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Steel of the DLI (2nd Bn 1914/18) [Kindle Edition]

John Sheen
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The 2nd Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry was one of only two battalions of the regiment that did not have its history published in some form after the Great War, the other was the 1/7th (Territorial) Battalion. As the regular Home Service battalion of the regiment it was brought up to strength with Regular Reservists and men from the Special Reserve and went out to France in September 1914, where it fought at the Battle of the Aisne, before moving north to Flanders. The battalion was in action immediately that war was declared on 4th August 1914, when a detachment based at South Shields boarded a German Steamer on the River Tyne and took the crew prisoner and marched them through the town to the Police Station.

The book includes material from unpublished letters and diaries of both officers and men and has lots of photographs from the Regimental Archives, a number of which show named officers and men in the trenches around Armentierres in 1915. Also included is a roll of all the officers that served with the battalion with date of joining and leaving the battalion. For the other ranks the original 1914 Star men are included in a roll that includes reinforcements that joined up to 1 November 1914. This roll has been crossed referenced against the South Africa Rolls to show those who had seen service in that campaign also. There is also a list of those that received gallantry awards. This must be one of the first histories of a regular battalion that fought in France during the Great War, published since the 1920s.

Product Description


A modern unit history of only two battalions of the DLI ( the 2nd) that did not see its history published after the Great War. Compiled from diaries and letters home and illustrated with unpublished photographs. --Chris Buckland

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 11682 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword Military (16 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DN5U67G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #227,711 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Chris Baker VINE VOICE
As Lieutenant George might have said to Blackadder, "Well, hurray and hurrah!". A published history of a regular army unit, that most neglected of species, long overdue and thanks to John Sheen, past author of a number of splendid works on units raised in the North East of England.

2nd DLI was a typical pre-war infantry battalion of the British Army, although it had not seen service in the South African War and had returned home from India as long ago as 1902. It was placed under orders of 18th Infantry Brigade of 6th Division and remained in that formation throughout the war.

Sheen's history has all of the insight and detail we have come to expect of modern scholarship, drawing deeply on official, regimental and private records. With many excellent photographs, most of which will not have been seen before, and lacing the battalion's history with the stories of individual officers and men, he takes us through the whole war from the battalion's first searing experiences on the Aisne, right through to the honour of advancing into Germany as part of the army of occupation. In between, the 1915 nightmares of Hooge, the latter stages of the Somme, Hill 70, Cambrai and ceaseless engagement in 1918. The story also brings out how the nature of the battalion inevitably changed, from wholly regular through mostly volunteer to conscript, yet managed to maintain an ethos and professional air throughout. The battalion also coped with the rapid and manifold developments in armaments, tactical doctrines and training - a testament to the efforts of officers, NCOs and men alike.

As battalion histories go this would be hard to better; the fact that it records the endeavours of an unglamorous and unsung yet vital component of the army makes it very special.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steel of the DLI 5 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A darn good read, well researched and un bias. Could have done more photographs but one cannot have everything. Al least the book did not generate into a general moan about the war and its Generals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 20 Nov. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've now purchased every book John Sheen has authored on the Durham Light Infantry, as a person who was was raised and has lived in County Durham for the vast majority of my life, these books offer an incredible and in depth insight into the courage and bravery our forefathers displayed on behalf of all of us. Wonderful books that I would highly recommend to anyone interested!
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5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the read 25 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i served with 2dli during the 50s.i will nver forget the bravery and and fortitude of the battalion during the 1st world war
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 24 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written and presented, with first hand accounts of the horrors.
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