41st Division (United Kingdom)

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41st Division
British 41st Division insignia.png
Formation patch of the 41st Division.
Active 1915–1919
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Engagements World War I
* Battle of the Somme
* Battle of Messines
* Battle of Passchendaele
* Hundred Days Offensive
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Sydney Turing Barlow Lawford

The 41st Division was an infantry division of the British Army, raised during World War I as part of Lord Kitchener's New Armies. The division saw service on the Western Front and later on the Italian Front.

Unit history

Men of 5 Platoon, B Company, 15th (Service) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment resting before going into the trenches. Southern Road, Mametz Wood, France, 17 July 1916.

The division was formed as part of the fifth wave (K5) of divisions in the New Army; it did not have a regional title, but was composed primarily of recruits from the south of England. Several of its battalions had been raised by local communities and were named for their towns or industries. After training and home service, the 41st Division, commanded by Major-General Sydney Lawford, deployed overseas to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front in the first week of May 1916; its first major combat came in September of that year, at the Battle of Flers–Courcelette, part of the larger Battle of the Somme.[1] After fighting in 1917 at the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres) it was transferred to the Italian Front to become part of the Italian Expeditionary Force (IEF). It remained here for three months throughout the winter of 1917–18 before returning to the Western Front, where it arrived just before the German Army launched its Spring Offensive in March. It participated in the Allied "Hundred Days Offensive" and ended the war in Flanders, from where it moved to join the Army of Occupation in Germany, following the Armistice of 11 November 1918. The 41st Division was commanded by Major-General Sydney Lawford throughout its existence and was demobilised in March 1919, with some units transferred to the 47th (1/2nd London) Division, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). The division was not reformed after the war and did not serve in the Second World War.

Order of battle

The 41st Division was constituted as follows during the war:[2]

122nd Brigade

123rd Brigade

124th Brigade

  • 10th (Service) Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
  • 26th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
  • 32nd (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (disbanded March 1918)
  • 21st (Service) Battalion (Yeomen Rifles), King's Royal Rifle Corps (disbanded March 1918)
  • 20th (Service) Battalion (Wearside), Durham Light Infantry (transferred from 123rd Brigade March 1918)
  • 124th Machine Gun Company (joined June 1916, moved to 41st Battalion Machine Gun Corps (M.G.C.) March 1918)
  • 124th Trench Mortar Battery (joined June 1916)

Divisional Troops

  • 13th (Service) Battalion, (Wandsworth) East Surrey Regiment (left October 1915)
  • 23rd (Service) Battalion, (2nd Public Works) Middlesex Regiment ( joined as Divisional Pioneers October 1915)
  • 238th Machine Gun Company (joined July 1917, left October 1917)
  • 199th Machine Gun Company (joined October 1917, moved to 41st Battalion M.G.C. March 1918)
  • 41st Battalion M.G.C. (formed March 1918 absorbing the brigade MG companies)
  • Divisional Mounted Troops
  • 41st Divisional Train Army Service Corps
    • 296th, 297th, 298th and 299th Companies
  • 52nd Mobile Veterinary Section Army Veterinary Corps

Royal Artillery

  • CLXXXIII (Howitzer) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery R.F.A. (broken up November 1916)
  • CLXXXVII Brigade, R.F.A.
  • CLXXXIX Brigade, R.F.A. (left January 1917)
  • CXC Brigade, R.F.A.
  • 41st Divisional Ammunition Column (West Ham) R.F.A.
  • V.41 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery, R.F.A. (formed July 1916; disbanded October 1917)
  • X.41, Y.41 and Z.41 Medium Mortar Batteries, R.F.A. (formed May 1916; in April 1918, Z broken up redistributed among X and Y batteries)
  • XIII Belgian Field Artillery Regiment (attached January to May 1917)

Royal Engineers

  • 228th (Barnsley) Field Company
  • 233rd (Ripon) Field Company
  • 237th (Reading) Company
  • 41st Divisional Signals Company

Royal Army Medical Corps

  • 138th Field Ambulance
  • 139th Field Ambulance
  • 140th Field Ambulance
  • 84th Sanitary Section (left April 1917)

Battles

Notable people associated with the division

See also

References

  1. ^ "23rd (2nd Football) Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)". Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  2. ^ Baker, Chris. "41st Division". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 24 November 2018.

External links

  • The British Army in the Great War: The 41st Division
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