11th (Northern) Division

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11th (Northern) Division
British 11th (Northern) Division Insignia.png
Active 21 August 1914 – 28 June 1919
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Engagements

World War I

The 11th (Northern) Division, was an infantry division of the British Army during World War I, raised from men volunteering for Lord Kitchener's New Armies. The division fought in the Gallipoli Campaign and on the Western Front. The division's insignia was an ankh or ankhus.

History

The division came into existence on 21 August 1914 under Army Order No. 324, which authorised the formation of the first six new divisions of Kitchener's Army. The division was composed of early wartime volunteers and assembled at Belton Park near Grantham. By late spring 1915, the recruits were judged to be ready for active service, and the division was consequently ordered to reinforce the beleaguered garrison on Gallipoli. The division sailed for the Mediterranean in June and July 1915 and formed part of the Suvla Bay landing force on 7 August. The 6th (Service) Battalion, Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment) of the 32nd Brigade was the first Kitchener unit to be involved in a major offensive operation of the war. Their action at Lala Baba Hill, on 7 August 1915, during the Suvla Bay landings, was costly, the commanding officer –Lieutenant Colonel E. H. Chapman –was killed as were all but 3 of the officers but they enter the history books with the hill being renamed York hill for the duration of the Gallipoli Campaign.[1]

The division continued to serve at Gallipoli, suffering high casualties, until the evacuation of Suvla in December 1915. After a period of time in Egypt guarding the Suez Canal, the division was transferred to the Western Front and served there from the Battle of the Somme in 1916 until the end of the war, which arrived on 11 November 1918. On 28 June 1919, exactly five years since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the 11th (Northern) Division was officially disbanded, having sustained more than 32,100 casualties during the war.[2]

Order of battle

The division comprised the following units and formations:[3][4][5]

32nd Brigade 
Infantrymen of the 6th (Service) Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment at a Lewis gun post, on the front line near Cambrin, Pas-de-Calais, France, 6 February 1918.
33rd Brigade 
34th Brigade 
  • 8th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers
  • 9th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliersdisbanded and drafted February 1918
  • 8th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment – to 32 Bde 18 January 1915
  • 11th Battalion, Manchester Regiment
  • 5th Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment – from 33 Bde 18 January 1915
  • 34th Brigade Machine Gun Company – formed March 1916; joined 11th Battalion MGC 28 February 1918
  • 34th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery – joined July 1917
1/2nd South-Western Mounted Brigade

(Serving dismounted) – attached at Suvla 9 October to 15 November 1915

Divisional Mounted Troops
Divisional Royal Artillery
  • LVIII Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (RFA)
    • 184, 185, 186 Batteries – 6-gun batteries reorganised by February 1915 as 4-gun batteries designated A, B, C and D
    • LVIII Brigade Ammunition Column (BAC)
  • LIX Brigade, RFA
    • 187, 188, 189 Batteries – A, B, C, D by February 1915
    • LIX BAC
  • LX Brigade, RFA
    • 190, 191, 192 Batteries – A, B, C, D by February 1915'
    • LX BAC
  • LXI (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA – remained in England when division went to Gallipoli; later joined Guards Division
    • 193 (H), 194 (H), 195 (H) Batteries – A, B, C, D by February 1915
    • LIX (H) BAC
  • 11th Divisional Ammunition Column – remained in England when division went to Gallipoli
  • 1st Hull Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) and Ammunition Column – redesignated 11th (Hull) Heavy Battery May 1915; remained in England when division went to Gallipoli; later went to East Africa[6]

Also attached:

  • LV Brigade, RFA – attached from 10th (Irish) Division at Suvla until the evacuation
  • LVII (H) Brigade, RFA – attached from 10th (Irish) Division at Suvla until the evacuation
  • IV Lowland (H) Brigade, RFA (TF) – attached from 52nd (Lowland) Division at Suvla until the evacuation
  • IV Highland Mountain Brigade, RGA (TF) – attached from 51st (Highland) Division at Suvla until the evacuation
  • 10th Heavy Battery, RGA – attached from 10th (Irish) Division at Suvla until the evacuation
  • 91st Heavy Battery, RGA – attached in England; detached at Gallipoli and landed at Cape Helles

After 1916 reorganisations[7]

  • LVIII Brigade, RFA
    • A, B, C Batteries
    • D Battery – became A (H) Battery, CXXXIII (H) Brigade 26 April 1916
  • LIX Brigade, RFA
    • A, B, C Batteries
    • D Battery – became B (H) Battery, CXXXIII (H) Brigade 26 April 1916
  • LX Brigade, RFA – broken up 25 January 1917
    • A, B, C Batteries
    • D Battery – became CXXXIII BAC 26 April 1916
  • CXXXIII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA – formed in 26 April 1916 as 'The Howitzer Brigade, RFA', renamed 31 May 1916; broken up between LVIII and LIX Brigades November-December 1916
    • A (H) Battery – from LVIII Brigade 26 April 1916
    • B (H) Battery – from LIX Brigade 26 April 1916
    • CXXXIII BAC – from LX Brigade 26 April; became C (H) Battery 22 June; broken up between A (H) and B (H) Batteries 29 August 1916
    • 501 (H) Battery – joined 15, left 27 November 1916
  • CXVIII (H) Brigade, RFA – joined from 1st Canadian Division 15 July 1916 and broken up
    • 458 (H) Battery – became D (H) Battery, LVIII Brigade
    • 459 (H) Battery – became D (H) Battery, LIX Brigade
    • 461 (H) Battery – became D (H) Battery, LX Brigade
  • X/11, Y/11, Z/11 Medium Trench Mortar Batteries – joined 9 August 1916
  • 11th Divisional Ammunition Column – rejoined in France 7 July 1916 and absorbed BACs

After Winter 1916–17 reorganisation

  • LVIII Brigade, RFA
    • A, B, C, D (H) Batteries
  • LIX Brigade, RFA
    • A, B, C, D (H) Batteries
  • X/11 Medium Trench Mortar Battery
  • Y/11 Medium Trench Mortar Battery
  • Z/11 Medium Trench Mortar Battery – absorbed by X/11 and Y/11 on 3 February 1918
  • V/11 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery – left February 1918
Divisional Royal Engineers
  • 67th Field Company, RE
  • 68th Field Company, RE
  • 68th Field Company, RE – joined from 21st Division 7 February 1915
  • 11th Divisional Signal Company, RE
Divisional Pioneers 
  • 6th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment
Divisional Machine Gun Troops
  • 11 Divisional Motor Machine Gun Company – joined 9 June 1915; remained in England when division went to Gallipoli
  • 250th Machine Gun Company, MGC - 'joined 16 November 1917
  • 11th Battalion, MGC – formed 28 February 1918
    • 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 250th MG Companies
Divisional Medical Services
Divisional Transport
  • 11th Divisional Train, Army Service Corps (ASC) – remained in England when division went to Gallipoli; later joined 26th Division in Salonika[8]
    • 112th, 113th, 114th 115th Companies, ASC
  • 11 Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop – remained in England when division went to Gallipoli and absorbed into Divisional Train
  • 11th Divisional Train, ASC – former 53rd (Welsh) Divisional Train left in England; joined 6 July 1916[8]
    • 479th, 480th, 481st, 482nd Companies, ASC

Commanders

The following officers served as General Officer Commanding:[3]

  • Major General F. Hammersley (August 1914 – August 1915)
  • Major General Sir Edward Fanshawe (August 1915 – July 1916)
  • Lieutenant General Sir Charles Woollcombe (July 1916 – December 1916)
  • Brigadier-General J. Erskine (acting) (December 1916)
  • Major General A. Ritchie (wounded in action) (December 1916 – May 1917)
  • Major General H. Davies (wounded in action) (May 1917 – September 1918)
  • Brigadier General Sir Ormonde Winter (acting) (September 1918)
  • Major-General H. Davies (September 1918 – October 1918)

Battles

The division took part in the following actions:[3]

Gallipoli Campaign
1915

Western Front
1916

1917

1918

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Aspinall-Oglander 1932, p. 336.
  2. ^ Spring 2008, p. 107.
  3. ^ a b c Becke, pp. 19–25.
  4. ^ 11th (Northern) Division at Long, Long Trail.
  5. ^ 11th (Northern) Division at Regimental Warpath.
  6. ^ Drake, pp. 58–63.
  7. ^ Farndale, p. 134.
  8. ^ a b Young, Annex Q.

References

  • Aspinall-Oglander, C. F. (1932). Military Operations Gallipoli: May 1915 to the Evacuation. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. II (IWM & Battery Press 1992 ed.). London: Heinemann. ISBN 0-89839-175-X. 
  • Maj A.F. Becke,History of the Great War: Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 3a: New Army Divisions (9–26), London: HM Stationery Office, 1938/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2007, ISBN 1-847347-41-X.
  • Rupert Drake, The Road to Lindi: Hull Boys in Africa: The 1st (Hull) Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery in East Africa and France 1914–1919, Brighton: Reveille Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-908336-56-9.
  • Gen Sir Martin Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: Western Front 1914–18, Woolwich: Royal Artillery Institution, 1986, ISBN 1-870114-00-0.
  • Spring, F. G. (2008). The History of the 6th (Service) Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, 1914–1919. Boston: Poacher Books. ISBN 0-9559914-0-4. 
  • Lt-Col Michael Young, Army Service Corps 1902–1918, Barnsley: Leo Cooper, 2000, ISBN 0-85052-730-9.

External links

  • The Long, Long Trail
  • The Regimental Warpath 1914–1918 (archive site)
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