11th (Service) Battalion Border Regiment (Lonsdale)

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11th Border Regiment (Lonsdale)
11th Border Regiment (silver front).jpg
Original 11th Battalion Cap Bagde
Active17 Sept 1914 — 31 July 1918
TypeService Battalion
NicknameThe Lonsdales[1]
MottoHoni Soit Qui Mal y Pense
Evil be to Him who Evil Thinks
CommandersLt-Col. P.W. Machell, CMG 1914-16
Lt-Col. A.C. Girdwood 1917
Lt-Col. T.F. Tweed 1917
Lt-Col. R.L. Beasley 1918
Lt-Col. A.N. Evehill 1918
Theatre honoursFrance & Flanders 1915-1918
Battle honoursFirst World War:
Somme 1916
Albert 1916
Ancre 1916
Somme 1918
Arras 1918
AmalgamationTransferred to:
66th Division 13 May 1918
Absorbed into:
1/5th Border Regiment
Disbandment31 July 1918
NotesAttached to:
97th Brigade of the 32nd Division
Additional notes
  1. Named after Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale, who raised the Battalion using his private funds. His request to name the Battalion after his own was oficially granted by the War Office.
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The 11th Border Regiment was a service battalion formed at Penrith (HQ), Carlisle, Kendal and Workington by the Earl of Lonsdale and an Executive Committee. In May 1915 the Battalion moved to Prees Health Camp and was attached to the 97th Brigade in the 32nd Division. In June it moved to Wensleydale and later to Fovant in August, being taken over by the War Office on the 27 August 1915.

The battalion landed at Boulogne on 23 November 1915 and spent the next two years and eight months in France and Flanders. On 10 May 1918 the Battalion was reduced to cadre strength, with surplus personnel transferred to 1/5th Border Regiment. Three days later it was transferred to the 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division and on 31 July 1918 the Battalion was eventually disbanded.


First World War (1914-1918)

Lord Lonsdale Inspecting the Men at Blackhall Racecourse

A brief history of the Lonsdale Battalion can be seen by clicking on the The Story of L/Cpl John Bardgett. This history is an account of the Battalion's actions from creation through to the end of the war. A history of the Lonsdale Battalion will be written in due course.

Soldiers of the Battalion

  1. Foreword and Acknowledgements
  2. Introduction
  3. Recruitment of New Army Men
  4. The Lonsdale Battalion - Formation & Training
  5. Colonel P.W. Machell, C.M.G.
  6. The Western Front - Lonsdale's Journey to the Somme
  7. The Western Front - Lonsdale's Fight Continues
  8. Lonsdale Battalion War Diary Extracts
  9. Lonsdale Battalion Night Raid (volunteer group), 5th June 1916
  10. Remembrance - John Bardgett


  1. Record of the XIth (Service) Battalion (Lonsdale) - In England
  2. Record of the XIth (Service) Battalion (Lonsdale) - In France (War Diary Extracts)
  3. Appendix A - Extract from Note for Officers & N.C.O.'s
  4. Appendix B - Report on the Raid 5/6 June 1916
  5. Appendix C - Extracts Brigade Ops Order No.45
  6. Appendix D - Battalion Orders by Lt.-Colonel P.W. Machell
  7. Appendix E - Final Notes and Instructions from C.O.
  8. Appendix F - Messages re Zero Time
  9. Appendix G - Casualties (Other Ranks) 1/7/16
  10. Appendix H - Honours and Awards
  11. Appendix I - Officers & N.C.O.'s Served with Regular Army
  12. Appendix J - Press Appreciations

Battalion war diary

Main project page: Battalion war diaries (Border Regiment)

The aim of transcribing the war diary is to include as much of the original character as possible. This does include some incorrect spelling and infrequent punctuation to remain in keeping with our aims of the project. Each transcript includes a place, date, hour and summary column in a basic table format indicating the battalion, month and year in the title. It should be noted that the National Archives hold the copyright of the scanned images. However, transcripts of unpublished Crown Copyright war diaries from the First World War can be used in any type of media such as websites and books providing they conform to certain conditions. The National Archives state:

"You are free to transcribe, translate, index and quote from published or unpublished Crown copyright material among the records as extensively as you wish and you may publish the results in any format and any medium: in accordance with the terms of the Open Government Licence."

With this in mind each transcript will state: "The transcription above is available under the Open Government Licence for public sector information. " For more information about this project click the link above.

    11th Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
Crown Copyright: The National Archives WO/95/2403   
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Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Roll of Honour

The 11th Battalion World War One casualty list has been compiled using the publication Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19: The Border Regiment and cross-referenced with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database. The number of casualties compiled to date does not necessarily reflect the total number of casualties for this battalion due to the possibility of missed names and the (current) exclusion of officers and other ranks that were attached to the Border Regiment. This listing is a work-in-progress.

For the 11th Battalion roll of honour, see Lonsdale Battalion Roll of Honour.



"how satisfactorily an immense amount of work is done with a minimum amount of fatigue to the men, by careful and systematic arrangement beforehand. We do more than twice what the others do, and our men do it twice as easily…it’s good to see the result, both in the work and in the men themselves."   
— Colonel Machell, Commanding Officer of the Battalion   
"The trenches we had first to take over were very bad, the soil was chiefly a loamly clay, with chalk only on the extreme left of our sector. In many places there were no duck-boards, and, in consequence, the mud and water was four or five feet deep. It was impossible to get all along the front line trench without going "overland", as there were two stretches of about 100 yards each that were impassible. However, we got them right eventually. The men used at times to get quite stuck and unable to move in the mud. Then the gum-boots had to be left."   
— Major P.G.W. Diggle, 2nd in Command   


See also

References / notes

External links

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