43rd Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)

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43 (Wessex) Brigade
43rd Infantry Brigade logo.jpg
Insignia of the 43 (Wessex) Brigade
Active 1914-1944
1985-2014
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Regional Command
Role Support to the Field Army
Size Brigade
Part of Support Command
Garrison/HQ Jellalabad Barracks, Tidworth Camp

The 43rd Infantry Brigade, later 43 (Wessex) Brigade, was a brigade of the British Army.

History[edit]

The brigade was originally created during World War I as part of the 14th (Light) Division, part of Kitchener's Army. It was reformed as a Lines of Communication security force in North Africa during the Second World War.

First World War Order of Battle[edit]

The brigade was redesignated on 9 November 1943 as the 40th Infantry Division for deception purposes. The brigade was in Sicily for "internal security duties on lines of communications". The battalions of the brigade (30th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, 30th Royal Norfolk Regiment and 30th Dorset Regiment) "were given brigade designations; and every effort was made to appear to be a division. This included the adoption of a divisional sign featuring the diamond and acord of the Great War 40th Div.; these were made up locally and worn on uniform by the personnel of the 'division'-in reality, three battalions of low medical category men armed with personal weapons only and with a skeleton compliment of transport." (Chappell, p. 23)

The brigade was disbanded, still in Sicily, in June 1944.

In 1985 43rd (Wessex) Brigade was formed as one of the new one star Headquarters principally as a National Defence Brigade commanding the Territorial Army in the south west of England. Due to its south-west location, it assumed the history and badge of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division rather than the old 43rd Infantry Brigade. In 1995 the restructuring programme within the British Army saw an increase in the brigade's responsibility to include regional and budgetary aspects working to a new superior headquarters - 3rd Division. The Strategic Defence Review of 1998 further increased the brigade's responsibility and as from 1 April 1999 it came under the command of Headquarters 4th Division, and moved from Exeter to Bulford in September 1999 to establish the new Headquarters 43rd (Wessex) Brigade.

43 (Wessex) Brigade was transferred to 4th Division on 1 April 2007, and then came under Support Command in late 2011.[1] The brigade was disbanded on 1 September 2014 under the Army 2020 plan, when units and personnel from the brigade merged with Royal Artillery regiments to form 1st Artillery Brigade and Headquarters South West.[2]

Composition before disbandment[edit]

Attached Units[edit]

  • 243 Field Hospital (Wessex) (RHQ Keynsham) (TA)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Army structure
  2. ^ "43 (Wessex) Brigade Lowers Flag For Last Time". Forces TV. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 

External links[edit]