23rd (Northumbrian) Division

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For the equivalent formation in World War I, see 23rd Division (United Kingdom).
23rd (Northumbrian) Division
Active 2 October 1939 – 30 June 1940
Country  United Kingdom
Allegiance British Crown
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Size Division

Second World War

Battle of France

The 23rd (Northumbrian) Division[1] was a 2nd Line Territorial Army duplicate of the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division during the Second World War.


The 23rd (Northumbrian) Division was raised in October 1939, and was sent to France on 22 April 1940 on Labour and training duties, without any of its artillery, signals, or administration units.

On 20 May 1940 the division suffered heavy casualties trying to delay the German advance at Arras. On its return to Britain, after the Battle of Dunkirk, the 23rd Division was disbanded due to the heavy losses it had suffered.

Its component units, however, would go on to see further action; the 69th Infantry Brigade was assigned to 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, the division's 1st-Line counterpart, and the 70th Infantry Brigade was assigned to 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division.

Its Machine Gun and Motorcycle battalions, the 8th (Motorcycle) and 9th (Machine Gun) Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, would also survive with the 9th surviving until February 1942 as the Machine Gun Battalion for the 18th (East Anglian) Infantry Division until its capture at Singapore and the 8th would survive until the end of the war having been converted to the 3rd Reconnaissance Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps under the 3rd Infantry Division right up till the end of the war.


  • Maj.Gen. W.N. Herbert

Component Units[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joslen, p. 62


  • Joslen, Lt-Col H.F. (2003) [1st. pub. HMSO:1960]. Orders of Battle: Second World War, 1939–1945. Uckfield: Naval and Military Press. ISBN 9781843424741. OCLC 65152579. 

External links[edit]