacuated to Scotland.

In June 1940 the 1st Battalion was moved from Palestine to reinforce the Garrison of Cyprus, where they suffered their first war casualties in an air-raid. Early in 1942 the Battalion was moved to Egypt, converted to a motorised role and joined the Desert Army. Unfortunately after a sharp engagement in the Knightsbridge Box, the Battalion was ordered to surrender when the Garrison in Tobruk capitulated.

The 1/5th Battalion after a year in England sailed for the Far East and arrived in Signapore on 29 January 1942 just prior to its capture by the Japanese.

As a result of these early defeats, many Foresters spent long years in captivity. Those of the 1/5th Battalion suffered horrendously at the hands of the Japanese while working on the notorious Burma-Siam Railway; 450 officers and men of this Battalion died in captivity.

Our fortunes turned with the 8th Army's victory at El Alamein in November 1942. The 14th Battalion took part with distinction in this Battle. It had been originally formed as the 50th Battalion in 1940 but was renumbered after a few months and then in July 1942 had been converted to a Motor Battalion. In January 1943 the 2/5th Battalion, by now renamed the 5th Battalion, joined the 1st British Army in Tunisia and was followed shortly by the 2nd Battalion. The Battalions took part in severe and difficult fighting, in particular at Sedjenane and the Medjez Plain and suffered many casualties before the remnants of the German Armies capitulated at Cap Bon.

The 5th Battalion were next in action in Italy at the assault landing at Salerno in September 1943. They suffered heavy casualties there and later in the difficult and fiercely resisted fighting advance up to the Cassino area.

The 2nd Battalion took part in the assault landing at Anzio in January 1944 where they were joined later by the 14th Battalion and took part in what was probably the toughest fighting of the whole War. After the fall of Rome the 2nd, 5th and 14th Battalions continued the difficult fight up the length of Italy, adding a further eleven battle honours to the seven earned in North Africa.

In December 1944 the 5th Battalion was despatched to Greece to help quell the Civil War which had started there after the German withdrawal. Meanwhile the 14th Battalion had been disbanded and many of its officers and men were posted to the 2nd and 5th Battalions. At the end of the War the 2nd Battalion was in Palestine and the 5th back in Italy from where they moved into Austria with the liberation armies. The 1st Battalion was meanwhile re-forming in England.

Brief mention should now be made to some of the other Battalions of the Regiment. The 9th Battalion had been converted to an armoured car role after Dunkirk but was disbanded in October 1944. The 12th and 13th Battalions had been sent to India where the 12th became a Jungle Training Unit providing officers and men for the 14th Army's campaign in Burma and the 13th was converted to 163rd Regiment Royal Armoured Corps. They were both disbanded in India, the 12th Battalion in February 1946 and the 13th Battalion in September 1945. The 8th Battalion, after retraining in Northern Ireland and a period of defence of the South East coast of England was converted to a pre-OCTU at Wrotham, where it gave valuable service in training large numbers of potential officers. The 6th and 7th (Robin Hoods) Battalions in their respective anti-aircraft roles as 40th Searchlight Regiment (later 149th LAA Regiment) Royal Artillery and 42nd SL Regt Royal Artillery did their share in the Air Defence of the UK and then later operating in North West Europe. The Robin Hoods were awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre for their actions in the Antwerp Box shooting down V1 and V2 Bombs.

The requirement for infantry in World War 2 was considerably less than in World War 1 and the casualties were thankfully correspondingly lower. A total of 26,940 officers and men served in the Foresters, of whom 1,520 were killed or died of wounds and about three times that number were wounded. The Foresters won 25 Battle Honours, ten of which are emblazoned on the Queen's Colours. The VC was posthumously awarded to Captain J H C Brunt MC, who at the time was serving with the 6th Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment. Some 400 other Foresters received awards for gallantry and outstanding War Service.

 

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