8th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)

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8th Infantry Division
British 8th Infantry Division Insignia.png
First World War insignia of the division
Active formed October 1914–1918/9, Second World War
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Infantry
Engagements Battle of Neuve Chapelle
Battle of Aubers Ridge
Battle of the Somme (1916)
Third Battle of Ypres
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Bernard Montgomery
Reade Godwin-Austen
William Heneker

The British Army's 8th Infantry Division was active in both the First World War and the Second World War.

History[edit]

The British 8th Division was a Regular Army division that was formed by combining battalions returning from outposts in the British Empire at the outbreak of the First World War. Major-General Francis Davies took command on 19 September 1914. The division moved to France in November, 1914, following the First Battle of Ypres. The division fought on the Western Front for the duration of the war, taking part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the Battle of Aubers Ridge, the Battle of the Somme (1916) and the Third Battle of Ypres.

Brigadier-General R. Oxley took acting command of the Division on 27 July 1915, being succeeded by Major-General Havelock Hudson on 1 August 1915. Major-General W. Heneker took over on 10 December 1916.

Major-General Sir Bernard Montgomery commanded the 8th Infantry Division from 1938 to July 1939, followed by Major-General Reade Godwin-Austen.

The 8th Infantry Division was never a complete formation during the Second World War. In 1939 it was based in Palestine and consisted of two infantry brigades (14th and 16th Brigades). Due to the needs of defence against German and Italian forces these units were sent to places of need and reformed as different formations. Although it had infantry it had no divisional troops due to the shortage of artillery and engineers in the Middle-East.

First World War Composition[edit]

23rd Brigade 
24th Brigade 

Between October 1915 and July 1916, the brigade swapped with the 70th Brigade from the 23rd Division.

25th Brigade 
70th Brigade 

The brigade was from the 23rd Division and was attached to the 7th Division between October 18, 1915 and July 15, 1916, swapping with the 24th Brigade.

Artillery on formation

Structure in 1939[edit]

Order of battle in 1939:[1]

General Officers Commanding[edit]

Commanders included:[2]

World War I[3]
  • 19 September 1914 Major-General F.J. Davies
  • 27 July 1915 Bridadier-General R.S. Oxley (acting)
  • 1 August 1915 Major-General H. Hudson
  • 10 December 1916 Major-General W.C.G. Heneker
World War II

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Becke, Major A. F. (1935). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 1. The Regular British Divisions. London: HMSO. ISBN 1-871167-09-4. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Boraston, J. H.; Bax, C. E. O. (1926). The Eighth Division in War 1914–1918 (N & M Press 1999 ed.). London: Medici Society. ISBN 1-897632-67-3. 

External links[edit]