18th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|18th Infantry Division|
18th Infantry Division badge
|Active||Second World War|
Battle of Muar (53rd Infantry Brigade)
The 18th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the Territorial Army, part of the British Army, that saw service in World War II. It was a 2nd Line duplicate of the 54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division using mostly units with connections to East Anglia.
The 18th (East Anglian) Infantry Division was a 2nd Line Territorial Army duplicate of the 1st Line 54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division raised in 1939 on the doubling of the Territorial Army as war with Germany seemed increasingly likely. Despite being a 2nd Line Territorial formation, the division also contained many 1st Line units, most coming from the 54th Division.
Among the infantry brigades, the 53rd Infantry Brigade was converted (simply redesignated) from the 163rd Infantry Brigade on September 18, 1939. The brigade arrived at Singapore on January 13, 1942, before the rest of the division, and was attached to the 11th Indian Infantry Division and Westforce on mainland Malaya where it was involved in the retreat back to Singapore, fighting the Battle of Muar in company with Indian units.
The main part of the 18th Infantry Division landed at Singapore a few weeks before the fall of the island. After the violent week-long Battle of Singapore, Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival, commander of the Singapore garrison, surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army on February 15, 1942. The division's soldiers went into Japanese POW camps where they suffered many hardships.
The division was not reformed.
General Officer Commanding
- 30.09.1939 Maj-Gen.T.G. McArthur
- 30.11.1939 Maj-Gen. Bernard Charles Tolver Paget
- 20.04.1940 (Acting) Maj-Gen. E. H .W. Backhouse
- 14.05.1940 Maj-Gen. Bernard Charles Tolver Paget
- 27.05.1940 (Acting) Brig. G. E. W. Franklyn
- 01.06.1940 Maj-Gen.T.R.Eastwood
- 09.06.1940 Maj-Gen. L.H.K. Finch
- 14-07-1940 Maj-Gen. Merton Beckwith-Smith (P.O.W 15.02.1942)
Order of battle
In January 1942 before the surrender in Singapore
18th Division H.Q.
- 118th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
- 135th (East Anglian) (Hertfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
- 148th (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
- 125th Anti Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
- 287th Field Company, Royal Engineers
- 288th Field Company, Royal Engineers
- 560th Field Company, Royal Engineers
- 18th Reconnaissance Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps - formerly 5th Battalion, Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)
- 9th Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, M.G. Battalion - Lieut.Col.Lechmere Thomas/Henry (Flossie) Flower
- 198th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
- Brigadier C.L.B. Duke
- 2nd Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment - Lieut.Col.Thorne
- 5th Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment
- 6th Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment - Lieut.Col.Ian Lywood (Hospitalised with malaria but killed during the massacre at Alexandra Hospital)
Commander previous to Duke were Brig. M.D. Jephson and Brig. S. Collingwood.
- Brigadier E.K.W.Backhouse
- 4th Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment
- 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
- 5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
- Brigadier J.B.Coates
- 1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment - Lieut.Col.Gerald Carpenter
- 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
- 1/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters - Lieut.Col.Harold Lilly
- 53 Infantry Brigade at Orders of Battle.com
- 'Singapore Burning', Colin Smith. Penguin Books 2006. England. ISBN 978-0-14-101036-6
- Order of Battle
- Unit History
- Order of Battle Data Base
- Cambridgeshire Regt. Site
- History of Malayan Campaign