Herefordshire Light Infantry
The Herefordshire Light Infantry was a regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 from 1861 to 1967. Its heritage survives as a platoon of (E) Company, 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment
Mercian Regiment
The Mercian Regiment is an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed by the amalgamation of three existing regiments on 1 September 2007.The regiment has three regular army battalion's and one Territorial Army or reserve battalion...


The Regiment had no lineal connection with the 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot
36th (Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot
The 36th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1701 and amalgamated into The Worcestershire Regiment in 1881...



The 1st Administrative Battalion, Herefordshire and Radnorshire Rifle Volunteers was formed in 1861. It comprised the 1st to 8th Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps and the 1st to 3rd Radnorshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, units of the Volunteer Force
Volunteer Force (Great Britain)
The Volunteer Force was a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement in 1859. Originally highly autonomous, the units of volunteers became increasingly integrated with the British Army after the Childers Reforms in 1881, before forming part of the...

 formed in the wake of the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

. (In this instance Corps refers to a Company
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

-sized unit of around 100 men, not the more modern use of the word
A corps is either a large formation, or an administrative grouping of troops within an armed force with a common function such as Artillery or Signals representing an arm of service...


In 1880, it was re-designated 1st Herefordshire (Hereford and Radnor) Rifle Volunteers, the Corps were renamed Companies, and in 1881 it became the volunteer battalion of The King's (Shropshire Light Infantry). In 1908, it was transferred to the Territorial Force
Territorial Force
The Territorial Force was the volunteer reserve component of the British Army from 1908 to 1920, when it became the Territorial Army.-Origins:...

 as the Herefordshire Battalion, The King's (Shropshire Light Infantry) (without the Radnorshire companies) and in 1909 was renamed as the 1st Battalion, The Herefordshire Regiment.

In the Great War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 it was expanded to three battalions, of which the 1st Battalion fought at Gallipoli, in Egypt and Palestine
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
The Sinai and Palestine Campaigns took place in the Middle Eastern Theatre of World War I. A series of battles were fought between British Empire, German Empire and Ottoman Empire forces from 26 January 1915 to 31 October 1918, when the Armistice of Mudros was signed between the Ottoman Empire and...

 and, for the last few months of the war, on the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

. In World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the 1st Battalion was divided to form the 1st/1st and 1st/2nd Battalions. While the 1st/2nd was involved in home defense throughout the war, the 1st/1st participated in the Invasion of Normandy and Northwestern Europe.

In 1947, it was re-designated 1st Battalion, The Herefordshire Light Infantry. In 1967, as part of the re-organization of the Territorial Army, it was disbanded as a regiment, although it was immediately re-constituted as two companies of different Territorial Army regiments (C Company (Herefordshire), Light Infantry Volunteers and B Company (Hereford Light Infantry), The King's Shropshire and Herefordshire Light Infantry (T)). After a number of re-designations, reorganizations and disbandments, one platoon survives as the Hereford Platoon, (E) Company, 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment; and as H-Detachment (Hereford) Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry is a yeomanry regiment of the United Kingdom's Territorial Army. It currently serves in the armoured replacement role, providing replacement tank crews for regular armoured regiments....


Battle Honours

The regiment was awarded the following battle honours
Battle honours of the British and Imperial Armies
The following battle honours were awarded to units of the British Army and the armies of British India and the Dominions of the British Empire. From their institution until the end of the Second World War, awards were made by, or in consultation with, the British government, but, since 1945, the...

  • South Africa 1900-02
  • The Great War (3 battalions): Marne 1918, Soissonais-Ourcq, Ypres 1918, Courtrai, France and Flanders 1918, Suvla, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915, Rumani, Egypt 1916-17, Gaza, El Mughar, Jerusalem, Tell 'Asur, Palestine 1917-18
  • The Second World War (2 battalions): Odon, Defence of Rauray, Bourguébus Ridge, Cagny, Mont Pincon, Souleuvre, Falaise, Antwerp, Hechtal, Venraij, Venlo Pocket, Rhineland, Hochwald, Ibbenburen, Aller, North-West Europe 1944-45
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