The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment

The Devonshire and Dorset regiment were formed at Minden, Germany, in 1958 after the amalgamation of the Devonshire Regiment and the Dorset Regiment, informally known as the "Devon and Dorsets". The amalgamation was announced as part of the 1957 Defence Review, which stated that there would be a reduction in the amount of infantry battalions in the British Army. The first colonel of the newly formed regiment was Major-General George Neville Wood, previously of the Dorsetshire Regiment.

After amalgamating, the Regiment was comprised of a regular Army battalion- the 1st Battalion, and two Territoral Army (TA) battalions. The 1st Battalion was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Guy Young, previously a commanding officer of the 1st battalion Devonshire regiment.

The regimental motto is Semper Fidelis- "always faithful".

The 1st Battalion first saw operational service in Cyprus and subsequently in British Guiana, Libya and on numerous tours in Northern Ireland.  They also served in Germany both as mechanised infantry and armoured infantry, in Malta, as well as on emergency tours in Belize, Cyprus, the Falklands and Bosnia.

In 1987 the Regiment raised its own Territorial Battalion, the 4th Battalion (1st Rifle Volunteers) with companies spread across the two counties. 

In 2005, the Regiment was retitled the Devon and Dorset Light Infantry, on moving to the Light Division. The regiment saw active service for the last time when it deployed to Iraq in April 2006.

Further reorganisation of regiments were announced by the Ministry of Defence in 2005. On 1st February 2007, the Regiment amalgamated with the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, the Light Infantry and the Royal Green Jackets to form The Rifles.

Visit the Regimental Association website for news, information about events, and Regimental reunions.


Click here to see our Devonshire and Dorset regimental range.

The Keep Military Museum

Devonshire and Dorset regiment