The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers (RNF) became ‘Royal’ in 1935 on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of George V. In 1937 in a reorganisation of the army the RNF was one of four regiments to be converted to a Machine-gun regiment the other three were the Cheshire Middlesex and Manchester Regiments. When war broke out the regiment consisted of the two Regular battalions and eight Territorial Army battalions in varying roles - the 4th to 9th and two tank battalions 43rd and 49th Royal Tank Regiment) formed from the 6th Battalion two more battalions10th and 70th described as non-Field Force were formed in October 1939 and September 1940. In contrast in the Great War there were 51 battalions. The Roll of Honour lists 895 dead (16000 in WWI) two VCs were awarded and 29 Battle Honours (5 and 67 in the previous war). Between them the battalions served in France (1939/40) N Africa Singapore Italy Egypt Syria Palestine NW Europe (1944/45) India and Greece. Although officially a machine-gun regiment during the period 1937 to 1945 some battalions of the RNF were given other roles in some cases permanently in others temporarily e.g. the 5th became a Search Light regiment RA the 8th Battalion a Reconnaissance battalion. All these changes are made clear as the narrative proceeds. Despite the title the book takes the history from the end of the Great War and describes the period between wars. In general it is set out in chronological order although there is some departure from this in detail. This is due partly to campaigns and other events overlapping and partly to the need to give some degree of continuity to the story of each battalion. In addition to the list of the dead of WWII and a summary of Honours and Awards in tabular form there are also in a separate appendix details of the 1st Battalion casualties in Korea (69 dead 319 wounded missing and PoW) and the list of awards. Another appendix gives the names of all battalion commanding officers throughout the war. This is a very business like well written and well laid out history easy to follow.
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