39th Division (United Kingdom)

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39th Division
Active 1915–1919
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Gerald Cuthbert
Neill Malcolm
Cyril Blacklock

The 39th Division was an infantry division of the British Army, raised during the Great War. The division was part of Kitchener's New Armies and saw service on the Western Front and in Italy during the First World War.

History[edit]

The division was formed as part of the fifth wave (K5) of divisions in the New Army; it did not have a regional title, but was composed primarily of recruits from the Midlands, London, and the south of England. Several of its battalions had been raised by local communities, and were named for their towns or industries. After training and home service, it deployed to the Western Front in early 1916, and fought in the Battle of the Somme. The following year, it saw action at the Third Battle of Ypres, and in 1918 took heavy losses in the German Army's Spring Offensive.

Following near-destruction at the Battle of the Lys, the division was reduced to a cadre, which spent the remainder of the war training newly arrived units of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). The division demobilised after the Armistice with Germany, and had ceased to exist by July 1919. The division was not reformed after the war, and did not serve in the Second World War.

Order of battle[edit]

116th Brigade

  • 11th (Service) Battalion (1st South Down), Royal Sussex Regiment (left June 1918)
  • 12th (Service) Battalion (2nd South Down), Royal Sussex Regiment (disbanded 8 February 1918)
  • 13th (Service) Battalion (3rd South Down), Royal Sussex Regiment (left June 1918)
  • 14th (Service) Battalion (1st Portsmouth), Hampshire Regiment (disbanded 23 February 1918)
  • 116th Machine Gun Company (formed 18 May 1916, moved to 39th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps 14 March 1918)
  • 116th Trench Mortar Battery (formed 16 June 1916)
  • 1/1st Battalion, Herefordshire Regiment (from 8 February 1918, left 9 May 1918)

117th Brigade

  • 16th (Service) Battalion (Chatsworth Rifles), Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) (left 16 August 1918)
  • 17th (Service) Battalion (Welbeck Rangers), Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) (disbanded 8 February 1918)
  • 17th (Service) Battalion (British Empire League), King's Royal Rifle Corps (left 16 August 1918)
  • 16th (Service) Battalion (St. Pancras), Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) (left August 1918)
  • 117th Machine Gun Company (formed 18 May 1916, moved to 39th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps 14 March 1918)
  • 117th Trench Mortar Battery (formed 18 June 1916)

118th Brigade

  • 10th (Service) Battalion (Kent County), Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) (left 16 October 1915)
  • 11th (Service) Battalion (Lewisham), Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) (left 16 October 1915)
  • 13th (Service) Battalion (Wandsworth), East Surrey Regiment (remained in England 23 February 1916)
  • 20th (Service) Battalion (Shoreditch), Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) (remained in England 23 February 1916)
  • 21st (Service) Battalion (Islington), Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) (remained in England 23 February 1916)
  • 14th (Service) Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) (remained in England 23 February 1916)
  • 1/6th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment (from 29 February 1916, left 28 May 1918)
  • 1/4th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (from 29 February 1916, merged with 1/5th Battalion March 1916, became 4th/5th Battalion)
  • 1/5th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (from 29 February 1916, merged with 1/4th Battalion March 1916, became 4th/5th Battalion)
  • 1/1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment (from 29 February 1916, left 9 May 1918)
  • 1/1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment (from 29 February 1916, left 8 April 1918)
  • 118th Machine Gun Company, Machine Gun Corps (formed 21 March 1916, moved to 39th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps 14 March 1918)
  • 118th Trench Mortar Battery (formed 1 July 1916)[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]