The Second World War
Once war broke out, both the 1st and 2nd Battalions were joined by the 6th Battalion Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment to form the 162nd Infantry Brigade of the 54th Division. The Brigade was placed on guard duty in Hertfordshire and training intensified, often on Hartham Common, Hertford. In October 1939, both Battalions were moved to the East Coast, the 1st to Harwich and Felixstowe, the 2nd to the Ipswich area, as part of Britain’s East Coast Defence Forces.
In April 1940, the whole Brigade was moved to the Northumberland coast, where they experienced a particularly harsh winter, billeted in basic Nissan huts with only the most rudimentary form of heating. March 1941 saw them moved to Cheltenham for six months before another spell on the east coast, the 1st Battalion just south of Lowestoft and the 2nd at Southwold. Here they stayed, defending Britain’s coastline until April 1943.
Discover the stories of the 1st and 2nd Battalions: