somerset and cornwall light infantry SCLI scli
The Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry
6 October 1959 - 10 July 1968

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LI in Northern Ireland
RAF Aldergrove
  • Duncan Drake
  • John Pover

Were you in the SCLI ? Please send in your Stories and Pictures.

SCLI/LI in Northern Ireland - 1968
8 Infantry Brigade (Ballykelly) (1st Light Infantry, just after merger)


** This Northern Ireland page remains but will probably not be updated **

Regarding the matter of SCLI/1st Bn LI, the SCLI became The 1st Bn Light Infantry on July 10th 1968, and within a month were moved to Ballykinler in NI on a pre planned two year tour. So effectively at the time the battalion went to NI they were indeed 1st Bn LI, not (sadly) 1st Bn SCLI.


But for the information it already contains it was decided not to totally remove the content from this site. As it was felt that it may useful for people doing research on the Light Infantry in Northern Ireland.


The LI was stationed in Ballykinler, which is about 10 miles south of Downpatrick, county town of County Down. The battalion was part of 8th Infantry Brigade. The Commanding Officer at that time was Lieut. Colonel CDC Frith, who was succeeded by Lieut. Col Waight, the first C/O of 1st LI.

8 Infantry Brigade (Ballykelly)

The area of responsibility for 8 Infantry Brigade extends from the Glens of Antrim on the eastern seaboard via County Londonderry, the Fermanagh lakelands, the border area of south Armagh, into mid-Tyrone and Strangford Lough. This largely rural area corresponds to the PSNI’s Rural Region and includes Londonderry, the Province's second city. The Brigade Headquarters is at Shackleton Barracks, Ballykelly which is also home to the resident battalion.

Ballykinler is situated on the South Eastern side of Northern Ireland in County Down. The Battalions role from Ballykinler being one of 'Province Reserve', this meant being able to move anywhere at anytime, often at short notice, and being operationally effective on arrival.

During the period of the Northern Ireland posting the battalion went to Kenya for six weeks and flew in and out of RAF Aldergrove by RAF VC10.

SCLI/LI in Northern Ireland - 1968
RAF Aldergrove (1st Light Infantry, just after merger)

RAF Aldergrove

First opened in 1918 for a year, Aldergrove became a fully operational flying Station in 1925. Operating as an important Coastal Command Station throughout World War Two, Aldergrove is now home to a mixed force of helicopters operating in support of the British Army. 5 Puma HC1s of 72 Squadron and 13 Puma HC1s of 230 Squadron make up the permanently based force, but there are regular detachments from other Puma and Chinook Squadrons. No 3 Squadron of the RAF Regiment are the Field Squadron based at Aldergrove. Two Army Air Corps units are also based at Aldergrove.

SCLI/LI in Northern Ireland - 1968
Kenya (1st Light Infantry, just after merger)

Under an agreement with the Kenyan Government, three infantry battalions per year carry out six-week exercises in Kenya. The training, named Exercise GRAND PRIX, takes place over the winter months and allows infantry battalions to carry out live firing, as well as experience a wide variety of climatic conditions, from desert to rain forest. They even learn some Swahili to aid relations with the local population.

A Royal Engineer Squadron also deploys to Kenya over the same period to carry out a civil engineering project.A small permanent administrative element called BATLSK (British Army Training and Liaison Staff Kenya) is based on the outskirts of Nairobi and provides the logistic support to visiting units.


There will be more information on this page later about the regiments activities in Northern Ireland as archive reports are checked at Taunton. Brigadier Fyfe has kindly offered his help with this. This pages contents has been collated with the great help of Duncan Drake and John Pover and is based on memory, any discrepancies are due to the passage of time and its affects on us all.

Should any reader of this page have pictures or memories of this posting please do:

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