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8th Rifle Brigade

This website is dedicated to the history of the 8th Battalion,
the Rifle Brigade of the British Army from 1940 to 1946

England > Normandy > Amiens > Antwerp > Holland > The Ardennes > Germany > The Baltic

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The 8th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade fought across north west Europe as part of the 11th Armoured Division of the British Army in 1944 and 1945. It landed in France on D-Day plus four and then took part in some notable parts of the campaign to liberate Europe including Hill 112, the battle for Caen, the Normandy bocage country, the Falaise pocket, the liberation of Amiens and Antwerp, the 'Battle of the Bulge', and the crossings of the Rhine and Weser. The Battalion came to rest on the shores of the Baltic in May 1945. There was some very heavy fighting along the way.

This site is dedicated to recording the history and achievements of 8RB and making them publicly accessible for present and future generations. Partly, I have established this site in memory of my grandfather, Alfred White, who served with the Battalion from shortly after his call up in 1942 until he was demobbed in 1946. He landed in France as a private soldier (or 'rifleman' to use the correct term). By autumn 1944 he had been promoted to Sergeant and was awarded the Military Medal for an action during the 'Battle of the Bulge' in Belgium on Christmas Day 1944. He survived all that the enemy could throw at him without a scratch but died in 1983 after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis. I will be eternally grateful to his former comrades who have shared their memories with me. This site is an attempt to ensure that their exploits and sacrifices are remembered as they should be. The site is an entirely personal effort and the responsibility for any errors or opinions is entirely mine. Comments, suggestions or further materials will be most gratefully received.

I have a growing collection of materials and photographs relating to 8RB. I aim to put as much as possible on this site. Many photographs contain unidentified riflemen. All will be someone's father, grandfather or relative. If you are looking at this site and are able to put a name to a face, I would be especially pleased to hear from you.

Some of the materials, like the official histories, relate to the Battalion as a whole. Others are specific to the sub-divisions of the Battalion, known as Companies. There were 5 Companies; HQ, E, F G and H. HQ explains itself. F, G and H were known as the 'fighting companies', operating independently, each commanded by their Company Major. E was known as the support Company, providing specialist troops, such as machine gun sections, when needed. Within each Company, the troops were further divided into platoons known by numbers. E had 1, 2, 3 & 4, F had 5, 6, 7 & 8, G had 9, 10, 11 & 12 and H completed the picture with 13, 14, 15 & 16. Riflemen and officers were sometimes moved between platoons and even companies. My grandfather, for example, served mostly with 12 Platoon, G Company but he spent some time with E Company in the autumn of 1944.

If you are looking for materials on a relative of yours or a particular location, then please use the search facility.

Finally, at the time of writing (December 2005) the site is just about to become live. It may take me a little while to post all the material that I have and in particular to transfer all the written material I have into searchable text (I still have to keep up the day-job!). If there is something specific for which you are looking, please feel free to contact me - I will be very pleased to hear from you.

Robin White

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