The 16th DLI Old Comrades’ Association was established as the Battalion disbanded in Austria in early 1946. Every year between the first Reunion in 1947 and the last in 1999, officers and men of the Battalion gathered in Durham to remember their shared past and Fallen Comrades. The venue changed several times over those 52 years, but the spirit of comradeship remained constant.

This section of the site will eventually contain more items and memorabilia relating to the 16th Battalion DLI OCA and is dedicated to the memory of Major A E C ‘Viz’ Vizard, 1918-2004, who provided me with much invaluable help and advice during the early stages of my research into my father’s war service. Without Viz’s initial guidance this website and much of the eyewitness testimony within it, would not exist.

The article below has been transcribed from the October 1947 issue of The Regimental Journal of the Durham Light Infantry:

The 16th Battalion Returns Home--For a Very Few Pleasant Hours

For many folk in Durham City, Saturday evening, 2nd August, 1947, was a big night. For the uninformed, there may have been some mystery attached to the spirit of gaiety and festivity, which one could not fail to notice in the quiet streets of this delightful Cathedral City.

One reunion is much like another, but there was something 'special' about this gathering of the 'Old Faithfuls' of the 16th Battalion. This was their first reunion since disbandment, and men who were once proud members of this famous Battalion recaptured, for a while, the spirit of comradeship which was always an outstanding characteristic of the 16th.

By train, bus, taxi and on foot, they came. Some had made the journey from the South of England but, in the main, they were Durham men: miners, shop stewards, printers, bus drivers and men from nearly every other walk of civil life, together with a few Regular soldiers who were united again as men of the 16th. Not one of them could fail to feel proud, as they sang once again the songs of their Active Service days, and remembered and recounted, some at considerable length, the experiences of North Africa, Salerno, Vietri, the Volturno, Cocuruzzo Spur, Camino, the Gothic Line, Greece and Austria.

In the afternoon, many officers and men took the opportunity of visiting, some for the first time, the Memorial Chapel in Durham Cathedral. It was interesting, too, to see where the Memorial Garden to their Fallen Comrades of the recent war was to be sited.

Later in the evening over one hundred officers and men sat down to dinner at the Three Tuns Hotel. Lt Col J C Preston DSO presided, and he was supported by Lt-Col Harry Lowe OBE of the Regimental Association, Lt Col D H C Worrall MC and several of the old Company Commanders.

The following is a list of the persons who were present at the dinner:

Lt Preston
Lt Colonel Lowe
Lt-Colonel Worrall
Major Craggs
Major Duffy
Major Hay

Major Jobey
Major Mitchell
Major Sherlaw
Major Stringer
Capt Collins
Capt Coutts
Capt Douthwaite
Capt Elliott
Capt Foster
Capt Hewlett
Capt John
Capt Lynn
Capt Macfeat
Capt Newman
Capt Reynolds
Capt Welford
Capt Tiffin.
CSM Thornton

Mr J Abbott
Mr J Abbott
Mr C Beaumont
Mr W Bell
Mr R Beveridge

The 16th DLI Old Comrades’ Association
16 DLI OCA Christmas Card
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