27th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)

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27th Infantry Brigade
Country United Kingdom 1939–1951

 New Zealand artillery

India Indian medical personnel
AllegianceBritish Empire British Commonwealth 1939–1951
 United Nations 1950–1951
BranchBritish Army
EngagementsSecond World War
Korean War
Brigadier Basil Aubrey Coad

The 27th Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade of the British Army that saw service in the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War. In Korea, the brigade was known as 27th British Commonwealth Brigade due to the addition of Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and Indian units.

Unit history[edit]

First World War[edit]

Men of the 12th (Service) Battalion, Royal Scots manning the lip of a mine crater at Meteren, 23 June 1918.

It was originally formed in August 1914 as the 27th Brigade and was part of the 9th (Scottish) Division, the first of the Kitchener's Army divisions raised from volunteers by Lord Kitchener to serve on the Western Front during the First World War. It was originally composed of the 11th and 12th (Service) Battalions of the Royal Scots, 6th (Service) Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers and the 10th (Service) Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's).[1]

Second World War[edit]

In 1939 this brigade was reformed, as the 27th Infantry Brigade, in the Territorial Army as part of the 9th (Highland) Infantry Division, a 2nd Line duplicate of the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division. When the 51st (Highland) Division surrendered during the Battle of France in June 1940 the 9th (Highland) Division was redesignated as a new 51st Division. Due to this the 27th Infantry Brigade became the 153rd Infantry Brigade and served with the 51st (Highland) Division in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and North-West Europe from 1942 to 1945.

Post Second World War[edit]

An "orders group" of battalion commanders of the 27th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade in Korea on 22 Oct 1950, following the Battle of Yongju. In the foreground, seated left and leaning forward, is Brigadier Basil Aubrey Coad. Behind them are officers of the 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment of the US Army, who had just been extricated by the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

The Brigade was reformed in 1948 and sent out to Hong Kong, but was then sent on to Korea at the outbreak of the Korean War, where Major Kenneth Muir of the Argylls was awarded the Victoria Cross in September 1950.

Soon after arriving in Korea, the brigade was in action, being involved in the defence of the Pusan Perimeter, on 29 August 1950, and the UN offensive to link with the Inchon landings. The brigade was joined in September 1950 by an Australian contingent, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), and in December 1950 by the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. At this time the brigade had few of the support units that were a normal feature of other Commonwealth units in Korea, and were always at a disadvantage in this respect, being reliant on US support units.

After further action during the retreat from the Yalu River, the Chinese Winter Offensive (including Third Battle of Seoul in January 1951) and the UN counter-offensive. The Brigade was joined by the specially raised 16 Field Regiment Royal New Zealand Artillery in January 1951, and then a Canadian infantry battalion in February. The brigade's final action was during the Battle of Kapyong in April 1951. Both the Argylls and Middlesex Regiment were relieved and the brigade was disbanded, to be replaced by the fully constituted 28th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade, part of 1st Commonwealth Division.

Component units[edit]



1948 onwards[edit]


Korean War[edit]


  1. ^ p.70 Rikhye, Ravi Order of Battle of the British Army 1914 Richard A Rinaldi 15 Jul 2008


  • Gregory Blaxland, The Regiments Depart: A History of the British Army 1945–70, William Kimber, London, 1971.
  • Brian Catchpole: The Korean War ISBN 1-84119-413-1