Lt. George Albert Cairns attached S. Staff. Regt.
On 13 March 1944 at Henu Block, Burma (now Myanmar), during an attack on a hill-top held by the Japanese, Lieutenant Cairns was attacked by a Japanese officer who with his sword hacked off the lieutenant's left arm. The latter killed the officer, picked up the sword and continued to lead his men, slashing left and right with the captured sword, killing and wounding several of the enemy before he himself fell to the ground. He later died of his wounds, but his action so inspired his comrades that the Japanese were completely routed, a very rare occurrence at that time.
Pte. Thomas Henry Sage 8th Btn.
On 4 October 1917 at Tower Hamlets Spur, east of Ypres, Belgium, Private Sage was in a shell-hole with eight other men, one of whom was shot while throwing a bomb which fell back into the shell-hole. Private Sage, with great presence of mind, immediately threw himself on it, and so saved the lives of several of his comrades, although he himself was severely wounded.
The Somerset LI in India
As well as the 1st Garrison battalion the following five battalions also served:
2ndIn India when war declared where it remained for the duration.
1/4thSailed from Southampton 9/10/14 arriving Bombay 9/11/14. Sent to Basra landing  21/1/16, remaining in Mesopotamia.
1/5thSailed from Southampton 9/10/14 arriving Bombay 9/11/14. Sent to Suez, landing 11/5/17
2/4thSailed for  India 12/12/14 arriving 23/1/15. Sent to Andaman Islands 8/15 then back to India 1/16. On to Suez 25/9/17, then to France 1/6/18
2/5thSailed for  India 12/12/14 arriving 23/1/15, where it remained.
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Patrick Carlin

Private Patrick Carlin, 1st Battalion, 13th Regiment.
The decoration was awarded to Carlin for rescuing a wounded naik of the 4th Madras Rifles, on April 6, 1858.
As Carlin proceeded to carry him off on his shoulders, a mutineer fired at them, upon which he took the naik's sword, after placing him on the ground, attacked and killed his assailant, and succeeded in conveying the wounded man to safety.

William Napier

Sergeant William Napier 1st Battalion, 13th Regiment:
ON April 6, 1858, when on baggage-guard near Azimghur, Private Benjamin Milner was severely wounded. Sergeant Napier at the risk of his life stood by him, and, though surrounded by Sepoys, bandaged his wound and then carried him to the convoy.
Jellalabad Honour.
The regiment particularly distinguished itself at the defence of Jellalabad and in the subsequent counter attack; hence the mural crown and "Jellalabad" scroll incorporated into the later insignia of the regiment and their colours.

Medals of the Regiments:
Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry)

Somerset Light Infantry Cap Badge 
2nd type white-metal cap badge of the regiment
 - the earlier (pre 1921?) version was slightly larger.
 Kipling and King 1981 

© Images Copyright ©


Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry)

1685 - 1959
pre 1881post 1881
1st Battalion, 13th Regiment of Foot1st Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry)
2nd Battalion, 13th Regiment of Foot2nd Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry)
Earliest recognised formation: 1685, when raised as the Earl of Huntingdon's Regiment.
Motto: ??
Regimental Journal:  The Light Bob Gazette.
WWI:Battle Honours; 60Victoria Crosses; 1Died; 4760
WWII:    Battle Honours; 31Victoria Crosses; 1Died; ????
Amalgamated:1959; with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry to form The Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry
single battalion of regulars operational to 1858

Egyptian Campaign 1801 and the capture of Martinique and Guadaloupe  1809-10

Military General Service Medal 1793 - 1814 clasps:

Total MedalsMax clasps*

* 1 officer and 6 men received medals with all three clasps.


Battle Honour : Martinique


First Anglo-Burmese War 1824-1826  & The Revolt of the Rajah of Bhurtpore (1826)

Army of India Medal 1799 - 1826




number: 112 246

Battle Honour: Ava


First Afghan War 1839-1842 

Ghuznee Medal 1839


Cabul Medal 1842


Jellalabad Medal 1841-42  N


Battle Honour:  Ghuznee 1839, Affghanistan 1839, Cabool 1842, and the Mural Crown superscribed "Jellalabad" was permitted to be borne on the colours.


Crimean War  1854 - 1856 

Crimea Medal 1854 -56

Clasp: →..none...


Total Medals
Number:??? ( 1010 names on the main roll)*

* Two men received the Alma clasp (one of which was a transfer from the 20th regiment also having the Inkermann clasp.)


Battle Casualties;

Action.KilledDied of Wounds'Wounded'Dangerously
2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th Bombardments of Sebastopol and Minor Actions.----47-11



Men who served in the Crimea also eligible for:

Turkish Crimea Medal 1855


Battle Honour: Sevastopol.

A second battalion of regulars was raised 1858.

India Mutiny 1857-59 1st Battalion

India Mutiny Medal. 1857 -59


VCs; 2:  Napier,    Carlin.


South Africa; Kaffir /  Zulu War 1876-79 1st Battalion

South Africa Medal 1877-79





numbers :813868881888

VCs: 1,   Leet

Battle Honour: South Africa 1878-9


The Nile Expedition 1884-5 A detachment of the 1st Btn. Somerset Light Infantry formed a component of the Mounted Infantry Camel Corps.

Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882-89



The Nile 1884 -85

Abu Klea

Number: ? 21

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



Third Anglo-Burmese War 1885-1887  2nd Battalion

India General Service Medal 1854


Burma 1885-7




North West Frontier Operations 1897-98  1st Battalion

India Medal 1895


Punjab Frontier  1897-98

Tirah 1897-98
View the  Roll

*Generally men serving with the Govt. Telegraph Dept. or as Bde. Signallers.


South African War 1899 - 1902 or "Boer War"   2nd Battalion. (December 1899-end)

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

Common clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902; also:

Relief of Ladysmith

Tugela Heights

OfficersNCOs and Men
KIA & DOWWoundedDeath from diseaseKIA & DOWWoundedDeath from disease Missing / POW

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


The Great War 1914 - 1918  (raised 18 battalions; 12 served overseas:- )

Generally awarded the British War Medal & Victory Medal, most men overseas prior to 1/1/1916 also a 1914 or 1914-15 Star  (excluding service in India)

Battalion →1 21/4*1/52/42/56781112**1
date of first overseas service.
 (first theatre red x )
France & Flandersx   x xx x  
Egypt & Palestine   xx     x 
Mesopotamia  x         
India xxxxx     x
North West Frontier  x         
possible ?
1914 or 1914-15 x           
or 1914-15 only  x   xxx   
VCs at a glance           
Extracted from : "Soldiers / Officers Died in the Great War" (consider approximate - in addition 79 officers are recorded with 'battalion not shown' or with battalions not shown here. )

*1/4th battalion: 1914-15 Star is possible for North West Frontier.
**12th Btn. formed at Ismaila, Egypt 4/1/17 from the dismounted West Somerset Yeomanry.


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


VCs: 1,   Sage

RegularTerritorial ForceNew ArmiesGarrison.

Battle Honours: Marne 1914, 1918; Aisne 1914; Ypres 1915, 1917, 1918; Somme 1916, 1918; Albert 1916, 1918; Arras 1917, 1918; Cambrai 1917, 1918; Hindenburg Line; Palestine 1917-18; Tigris 1916.  Le Cateau; Retreat from Mons; Armentières 1914; St Julien; Frezenberg; Bellewaarde; Hooge 1915; Loos; Mount Sorrel; Delville Wood; Guillemont; Flers-Courcelette; Morval; Le Transloy; Ancre 1916, 1918; Vimy 1917; Scarpe 1917, 1918; Arleux; Langemarck 1917; Menin Road; Polygon Wood; Broodseinde; Poelcapelle; Passchendaele; St Quentin; Bapaume 1918; Rosières; Avre; Lys; Hazebrouck; Béthune; Soissonais-Ourcq; DrocourtQuéant; Havrincourt; Epéhy; Canal du Nord; Courtrai; Selle; Valenciennes; Sambre; France and Flanders 1914-18; Gaza; El Mughar; Nebi Samwil; Jerusalem; Megiddo; Sharon; Sharqat; Mesopotamia 1916-18; NW Frontier India 1914.


Third Afghan War 1919  2nd Battalion

India General Service Medal 1908

Afghanistan N.W.F. 1919

Battle Honour: Afghanistan 1919

1920 title changed to "The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's)."

WW2 1939 - 1945  

Battalion →1st2nd4th7th30th
campaign ↓     
France and
Belgium 1940.
(Dunkirk )
North Africa & Middle East     
Sicily / Italy x  x
N.W. Europe  xx 


 In India at the start, moved to the Arakan under 114th Brigade 28/11/42. Left theatre 17/4/44Gibraltar/28th Infantry Brigade:
Gibraltar 24/4/41
Egypt 24/12/43
Italy 16/3-11/12/44
Greece 12/12/44-31/8/45
129th Infantry Brigade
UK until NW Europe . Landed
 D-Day +17
214th Infantry Brigade
NW Europe Theatre . Landed
 D-Day +18
43rd Infantry Brigade. (Battalion was also known as 119th Infantry Brigade for deception purposes)

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


Most also entitled to the 1939-45 War Medal and many the Defence Medal


VCs: 1, Cairns (Attached to the South Staffords)


Battle Honours: Hill 112 (1944); Mont Pinçon (1944); Rhineland (1944); Rhine (1945); North-West Europe 1944-5; Cassino II (1944); Cosina Canal Crossing (1944); Italy 1944-5; Italy 1944-5; North Arakan (1944); Ngakyedauk Pass (1944).  Odon; Caen; Noireau Crossing; Seine 1944; Nederrijn; Geilenkirchen; Roer; Cleve; Goch; Hochwald; Xanten; Bremen; Trasimene Line; Arezzo; Advance to Florence; Capture of Forli; Athens; Greece 1944-5; Buthidaung; Burma 1943-4.

1948: regulars reduced to a single battalion (the 1st)

The Malaya Emergency: Operations against Communist insurgents. 1948-60 1st Battalion (November 1952 - October? 1955)

General Service Medal 1918 - 62




Operation Musketeer: The Suez Crisis 1956 Anti-Tank platoon of the 1st battalion only. Main body of the battalion remained in Malta.

General Service Medal 1918 - 62


Near East


The Cyprus Emergency 1955 - 1960  1st Battalion  (November 1956 - January 1957)

General Service Medal 1918-62




C.O.; Lt. Col. V.S. Baily


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Selected Links

The Regimental Museum. (Located in )


Selected Bibliography;



Additional Bibliography for this Page.

Officers of the Regiment.Unpublished rolls in the care of the National Archives; WO 100/ etc.-
Stiles, Richard G.M.L.Mayhem in the Med  (Cyprus Emergency)Savannah Pub. London. 2005
 Additional bibliography same as Northumberland Fusiliers page  



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