London Regiment : 17th (County of London) Battalion London Regiment (Poplar and Stepney Rifles)

The London Regiment was formed on 1st April 1908 when the old Volunteer battalions became part of the new Territorial Force. In the majority of cases the new Territorial battalions were linked to a regiment of the regular army but the London Regiment was unique in that it contained no regular battalions.
It was the largest infantry regiment in the army with 26 battalions in peacetime, eventually increasing to 88 battalions over the course of the First World War.

It was also the only regiment in the army that did not have a regimental badge - each battalion having its own individual cap badge.

Its battalions were frequently made up of men recruited from the same part of London, such as the 11th battalion (the Finsbury Rifles) or who followed the same occupation - the 8th battalion (Post Office Rifles ), or who were expatriates living in London - the 14th battalion (London Scottish).

In April 1908 the Poplar & Stepney Rifles was formed by the amalgamation of 2nd Tower Hamlets Volunteer Rifle Corps and 15th Middlesex (Customs & Docks) Volunteer Rifle Corps. The 2nd Tower Hamlets had its HQ in Tredegar Road, Bow. The 15th Middx had its HQ at the Custom House and its drill hall in Shadwell, and recruited mainly from customs officers and dockers.

When war was declared the Battalion was training on Salisbury Plain. They returned to Tredegar Road Bow for mobilisation and then moved to Essex to begin training. They fought their first battle in 1915 at Loos.

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