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Durham County Volunteer Corps

The equivalent of the Home Guard in the First World War

The Volunteer Corps was revived on 17 June 1916. The Durham County Volunteer Corps never formed part of the Durham Light Infantry regiment, although ‘DLI’ is sometimes appended to the battalion titles.

In August 1918 the total strength of the Corps was 256 officers and 10,408 non-commissioned officers and men.

There were 11 battalions:
1st Battalion (Gateshead) formed August 1916
2nd Battalion (Sunderland) formed August 1916
3rd Battalion (Bishop Auckland) formed August 1916
4th Battalion (Darlington) formed August 1916
5th Battalion (Stockton) formed October 1916
6th Battalion (Hartlepool) formed December 1916
7th Battalion (Sunderland) formed March 1917
8th Battalion (Houghton le Spring) formed March 1917
9th Battalion (Birtley) formed 1917?
10th Battalion (West Hartlepool) formed 1917?
11th Battalion (Sunderland) formed 1917?

Below is an organisational summary, taken from the Durham County Volunteer Corps photograph album (ref D/DLI 4/1/5) in Durham County Record Office:

Units Raised and Maintained


5th Volunteer Battalion DLI – Stockton-on-Tees
6th Volunteer Battalion DLI – West Hartlepool
10th Volunteer Battalion DLI – West Hartlepool

2nd Volunteer Battalion DLI – Sunderland
7th Volunteer Battalion DLI – Sunderland
8th Volunteer Battalion DLI – Houghton-le-Spring
11th Volunteer Battalion DLI – Sunderland

1st Volunteer Battalion DLI – Gateshead
3rd Volunteer Battalion DLI – Bishop Auckland
4th Volunteer Battalion DLI – Darlington
9th Volunteer Battalion DLI – Birtley

Nos 1 and 2 Companies, Royal Garrison Artillery (Volunteers) – Hartlepool
No 3 Company, Royal Garrison Artilley (Volunteers) – Sunderland

No 1 Signal Company, Royal Engineers (Volunteers) – West Hartlepool

No 1 Electric Light Company, Royal Engineers (Volunteers) – West Hartlepool
No 2 Electric Light Company, Royal Engineers (Volunteers) – Stockton-on-Tees

Royal Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport (Volunteers) 3 Companies – 22 Sections located at various places

Royal Army Medical Corps (Volunteers) 3 Sections of Field Ambulances at Gateshead, Darlington and Stockton.

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Contributed by Durham County Record Office

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