I love days like today. You look out of the one window and there is a beautiful blue sky and sunshine; you look out of another window and see a dark and stormy sky heading straight for you. When it arrives, it brings torrential downpours, thunder, lightning and even hail and then it’s gone and blue skies appear again. A perfect day to stay in, drink tea and write. Here we have a postcard I picked up of the ‘7th Leicester’s at Dinner, April 1915’. This Battalion was formed at Leicester in September 1914 and moved to Aldershot. In April 1915 the Battalion was transferred to the 110th Brigade of 37th Division and was moved to Salisbury Plain. This photograph could have been taken either at Aldershot before they were moved and transferred or at Salisbury Plain. I think it is probably the latter. In July 1915, the men were sent to France and saw action on the Western Front. They were transferred again; this time the 110th Brigade (the Leicester Tigers Brigade) was transferred from the 37th to the 21st Division and once again was engaged in action.
This list of battles is from the Long Long Trail website.
The Battle of Albert*
The Battle of Bazentin Ridge*
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
The Battle of Morval* in which the Division captured Geudecourt
The Battle of Le Transloy*
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line
The First Battle of the Scarpe**
The Third Battle of the Scarpe**
The flanking operations around Bullecourt**
The battles marked ** are phases of the Arras offensive 1917
The Battle of Polygon Wood***
The Battle of Broodseinde***
The Second Battle of Passchendaele***
The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres
The Cambrai Operations
The Battle of St Quentin+
The First Battle of Bapaume+
The battles marked + are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Messines=
The Second Battle of Kemmel=
The battles marked = are phases of the Battles of the Lys 1918
The Battle of the Aisne 1918
The Battle of Albert++
The Second Battle of Bapaume++
The battles marked ++ are phases of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Epehy^
The Battle of the St Quentin Canal^
The Battle of Cambrai 1918^
The battles marked ^ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The Battle of the Selle, a phase of the Final Advance in Picardy
Also on the Long Long Trail website it states, “In all the 21st Division had suffered the loss of 55581 killed, wounded and missing”. I wonder how many of the men in the photo sat having their dinner in April 1915 made it home.
There are many website dedicated to commemorating WW1. As mentioned above the Long Long Trail is an excellent website to find out about soldiers, regiments battles and more. The National Archives has a guide on how to research a British Army soldier on its website. For those interested in the Leicester Tigers, the Leicestershire Regiment Soldiers of WW1 website has loads of photographs. The website was established in 2013 and the aim is to try and identify as many of the men in the images as possible.
The Royal Leicestershire Regiment was an infantry regiment in the British Army, with a history going back to 1688. It saw service for three centuries, before being amalgamated into The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964. The Regimental Museum occupies six galleries on the upper floor of Newarke House, Leicester. The ground floor of the museum displays artefacts and memorabilia relating to the social history of the City of Leicester. Outside Newarke Houses flies the Regimental flag, and two cannons which were captured at Sevastopol during the Crimean War can be seen each side of the entrance.
On the Royal Leicestershire Regiment website there is an online database which has over 65,000 records, containing names, ranks, regimental numbers, photographs, small biographies and more information to help find family members and friends who may have served in the regiment. The Green Tiger is the journal of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment. It has recorded events and news about the Regiment since 1904, and from 1964 it has been the newsletter for the old comrades of the Regimental Association. There is an online database which contains scanned editions of every issue (when published). Publication was limited during WW1 and WW2 and for a period it was only a brief newsletter. There is also a database where you can search for any medals or honours awarded to members of the regiment. Access to these databases is also available at the museum.