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The Last Parade of the Devon and Dorset Light Infantry

30th April 2016 - in front of the Duke of Kent
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Devon and Dorset BadgeOn the 27th January 2007, the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment marched through the streets of Exeter with fixed bayonets, displaying their colours. After the parade, the colours were taken into the Cathedral for laying up in the Regimental Chapel. This is the final time that the colours will be marched through the streets of Exeter as the new regiment, The Rifles will not have their own colours. The first time the Devon and Dorsets paraded through their home city of Exeter, was in 1962.

The salute was taken by the Duke of Kent as Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment, for the last time, before they were disbanded, to become the first regiment to form The Rifles, a seven battalion super regiment.

The Battalion had just returned from a tour of duty in Basra. The 700 strong parade consisted of serving regulars, territorial volunteers, cadets and old comrades, along with a Devon and Dorsets Band.

The Devon and Dorsets were formed in 1958 from the Devonshire Regiment and the Dorsetshire Regiment, both of which, have had a long and distinguished history. The Devonshire Regiment dates back to 1667 as the Marquess of Worcester's Regiment of Foot, which was raised and disbanded twice. In 1685 the Colonel the Duke of Beaufort's Musketeers, was raised, and had in total ten different names, each after their commanding officer, between their founding and 1751. In the same year, the regiment became known as the 11th regiment of Foot and between 1782 and 1881 the 11th (North Devonshire) Regiment. The regiment was then reorganised by combining the regulars of the 11th Regiment and the Volunteer Infantry. The Volunteers were formed in 1852, as the Exeter and South Devon Rifle Corps. The Spanish born Paul Collings, proprietor of the Black Horse Inn and Queen's Hotel was an early member of the Rifle Corps. He had been an officers servant in the Peninsula War and at Waterloo. In 1863 the Rifles became the 1st Devonshire Volunteers. The Volunteers were the founding regiment of the Territorial Army.

It was announced in 2005 that the Devon and Dorsets would merge with the Royal Gloucester, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment to become the 1st Battalion, The Rifles, with the Light Infantry and Royal Green Jackets also part of the super regiment.

The Battalion last paraded through Exeter on 3rd June 2005, when the bulk of the regulars were still in Iraq, so this was a chance for a final farewell. The parade on that day was filmed - see the Devon and Dorset Regiment parade video.

Roll of Honour for the Devon and Dorsets
Private Phillip Stentiford, 1972 Northern Ireland
Sergeant Ian Harris, 1972, Northern Ireland
Private David Champ, 1972, Northern Ireland
Corporal Stephen Windsor, 1974, Northern Ireland
Lance Corporal Dennis Dumbleton, 1975, Cyprus
Lieutenant Colonel Herbert 'H' Jones VC OBE, 1982, Falkland Islands
Corporal Gerald Jeffery, 1983, Northern Ireland
Lance Corporal Stephen Taverner, 1983, Northern Ireland
Colonel Chris Biles, 1994, Mull of Kintyre
Private Jonathon 'Kit' Kitulagoda, 2004, Afghanistan
Corporal John Johnston 'George' Cosby, 2006, Iraq

Exeter War Memorial Exeter War Memorial

Left is the Exeter War Memorial and right, the Volunteer Force Monument in Northernhay Park.

If any member, or ex-member of the Devon and Dorsets would like to contribute an interesting photograph or memory of the regiment please Contact me.

1st Battalion the Devon and Dorset Regiment The Duke of Kent takes the salute with the Colonel of the Regiment and accompanied by the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Norman Shiel at the Guildhall.
1st Battalion the Devon and Dorset Regiment The Regimental Standards are saluted.1st Battalion the Devon and Dorset Regiment Regulars in the parade.
1st Battalion the Devon and Dorset Regiment The Queens Colours and Regimental Colours are saluted by the Duke of Kent.1st Battalion the Devon and Dorset Regiment Veterans of the Battalion.1st Battalion the Devon and Dorset Regiment The Regimental Standards are waiting for the Colours to be trooped into the Cathedral

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