110th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps

The 110th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (Border Regiment) (110 RAC) was an armoured regiment of the British Army's Royal Armoured Corps raised during the Second World War.

110th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (Border Regiment))
Active1941–1943
Disbanded1943
Country United Kingdom
BranchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
TypeArmoured Regiment
RoleInfantry Support
Training
Part ofRoyal Armoured Corps
AnniversariesBattle of Arroyo dos Molinos (28 October)
EquipmentCovenanter
Churchill

Origin

110th Regiment RAC was formed on 1 November 1941 by the conversion to the armoured role of the 5th (Cumberland) Battalion, Border Regiment, a 1st Line Territorial Army infantry battalion. At the outbreak of war, 5th Border had been mobilised at Workington in 126th Infantry Brigade of 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division,[1] which were redesignated 11th Armoured Brigade (later 11th Tank Brigade) and 42nd Armoured Division respectively in November 1941.[2][3][4] In common with other infantry units transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps, all personnel would have continued to wear their Border cap badge on the black beret of the Royal Armoured Corps.[5] The regiment continued to add the parenthesis '(Border Regiment)' to its RAC title and celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos during the Peninsular War (28 October 1811) as a regimental holiday.[6]

History

On conversion on 1 November 1941, 110 RAC was stationed at Skipton-in-Craven in West Yorkshire.[3] It received its first tank (a Covenanter) in January 1942.[7] In May, the regiment moved to Bingley and was ordered to convert from Covenanter cruiser tanks to Churchill infantry tanks, when 11 Armoured Brigade was detached from 42nd Armoured Division and became an independent Army Tank Brigade.[8]

Later in the year, the regiment moved to North Yorkshire and trained around Bolton Castle, Hawes and Arkengarthdale.[9] In July and August 1942, 110 RAC sent large drafts of officers and men for overseas service,[9] and in January 1943 it (along with the whole of 11th Tank Brigade) was attached to 77th Infantry (Reserve) Division and given the role of holding and training reinforcements.[10][11] In February 1943, it moved to Catterick and then in May to Otley, training in the Yorkshire Dales.[12]

In Autumn 1943, the decision was made disband 11th Tank Brigade, without it ever having seen active service, and 110 RAC was broken up before the end of November.[13] The 5th Battalion, Border Regiment was reconstituted in April 1944 by the redesignation of 7th Border, a reserve battalion serving in 213th Infantry Brigade[14][15] It spent the rest of the war as a training battalion.[16]

Notes

  1. ^ 5th Bn Border Regiment War Diary, September 1939, The National Archives (TNA), Kew file WO 166/4155.
  2. ^ Joslen, pp. 165, 199, 311.
  3. ^ a b 110th Regiment RAC War Diary, November 1941, TNA file WO 166/1427.
  4. ^ Border Regiment at Regiments.org
  5. ^ Forty pp. 50–1.
  6. ^ 110 RAC War Diary, October 1942, TNA file WO 166/6930.
  7. ^ 110 RAC War Diary, January 1942, TNA file WO 166/6930.
  8. ^ 110 RAC War Diary, May 1942, TNA file WO 166/6930.
  9. ^ a b 110 RAC War Diaries 1942, TNA file WO 166/6930.
  10. ^ 110 RAC War Diary, January 1943, TNA file WO 166/11130.
  11. ^ Joslen, pp. 100, 199.
  12. ^ 110th Regiment RAC War Diaries, 1943, TNA file WO 166/11103.
  13. ^ Joslen, pp. 199.
  14. ^ 5th Bn Border Regiment War Diary, Apr-May 1944, TNA file WO 166/15078.
  15. ^ Joslen, p. 376.
  16. ^ 5th Bn Border Regiment War Diary, June 1944–November 1945, TNA file WO 166/17146.

References

  • 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 1-84342-474-6.

External sources

11th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)

The 11th Armoured Brigade was an armoured brigade of the British Army raised during the Second World War. The brigade was a 1st Line Territorial Army formation, consisting of three infantry battalions converted into armoured regiments.

42nd Armoured Division (United Kingdom)

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

77th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)

The 77th Infantry Division of the British Army was formed during the Second World War, from the re-organisation of the Devon and Cornwall County Division. During its existence the division changed roles several times. On 20 December 1942, it became the 77th Infantry (Reserve) Division, training recruits in infantry and armoured warfare. New recruits to the army were assigned to the 77th to complete their training.

On 1 December 1943, the division was once again renamed. Now known as the 77th (Holding) Division, it was responsible for retraining soldiers who had been on medical leave. Once recruits were fully trained, and men returning from injury retrained, they were allocated to formations fighting overseas. Notably, the formation was used as a source of reinforcements for the 21st Army Group, which was fighting in Normandy. After all available British army troops left the United Kingdom for France, the division was disbanded and re-formed as a deception unit to give Germany the impression that the British army had more divisions than it did. The notional 77th Division was held in reserve within the United Kingdom.

Border Regiment

The Border Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, which was formed in 1881 under the Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 34th (Cumberland) Regiment of Foot and the 55th (Westmorland) Regiment of Foot.

After service in the Second Boer War, followed by both World War I and World War II, the regiment was amalgamated with the King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) into the King's Own Royal Border Regiment in 1959, which was later merged with the King's Regiment (Liverpool and Manchester) and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment to form the present Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border), which continues the lineage of the Border Regiment.

Manchester Regiment

The Manchester Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 until 1958. The regiment was created during the 1881 Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment of Foot and the 96th Regiment of Foot as the 1st and 2nd battalions; the 6th Royal Lancashire Militia became the 3rd (Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) battalions and the Volunteer battalions became the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th battalions.

After distinguished service in both World War I and World War II, the Manchester Regiment was amalgamated with the King's Regiment (Liverpool) in 1958, to form the King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool), which was, in 2006, amalgamated with the King's Own Royal Border Regiment and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment to form the present Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border).

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