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1/8th Btn. London Regiment (Post Office Rifles)




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1/8th Btn. London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) were situated in the northern part of the line during the Battle of Messines around the area of Hill60 and The Caterpillar mines with the 47th Division.
The association between the Post office and the Army can be traced back to 1816 when volunteers assisted British Forces with communications in Paris following the defeat of Napoleon. They also served in the Crimea and in 1867 the first formation of an armed battalion of Post Office volunteers to help defend the post office during the Fenian bombings. In 1868 it was formally agreed that a battalion of 1000 post office employees be formed, being named 49th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers (Post Office Rifles). They saw action in the Battle of Kassassin in Egypt 1882, with the BEF in Khartoum in 1885 and in 1899-1902 South African (Boer) War. The the Haldane Reforms of 1908 saw the end of their specific communications role and they became a Territorial Unit adopting the new title 8th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Post Office Rifles).

1/8th Battalion embarked from Southampton on 17 March 1915 and after a period of training entered the trenches to fight in the battle for Festubert on 11 May. They saw action at The Somme in october 1916 and the Battle of Messines in 1917.



Those who served with 1/8th Btn. London Regiment (Post Office Rifles)

at The Battle of Messines.

  • Andress
  • W. Rfm. d.7th Jun 1917
  • Aronow
  • Harry Rfm. d.7th Jun 1917
  • Aston
  • William Sjt. d.7th Jun 1917
  • Boss  OBE, MC, MID.
  • Thomas Harry Capt.
  • Gregory
  • William J Rfm. d.7th Jul 1917
  • Moulton  
  • Ernest Pte.
  • Riddiford  
  • Wallis Bristow Pte. d.26th Aug 1917
  • Withers  
  • Robert John Pte.
  • Yardley  
  • Robert John Henry Rfm.




    History of the Shiny Seventh

    C Digby Planck


    Written in the 1920's and recently reprinted. This history tells the story from those early beginnings to the end of WWII including the period between wars when, in 1936, the the regiment's role changed from infantry to searchlight and the title to 32nd (7th City of London) AA Battalion, RE.,TA. Most of the book, some 200 pages, is concerned with the Great War and the record of the two active battalions, 1/7th and 2/7th. The narrative includes extracts from letters, diaries and articles written by officers and men, casualty details are given as they occur and gallantry awards and other incidents. The inter-war years and WWII are only briefly covered and the Roll of Honour for The Great War has one list, officers and men of both battalions, in alphabetical order but without identifying the battalion; Honours and Awards are shown under 1/7th and the combined 2/7th and 7th.
    More information on:

    History of the Shiny Seventh




    History of the London Rifle Brigade 1859-1919


    A Detailed & readable history with num. anecdotes . Appendices inc. officers’ services, awards. The first 60 or so pages deal with the pre-war history,. The rest of book is devoted to the Great War in which three battalions served, the 1st and 2nd Battalions on the Western Front, the 3rd was a training battalion. Each battalion is covered separately concluding, in the case of the active service battalions, with a detailed itinerary. This is a very good history with many informative appendices including casualty lists by battalions, nominal roll of all officers who served between 1859 and 1919 with service, and in a number of cases biographical details, honours and awards including mentions


    Artists Rifles: Regimental Roll of Honour and War Record 1914-1919

    S.Stagoll Higham


    This remarkable book contains a complete record of all whose names have been inscribed in the regiment’s Muster Roll since August 1914, showing commissions obtained, when and in which corps/regiments; honours and decorations awarded with citations where published; and a list of all casualties. There is a total of 15,022 names, that is everyone who at one time or another served in the Regiment in any capacity. 10,256 received commissions, eight VCs were awarded, and the casualties suffered throughout the war numbered 6,071 of whom 2,003 were killed. There are summary tables of awards and of casualties


    History and Records of Queen Victoria's Rifles 1792-1922

    C.A.Cuthbert Keeson


    This is a good history with plenty of detail and with many names, covering the period from the earliest days up to the Great War in an appendix (185 pages) at the end of the book. It covers each battalion in turn - 1/9th, 2/9th, the amalgamated 9th and finally 3/9th. There is the Roll of Honour and a list of Honours and Awards, including Mentions in Despatches.


    Cast-iron Sixth: A History of the Sixth Battalion, London Regiment (City of London Rifles)

    E.G. Godfrey


    This history begins with the names of divisional and brigade commanders under whom the battalion served, followed by the Honours list where all recipients are named, except for Mention in Despatches where totals are given. The early history of the battalion is briefly narrated before the Great War, which takes up the bulk of the book. In addition to details of actions fought, in each chapter attention is given to some particular aspect of military training or operations, such as communications between front and rear, transport difficulties, individual exploits and so on, while to facilitate reading, at the head of each page appears the number of the battalion being discussed. The book ends with the Roll of Honour (1050 dead) and an index.


    Beneath Hill 60 [DVD]


    BENEATH HILL 60 tells the extraordinary true story of Oliver Woodward, the legendary Australian metal scientist. In 1916, Woodward faced the most difficult decision, ultimately having to separate from his new young love for the deadly carnage of the Western Front. On treacherous territory, behind the German enemy lines, Woodward and his secret platoon of Australian tunnelers face a suicidal battle to defend a leaking, tunnel system. A tunnel packed with enough high explosives to change the course of the War.
    More information on:

    Beneath Hill 60 [DVD]




    Hill 60: Ypres (Battleground Europe)

    Nigel Cave


    The shell-ravaged landscape of Hill 60, some three miles south east of Ypres, conceals a labyrinth of tu nnels and underground workings. This book offers a guide to the memorials, cemeteries and museums at the site '


    Beneath Hill 60 [Paperback]

    Will Davies


    'Ten seconds, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one - fire! Down goes the firing switch. At first, nothing. Then from deep down there comes a low rumble, and it as if the world is spliting apart...' On 7th June 1917, nineteen massive mines exploded beneath Messines Ridge near Ypres. The largest man-made explosion in history up until that point shattered the landscape and smashed open the German lines. Ten thousand German soldiers died. Two of the mines - at Hill 60 and the Caterpillar - were fired by men of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, comprising miners and engineers rather than parade-ground soldiers. Drawing on the diaries of one of the key combatants, "Benealth Hill 60" tells the little-known, devastatingly brutal true story of this subterranean war waged beneath the Western Front - a stygian battle-ground where men drowned in viscous chalk, suffocated in the blue gray clay, choked on poisonous air or died in the darkness, caught up up in vicious hand-to-han
    More information on:

    Beneath Hill 60 [Paperback]




    Tim's Wars

    Robin Gregory


    This book highlights a remarkable legacy and is surely unique in chronicling a continuous record spanning not just the whole of the Great War but also the inter-war years. The editor / author has done a fantastic job bringing to life the terse entries Tim scribbled in the trenches while the mortars fell around him and placing them into context with the bigger picture. This little book is a compelling Pandora's box showing at once the growth of an impetuous youth into a mature family man, of a society from imperial to modern and of the reality of life in both war and peace 100 years ago. The diary entries themselves start off being somewhat terse and I was grateful for Robin Gregory's witty and very personal narrative to knit it all together. Later on, starting around 1917, the diary entries are much longer (apparently Tim had a bigger notebook!) wise, and absolutely fascinating. Here is a man fresh from the trenches predicting that the treaty of Versailles will cause World War II.
    More information on:

    Tim's Wars






    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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