Cap badge Royal Leicestershire Regiment

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The 1st Battalion was a Regular Army unit stationed in the Far East on the outbreak of the Second World War. The battalion fought the Imperial Japanese Army in the Malayan Campaign in early 1942 and sustained heavy casualties, temporarily amalgamating with the 2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment to create the British Battalion which was, however, later captured and the men of both battalions remained as prisoners of war (POWs) for the rest of the war. The battalion reforned in May 1942 by the redesignation of the 8th Battalion.

The 2nd Battalion, as part of the 16th Infantry Brigade, saw action at the Battle of Sidi Barrani in December 1940 and at the Battle of Bardia in January 1941 during the Western Desert Campaign. The battalion then moved to Greece and took part in the Battle of Crete in May 1941 before transferring back to North Africa for the Battle of Tobruk in June 1941.  It then went to Ceylon in February 1942 and to India in January 1943: it became part of the Chindits and then saw action in the Burma Campaign

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