Private John Byrne 68th (Durham Light Infantry) Regiment
Private John Byrne

68th Regiment

At the battle of Inkermann, November 5, 1854, the 68th were ordered to retire, but Byrne returned towards the enemy and brought back a wounded soldier who would otherwise have fallen into their hands. On May 11, following, he engaged in a hand-to-hand fight with a Russian on the parapet of the work he was defending. He killed his opponent and took away his arms.

Private John Byrne
Captain Thomas De Courcy Hamilton

Captain Thomas De Courcy Hamilton

68th Durham Light Infantry

Knight of the Legion of Honour

ON the night of May 11, 1855, a most determined sortie was made by the Russians from Sebastopol, but Captain Hamilton led a few men from a battery of which he held possession and boldly charged the enemy. His gallantry and daring conduct on this occasion was most conspicuous, and by his courageous initiative the works were saved from falling into the enemy's hands.

Major-General Hamilton, son of the late James John Hamilton, Esq., of Ballymacoll, Co. Meath, was born at Stranraer, Wigtonshire, July 20, 1825. Educated privately. Joined the 90th Light Infantry, 1842, serving through the Kaffir War of 1846. Present with the 68th Light Infantry at Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman and the siege and fall of Sebastopol, obtaining medal and four clasps and the Turkish medal. Retired 1874.
Sgt. John Murray

Sergeant John Murray

68th Regiment, Durham Light Infantry.

ON June 21, 1864, at the storming of the Maori position, at Tauranga, New Zealand, Sergeant John Murray behaved in a most brave manner. He ran up to one of the rifle-pits, containing ten men, and, absolutely by himself, killed or wounded every one of them. He then proceeded up the works, fighting in a most desperate manner, bayonetting several more.


2nd Lt Richard Annand, DLI.
War Office,
2nd August, 1940.
The KING has been pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: Second Lieutenant Richard Wallace Annand, The Durham Light Infantry. (Supplementary Reserve.) For most conspicuous gallantry on the 15th-16th May 1940, when the platoon under his command was on the south side of the River Dyle, astride a blown bridge. During the night a strong attack was beaten off, but about 11 a.m. the enemy again launched a violent attack and pushed forward a bridging party into the sunken bottom of the river. Second Lieutenant Annand attacked this party, but when ammunition ran out he went forward himself over open ground, with total disregard for enemy mortar and machine-gun fire. Reaching the top of the bridge, he drove out the party below, inflicting over twenty casualties with hand grenades. Having been wounded he rejoined his platoon, had his wound dressed, and then carried on in command. During the evening another attack was launched and again Second Lieutenant Annand went forward with hand grenades and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. When the order to withdraw was received, he withdrew his platoon, but learning on the way back that his batman was wounded and had been left behind, he returned at once to the former position and brought him back in a wheelbarrow, before losing consciousness as the result of wounds.
4270383 Private Adam Wakenshaw DLI.
The London Gazette for 8th September, 1942, gives the following details: On the 27th June, 1942, south of Mersa Matruh, Private Wakenshaw was a member of the crew of a 2-pounder anti-tank gun. An enemy tracked vehicle towing a light gun came within short range. The gun crew opened fire and succeeded in immobilising the enemy vehicle. Another mobile gun came into action, killed or seriously wounded the crew manning the 2-pounder, including Private Wakenshaw, and silenced the 2-pounder. Under intense fire, Private Wakenshaw crawled back to his gun. Although his left arm was blown off, he loaded the gun with one arm and fired five more rounds, setting the tractor on fire and damaging the light gun. A direct hit on the ammunition finally killed him and destroyed the gun. This act of conspicuous gallantry prevented the enemy from using their light gun on the infantry Company which was only 200 yards away. It was through the self sacrifice and courageous devotion to duty of this infantry anti-tank gunner that the Company was enabled to withdraw and to embus in safety.

Medals of the Regiments:
The Durham Light Infantry

Durham Light Infantry Cap  Badge
Above: Durham Light Infantry cap badge "King's crown" type. Above: pair of shoulder titles as worn 1952-58

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The Durham Light Infantry

1756 - 1968
pre 1881post 1881
68th (Durham Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot1st Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry.
106th (Bombay Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot2nd Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry.
Earliest recognised formation: 68th Regiment: 1756, when it was initially raised as the 2nd Battalion of the 23rd Foot (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) - renumbered the 68th in 1758
106th Regiment: 1839 as the 2nd Bombay (European) Regiment. (An Honourable East India Company regiment - which also had disbanded predecessors dating back to 1826).
Regiment taken onto the British establishment 1861
Motto: ?
Regimental Journal:  'Regimental Journal of the Durham Light Infantry.'
WWI:Battle Honours; 67Victoria Crosses; 6Died; 12,530
WWII:    Battle Honours; 41Victoria Crosses; 2Died; ?
Amalgamated:1968, with the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry; the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and the Shropshire Light Infantry, to form "The Light Infantry" - the old DLI becoming the 4th Battalion of this new regiment.

Peninsula War 1808 - 1814 68th Regiment

Military General Service Medal 1793 - 1814 clasps:

Total MedalsMax clasps
St. Sebastian

Battle Honours:  Salamanca; Vittoria; Pyrenees; Nivelle; Orthes; Peninsula.


Crimean War  1854 - 1856  68th Regiment 

Crimea Medal 1854 -56

Clasp: →..none...





Total Medals

Battle Casualties;

Action.KilledDied of Wounds'Wounded'Dangerously
First bombardment of Sebastopol, first battle of Inkermann and minor actions4-5--1-10
Battle of Inkermann13-92- -24
Assault on the Quarries1---3--4
Final Attack on the Redan-----1-1
2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th Bombardments of Sebastopol and Minor Actions.183-6283615106

Grand Total:     


Men who served in the Crimea also eligible for:

Turkish Crimea Medal 1855


Battle Honours:  Alma; Inkermann; Sebastopol.

VCs: 2;  Hamilton and  Byrne


Anglo-Persian War 1856 - 1857  2nd Bombay (European) Regiment [=106th Regiment]

India General Service Medal 1854

Clasp: →



Battle Honours: Reshire; Bushire; Koosh-ab; Persia 1856-7.


3rd Maori War, New Zealand 1863-1866   68th Regiment 

New Zealand Medal 1845-1866

reverse1861-18661863-18641863-18651863-186618641864-18651864-186618651865-18661866total medals

Battle Honour: New Zealand

VCs: 1;  Murray

Became the "Durham Light Infantry" in 1881 (1st and 2nd Battalions)

Sudan Wars 1884-91 2nd Battalion (in theatre 1885)

Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882-89 (undated reverse)


Suakin 1885


*Webb records one man on the "odd men at Suakin 1885 roll";   315 E. Conway, servant to General Graham.

Recipients also entitled to a Khedive's Star dated 1884-6


Anglo-Boer War 1899 - 1902  1st Battalion (November 1899-end of war), with a body of mounted infantry provided by the 2nd battalion also operational. Volunteer companies from the 3rd and 4th Battalions also served.

Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902, with or without the King's South Africa Medal 1901 - 1902

frequently encountered clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902; also common:

Relief of Ladysmith

Tugela Heights



Laing's Nek

total medals


OfficersNCOs and Men
KIA & DOWWoundedDeath from disease KIA & DOWDeath from disease WoundedMissing / POW

Battle Honours: Relief of Ladysmith; South Africa 1899-1902


The Great War 1914 - 1919  (reached a maximum of 41 battalions; 22 of which served overseas:- )

Generally awarded the British War Medal & Victory Medal, men overseas prior to 1/1/1916 also a 1914 or 1914-15 Star.

Battalion →1 21/51/6**1/71/8**1/92/52/62/72/9
Garrison Garrison Guard
date of first overseas service *10/9
Theatre ↓ (first theatre red x )
France & Flanders xxxxxx x  
Egypt & Palestine           
Macedonia       x  x
South Russia       x   
North Russia         x 
possible ?
1914 or 1914-15  x         
or 1914-15 only  xxxxx    
died (all)
Extracted from : "Soldiers / Officers Died in the Great War" (consider approximate, in addition at least 129 officers  are recorded with 'battalion not shown' or with battalions not listed here )
ranks died

*1st Battalion remained in India throughout the war serving on the North West Frontier 1915-17 & Afghanistan, 1919. (Also served in Upper Silesia 1921-22)
** 1/6th and 1/8th amalgamated 3/6/1915  to form 6/8th Btn due to heavy losses. Separated again on 11/8/1915.

RegularTerritorial ForceNew ArmiesGarrison.


The Great War 1914 - 1918 


Battalion →1011121314151819 202229
date of first overseas service.21/5
Theatre ↓ (first theatre red x )
France & Flandersxxxxxxxx xxx
Egypt & Palestine      x    
Italy  xx     x  
possible ?
1914  or 1914-15            
or 1914-15 onlyxxxxxxx    
died (all)
Extracted from : "Soldiers / Officers Died in the Great War" (consider approximate, in addition at least 129 officers  are recorded with 'battalion not shown' or with battalions not listed here )
7242955496537241440535594 67052652

Territorial Force War Medal 1914-19
134 officers and men of the Durham Light Infantry also qualified for this medal.

RegularTerritorial ForceNew ArmiesGarrison.

Battle Honours: Aisne 1914, 1918; Ypres 1915, 1917, 1918; Hooge 1915; Loos; Somme 1916, 1918; Arras 1917, 1918; Messines 1917; Lys; Hindenburg Line;  Armentières 1914; Gravenstafel; St Julien; Frezenberg; Bellewaarde; Albert 1916, 1918; Bazentin; Delville Wood; Pozières; Guillemont; Flers-Courcelette; Morval; Le Transloy; Ancre Heights; Scarpe 1917; Arleux; Hill 170; Pilckem; Langemarck 1917; Menin Road; Polygon Wood; Broodseinde; Passchendaele; Cambrai 1917, 1918; St Quentin; Rosières; Estaires, Hazebrouck; Bailleul; Kemmel; Scherpenberg; Marne 1918; Tardenois; Bapaume 1918; Havrincourt; Epéhy; Canal du Nord; St Quentin Canal; Beaurevoir; Courtrai; Selle; France and Flanders 1914-18; Piave; Vittorio Veneto; Italy 1917-18; Macedonia 191618; Egypt 1915-16; NW Frontier India 1915, 1916-17; Archangel 1918-19.

VCs: 6


Third Afghan War 1919  1st Battalion

India General Service Medal 1908

Afghanistan N.W.F. 1919

Battle Honour: Afghanistan 1919


Afridi and Red Shirt Rebellions 1930 -1931.  2nd Battalion

India General Service Medal 1908


North West Frontier


WW2 1939 - 1945   eight battalions served overseas:

Battalion →1st2nd6th8th9th10th11th16th
campaign ↓        
France and
Belgium 1940.
(Dunkirk )
North Africa & Middle Eastx xxx  x
Burma x      
Sicily / Italyx xxx  x
N.W. Europe  xxxxx 


 Stationed in Tientsin, China when war declared, landed Egypt 31/1/40
Malta 27/1/42-12/5/42
2/6/42 arrived India. Burma 25/12/42 - 26/5/43 India 27/5/43-6/4/44 Burma 7/4/44-31/8/45.These three battalions formed the 151 Durham Light Infantry Brigade, 50th Division. Landed Normandy 6th June 194410th & 11th also served
in Iceland, 25/10/40-19/12/41 as part of 'Alabaster Force' and 'Iceland Force'. Entered North West Europe Theatre 14th June 1944
139th Infantry Brigade

WW2 Stars common to the Battalion (excluding 39-45 star )
 Key: A = Africa,  B =  Burma, I = Italy,  F&G = France and Germany

 A, I.BA, I, F&GA, I., F&GA, I., F&GF&GF&GA, I.

Battle Honours: Dunkirk 1940; Tilly sur Seulles; Defence of Rauray; Gheel; Tobruk 1941; Dyle; Arras Counter-attack; St Orner-La Bassée; Villers Bocage; St Pierre La Vieille; Roer; Ibbenburen; North-West Europe 1940, 1944-5; Syria 1941; Halfaya 1941; Relief of Tobruk; Gazala; Gabr el Fachri; Zt el Mrasses; Mersa Matruh; Point 174; El Alamein; Mareth; Primosole Bridge; Salerno; Kohima.  Sedjenane I; El Kourzia; North Africa 1940-3; Landing in Sicily; Sicily 1943; Volturno Crossing; Teano; Monte Camino; Monte Tuga; Gothic Line; Gemmano Ridge; Cosino Canal Crossing; Pergola Ridge; Cesena; Sillaro Crossing; Italy 1943-5; Athens; Greece 1944-5; Cos; Middle East 1943; Malta 1942; Donbaik; Mandalay; Burma 1943-5.

VCs: 2;   Annand  (first VC of the War; ) &  Wakenshaw  (posthumous) Wakenshaw is buried in El Alamein war cemetery.

1948: 1st and 2nd Battalions amalgamated into the 1st Battalion. (2nd Battalion resurrected 1953-55)

Korean War 1950 - 1953 1st Battalion (September 1952- September 1953)

Queen's Korea Medal

Casualties / Honours and Awards.  (extracted from "The 38th Parallel" Peter Gaston: Pub A.D. Hamilton Glasgow 1976  and the separate POW roll compiled by the same individual )

(Attached men included in these figures)


* 5 of these deaths recorded as "Battle Accident" the rest probably KIA or DOW

Honours and Awards:-OBEMBEBEMbar to DSOMCMM
number :-13113**4**

** one MC and two MMs to recipients attached to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.


Battle Honour: Korea 1952-53


The Cyprus Emergency 1955 - 1960  1st Battalion (1958-59)

General Service Medal 1918-62




Indonesian Confrontation, North Borneo  1962-1966  1st Battalion

General Service Medal 1962-




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Selected Links

The Regimental Museum. Located Aykley Heads  Durham  DH1 5TU


Selected Bibliography; The Durham Light Infantry, 68th and 106th Foot.

Hon. W. L. Vane, Lieut.-Col.The Durham Light Infantry.334 ppLondon: Gale & Polden Ltd., 1914
Major David Rissik. The D.L.I. at War. The History of the Durham Light Infantry, 1939-1945. 352 ppBrancepeth Castle: The Depot of the D.L.I. [1953]
S. G. P. Ward.Faithful; the Story of the Durham Light Infantry. 574 ppLondon: Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd. [1963].
Lieut.-Col. W. GordonA Short Record of the Durham Light Infantry, from 1758 to 1894.47 ppDevonport: A. H. Swiss, 1894.
 A Short History of The Durham Light Infantry (1st and 2nd Battalions). 33ppAldershot: Gale & Polden Ltd., 1938.
Lt.-Col. F. H. Whitby, Commanding. Durham Light Infantry, 2nd Battalion. A record of the services of the Battalion, to which is added a reproduction of photographs including every man in the Corps, and other views, specially taken at Poona, India, February, 1897.   105, 11 pp., portraits, Made by The Historical Publishing Co., Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A., published by C. B. Burrows, care of Win. Watson & Co., Bombay and London [1897].
Capt. Wilfrid Miles.The Durham Forces in the Field, 1914-1918. Vol. 2. The Service Battalions of the Durham Light Infantry. 380 pp. (only volume published) London: Cassell and Co. Ltd., 1920.
Lieut.-Col. W. D. Lowe. With a Foreword by Lieut.-Col. H. Bowes.War History of the 18th (S.) Battalion Durham Light Infantry. 205 pp.London: Humphry Milford, Oxford Univ. Press, 1920.
anonThe History of the locally raised 20th (Service) Battalion Durham Light Infantry. 65 ppSunderland: R. Youll, printer [1920]
Major Laurence E. StringerThe history of the 16th Battalion the Durham Light infantry, 1940-1946. 79, [8] pp[Graz, Austria: printed at the "Styria," 1946]
Major A. L. Raimes, With a Foreword by Major-Gen. Sir Percival Wilkinson.The Fifth Battalion The Durham Light Infantry, 1914-1918. 228 pp. portraits, plates, maps. Published by a Committee of Past and Present Officers of the Battalion. 1931
W. L. Vane. A Few Notes on The 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry.   46 pp. (100 copies only printed.)1st January, 1910. ?
Capt. R. B. Ainsworth. (ed.)The Story of the 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. France, April, 1915-November, 1918.  60ppLondon: St. Catherine press 1919
Capt. W. I. WatsonA Short History of the Sixth Battalion the Durham Light Infantry. 30 ppBarnard Castle: The Teesdale Mercury Press, 1939
Major E. Hardinge Veitch,8th Battalion The Durham Light Infantry, 1793-1926. A History compiled by Major E. Hardinge Veitch, from the War Diary, and from Documents, Maps, etc., lent by past and present Members of the Battalion. 282 pp.Durham: J. H. Veitch & Sons, 1926.
Major P. J. Lewis assisted by Major I. R. English 8th Battalion The Durham Light Infantry, 1939-1945. A History compiled by Major P. J. Lewis assisted by Major I. R. English from official records, and personal accounts contributed by Members of the Battalion. 319 pp.Newcastle-upon-Tyne: J. & P. Bealls Ltd., 1949.


Additional Bibliography for this Page.

Officers of the Regiment.Unpublished rolls in the care of the National Archives; WO 100/ etc.-
Cook, Frank & Andrea.Casualty Roll for the CrimeaHaywood & Son 1976
 Additional bibliography same as Northumberland Fusiliers page  



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