44th (Home Counties) Division

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44th (Home Counties) Division
44InfDiv.png
44th Infantry Division insignia.
Active 1914
c.1939-1943
1947-1961
Country United Kingdom
Branch Territorial Army
Type Infantry
Engagements Alam Halfa
El Alamein
Battle of the Somme
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Brian Horrocks
Arthur Percival

The 44th (Home Counties) Division[1] was a British Territorial Army division in both the First and Second World Wars, and for twenty years afterwards.

First World War[edit]

Formed in 1908, after the outbreak of war in 1914 the Division was used to supply garrison troops in the east, replacing regular battalions. On or around 30 October 1914 most of the units of the Division left for India, whereupon some were sent further on to Burma and Aden. From the time of disembarkation in India, the Division practically ceased to exist, and the Divisional Commander returned home.

Second World War[edit]

During the Second World War the division, now named the 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division,[2] was initially part of III Corps forming part of the British Expeditionary Force until the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Later it was sent to North Africa and fought at the Battle of Alam Halfa and the Second Battle of El Alamein. It is considered to have performed poorly during Alam Halfa, where the 132nd Brigade was attached to 2nd New Zealand Division. It only had one brigade (The 132nd Infantry Brigade) at El Alamein, as the others (the 131st Brigade and 133rd Brigade) had been incorporated into the 7th Armoured Division and 10th Armoured Divisions as Motorised Brigades (The 7th had theirs transferred to the 1st Armoured Division and the 10th was a brand new Armoured Division). The 44th was disbanded after the battle, and the 132nd Brigade and 133rd Brigade were dispersed with most battalions ending up as British battalions in British Indian Army brigades.

General Officers Commanding during the Second World War included:

Order of battle 1942[edit]

Order of Battle on 3 August 1942:

Infantry[edit]

131st Infantry Brigade
132nd Infantry Brigade
133rd Infantry Brigade
  • 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
  • 4th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
  • 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment

Support Units[edit]

  • 6th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment (Machine-Gun Battalion - until 24 November 1942)
  • 57th (Home Counties) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 58th (Sussex) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 65th (8th London) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 57th (East Surrey) Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 99th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 30th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
  • 11th Field Company, Royal Engineers
  • 210th Field Company, Royal Engineers
  • 211th Field Company, Royal Engineers

Post Second World War[edit]

The Division was reformed in 1947. The division was reformed in the Territorial Army after the Second World War. Beckett 2008 says that TA units that were in suspended animation were formally reactivated on 1 January 1947, though no personnel were assigned until commanding officers and permanent staff had been appointed in March and April 1947.[3]

It include the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, 47 (London) Infantry Brigade, 131 (Surrey) Infantry Brigade (including battalions of The Queen's Regiment), and 133 (Kent & Sussex) Infantry Brigade.

On 1 May 1961, all TA divisions were merged with the districts, and the division became 44th (Home Counties) Division/District. [4]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Beckett 2008, 128.
  2. ^ Joslen, p. 71
  3. ^ Beckett 2008, 169.
  4. ^ Ian F.W. Beckett, 'Territorials: A Century of Service,' First Published April 2008 by DRA Printing of 14 Mary Seacole Road, The Millfields, Plymouth PL1 3JY on behalf of TA 100, ISBN 978-0-9557813-1-5, 183, 185, and see also regiments.org (archive), Home Counties District, accessed September 2012.

References[edit]

  • 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]