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Historical Reenactment Group  
 
 
 
History of The Hampshire Regiment.



Pre-World War II

The unit that would become The Hampshire Regiment was raised in 1702 in response to the war of Spanish Succession (1701-1719) and at the time was known as the Meredith’s Regiment and later the 37th Foot. Under this designation the Regiment would earn many battle honors before the title of North Hampshire Regiment was bestowed in 1782.


Eventually, it would be combined with the aptly named South Hampshire Regiment which had a history of service in India (where the tiger on the regimental cap badge originates). Elements of the Regiment would serve in the South African War at the turn of the 20th Century. During the First World war elements of the Regiment would serve in many campaigns, most notably the 2nd battalions participation in the Landing at Helles at Gallipoli.

World War II

At the outbreak of World War II, 1st Battalion was stationed in Egypt and the 2nd, Territorial, Battalion was stationed in England. 1st Battalion would spend time seeing little action and much guard duty during it’s stay in Egypt before being transferred to Malta and were pinned there by the siege for a time. Here they would be assigned to the 50th Northumberland Division which they would remain a part of for the remainder of the war. Eventually, 1st Battalion would return to Egypt, staging for the assault on Sicily.

The Battalion was part of the first wave that invaded Sicily on July 10th 1943 as part of Operation Husky. Shortly after landing the Battalion saw its first heavy fighting of the war against the Herman Goring Parachute Panzer Division. Heavy casualties were taken at this location (Agria). The unit would continue northward into Italy, landing at Potro San Venere.

By the end of September 1943, the unit was pulled back to Sicily to await transport back to the UK. Here the unit was trained to be part of Operation Overord. They would land in the first wave on Gold Beach the morning of June 6th, 1944, suffering considerable casualties due to a gap in tank support. The unit would see action through the bocage and would be involved at the battles of Villiers Bocage and Conde, after which they were taken off the line for a time. Once put back in action, the Battalion would be put under command of the Guards Armoured Division and would participate as part of the force designed to relieve Paratroopers at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. The unit would continue support and fighting to expand the advance in Belgium until being relieved back to the UK in October 1944 for the remainder of the war

2nd Battalion would be deployed as part of the British Expeditionary Force under the 1st Guards Brigade in 1939, it was sent as support but would be engaged in the disorganized fighting during the retreat to Dunkirk. Eventually 2nd Battalion would be assigned to the the 46th Division which would deploy to North Africa and be decimated to less than 10 men left alive. The unit was not reformed during wartime.

Other Battalions of The Regiment would be deployed throughout the war, but this is the concise history that intersects with the reenactment unit’s depiction. Further impressions may be developed in the future to accommodate elements of The Regiment that served in Europe from the winter of 1944 through the end of the war, but at this time no plan to depict these elements are in place.