Many of Hertfordshire’s men on the fighting front served with The Hertfordshire Regiment. As a pre-war 'Territorial' unit, the men of the Hertfordshires were part-time soldiers, coming from all walks of life, training together at weekends and annual summer camps.
The divide between the regular army and the men of 'terrier' Battalions was all too apparent in the years before the war, with the Territorials being looked down upon by the men of the Regular Army. When war broke out in August 1914 the Regular Army was called upon to form the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) along with a small number of Territorial units. The 1st Herts were among these units. Over the next few years these ordinary men found themselves involved in fighting in major actions now synonymous with the First World War; Ypres, Loos, the Somme and Passchendaele. Through dedication, professionalism, courage under fire, undertaking valuable supporting roles and comradeship whilst fighting with the British Army's elite Guards Brigade, the boys of the Herts earned the respect of the Regular Army, taking the honorary name of the 'Herts Guards' in the process.
This section of the site will chart the wartime exploits of the 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment, the only unit to see service overseas. The 1st Herts served on the Western Front from November 1914 until the Armistice. By telling the stories of the individual men and Officers who served with the 'Herts Guards' during this time, we will also tell the story of a British Army Territorial unit and its transition from a part-time to battle hardened veteran front-line unit.
Here we will reproduce the Battalion’s 'War Diary' covering the entire period of the war, also display documents and memoirs of men who fought, and in some cases died during the conflict.
If you would like to contribute to telling the story of the Hertfordshire Regiment in the Great War or would like to provide information for the website or archive then please contact us via Contribute.
See Herts ‘Guards’