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The Plugstreet Archaeological Project

20th Btn. Durham Light Infantry




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The 20th Btn. Durham Light Infantry were in the line near St Eloi during the 1917 Battle of Messines with the 41st Division.

The 20th (Service) Battalion, known as the Wearside Pals was raised in Sunderland on the 10th of July 1915 by the Mayor and a committee. They marched to Wensleydale in August and then to Barnard Castle in October 1915. In January 1916 they moved to Aldershot and were attached to 123rd Brigade in 41st Division. They proceeded to France on the 5th of May 1916, landing at Le Havre. The saw action at The Somme and Messines. In November 1917 the Battalion moved with the Division to Italy then returned to France in March 1918.




Those who served with the 20th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

at The Battle of Messines.

  • Alderson
  • John W. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
  • Angel
  • J. H. Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
  • Angel
  • Richard Pte. d.7th Jun 1917
  • Burn
  • John William Pte. d.8th Jun 1917
  • Hutchinson  
  • James Pte. d.6th Jun 1917
  • Longstaff  
  • Richard Parker Pte.
  • Miller  
  • Jampson Young Pte.




    Durham Pals: 18th, 19th, 20th and 22nd Battalions of the Durham Light Infantry in the Great War

    John Sheen


    The Durham Pals were the volunteer Geordie battalions of the Durham Light Infantry raised in the north-east in the Great War. The 18th Durhams had the proud distinction of being the first unit of Kitchener's New Armies to come under enemy fire before even leaving Blighty when German ships shelled Hartlepool in December 1914. The 19th were raised as Bantams ( men blow the minimum height requirement) ; the 20th (Wearside) hailed from Sunderland; while the 22nd was the last raised - and fought through the hard battles of 1918. After their baptism of fire while training in Hartlepool, the 18th were seriously blooded on July 1st 1916 as the battle of the Somme opened, when they fought in support of the Leeds and Bradford Pals. After fighting in the successful Messines offensive in June 1917 the 20th were sent to the Italian front; while the 19th distinguished themselves in Flanders during the final Allied advance of 1918. This book pay tribute to them all.




    If you know of anyone who served with this unit at the Battle of Messines, please complete the form below so that they can be remembered.

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    Surname:             * Of the veteran..
    First Name:         
    Middle Name(s):
    Nick Name:       
    Rank:                 
    Galantry Awards: DSO, MID etc.
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    Unit:                     Regiment/Squadron etc.
    Sub unit:              Battalion/Section/Flight/etc.
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