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War History of the 18th (S.) Battalion Durham Light Infantry

by Lieutenant Colonel William Douglas Lowe, DSO, MC

The story of the 18th (Service) Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, during the First World War written by one of the commanding officers. The book covers the formation of the battalion by the County through to its disbandment in 1919.

The book includes a list of the subscribers who helped to fund the battalion.

This book also contains a description of the homecoming and laying-up of colours ceremony in Durham city in 1919, on pages 149-153:

On May 27 the cadre [military core group of the 18th Battalion] entrained for Durham and arrived at 11.45am; they stored kits in the station and marched with Colours cased through the decorated streets to the Market-place, where there was a large crowd awaiting them. After the cadre had lunch, they formed up inside the Town Hall, marched out with colours uncased, and faced the Town Hall, many old members of the Battalion forming up in rear of the cadre; these were about 120 in number. Mrs C.D. Shafto then fastened a laurel wreath to the pole. The following speeches were made from the balcony of the Town Hall:

The Mayor said that Durham was proud of the opportunity to give a hearty welcome back to the men of the 18th Durham Light Infantry. The name ‘Pals’ had been a household word, and no other Battalion had been more in their thoughts….

The cadre, Colour party, and former members of the Battalion, followed by the Mayor’s bodyguard, the Mayor, Lord Durham, and others, marched to the Cathedral. At the close of the service the Dean…gave a short address, saying:
‘…we pray with confidence and hope that they who, in the coming years and the coming generations, shall look upon these Colours, may recall with feelings of inexpressible gratitude the men whose high privilege it was by their lives, and still more by their deaths, to serve and save their country, and with it to save the world.’

Publication date: 1920

Author: Lowe, William Douglas

Reference: C212

Where to find this: Durham County Record Office

Contributed by Durham County Record Office