From 1832-52 the Militia did not even assemble for its usual 28 days training but in 1853 it was reformed, with an increased quota, into North and South Durham units. It became the Durham Fusiliers in 1869, and, again under threat of war, the 3rd Battalion Durham Light Infantry in 1881. Meeting only annually for training, the 3rd Battalion’s only active service was in the South African War 1899-1902.
Formally designated ‘Special Reserve’ in 1908, the Barnard Castle regiment finally became the 4th Battalion DLI and conducted garrison duty on the Durham coast during the First World War, after which they were formally disbanded in 1919.
In 1906 Barnard Castle provided an army training camp at Deerbolt for Regular forces (the new 3rd DLI) and added another five local camps, including a Battle School c. 1940 (Stainton, Barford, Humbleton, Streatlam, and Westwick). These remained in military use until the early 1970s.
The DLI’s military association with the town formally came to an end when the final Colours of the 4th Battalion DLI, formally disbanded in 1919, were laid up in St Mary’s Church in 1956. Town war memorials are located on Galgate and in the grounds of the Bowes Museum.