The DLI Association was formed in 1933 and its membership grew rapidly until the beginning of WW2. As one would expect during those turbulent years, membership stagnated and it was not until after 1945 that membership of the Association showed any significant increase.
Under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Harry Lowe, the Association thrived and a number of new branches were formed. However, when the Regiment was axed under the re-organisation of the Army in the 1960s, and the DLIís Colours laid up in Durham Cathedral on 12th December 1968, many believed that the Association would go into decline. However, the branches held firm and, far from declining, the Association grew stronger.
This growth can be attributed to the fact that many who had served in the Regiment now felt a need to hold on to the traditions and comradeship they had experienced. Also the DLI Association opened up membership to all Light Infantrymen, including those serving in the newly designated Light Division.
The Association now has 16 active branches, spread throughout the North East of England and much inter-branch activity takes place during the year, including dinners, dances, indoor games and trips abroad to visit old battlefields and war graves. The Annual Reunion takes place in September in Durham City, when about 600 members parade outside the Cathedral on College Green and then, after a service in the DLI Chapel, celebrate in the usual style in Bede College.
The aims of the branch are to maintain the spirit of the Durham Light Infantry and the former County Regiments by:
About The Durham Light Infantry Association South Shields Branch
The Durham Light Infantry Association (South Shields Branch) was established to provide a Social link and a place to meet for ex-servicemen who have served with or have been affiliated with the Durham Light Infantry during their Military Career whether that has been through Regular Army, Territorial Army/Reserve Forces, serving as a member of the Army Cadet Force or as a valued wife/partner of a serving/ex-serving soldier.
The Branch is a brotherhood and as such is open to not just ex-service personnel of the Durham Light Infantry but we encourage and welcome membership from all Regiments within the British Armed Forces.
The Branch since its formation has been involved with many fund raising exploits and events, not just locally but nationally and internationally including educational trips to France, Spain, Belgium and Egypt.
The Branch gathers on the last Tues of every month at the Royal British Legion, Queeen Street, South Shields where we have our monthly branch meeting and social drink/buffet.
The branch is run by its members who elect a committee each year at the Annual General Meeting.
If you wish to find out further information about our branch or to become a member then why not pop along to our next meeting where you will find a warm welcome or give us a quick call on 07716862645