1st Commonwealth Division

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1st Commonwealth Division
Active 1951–1954
Country  United Kingdom
 Canada
 Australia
 New Zealand
 India
 Republic of Korea
Allegiance  United Nations
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Part of US I Corps
Garrison/HQ Jamestown Line
Engagements Korean War
Commanders
Notable
commanders
James Cassels
Michael West

The 1st Commonwealth Division was the name given, after July 1951, to Commonwealth land forces in the Korean War.[1] The division was a multinational unit that was part of British Commonwealth Forces Korea, and whilst British and Canadian Army units formed the bulk of the division, Australian infantry, New Zealand artillery and an Indian medical unit were also a part of the division. As with the US "KATUSA" programme, numerous South Korean troops were seconded to the Commonwealth division to make up numbers under a programme known as "KATCOM".

The unit was preceded by the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade, which was the initial parent formation of Commonwealth army units in Korea, and which arrived in Korea in August 1950. Its two British Infantry battalions were joined by the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) in September, and by the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), in February 1951. The brigade was subsequently re-constituted as 28th Commonwealth Brigade in April 1951. In November 1950 the brigade was joined by 29th Independent Infantry Brigade, and in May 1951 by 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade.[2] In July 1951 these units were combined to form 1st Commonwealth Division. The Division was made up of 58% British forces, 22% Canadian forces, 14% Australian forces, 5% New Zealander forces, and 1% Indian forces.[3]

The 1st Commonwealth Division was part of the US I Corps, which also included the US 1st Cavalry Division, the US 3rd and 25th Infantry Divisions, and the ROK 1st Division. The division occupied the strategically important sector of front on the Jamestown Line, stretching from the Kimpo peninsula on the Yellow Sea coast to a point east of Kumhwa about 6.3 miles (10.1 km), and just 30 miles (48 km) from the South Korean capital, Seoul.[4]

It was deactivated in 1954 as part of the demobilisation of forces in Korea in the aftermath of the war, being reduced to a Commonwealth Brigade Group, and from May 1956 until its final withdrawal in August 1957 to a Commonwealth Contingent of battalion strength.[5]

Commanding officers[edit]

Divisional Artillery Commanding Officer (CRA)[edit]

  • Brigadier William Pike, July 1951 – 1952
  • Brigadier G. Gregson, 1952

Order of battle[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Grey 1988, p. 88.
  2. ^ Grey 1988, pp. 68–87.
  3. ^ Grey, Jeffrey (1990). The Commonwealth Armies and the Korean War: An Alliance Study. War, Armed Forces and Society. Manchester University Press. p. 104. ISBN 9780719027703. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Grey 1988, p. 135.
  5. ^ Grey 1988, p. 183.
  6. ^ From September 1950 to July 1951 3rd RAR was part of 27th British Commonwealth Brigade
  7. ^ From November 1950 to July 1951,1stRNF was part of 29th Independent Infantry Brigade
  8. ^ From November 1950 to July 1951,1st Glosters was part of 29th Independent Infantry Brigade
  9. ^ From November 1950 to July 1951,1stRUR was part of 29th Independent Infantry Brigade

References[edit]

  • Grey, Jeffrey (1988). The Commonwealth Armies and the Korean War: An Alliance Study. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-2770-5.