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Durham Pals

18th, 19th, 20th and 22nd Battalions of the Durham Light Infantry in the Great War

John Sheen

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A history of four battalions of the Durham Light Infantry raised in the Country during the First World War. The 18th (Pals) were the first troops of Kitcheners new army to come under fire, when the Germans bombarded Hartlepool in December 1914. The 19th were raised as Bantams and the 20th (Wearside) were raised by the Sunderland Recruiting Committee. The 22nd, the last raised became a pioneer Battalion but fought as infantry through much of 1918. The book covers raising, training and active service of the Battalions. The 18th were in action on 1 July 1916 when they supported the Leeds and Bradford Pals. After fighting at Messines in June 1917 the 20th went to the Italian front. After losing its Bantams in 1917, the 19th Battalion fought on and distinguished itself in the advance in Flanders in the latter months of 1918. The 22nd Battalion had such a hard time in March and April 1918 that it was rebuilt and again practically wiped out before being disbanded in June 1918.

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