18th (Eastern) Division

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18th (Eastern) Division
British 18th (Eastern) Division insignia.png
Active September 1914 – 20 March 1919
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Engagements First World War
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Passchendaele
Battle of Épehy
Ivor Maxse

The 18th (Eastern) Division was an infantry division of the British Army formed in September 1914 during the First World War as part of the K2 Army Group, part of Lord Kitchener's New Armies. From its creation the division trained in England until 25 May 1915 when it landed in France and spent the duration of the First World War in action on the Western Front, becoming one of the elite divisions of the British Army. During the Battle of the Somme in the latter half of 1916, the 18th Division was commanded by Major General Ivor Maxse.

Formation history

Order of battle

The following units served in the division.[1]

53rd Brigade 
54th Brigade 
  • 10th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (left October 1914)
  • 11th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
  • 6th (Service) Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment (joined November 1914)
  • 12th (Service) Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) (disbanded February 1918)
  • 8th (Service) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment (reformed as divisional pioneers February 1915)
  • 7th (Service) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment (joined February 1915 merged with 2nd Battalion in May 1918)[2]
  • 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment (joined May 1918)
  • 54th Machine Gun Company (joined 13 February 1916, left to move into 18th MG Battalion 16 February 1918)
  • 54th Trench Mortar Battery (joined 1 June 1916)
55th Brigade 
  • 7th (Service) Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
  • 7th (Service) Battalion, Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
  • 8th (Service) Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
  • 7th (Service) Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) (transferred to 53rd Brigade February 1918)
  • 55th Machine Gun Company (joined 13 February 1916, left to move into 18th MG Battalion 16 February 1918)
  • 55th Trench Mortar Battery (joined 17 June 1916)

Divisional Troops

  • 6th (Service) Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment (left November 1914)
  • 10th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (joined October 1914, left March 1915)
  • 8th (Service) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment (joined as Pioneer Battalion in February 1915 from 54th Brigade)
  • 15th Motor Machine Gun Battery (joined 22 July 1915, left 4 May 1916)
  • 18th Battalion Machine Gun Corps (M.G.C.) (formed 16 February 1918 absorbing brigade MG companies)
  • Divisional Mounted Troops
  • 18th Divisional Train Army Service Corps
    • 150th, 151st, 152nd and 153rd Companies
  • 30th Mobile Veterinary Section Army Veterinary Corps
  • 219th Divisional Employment Company (joined 3 June 1917)

Royal Artillery

  • LXXXII Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (R.F.A.)
  • LXXXIII Brigade, R.F.A.
  • LXXXIV Brigade, R.F.A. (left 25 January 1917)
  • LXXXV (Howitzer) Brigade, R.F.A. (broken up 3 December 1916)
  • 18th Divisional Ammunition Column R.F.A.
  • 18th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (raised with the Division but moved independently to Egypt in October 1915)
  • V.18 and W. 18 Heavy Trench Mortar Batteries R.F.A. (V battery formed 28 April 1916, left for II Corps on 19 February 1918. W battery formed 21 May 1916, but broken up by 26 November 1916)
  • X.18, Y.18 and Z.18 Medium Mortar Batteries R.F.A. (formed 19 June 1916, Z battery broken up 19 February 1918 and distributed to X and Y batteries)

Royal Engineers

  • 79th Field Company
  • 80th Field Company
  • 92nd Field Company
  • 18th Divisional Signals Company

Royal Army Medical Corps

  • 54th Field Ambulance
  • 55th Field Ambulance
  • 56th Field Ambulance
  • 35th Sanitary Section (left 24 March 1917)



  1. ^ Baker, Chris. "18th (Eastern) Division". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Bedfordshire Regiment". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 24 December 2015.


  • Nicholls, G.H.F. (1922). The 18th Division in the Great War. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons.

See also

External links

  • The British Army in the Great War: The 18th (Eastern) Division

Further reading

  • Maxse, Ivor (1917). The 18th Division in the Battle of the Ancre, 1916.
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