HERTS AT WAR

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The Hertfordshire Regiment

Many of Hertfordshire’s men on the fighting front served with The Hertfordshire Regiment. As a pre-war 'Territorial' unit, the men of the Herts were part-time soldiers, coming from all walks of life, training together at weekends and annual summer camps. The divide between the regular army and the men of 'terrier' Battalions was all too apparent in the years before the war, with the Territorials being looked down upon by the men of the Regular Army. When war broke out in August 1914 the Regular Army was called upon to form the British Expiditionary Force (BEF) along with a small number of Territorial units. The 1st Herts were among these units. Over the next few years these ordinary men found themselves involved fighting in major actions now synonymous with the First World War; Ypres, Loos, the Somme and Passchendaele. Through dedication, professionalism, courage under fire, valuable supporting roles and comradeship whilst fighting with the British Army's elite Guards Brigade, the boys of the Herts earned the respect of the Regular Army, taking the honorary name of the 'Herts Guards' in the process. 

This section of the site will follow the wartime exploits of the 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment, the only infantry unit from the county to see service overseas. The 1st Herts served on the Western Front from November 1914 until the Armistice. By telling the stories of the individual men and Officers who served with the 'Herts Guards' during this time, we will also tell the story of a British Army Territorial unit and its transition from a part-time to battle hardened veteran front-line unit.

Here we have reproduced the Battalion's 'War Diary' covering the entire period of the war, we will also display documents and memoirs of men who fought, and in some cases died during the course of the conflict.

If you would like to contribute to telling the story of Hertfordshire Regiment in the Great War or would like to provide information for the website or museum then why not contact us at info@hertsatwar.co.uk

The story of the Hertfordshire Regiment's attack near the village of St Juli
en on the morning of 31st July 1917 is perhaps the key date in the history of the Regiment. Local musician Mr Ray Owen has kindly provided to us a song that he wrote in 2012 that re-tells the events of that day. We have reproduced it here as an excellent account based on the eyewitness testimony of one of the Regiment's few survivors, Company Quartermaster Sergeant Gordon Fisher.


We are very pleased to offer transcripts of the 'war diary' for the 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment who served on the Western Front from November 1914 to November 1918 and saw action in most of the major campaigns fought on that front throughout the war. These transcripts are reproduced with the kind permission of Steve Fuller who created and runs an excellent website detailing the wartime exploits of the Herts' closest fighting allies, the Bedfordshire Regiment. Steve's research into both the Beds and the Herts Regiment stands as a testament to the effort and dedication he has put in to his site.

To visit Steve's website please follow the link below.



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