46th (North Midland) Division
|46th (North Midland) Division|
|Active||1908 – June 1919
World War IBattle of Loos
Battle of the Somme (1916)
Battle of Albert
The 46th (North Midland) Division was a 1st Line Territorial Force division of the British Army in World War I. At the outbreak of the war, the 46th Division was commanded by Major General Hon. E.J. Montagu-Stuart-Wortley. Originally called the 'North Midland Division', it was redesignated as the 46th Division in 1915.
When the Territorial Force was formed in 1908 as a result of the Haldane Reforms, the North Midland Division was created by combining two existing Volunteer Infantry Brigades, the Staffordshire Brigade and the North Midland Brigade. The Staffordshire Brigade was composed of battalions of the South Staffordshire Regiment and the Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment). The North Midland Brigade was split into two, one composed of battalions of the Lincolnshire and Leicestershire Regiments, the other comprising the four TF battalions of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment (later the Sherwood Foresters). Artillery, engineer, medical and other support services for the division either came from the Volunteers of these counties, or were newly raised in the TF.
World War I
The division was sent to France in February 1915 and served on the Western Front for the duration of the First World War. During the Battle of Loos the Division was decimated in an attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13 October 1915.
It was later involved in the Battle of the Somme (1916), where in the opening phase as part of VII Corps, the southern-most corps of the Third Army, the Division took part in the diversionary attack at Gommecourt on the first day on the Somme, 1 July 1916, which was a catastrophic failure resulting in heavy losses to its numbers, and the event of which dogged the Division afterwards with a poor reputation until 29 September 1918, when it re-established its name at the St. Quentin Canal where, utilising life-belts and collapsible boats, it crossed the formidale obstacle of the canal and used scaling ladders to surmount the steep gradient of the opposite bank and captured multiple fortified hostile machine gun posts covering that point.
Order of battle
- 1/5th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment
- 1/6th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment
- 1/5th Battalion, Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment) (until January 1918)
- 1/6th Battalion, Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment)
- 138th (Lincoln and Leicester) Infantry Brigade
- 1/4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment (until January 1918)
- 1/5th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
- 1/4th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
- 1/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
- 139th (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire) Infantry Brigade
- 1/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters
- 1/6th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters
- 1/7th (Robin Hood) Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (until January 1918)
- 1/8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters
- I North Midland Brigade, RFA (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Lincolnshire Batteries)
- II North Midland Brigade, RFA (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Staffordshire Batteries)
- III North Midland Brigade, RFA (4th, 5th, and 6th Staffordshire Batteries)
- IV North Midland (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA (1st and 2nd Derbyshire Batteries)
- North Midland (Staffordshire) Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (until 18 April 1915)
- 1/1st Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment
46th Division Memorial near Bellenglise (Hindenburg Line)
The Territorial Army was reformed in 1921–22, but the 46th division was disbanded in 1936, the headquarters being converted into 2nd Anti-Aircraft Division. A new 46th Infantry Division was formed in October 1939 as a Second Line duplicate of 49th (West Riding) Division.
- Monthly Army List.
- 2 AA Division 1936–38 at British Military History
- Joslen, p. 75.
- Maj A.F. Becke,History of the Great War: Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 2a: The Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territorial Force Divisions (42–56), London: HM Stationery Office, 1935/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2007, ISBN 1-847347-39-8.
- Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2003, ISBN 1843424746.
- The British Army in the Great War: The 46th (North Midland) Division
- British Military History
- 46 (West Riding) Infantry Division at Orders of Battle.com
- Priestley, R.E. (1919). Breaking the Hindenburg Line: the story of the 46th (North Midland) Division. London: T. Fisher Unwin.