129th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)

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South Western Brigade
129th (South Western) Brigade
129th Infantry Brigade
43 inf div -vector.svg
43rd Division insignia, World War II
Active 1908-1919
1920-1946
1947-1968
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg Territorial Army
Type Infantry
Size Brigade
Part of 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division
Engagements Operation Overlord
Operation Market Garden
Battle of the Bulge
Operation Blackcock
Operation Veritable

The 129th Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade of the British Army that served during both the First and Second World Wars. In both wars the brigade was part of 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The brigade was originally formed in 1908 in the Territorial Force as the South Western Brigade attached to the Wessex Division. It was composed of four Volunteer battalions, two, the 4th and 5th, of the Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry), the 4th Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment and one, the 4th Battalion, of the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment).

First World War[edit]

The division was mobilised in August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the Great War. The division was sent overseas to India to free up Regular Army troops for service on the Western Front in France and Belgium. In 1915 the division was numbered as the 43rd (Wessex) Division and the brigade became the 129th (1/1st South Western) Brigade. However, the division, and the brigade, never saw action and was disbanded later in the war but the many of the divisions units saw service with mainly British Indian Army brigades and divisions.

First World War order of battle[edit]

Between the wars[edit]

The Territorial Force was disbanded shortly after the end of the Great War. It was, however, reformed as the Territorial Army in 1920 and both the 43rd Division and the brigade were also reformed. The brigade was now known as 129th (South Western) Infantry Brigade, composed of the same battalions it had before the Great War and this was the composition of the brigade for most of the inter-war years.

In 1938 all infantry brigades were reduced from four to three battalions and so, as a result, the 4th Battalion, Dorset Regiment was transferred to the 128th (Hampshire) Infantry Brigade. In 1939 the brigade was redesignated as 129th Infantry Brigade and the 4th Dorsets was transferred to the 130th Infantry Brigade. In the same year, the 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, formed as a 2nd Line duplicate of the 4th Wilts when the Territorials were doubled in size, also joined the brigade and the 5th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry was transferred to 135th Infantry Brigade, part of 45th (Wessex) Infantry Division, which was formed as a 2nd Line duplicate of the 43rd (Wessex).[1]

Second World War[edit]

The brigade served with the division throughout the Second World War and spent from 1939 until June 1944 in intensive training throughout the United Kingdom, particularly in Kent. They were training for the invasion of France and landed in Normandy in late June 1944. They fought in the Normandy Campaign, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhine Crossing.

Second World War order of battle[edit]

Second World War commanders[edit]

  • Brig. G.E.M. Whittuck
  • Brig. W.K.M. Leader
  • Brig. G. Brunskill (11 March 1941–11th Aug.1942)
  • Brig. G.H.L. Mole
  • Brig. J.O.E. Vandeleur
  • Brig. W.R. Cox

References[edit]

External links[edit]