The Hertfordshire Regiment

An Illustrated History

by J. D. Sainsbury

Castlemead Publications, Ware, 1988

The Hertfordshire Regiment was formed in 1908 from two battalions of Volunteers then existing in the county, which themselves traced their origins to the raising of Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1859-60. In 1961 it proved no longer possible for the regiment to retain its exclusively Hertfordshire title or its unusual constitution as a regiment of infantry of the line represented only in the Territorial Army. Such is the nature of Britain's volunteer forces, however, that the direct descendants of the Hertfordshire Regiment soldier is the present day Territorial Army with almost 130 years continuous service to their credit.


Two important themes run through this book - the regiment's struggle for survival in peacetime and, as if in justification of that struggle, the toil, sacrifice and achievement of officers and men in two world wars. Without claiming to be a 'complete' history, it guides the reader through the complexities of raisings, amalgamations and disbandments and traces the resulting changes in uniform and badges, especially through the illustrations. It records for the first time in a single volume the essentials of the regiment's campaigns and suggested where those who wish to find out more may be able to do so.

From the dust cover

  Figure 3.39

Volunteer Active Service Company

A group of volunteers from Berkhamsted before departure for South Africa in 1900. They are wearing the khaki service uniform laid down in Army Order 29 of 1900 (and appear not yet to have mastered the art of applying their puttees, which had not previously been issued to Volunteer infantry). Conditions in South Africa quickly dictated a change from the white belts and rifle slings shown here to khaki.

1 Historical Background to the Volunteer and Territorial Infantry
2 The Armed Associations and Volunteer Infantry in Hertfordshire 1798-1809
3 The Rifle Volunteers in Hertfordshire 1859-1908
      3.1 Hertfordshire Rifle Volunteers 1859-1887
      3.2 1st and 2nd (Hertfordshire) Volunteer Battalions The Bedfordshire Regiment 1887-1908
      3.3 Volunteer Active Service Companies 1900-1902
4 The Hertfordshire Regiment 1908-1919
      4.1 1st Battalion 1908--1914
      4.2 1st/1st Battalion 1914-1919
      4.3 War-formed Battalions and the Depot 1914-1917
      4.4 2nd/1st Battalion 1914-1917
      4.5 3rd/1st Battalion 1915-1917
      4.6 4th/1st Battalion 1915-1917
      4.7 Regimental Depot 1914-1917
5 The Hertfordshire Regiment 1920-1961
      5.1 1st Battalion 1920-1939
      5.2 1st Battalion 1939-1946
      5.3 2nd Battalion 1939-1944
      5.4 1st Battalion 1947-1961
6 The Successors to the Hertfordshire Regiment
      6.1 1st Battalion The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment 1961-1967
      6.2 The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (Territorial) 1967-1971
      6.3 No.4 (Hertford shire) Company, 5th (Volunteer) Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment
7 Affiliated Units and Sub-Units
      7.1 The Veteran Reserve/The National Reserve 1910-1916
      7.2 The Volunteer Training Corps/The Volunteer Force 1914-1919
      7.3 The Defence Force 1921
      7.4 The National Defence Companies 1936--1939
      7.5 The Home Guard 1940-1945
      7.6 The Home Guard 1952-1957
      7.7 The Home Service Force
      7.8 The Auxiliary Territorial Service 1938-1939 7.9 Cadet Units
8 Two Units not to be confused with the Hertfordshire Regiment
      8.1 The 49th (Hertford shire) Regiment of Foot 1743--1881
      8.2 The Hertfordshire Militia 1758-1919
9 How to find out more about the Hertfordshire Regiment
      9.1 Background to the Volunteer Force and the Territorial Army
      9.2 The Napoleonic Volunteers in Hertfordshire
      9.3 The Rifle Volunteers in Hertfordshire
      9.4 The Hertfordshire Regiment
      9.5 Successor Unit
      1 Principal Acts of Parliament
      2 The Barnet Volunteers
      3 Army Lists

This is a well produced book which is an excellent reference work for anyone researching the Hertfordshire Regiment.

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