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 DLI’s 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 Stain Glass Window St Hildas Church South Shieldswith 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, Queen Street, South Shields where we have our monthly branch meeting and social drink.
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 07760331120
The DLI Association Committee
Your association, like all associations, has a full committee of volunteers that has been set up to ensure that there is a balanced approach to what we do and so that everything is kept above board and documented for those that may be running it in the future.
The initial committee members were all appointed by the chairman for an undetermined period of time, but any and all vacancies are regularly advertised with successful candidates being voted in by the current committee members.
If you wish to apply for any vacancies or require more details please e-mail us with your full details, stating which vacancy you are interested in and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.
We also have a number of “Appointed Officials” which form the second tier of committee volunteers and they carry out specific additional roles for the association as listed below, on certain occasions we may also appoint an association member to oversee or assist with one off events.
All committee members are volunteers so please give all of them your full support.
President: John Davis
Vice President: Malcolm Pearce Chairman: Bob Hall
Secretary: Douglas Mather
Asst Secretary: Brian Mckeith
Treasurer: Ken Smith
Sports & Social: Jimmy Jordan Welfare: Joe Mills Standard Bearer: Stephen Brotherton
Durham Light Infantry Association (South Shields Branch) Funding
All Durham Light Infantry associations have to be self funding and as we have elected to keep association membership free for all our “full” members we will be limited to what we can and can’t achieve by the amount of donations that we receive through private donations and our DLI Association Annual Reunion & Raffle.
If you would like to donate to the DLI Association we would be very grateful and details of how to donate can be obtained by sending the committee an email so that we can pass on our bank details or you can donate via PayPal and all donations however small will be gratefully received.