1/4th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment
Soldiers of the 1/4th Bn 1914. (ŠPaul Reed)
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The 4th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment was formed on 1st April 1908 from the old 2nd Volunteer Battalion, and became part of the Territorial Force (TF). It recruited locally by companies as follows:
A Company - Haywards Heath and Cuckfield.
B Company - Hurst, Henfield, Steyning and Burgess Hill.
C Company - East Grinstead and Crawley.
D Company - Petworth and Midhurst.
E Company - Horsham.
F Company - Arundel and Storrington.
G Company - Chichester and Bognor.
H Company - Worthing.
Men enlisted for periods of four years. Each company had a local drill hall where parades and regular training sessions were held. An annual camp was also held every summer (usually August). As the Duke of Norfolk was the Honourary Colonel of the Battalion, this camp quite often took place in Arundel Park.
On the outbreak of war in August 1914 the eight companies were brought together as one battalion and the 4th became Army Troops in the Home Counties Division TF. On 24th April 1915 it was posted to the 160th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division in Cambridge. In May 1915 the battalion went to Bedford. The eight companies when reorganised were as follows:
A & H - A Company: Haywards Heath and Worthing.
B & D - B Company: Petworth, Midhurst and district.
C & E - C Company: East Grinstead, Crawley and Horsham.
F & G - D Company: Arundel, Chichester and Bognor.
At the same time the 4th became the 1/4th Battalion, and a 2/4th and 3/4th were also formed later on. They supplied drafts to the 1/4th, and by 1916 to many other battalions in the regiment.
On 17th July 1915 the 1/4th Battalion embarked at Devonport on HMT 'Ulysses' to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF). On 28th July it arrived at Alexandria, where it left for Port Said on the 30th. It arrived at Port Said the next day, and left for Gallipoli on 4th August 1915, arriving off Mudros Bay on 7th August.
The 1/4th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment disembarked at Suvla Bay on 8th August 1915.
It left Gallipoli in December 1915 and went to Egypt. In 1917 the battalion moved into Palestine, and took part in the operations there.
In May 1918 the 1/4th was posted to France. It left Palestine and arrived at Alexandria on 17th June, and moved to Taranto (Italy) on 22nd June. From here it went via Marseilles to the Western Front, joining the 101st Brigade, 34th Division at Proven, near Poperinghe in Belgium. The 1/4th absorbed a large draft from the 13th (Southdowns) Bn Royal Sussex Regiment on 14th August 1918.
During this period the battalion wore a 34th Divisional patch on their tunics: a chequer-board device with a horizontal (possibly red or blue in colour) below it.
34th Division flash worn by the 1/4th Bn in 1918.
On 11th November 1918 the battalion was west of Courtrai, in Belgium, and was still part of the 101st Brigade, 34th Division. In 1919 it formed part of the Army of Occupation on the Rhineland, stationed at Wahn Barracks, and returned to England in 1919.
Battles and Engagements
The Landing at Suvla [Gallipoli]: 8 -15th August
The Battle of Romani: 4 -5 August
InvaisIon of Palestine
First Battle of Gaza: 26-27 March
Second Battle of Gaza: 17-19 April
Third Battle of Gaza: 27 October - 7 November
Capture of Beersheba: 31 October
Capture of Tell Khuweilfe: 3-7 November
Capture of Jerusalem: 7-9 December
Defence of Jerusalem: 27-30 December
The Advance to Victory - The Battles of the Marne
Battle of Soissonsais and The Ourcq:
22 July - 3 August
Capture of the Beugneux Ridge: 1 August
The Final Advance in Flanders
Fourth Battle of Ypres: 28-29
Battle of Courtrai: 14-19 October
Ooteghem: 25 October
Tieghem: 31 October
ŠPAUL REED 2002