The Manchester Regiment 1758 - 1958

The Twelfth Battalion


12th (Service) Battalion K2

Formed at Ladysmith barracks, Ashton-under-Lyne in September 1914 as part of K2, the battalion moved to Bovington camp, Wool as part of 52nd Brigade, 17th Division. In January 1915 they moved to Wimborne. In February 1915 back to hutments in the Wool area. Then in May 1915 they moved to Hursley Park, where they stayed until 15th July 1915, when with a strength of 30 officers and 975 men, they sailed from Folkstone.

On the morning of the 16th July, they landed at Boulogne, moving on to be attached to the Liverpool Scottish for training in trench warfare at Ouderom around the 21st. The battalion first went into the line on the 24th near Vierstaat and later SE of St Eloi. For the rest of the year they were in and out of the frontline around Ypres

On the 2nd January 1916 the battalion went in to the trenches at Hill 60, and throughout February and early March the battalion remained in the Ypres area. On the 20th March they moved to Houplines and then in April, via LaCreche to Armentieres, where they went into the trenches once more.

In June the 12th battalion underwent intensive training for the forthcoming battle of the Somme. They went into action on the 3rd July in an attack on Railway Copse and Bottom Wood near Fricourt, after a hectic advance to the front they found themselves in two old german trenches looking north towards Contalmaison where they remained until 5th July. On the 6th they advanced into Fricourt Wood and were ordered to take Quadrangle Trench ( which previous attacks by two other battalions had failed to take) The attack took place in bright sunlight without any cover. The result was a disaster for the battalion with 555 men killed, missing or wounded. The remainder of the battalion moved back to Ville, then Hailly, then Long and Albert where it stayed for the rest of the month.

3rd August 1916 saw them in action again, in an attack on Orchard Trench, the attack was heavily disrupted by german artillery and failed. On the 5th they moved to Carnoy the later back to Montauban. There then followed a number of moves in the next few months, in and out of the front lines. At the end of the year, they found themselves at Guillemont.

12th Battalion War Diaries, July 1915 - August 1916

On the 24th September 1917 the battalion absorbed R.H.Q. & two Sgdns of the Duke of Lancaster’s Yeo. (7 Officers & 125 men), now dismounted after serving as III Corps Cavalry Regt.

The battalion became 12th (Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry) Battalion

On the 11th November 1918 as part of the 52nd Brigade, 17th Division, the battalion was in France, Near Beaufort, south of Maubeuge.