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In August 1914, on the outbreak of the First World War, the Devonshire Regiment had two Regular battalions, one Special Reserve battalion and three battalions of Territorials (part-time volunteers). During the war they expanded and incorporated the two Devon Yeomanry regiments to form twenty-four battalions and a single company, which served within the 1st Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in North Russia in 1919.
Ten battalions of the Devon Regiment fought in France and Belgium, Mesopotamia, Salonika, Macedonia, Egypt, Palestine, Italy and in North Russia. They lost more than 6,000 men killed and about three times that number wounded. Some were Regular soldiers, some Territorials. Most were volunteers and conscripts. Many came from Devon but many did not. Between them they won sixty new battle honours, two Victoria Crosses and 1265 other gallantry awards and mentions in Despatches.