Welcome to the

Somerset Light Infantry Archive


The Somerset Heritage Centre holds the archive of the Somerset Light Infantry as collected by the Light Infantry Office. It is a rich and rewarding collection detailing the three-hundred year history of the regiment and has been catalogued and conserved through a Heritage Lottery Funded Project.

Raised in 1685 by James II to suppress the Protestant rebellions led by the Duke of Monmouth and the Earl of Argyll, the regiment has gone through several reincarnations - from the 13th Regiment of Foot to the 13th Somersetshire Light Infantry, before being awarded the honour in 1842 of being re-titled the 13th or Prince Albert's Light Infantry. In 1959 the regiment amalgamated with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, before defence cuts saw the amalgamation of all the Light Infantry regiments in 1968.

Over the course of its 300-year history the regiment gained a total of 112 battle honours its first being awarded in 1704 after the siege of Gibraltar. The nineteenth century proved particularly rewarding for the regiment, with honours being awarded for action in Burma in 1824 and 1885, for participation in the 1839 war in Afghanistan and the Boer War. In the twentieth century, the regiment participated in both world wars; undertook peacekeeping duties in China, Cyprus and Germany; played a leading role in the Malayan Emergency of the early 1950s and had the honour of being the last British regiment to march out of India after independence was granted.

This website is an introduction to the archive and the history of the county's Regiment.

A guide to the collection

Other useful sources

A history of the regiment

Search the online catalogue

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