7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment
7th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment in training 1914 (©Paul Reed)
Researching a man from this battalion? See my WW1 Research page.
The 7th Battalion was the first Service Battalion of Lord Kitchener's New Army to be formed in the Royal Sussex Regiment, and indeed one of the very first in the whole of Kitchener's Army. It began recruiting at Chichester on 12th August 1914 when,
"... the scene for the following fortnight almost baffles description. A depot filled beyond capacity with recruits and more arriving every few hours... all joyfully expecting to be immediately issued with rifle and bayonet and sent to France."
All the original recruits were given a 'G' prefix to their regimental number, which began at 1, through to around 1200.
From Chichester the battalion moved to Sobroan Barracks at Colchester, where it became part of 26th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. In October 1914 it moved again, to Shorncliffe, and in December to Folkestone, in billets. In March 1915 the battalion moved to Ramillies Barracks, Aldershot.
The 7th Battalion landed at Boulogne on 31st May/1st June 1915.
On 11th November 1918 it was still part of 36th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division, and was stationed at Landas, east of Orchies, in France. It was disbanded in April 1919.
BATTLES & ENGAGEMENTS
Battle of Loos. 25
Sep-8 Oct 1915.
Actions of the Hohenzollern Redoubt. 13-19 Oct 1915.
Battle of Albert.
1-13 Jul 1916, including the capture of Montauban, Mametz, Fricourt,
Contalmaison and La Boisselle.
Battle of Pozières. 23 Jul 1916, including the fighting for Mouquet Farm.
Battle of Le Transloy. 1-18 Oct 1916, including the capture of Eaucourt l’Abbaye, Le Sars and the attacks on Butte de Warlencourt.
First Battle of the Scarpe.
9-14 Apr 1917, including the capture Monchy le Preux and the Wancourt Ridge.
Battle of Arleux. 28-29 Apr 1917.
Third Battle of the Scarpe. 3-4 May 1917, including the capture of Fresnoy.
Capture of Roeux. 13-14 May 1917.
Cambrai: The tank attack. 20-21 Nov 1917.
Capture of Bourlon Wood. 23-28 Nov 1917.
Cambrai: German counter attacks. 30 Nov-3 Dec 1917.
First Battle of Bapaume.
24-25 Mar 1918.
First Battle of Arras. 28 Mar 1918.
Battle of the Ancre. 5 Apr 1918.
Battle of Amiens. 8-11 Aug 1918.
Battle of Albert. 21-23 Aug 1918, including the capture of Chuignes.
Battle of Epehy. 18 Sep 1918.
Battle of the St. Quentin Canal. 29 Sep-2 Oct 1918, including the passage at Bellenglise and the capture of the Bellicourt tunnel defences.
The final advance to Artois. 2 Oct-11 Nov 1918, including the capture of Douai.
SUMMARY OF CASUALTIES, KILLED & DIED 1914-1919
OFF = Officer
OR = Other Ranks
KIA = Killed in Action
DOW = Died of Wounds
- The total number of wounded amounted approximately to 90 officers and 2,500 Other Ranks.
SUMMARY OF CASUALTIES IN MAIN ENGAGEMENTS 1916-1918:
HONOURS & AWARDS 1914-1919:
|Bar to DSO||1|
|Bar to MC||2|
|Bar to DCM||1|
|2nd Bar to MM||1|
|Bar to MM||10|
|Osborn, W.L.||Lieut-Colonel||19.8.14 - 24.7.16|
|Osborne, G.F.||Captain||24.7.16 - 5.8.16|
|Carr DSO, H.A.||Lieut-Colonel||5.8.16 - 9.10.16|
|Sansom, A.J.||Lieut-Colonel||10.10.16 - 5.7.17|
|Osborne, G.F.||Major||5.7.17 - 7.8.17|
|Impey DSO, G.H.||Lieut-Colonel||7.8.17 - 24.7.18|
|Thomson DSO, A.L.||Lieut-Colonel||30.7.18 - 4.4.19|
Rutter, Owen - The History of the 7th (service) Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment 1914-1919
(Times Publishing Company 1934)
- Superb battalion history with complete list of officers and men killed, complete list of honours and awards and detailed information on every officer who served with the battalion. Photographs, maps and good index. Now long out of print, copies can be found in many main Sussex libraries, at the Imperial War Museum and the County Records Office at Chichester. In 2003 it was reprinted by the Naval & Military Press Ltd.
©PAUL REED 2002