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"West of England" Service Battalion (Bantams) 1915-18
Awarded 5 battle honours:
France & Flanders 1916-18. Ypres 1917. Somme 1916. Bazentin. Passchendaele.
Died: 12 officers and 359 men.

35th Division

Sign of the 35th Division: Originally the 35th Division sign was a 'bantam cock',
but this was changed in 1916-17 to a circular emblem of seven fives for 35.

105th Brigade


Raised in Bristol from a number of Senior NCO's of the 12th Bn and a few local recruits. The majority of the troops were recruited in Birmingham, but the officers were mostly from Gloucestershire. From Bristol the Battalion moved to Chiseldon for training. Colonel Roberts was appointed CO, with Major Blake as 2nd IC (ex-Corporal Blake of "D" Coy. 2nd Bn, and Light Weight Boxing Champion of the Army, 1909). The Adjutant was Capt. Troop (another ex-2nd Bn NCO of "D" Coy.) Battalion moved to Tidworth in December 1915.


Battalion landed in France 30 January 1916. Moved to La Bassee and into the front line at Festubert and Givenchy. After a period in rest, moved into front at Lavantie. After another rest-period, moved into the line at Neuve Chappelle. 8th June 1916 a night raid was launched and an enemy machine-gun captured. Colonel Gerard Roberts, leading the raid, was killed, along with Captain Harry Butt. After another rest moved to the Somme, into the front at Trones Wood. Then to the front at Gillemont, then to Arras. From Arras to Ypres.


At Ypres, in front of Nehen Faucon, Lieut. Hardy Parsons won a posthumous Victoria Cross on 21 August 1917.


Early 1918 in the front line at St. Quentin. The Battalion was disbanded February 1918 and the men transferred to other units.