2nd Mounted Division

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2nd Mounted Division
Active 2 September 1914 – 21 January 1916
Country  United Kingdom
Allegiance British Crown
Branch  British Army
Type Yeomanry
Size Division
Part of IX Corps
Engagements

World War I

Gallipoli Campaign
Battle of Scimitar Hill
Commanders
Notable
commanders
General Sir William Eliot Peyton KCB KCVO DSO

The 2nd Mounted Division was a yeomanry (Territorial Army cavalry) division that served in the First World War. At the outbreak of war it was assigned to defence of the Norfolk coast. In March 1915 it formed a second-line duplicate of itself, the 2/2nd Mounted Division. Leaving the 2/2nd on coastal defence, it then fought at Gallipoli from April to December 1915, under the command of Major General William Peyton, before being disbanded in January 1916.

A different 2nd Mounted Division, was formed in Egypt in 1918 from the Indian elements of the 5th Cavalry Division in France, but then renumbered as the 5th Cavalry Division, served in Palestine and was a part of the Palestine Occupation Force.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

A decision was made to form a new mounted division from the mounted brigades in and around the Churn area of Berkshire. On 2 September 1914, 2nd Mounted Division, with Headquarters at Goring, came into being with three mounted brigades transferred from 1st Mounted Division[1] (1st South Midland Mounted Brigade at Newbury, 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade at Churn and the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Mounted Brigade at South Stoke) and the London Mounted Brigade at Streatley. The brigades were relatively widely dispersed to allow an adequate water supply for the horses and to provide sufficient training areas.[2]

Order of Battle, September 1914[3]
1st South Midland Mounted Brigade

Warwickshire Yeomanry
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars

London Mounted Brigade

1st County of London Yeomanry
City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders)
3rd County of London Yeomanry

Medical

1st South Midland Field Ambulance, RAMC
2nd South Midland Field Ambulance, RAMC
Notts. and Derby. Field Ambulance, RAMC
London Field Ambulance, RAMC

2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade

Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars
Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars
Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry[n 1]
Berkshire Yeomanry

Royal Horse Artillery (Territorial Force)

I Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.)

Warwickshire RHA and 1st South Midland Ammunition Column
B Battery, HAC[n 2]

II Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.)

Berkshire RHA and 2nd South Midland Ammunition Column
Nottinghamshire RHA and Notts. and Derby. Ammunition Column
A Battery, HAC and London Ammunition Column
B Battery, HAC[n 2]
Veterinary

1st South Midland Mobile Veterinary Section
2nd South Midland Mobile Veterinary Section
Notts. and Derby. Mobile Veterinary Section
London Mobile Veterinary Section

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Mounted Brigade

Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
South Nottinghamshire Hussars
Derbyshire Yeomanry

Signal Service

1st South Midland Signal Troop
2nd South Midland Signal Troop
Notts. and Derby. Signal Troop
London Signal Troop
2nd Mounted Division Signal Squadron

2nd Mounted Division Train

1st South Midland Transport and Supply Column, ASC
2nd South Midland Transport and Supply Column, ASC
Notts. and Derby. Transport and Supply Column, ASC
London Transport and Supply Column, ASC
2nd Mounted Division Company, ASC

  1. ^ Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry replaced Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars who landed in France on 22 September 1914.[4]
  2. ^ a b B Battery, Honourable Artillery Company replaced Warwickshire RHA who landed in France on 1 November 1914.[4] It was the first Territorial Force artillery battery to go on active service.[5]

In November 1914, the division moved to Norfolk on coastal defence duties. Headquarters was established at Hanworth and the mounted brigades were at King's Lynn (1st South Midland), Fakenham (2nd South Midland), Holt (Notts. and Derby.) and Hanworth (London).[2]

Egypt[edit]

In March 1915, the division was put on warning for overseas service. In early April, the division starting leaving Avonmouth and the last elements landed at Alexandria before the end of the month. By the middle of May, the Divisional Headquarters, the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade and Notts. and Derby. Mounted Brigade were at Cairo, the 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade was at Alexandria, and the London Mounted Brigade and the horse artillery batteries were near Ismaïlia on Suez Canal defences.[2] The mounted brigades were numbered at this time.[4]

On 10 August 1915, the division was reorganized as a dismounted formation in preparation for service at Gallipoli.[6] Each Yeomanry Regiment left a squadron headquarters and two troops (about 100 officers and men) in Egypt to look after the horses.[7] The artillery batteries and ammunition columns, signal troops, mobile veterinary sections, Mounted Brigade Transport and Supply Columns and two of the Field Ambulances were also left behind in Egypt. The Yeomanry Mounted Brigade, which was formed in Egypt in January 1915, was likewise dismounted and joined the division on 13 August as a fifth brigade.[8] The division entrained for Alexandria on 13 August, sailed the next day and reached Mudros on 17 August. It landed at Suvla Bay that night.[2]

Order of Battle, August 1915[3]
1st (1st South Midland) Mounted Brigade

Warwickshire Yeomanry
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars

5th (Yeomanry) Mounted Brigade

Hertfordshire Yeomanry
2nd County of London Yeomanry

2nd (2nd South Midland) Mounted Brigade

Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars
Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry
Berkshire Yeomanry

Signal Service

2nd Mounted Division Signal Squadron

3rd (Notts. and Derby.) Mounted Brigade

Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
South Nottinghamshire Hussars
Derbyshire Yeomanry

Medical

2nd South Midland Field Ambulance, RAMC
London Field Ambulance, RAMC

4th (London) Mounted Brigade

1st County of London Yeomanry
City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders)
3rd County of London Yeomanry

2nd Mounted Division Train

2nd Mounted Division Company, ASC

Gallipoli[edit]

The division landed at "A" Beach, Suvla Bay on the night of 17 August / morning of 18 August and moved into reserve positions at Lala Baba on the night of 20 August. On 21 August it advanced to Chocolate Hill under heavy fire and took part in the attack on Hill 112.[9]

Due to losses during the Battle of Scimitar Hill and wastage during August 1915, the division had to be reorganised.[a] On 4 September 1915, the 1st Composite Mounted Brigade was formed from the 1st, 2nd and 5th Mounted Brigades, and the 2nd Composite Mounted Brigade from the 3rd and 4th Mounted Brigades.[10] Each dismounted brigade formed a battalion sized unit, for example, 1st South Midland Regiment (Warkwickshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire Yeomanry).[11]

The Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade landed as Suvla on 2 September and joined the division. Likewise, the Highland Mounted Brigade joined the division after landing on 26 September. Both brigades were dismounted in the UK before sailing directly for Gallipoli.[4]

Order of Battle, September 1915[3]
1st Composite Mounted Brigade

1st South Midland Regiment
2nd South Midland Regiment
5th Yeomanry Regiment

Engineers

1st Kent Field Company, RE
2nd Kent Field Company, RE

2nd Composite Mounted Brigade

3rd Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment
4th London Regiment

Signal Service

2nd Mounted Division Signal Squadron

Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade

1st Scottish Horse
2nd Scottish Horse
3rd Scottish Horse

Medical

2nd South Midland Field Ambulance, RAMC
London Field Ambulance, RAMC
Scottish Horse Field Ambulance, RAMC
Highland Field Ambulance, RAMC

Highland Mounted Brigade

Fife and Forfar Yeomanry
1st Lovat Scouts
2nd Lovat Scouts

2nd Mounted Division Train

2nd Mounted Division Company, ASC

Return to Egypt[edit]

The division returned to Egypt from Gallipoli in December 1915 and was reformed and remounted.[10] The artillery batteries and other units left in Egypt rejoined the division between 10 and 20 December 1915.[12] However, the dismemberment of the division began almost immediately as units were posted to the Western Frontier Force or to various other commands.

On 21 January 1916, 2nd Mounted Division was disbanded.[10]

Commanders[edit]

The 2nd Mounted Division had the following commanders:[18]

From Rank Name
31 August 1914 Major-General W.E. Peyton
21 August 1915 Brigadier-General P.A. Kenna, VC (acting)
23 August 1915 Major-General W.E. Peyton
13 November 1915 Brigadier-General Marquis of Tullibardine (acting)
14 November 1915 Major-General W.E. Peyton

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ At this time, a cavalry or yeomanry regiment had a strength of 550 officers and men. Having left a party of 100 officers and men in Egypt, they would have landed in Gallipoli no more than 450 strong, or about 6,300 for the 14 regiments. This would be about half the strength of an infantry division (12 battalions of 1,000 officers and men).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 36
  2. ^ a b c d Becke 1936, p. 16
  3. ^ a b c Becke 1936, p. 12
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Becke 1936, p. 14
  5. ^ Baker, Chris. "The Royal Horse Artillery". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  6. ^ James 1978, p. 35
  7. ^ James 1978, p. 34
  8. ^ Becke 1936, p. 15
  9. ^ Westlake 1996, pp. 250–283 passim
  10. ^ a b c Becke 1936, p. 17
  11. ^ Becke 1936, p. 13
  12. ^ Frederick 1984, p. 449
  13. ^ a b c d Perry 1992, p. 55
  14. ^ a b c d James 1978, p. 36
  15. ^ a b Becke 1936, p. 33
  16. ^ a b James 1978, p. 23
  17. ^ James 1978, p. 20
  18. ^ Becke 1936, p. 9

Bibliography[edit]

  • Becke, Major A.F. (1936). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2A. The Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territorial Force Divisions (42–56). London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-12-4. 
  • Frederick, J.B.M. (1984). Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660–1978. Wakefield, Yorkshire: Microform Academic Publishers. ISBN 1-85117-009-X. 
  • James, Brigadier E.A. (1978). British Regiments 1914–18. London: Samson Books Limited. ISBN 0-906304-03-2. 
  • Perry, F.W. (1992). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5A. The Divisions of Australia, Canada and New Zealand and those in East Africa. Newport: Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 1-871167-25-6. 
  • Rinaldi, Richard A (2008). Order of Battle of the British Army 1914. Ravi Rikhye. ISBN 978-0-97760728-0. 
  • Westlake, Ray (1996). British Regiments at Gallipoli. Barnsley: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-511-X. 

External links[edit]