11th Service Battalion The Border Regiment (Lonsdale)
The 11th (Service) Battalion Border Regiment (Lonsdale) was one of eleven additional Battalions raised by Cumbria’s County Infantry Regiment for service during WW1.
The 11th Battalion was universally known as the Lonsdales after Hugh Lowther, the 5th Earl of Lonsdale, who raised the unit in September 1914
Nearly all the men came from Cumberland and Westmorland and it was one of the many so-called “Pals” Battalions and wore a distinctive silver cap badge of a winged griffin from the Lowther coat-of-arms.
The Battalion trained at a camp built on Carlisle Racecourse, in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Hampshire before leaving for France in November 1915; it went straight to the Somme.
The Battalion fought on the opening day of the Battle of Somme on 1st July 1916 and suffered over 500 casualties out of the 800 men who went into action, including 23 out of the 26 officers; the commanding officer Lt-Col. Machell was killed.
Despite these losses the Battalion was reinforced and fought in many other battles on the Western Front from late 1916 until June 1918 when the Battalion was disbanded and most the men transferred to other battalions of the Regiment and fought until the Armistice in November 1918.