Second World War
The 1st Battalion landed in France in September 1939 as part of the 127th (Manchester) Brigade in the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division for service with the British Expeditionary Force and then took part in the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940. As part of the 71st Infantry Brigade in the 53rd (Welsh) Division, it later took part in the Normandy landings in June 1944 and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge in January 1945, the Battle of the Reichswald in March 1945 and the final advance into Germany.
The 2nd Battalion moved to Egypt early in the war and saw action at the Battle of Keren in March 1941. It then transferred to the Western Desert and saw combat at the Battle of Knightsbridge in June 1942 and the Battle of Fuka in July 1942. It took part in the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and, after a period in Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece, took part in the final advance into Northern Italy.
The 5th and 6th Battalions landed in France as part of the 157th Brigade in the 52nd (Lowland) Division in June 1940; and were evacuated from Cherbourg later that month. In early September 1944 the 6th Battalion HLI landed in Normandy and fought through France, Belgium, and into Holland, where they joined up again with the 5th Battalion HLI and the main body of the 52nd Lowland Division who had landed in Ostend, Belgium in October 1944. Both Battalions then took part in Operation Infatuate in November 1944 and the subsequent capture of Bremen in April 1945.
The 10th Bn HLI Crossing the Rhine
The 10th Battalion HLI landed in Normandy on the 18th June 1944 as part of the 227th (Highland) Brigade. They took part in Operation Epsom, engaging in heavy fighting around Cheux. They advanced through Normandy, fighting alongside 6th Guards Tank Brigade. The 10th Battalion crossed the Rhine in Buffalo amphibians at Xanten at 02:00 Hours on the 24th March 1945. The now famous pipe tune that commemorated the event being penned by the Battalion’s Pipe Major Donald Ramsay and Corporal J. Moore. The Battalion then advanced on to the Elbe, making one final assault in Buffaloes to cross the Elbe a few days before the surrender of German forces in Northern Germany.
Churchill tanks of 6th Guards Tank Brigade and troops of the 10th Highland Light Infantry, 15th (Scottish) Division, during the assault on Tilburg, Holland, 28 October 1944.