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The 1st Battalion was based in Egypt at the outbreak of the Second World War, having been sent to Palestine in 1938. The battalion was initially part of the 23rd Infantry Brigade. In October 1940 the battalion was transferred to the 7th Indian Infantry Brigade in the 4th Indian Infantry Division, with whom it remained for the rest of the war. The battalion, briefly commanded by Geoffrey Charles Evans, took part in the Western Desert Campaign and the Italian Campaign, where it had a terrible time and was involved in the bloody Battle of Monte Cassino. In late 1944 the battalion was shipped across to Greece with Lieutenant-General Ronald Scobieand his III Corps, remaining there until 1946 to help calm the Greek Civil War after the German withdrawal.

The 2nd Battalion was a Regular Army unit that was based in Northern Ireland at the outbreak of war. The battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Manley Angell James, were joined with the 4th and 5th Battalions of the Regiment in the 133rd (Royal Sussex) Infantry Brigade as part of the 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division. The 4th Royal Sussex Regiment was then commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Lashmer Whistler. The 2nd Battalion was sent to France in April 1940, to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), taking part in the Battle of France and the subsequent retreat to Dunkirk where they were evacuated to England in the Dunkirk evacuation. The brigade was sent to North Africa in May 1942 where they fought in the Battle of Alam el Halfa in September 1942 and the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942.

In 1943 the 2nd Battalion and volunteers from the 4th and 5th Royal Sussex were formed into the 10th Parachute Battalion of the Parachute Regiment which was a part of the 4th Parachute Brigade, serving with the 1st Airborne Division. The brigade participated in Operation Slapstick, an amphibious landing on the Italian port of Taranto, as part of the Allied invasion of Italy. Then returning to England, the battalion then fought at Arnhem during the disastrous Operation Market Garden in September 1944 with the rest of the 1st Airborne Division Captain Lionel Queripel, from the Royal Sussex was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously, during the Battle of Arnhem. The 10th Parachute Battalion was disbanded in November 1945.

The 2nd Battalion was raised again, after the old one became the 10th Para, and, along with the 4th and 5th Battalions, which were merged to become the 4th/5th Battalion, was reformed with the 133rd Brigade which was sent to the forgotten theatre of war in Iraq and Persia in 1943 with the 6th Indian Infantry Division where they remained for the rest of the war, the 2nd Battalion joining the 24th Indian Infantry Brigade, and the 4th/5th Battalion joining the 27th Indian Infantry Brigade.

Territorial Army[edit]

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