109th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps

109th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (The Lancashire Fusiliers) (109 RAC) was an armoured regiment of the British Army's Royal Armoured Corps during World War II.

109th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (The Lancashire Fusiliers)
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
TypeArmoured Regiment
RoleInfantry Support
Part ofRoyal Armoured Corps
AnniversariesMinden Day (1 August)


109th Regiment RAC was formed on 1 November 1941 by the conversion to the armoured role of 1/6th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers, a 1st line Territorial Army infantry unit. The battalion had been serving in 125th Infantry Brigade of 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division, which were redesignated 10th Armoured Brigade and 42nd Armoured Division respectively. All three regiments in the brigade were drawn from the Lancashire Fusiliers and underwent simultaneous conversion to armour (the other two became 108 RAC and 143 RAC).[1] In common with other infantry units transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps, personnel continued to wear their Lancashire Fusiliers buttons and the cap badge on the black beret of the Royal Armoured Corps, but the rank of 'Fusilier' for private soldiers was replaced by 'Trooper', despite some resistance from the regiment. The regiment also continued to call itself '1/6th Bn The Lancashire Fusiliers (109th RAC)', but was later told to desist and adopt the official name.[2][3][4]


In May–June 1942, 10th Armoured Bde (later 10th Tank Brigade) became an independent formation, and moved from Barnard Castle, County Durham, to 'The Dukeries' area of Nottinghamshire to continue tank training. 109 RAC was based at Welbeck Abbey, and the following month the partly trained and partly equipped regiment was given the operational role (in case of enemy invasion) of providing HQ squadron and one tank squadron (drawn from all three of its squadrons) of Churchill and Valentine tanks for a composite battalion from the brigade.[5][6]

In common with the other units of 10th Tank Bde, 109 RAC maintained Lancashire Fusilier traditions, celebrating Minden Day on 1 August each year.[7] However, in August 1943, rumours began to circulate that 10th Tank Brigade was scheduled for disbandment. Members of Parliament for the Lancashire towns complained about the possible loss of their TA battalions, and a recruiting team arrived to persuade men to volunteer for the Parachute Regiment if the brigade disbanded. Although 10th Tank Bde moved to Wensleydale in September, with 109 RAC based at Leyburn, and became a holding and training formation for reinforcements, the impending disbandment was confirmed shortly afterwards.[5][8][9] During November and December, 109 RAC's officers and men were progressively posted overseas or to 51st Training Regiment RAC at nearby Catterick. Disbandment was completed by the end of the year and 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers went into a state of 'suspended animation' on 1 January 1944.[10] Unlike 1/5th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, which was reformed after the war, after the disbandment of 108 RAC, the 1/6th Battalion has never been reformed.[11]


  1. ^ Joslen, pp. 164, 310.
  2. ^ Forty pp. 50–1.
  3. ^ 109th Regiment RAC War Diary, November 1941, The National Archives, Kew file WO 166/1426.
  4. ^ 109th Regiment RAC War Diary, August 1942, TNA file WO 166/6929.
  5. ^ a b Joslen, pp. 164, 198.
  6. ^ 109th Regiment RAC War Diary, June & July 1942, TNA file WO 166/6929.
  7. ^ 109th Regiment RAC War Diary, August 1943, TNA file WO 166/11102.
  8. ^ 10th Armoured Brigade War Diaries August & September 1943, TNA file WO 166/10742.
  9. ^ 109th Regiment RAC War Diaries, August & September 1943, TNA file WO 166/11102.
  10. ^ 108th Regiment RAC War Diaries, November & December 1943, TNA file WO 166/11102.
  11. ^ The Lancashire Fusiliers at Regiments.org


  • George Forty, "British Army Handbook 1939-1945", Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1998, ISBN 0-7509-1403-3.
  • Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, Volume I, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military, 2003, ISBN 1843424746.

External sources

10th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

The 10th Armoured Brigade was a short-lived armoured brigade of the British Army in World War II. It had been converted in November 1941 from infantry battalions, but had never seen action and was disbanded in late 1943.

42nd Armoured Division (United Kingdom)

The 42nd Armoured Division was an armoured division of the British Army raised during the Second World War.

48th (South Midland) Division

The 48th (South Midland) Division was an infantry division of the British Army. Part of the Territorial Force (TF) and raised in 1908, the division was originally called the South Midland Division, and was redesignated as the 48th (South Midland) Division in 1915. During the First World War, the division saw service on the Western Front before being transferred to the Italian Front in November 1917 and remaining there for the rest of the war.

Reformed in 1920 in the Territorial Army (TA) as the 48th (South Midland) Infantry Division, it saw active service in the Second World War with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in Belgium and France before being evacuated from Dunkirk to the United Kingdom. It was converted into a training reserve division in December 1942, remaining in the United Kingdom in that status for the rest of the war. Disbanded after the war, the division was not reformed again. In both world wars, the division raised a second line reserve formation; the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division in the First World War, and 61st Division in the Second World War.

Lancashire Fusiliers

The Lancashire Fusiliers was a line infantry regiment of the British Army that saw distinguished service through many years and wars, including the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II, and had many different titles throughout its 280 years of existence. In 1968 the regiment was amalgamated with the other regiments of the Fusilier Brigade–the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)–to form the current Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.