155th (South Scottish) Brigade

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South Scottish Brigade
155th (South Scottish) Brigade
155th Infantry Brigade
155th Independent Infantry Brigade
52 inf div -vector.svg
52nd Division insignia, Second World War
Active 1908-1919
1920–1946
1947-1955
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg Territorial Army
Type Infantry, Mountain and Air Landing
Size Brigade
Part of 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division

The 155th (South Scottish) Brigade was an infantry brigade of the British Army that saw active service in both World War I and World War II. Assigned to the 52nd (Lowland) Division, the brigade saw active service in the Middle East and on the Western Front during the First World War. During the Second World War, now the 155th Infantry Brigade, it continued to serve with the 52nd Division in Operation Dynamo, and later in North-western Europe from late 1944 until May 1945.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The brigade was raised in 1908 when the Territorial Force was created, by the merger of the Yeomanry and the Volunteer Force. The brigade was originally formed as the South Scottish Brigade assigned to the Lowland Division. The brigade was composed of two battalions each of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and the King's Own Scottish Borderers.

First World War[edit]

On the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 the Lowland Division was mobilised for full-time war service. In 1915 the division was numbered as the 52nd (Lowland) Division and the brigade the 155th (1/1st South Scottish) Brigade and the battalions received the '1/' prefix (1/4th Royal Royal Scots Fusiliers) to distinguish them from their 2nd Line units being formed as the 194th (2/1st South Scottish) Brigade, part of 65th (2nd Lowland) Division. During the First World War the brigade served in the Middle Eastern theatre and later on the Western Front.

First World War order of battle[edit]

  • 1/4th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers
  • 1/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers
  • 1/4th Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers
  • 1/5th Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers (left 28 June 1918)
  • 155th Machine Gun Company, Machine Gun Corps (formed 23 March 1916, moved to 52nd Battalion, Machine Gun Corps 28 April 1918)
  • 155th Trench Mortar Battery (formed 24 May 1917)[1]

Between the wars[edit]

After the war the brigade and division were both disbanded as was the Territorial Force. The Territorial Force was, however, reformed in 1920 as the Territorial Army and the 52nd Division was reconstituted as was the brigade which was redesignated as the 155th (South Scottish) Infantry Brigade. The brigade was reformed with the same units as it had before the First World War.[2]

In 1921, the 4th and 5th battalions of the Royal Scots Fusiliers were amalgamated into the 4th/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers[3] and it was later transferred to the 156th (Scottish Rifles) Infantry Brigade, later redesignated 156th (West Scottish) Infantry Brigade. The 155th Brigade later received the 4th/5th (Queen's Edinburgh Rifles) Battalion, Royal Scots (the amalgamated 4th and 5th battalions) and the 7th/9th (Highlanders) Battalion, Royal Scots (the amalgamated 7th and 9th) both arrived from 156th Brigade and was redesignated 155th (East Scottish) Infantry Brigade.

In the late 1930s there was an increasing need for anti-aircraft defences throughout Britain and many infantry battalions were converted into anti-aircraft or searchlight units of the Royal Artillery or Royal Engineers. In 1938 all infantry brigades of the British Army were reduced from four to three battalions and, in the same year, the 4th/5th Battalion, Royal Scots was converted into an anti-aircraft role, becoming the 4th/5th Battalion, Royal Scots (52nd Searchlight Regiment).[4] In 1939 the brigade was finally redesignated 155th Infantry Brigade.

Second World War[edit]

During the Second World War, the 155th Infantry Brigade served with the 52nd Division during Operation Ariel in France in 1940 to cover the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) which was being evacuated from France. The 52nd Division was itself evacuated from France on 17 June 1940, and spent many years on anti-invasion duties, training to repel an expected German invasion of Britain. From May 1942 to June 1944 the division was trained in mountain warfare yet was never used in the role. They were then trained in airlanding operations but were, again, never utilised in the role. In October 1944 they were sent to Belgium as a standard infantry division to join the 21st Army Group and were attached to First Canadian Army and fought in the Battle of the Scheldt where the 52nd Division gained an excellent reputation. The brigade was attached to 7th Armoured Division during Operation Blackcock in 1945 and ended the war by the River Elbe.

Second World War order of battle[edit]

156th Brigade was constituted as follows during the war:[5]

Second World War commanders[edit]

The following officers commanded 155th Brigade during the war:[5]

  • Brigadier T. Grainger-Stewart (until 14 February 1942)
  • Brigadier C.D. Moorhead (from 14 February until 28 July 1942)
  • Lieutenant Colonel T.H.M. Murray (Acting, from 28 to 30 July 1942)
  • Brigadier G.P. Miller (from 30 July 1942 until 27 January 1943)
  • Lieutenant Colonel J.T. Campbell (Acting, from 27 January until 16 February 1943)
  • Brigadier E. Hakewill Smith (from 16 February until 19 November 1943)
  • Lieutenant Colonel W.F.R. Turner (Acting, from 19 November until 9 December 1943)
  • Lieutenant Colonel W.A.H. Maxwell (Acting, from 9 to 11 December 1943)
  • Brigadier J.F.S. McLaren (from 11 December 1943 until 4 February 1945, from 20 February to 25 June, again from 30 June to 31 July, and again from 12 August 1945)
  • Lieutenant Colonel W.F.R. Turner (Acting, from 4 to 15 February 1945)
  • Lieutenant Colonel E.L. Percival (Acting, from 15 to 20 February 1945)
  • Lieutenant Colonel J.G. Dawson (Acting, from 25 to 30 June 1945)
  • Lieutenant Colonel E.L. Percival (Acting, from 31 July until 12 August 1945)

Victoria Cross recipients[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baker, Chris. "The 52nd (Lowland) Division in 1914-1918". The Long Long Trail. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division (1930–38)" (PDF). British Military History. 13 December 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Royal Scots Fusiliers". regiments.org. Archived from the original on 9 February 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "1st Battalion, The Queen's Edinburgh Rifles". regiments.org. Archived from the original on 27 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Joslen (1960), p. 342.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Joslen, Lt.-Col. Hubert Frank (1960). Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-84342-474-6.