13th Regiment of Foot

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Crest of 13th Regiment of Foot

Known as The Somersetshire Regiment


  • 1685 raised as the Earl of Huntingdon's Regiment of Foot
  • 1688 became Hasting's Regiment
  • 1752 became the 13th Regiment of Foot+++
  • 1782 became the 13th (1st Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot++
  • 1822 became the 13th (1st Somersetshire) Regiment (Light Infantry)
  • 1842 became the 13th (Prince Albert's Own) Regiment of Light Infantry[1]
  • 1881 became Prince Albert's (Somersetshire) Light Infantry
  • 1959 amalgamated with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry to form the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry.
  • 1968 amalgamated with three other regiments of the Light Infantry Brigade to form The Light Infantry
  • 2007 amalgamated with the Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry and the Royal Green Jackets to form a single, large regiment to be named The Rifles

Regimental histories

  • The History of the Somerset Light Infantry-Prince Albert's, 1685-1914 by Major-General Sir Henry Everett 1934. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01001097364
  • The History of the Somerset Light Infantry, Prince Albert's, 1914-1919 by Everard Wyrall 1927. Available at the BL UIN: BLL01001097365
  • The History of the Somerset Light Infantry, Prince Albert's, 1919-1945 by George Molesworth. Regimental Committee, Somerset Light Infantry 1951. Appears to be available at the BL UIN: BLL01014292979, although the date range does not appear in the title.
  • History of the Somerset Light Infantry, Prince Albert's, 1946-1960 by Kenneth Whitehead 1961. Available at the BL UIN: BLL01001097366
These four histories are available in reprint editions[2], and the first two are available on a pay website, refer below.

First World War

Territorial Force Troops

The 4th and 5th Battalions of the Somerset Light Infantry arrived in India in November 1914. A regimental history was written about the 2/5th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, which describes experiences of the Territorials in India called A Strange War: Burma, India and Afghanistan 1914-1919 by C P Mills. The story is told through the diary of Company Quarter Master Sergeant Ed Ewens written in 1928, and the memories of Bertie Rendell recorded for the IWM. The book includes many photographs taken by Bertie Rendell.

The History of the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s) 1914-1919 by Everard Wyrall 1927, page 93 give the history of the 4th and 5th Battalions in India. The majority of the 1/4th (apart from "sick" and "infirm" who remained in India) left for Mesopotamia in February 1916.[3]

Garrison Battalion

Garrison Battalions were made up of soldiers unfit for front line duty. 1st Garrison Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry
 was formed in Plymouth in January 1917 and 
 moved to India in February 1917. Subsequently it joined Rawalpindi Brigade in 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division.

External links

Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton part of Somerset Archives and Local Studies
  • Somerset Military Museum part of the Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Taunton, England.
  • Somerset Light Infantry www.lightinfantry.me.uk
  • Painting: 'The Siege of Jellalabad, 12 November 1841 to 13 April 1842' by David Cunliffe painted 1851. Collection of the Somerset Military Museum. artuk.org
  • Painting: 'The Red Thread of Honour: Heights of Truckee, 1845' by David Cunliffe painted 1846. Collection of the Somerset Military Museum. artuk.org
  • IWM catalogue entry for Interview with Bertie Grenville Livingstone Rendall British private served with 2/5th Bn Somerset Light Infantry in GB and Burma, 1914-1917, and subsequently NCO served as driver with No 2 Mechanical Transport Coy, Army Service Corps on North West Frontier, India, 1917-1919. Catalogue gives details of the 23 reels in total, not yet available online.
  • Prince Albert’s (Somerset Light Infantry) longlongtrail.co.uk. Includes 4th and 5th Battalions and 1st Garrison Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry
 in India.
  • More on the Siege of Kut al-Amara. amitavghosh.com. Contains extracts from the book No Thankful Village: The Impact of the Great War on a Group of Somerset Villages - A Microcosm by Chris Howell which in turn quotes diaries from members of the 1/4th. Quoting Lt. Geoffrey Bishop, a draft of 30 men left India for Mesopotamia in May 1915, and a second draft of 15 arrived in August, a total of 45. In February 1916 further men from the 1/4th arrived in Mesopotamia. It appears some remained in India.
  • Somerset Light Infantry (Sergeant C. H. Hugh). Hansard. 05 November 1919. About 30 men of 1/4th Battalion were in India at Bellary in the latter part of 1919.
  • Sunset on the Raj: The Last to Leave The last British troops to leave India were the 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry on 28 February 1948 at Bombay. britains-smallwars.com. now archived
    • This event is mentioned in the memoir of Maxine Steller.[4] Born in 1930, she describes her early life, and the conditions before and after independence, until she left in 1950 for Australia.

Historical books online


  1. Following the defence of Jalalabad
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 From Somerset Light Infantry titles Naval & Military Press.
  3. At one time The History of the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s) 1914-1919 by Everard Wyrall 1927 was available online for free, but currently (November 2019) only appears to be available on the pay website fold3.
  4. "Maxine Steller’s Bombay". (Scroll down). tajmahalfoxtrot.com