50th (Northumbrian) Division

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the equivalent formation in World War II, see 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division.
Northumbrian Division
50th (Northumbrian) Division
Active 1908 – 19 March 1919
Country  United Kingdom
Allegiance British Crown
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
HQ (peacetime) Richmond, North Yorkshire
Engagements

Western Front (World War I)

Second Battle of Ypres
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Arras (1917)
Third Battle of Ypres
First Battle of the Somme (1918)
Battle of the Lys (1918)
Battles of the Hindenburg Line
Final Advance in Picardy

The Northumbrian Division was an infantry division formed in 1908 as part of the Territorial Force of the British Army with units drawn from the north-east of England, notably Northumberland, Durham and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire. The division was numbered as 50th (Northumbrian) Division in 1915 and served on the Western Front throughout World War I. Due to losses suffered in the Ludendorf Offensive in 1918 it had to be comprehensively reorganized. It was once again reformed in the Territorial Army as the Northumbrian Division in 1920.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Under the Army reforms of 1908, the Territorial Force was formed and organised into regional Divisions, area Brigades and local Battalions. In 1907 Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell was appointed to command the Division;[1] he held command from April 1908 to 1910.[2] A Division was in effect a self-contained army of approximately 18,000 men including infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineer, medical, supply and signal units. The Northumbrian Division was typical, consisting of three infantry brigades, the 'Northumberland', 'York and Durham' and 'Durham Light Infantry (DLI)' Brigades. Each brigade was composed of four infantry battalions.

World War I[edit]

The division moved to France in April 1915 and it served on the Western Front for the rest of the war. In 1915 it took part in the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of the Somme in 1916.[3] In 1917 it took part in the Battle of Arras and the Third Battle of Ypres. As a result of the losses suffered in the Ludendorf Offensive (First Battle of the Somme and Battle of the Lys), the division had to be comprehensively reorganized.[4] The assigned infantry battalions were reduced to cadre on 15 July 1918 and left the division. They were replaced by six battalions from Salonika, one from Palestine and two that had been in France since August 1914.[5] Thereafter, it took part in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy.[4]

Post-war[edit]

The 50th Division had crossed the Sambre and reached Solre-le-Château on 10 November 1918 when it was relieved from the line. Demobilization started in December and by 19 March 1919 the division had ceased to exist in France. It was reformed again in England on 1 April 1920 as the Northumbrian Division.[4]

Order of Battle, World War I[edit]

  • HQ: Richmond (Yorkshire)
  • GOC: Major General B. Burton

149th (Northumberland) Brigade[edit]

Until July 1918:

  • 1/4th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers – reduced to cadre and left 15 July 1918
  • 1/5th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers – reduced to cadre and left 15 July 1918
  • 1/6th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers – reduced to cadre and left 15 July 1918
  • 1/7th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers – transferred to 42nd Division as a Pioneer Battalion, 10 February 1918
  • 1/5th (Cumberland) Battalion, Border Regiment – joined May 1915, left for 151st Brigade December 1915

From July 1918:

150th (York and Durham) Brigade[edit]

Until July 1918:

From July 1918:

151st (Durham Light Infantry) Brigade[edit]

Until July 1918

  • 1/6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry – reduced to cadre and left 15 July 1918
  • 1/7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry – left to become Pioneer Battalion 16 November 1915
  • 1/8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry – reduced to cadre and left 15 July 1918
  • 1/9th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry – left 12 February 1918
  • 1/5th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment – joined 11 June 1915, left 21 December 1915
  • 1/5th (Cumberland) Battalion, Border Regiment – joined from 149th Brigade December 1915, left 12 February 1918
  • 1/5th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry – joined from 150th Brigade 12 February 1918, reduced to cadre and left 15 July 1918

From July 1918

Pioneers[edit]

  • 1/7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry – joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion 16 November 1915, left 20 June 1918
  • 5th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment – joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion 14 July 1918

Mounted Troops[edit]

Engineers[edit]

Originally composed of the 1st and 2nd Northumbrian Field Companies and Northumbrian Division Signal Company, Royal Engineers headquarted at Newcastle.

  • 446th (1st Northumbrian) Field Company – left December 1914, rejoined June 1915
  • 447th (2nd Northumbrian) Field Company
  • 7th Field Company – joined June 1915
  • 50th Divisional Signals Company

Artillery[edit]

Composed of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Northumbrian Bdes (Royal Field Artillery) and the Northumbrian Heavy Battery (Royal Garrison Artillery).

Royal Field Artillery

  • 1st Northumbrian Bde was composed of:
    • 1st Northumberland Battery
    • 2nd Northumberland Battery
    • 3rd Northumberland Battery
    • 1st Northumbrian Ammunition Column. HQ – Newcastle
  • 2nd Northumbrian Bde was composed of:
    • 1st East Riding Battery
    • 2nd East Riding Battery
    • 3rd East Riding Battery
    • 2nd Northumbrian Ammunition Column. HQ – Hull
  • 3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Bde was composed of:
    • 1st Durham Battery. HQ – Seaham Harbour
    • 2nd Durham Battery. HQ – Durham
    • 3rd Durham Battery. HQ – West Hartlepool
    • 3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Ammunition Column. HQ – Seaham Harbour
  • 4th Northumbrian (County of Durham) Howitzer Bde was composed of:
    • 4th Durham (Howitzer) Battery. HQ – South Shields
    • 5th Durham (Howitzer) Battery. HQ – Hebburn on Tyne
    • 4th Northumbran (County of Durham) Ammunition Column. HQ – South Shields

Royal Garrison Artillery

  • Northumbrian (North Riding) Heavy Battery. HQ – Middlesbrough

Transport & Supply[edit]

The 50th Divisional Train (Army Service Corps) was composed of:

  • 467 Company. HQ – Gateshead
  • 468 Company. HQ – Newcastle
  • 469 Company. HQ – Hull
  • 470 Company. HQ – Sunderland

Joined by 336 (Motor Transport) Company

Medical[edit]

  • 1st Northumbrian Field Ambulance. HQ – Newcastle
  • 2nd Northumbrian Field Ambulance. HQ – Darlington
  • 3rd Northumbrian Field Ambulance. HQ – Hull

Battles[edit]

Commanders[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reported as "a Yorkshire division" in The Times, 29 October 1907, p.6; the Dictionary of National Biography lists it as the Northumbrian Division, which encompassed units from the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire as well as Northumbria proper.
  2. ^ http://www.gulabin.com/armynavy/pdf/Army%20Commands%201900-2011.pdf
  3. ^ Becke 1936, p. 99
  4. ^ a b c Becke 1936, p. 100
  5. ^ Becke 1936, p. 98

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. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]