47th (London) Infantry Division

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2nd London Division
47th (London) Infantry Division
47th Infantry (Reserve) Division
Active 1939–1946
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Commanders
Notable
commanders
William Ramsden
Sir Gerald Templer

The 2nd London Division was a 2nd Line Territorial Army (TA) infantry division of the British Army, duplicate of the 1st London Division, during the Second World War. On 21 November 1940, the division was renamed as the 47th (London) Infantry Division.[1]

The formation patch depicted two bells tied with a bow (Bow Bells of London).[2]

History[edit]

Infantry training at the 47th Division School of Battle Drill at Lymington near Southampton, Hampshire, 11 March 1942. The troops are seen advancing between the backs of houses and a railway line.

The division was formed in the Territorial Army as a 2nd Line duplicate of the 1st London Division. In September 1939 it was organized as a Motor Division; however it was reorganized as an Infantry Division in June 1940, with the addition of the 25th Infantry Brigade. On 21 November 1940 it was redesignated as the 47th (London) Infantry Division. On 1 September 1944 it was redesignated as 47th Infantry (Reserve) Division became a reserve division, in which capacity it remained through the rest of the war. The division remained in the United Kingdom throughout the Second World War.[1]

Order of battle[edit]

The following units and formations constituted the division during World War II:[1][3][4]

4th London Infantry Brigade (140th (London) Infantry Brigade from 21 November 1940; disbanded 31 August 1944)[5]

5th London Infantry Brigade (141st (London) Infantry Brigade from 21 November 1940; disbanded 27 October 1944)[6]

  • 2nd Battalion, London Rifle Brigade (Rifle Brigade)
  • 2nd Battalion, London Scottish (Gordon Highlanders)
  • 2nd Battalion, Queen's Westminsters (King's Royal Rifle Corps)
  • 5th London Infantry Brigade Anti-Tank Company (formed 6 March, renamed 21 November 1940)
  • 141st (London) Infantry Brigade Anti-Tank Company (left 28 November 1941)
  • 16th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (joined 1 December 1940, left 18 September 1942)
  • 17th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (joined 17 December 1940, to 140 Bde 2 October 1942)
  • 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (from 141 Bde 2 October 1942, renamed 2 May 1944)
  • 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (from 2 May, left 18 July 1944)
  • 30th Battalion, Black Watch (joined 18 September, renamed 26 September 1942)
  • 8th Battalion, Black Watch (from 27 September 1942, left 14 September 1943)
  • 4th (City of Dundee) Battalion, Black Watch (joined 6 November 1943, left 15 July 1944)

6th London Infantry Brigade (disbanded 4 May 1940)[7] (These were all machine gun battalions)

  • 1st Battalion, Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment (Middlesex Regiment) (left 19 November 1939)
  • 2nd Battalion, Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment (left 3 May 1940)
  • 2/7th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (joined 7 October 1939, left 31 March 1940)
  • 1/8th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (joined 7 October 1939, left 25 November 1939)
  • 2/8th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (joined 7 October 1939, left 3 May 1940)

25th Infantry Brigade (joined 25 June 1940, disbanded 31 August 1944)[8]

220th Infantry Brigade (joined 1 September 1944; 141st Infantry Brigade from 17 November 1944)[9]

7th Infantry Brigade (joined 10 September 1944)[10]

47th (London) Divisional Artillery[1][11][12]

  • 117th (7th London) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (TA)
  • 138th (4th London) Field Regiment, RA (left 13 July 1942)
  • 114th (Sussex) Field Regiment, RA (left 28 November 1941)
  • 75th Field Regiment, RA (joined 1 February, left 10 April 1943)
  • 187th Field Regiment, RA (joined 24 April, left 26 June 1943)
  • 5th Field Regiment, RA (joined 26 June 1943, left 31 July 1944)
  • 168th Field Regiment, RA (joined 11 June, left 21 November 1943)
  • 173rd Field Regiment, RA (joined 1 September, left 7 December 1944)
  • 171st Field Regiment, RA (joined 30 May 1945)
  • 62nd Anti-Tank Regiment, RA (joined 7 October 1939, left 14 February 1943)
  • 78th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA (joined 14 February, left 8 November 1943)
  • 80th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA (joined 9 November 1943, left 6 August 1944)
  • 56th (Highland) Medium Regiment, RA (joined 1 September 1944)
  • 171st Heavy Regiment, RA (joined 27 February, left 29 May 1945)

47th (London) Divisional Engineers[1][13]

  • 501st Field Company, Royal Engineers (RE) (to 1st London Division 7 September 1939)
  • 502nd Field Company, RE (left 4 January 1943)
  • 503rd Field Company, RE (left 29 November 1941)
  • 222nd Field Company, RE (joined 16 July 1940, left 2 October 1943)
  • 179th Field Company, RE (joined 8 February, left 22 September 1943
  • 610th Field Company, RE (joined 5 February 1943, left 30 July 1944)
  • 507th Field Company, RE (joined 24 September 1943, left 30 July 1944, rejoined 29 January 1945)
  • 93rd Field Company, RE (joined 20 April, left 30 July 1944)
  • 250th Field Company, RE (joined 1 September 1944)
  • 649th Field Company, RE (joined 29 January 1945)
  • 504th Field Park Company, RE (left 31 January 1942)
  • Field Stores Section, RE, (formed 1 January 1942; disbanded 30 July 1944)
  • Field Stores Platoon, RE (formed 1 September 1944)

Signals[1][14][15]

  • 2nd (London) Motor Divisional Signals, Royal Corps of Signals (left to become 3rd Army Signals 21 November 1940)
  • 47th (London) Divisional Signals Regiment, RCS (formed 21 November 1940 from a cadre provided by 2nd (London) Motor Divisional Signals; disbanded 14 August 1944)
  • 47th Infantry (Reserve) Divisional Signals Regiment, RCS (from 1 September 1944)

Motorcycle Battalion

Reconnaissance

  • 47th Independent Company, Reconnaissance Corps (formed 3 December 1941, renamed 6 June 1942)
  • 47th Independent Squadron, Reconnaissance Corps (left 27 October 1943)

Commanders[edit]

The following officers commanded 47th Division during the war:[1]

  • Major-General Harry Willans
  • Brigadier William Havelock Ramsden (acting from 29 November 1940)
  • Major-General Clifford Cecil Malden (from 8 December 1940; killed 25 March 1941)
  • Brigadier Pat Bradshaw (acting from 25 March 1941)
  • Major-General John Edward Utterson-Kelso (18 April 1941-10 April 1942 and from 1 September 1944)
  • Major-General Gerald Templer (10 April–14 September 1942)
  • Major-General Alfred Eryk Robinson (14 September1942-31 August 1944)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Joslen, pp. 41–2.
  2. ^ Cole p. 43
  3. ^ 2 London Division 1939 at British Military History.
  4. ^ 47 (London) Division 1944–45 at British Military History.
  5. ^ Joslen, p. 235.
  6. ^ Joslen, p. 238.
  7. ^ Joslen, p. 242.
  8. ^ Joslen, p. 272.
  9. ^ Joslen, p. 383.
  10. ^ Joslen, p. 286.
  11. ^ Farndale, Annex D.
  12. ^ 47 (2 London) Division at RA 1939–45.
  13. ^ Richard A. Rinaldi, Royal Engineers, World War II at Orbat.com Archived 4 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Lord & Watson, pp. 244, 250.
  15. ^ Nalder, pp. 606–7.

References[edit]

  • Cole, H. (1973). Formation Badges of World War 2. British Commonwealth and Empire. London: Arms and Armour Press. 
  • Gen Sir Martin Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: The Years of Defeat: Europe and North Africa, 1939–1941, Woolwich: Royal Artillery Institution, 1988/London: Brasseys, 1996, ISBN 1-85753-080-2.
  • Joslen, Lieutenant-Colonel H.F (1960). Orders Of Battle Second World War 1939-1945. Naval & Military Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84342-474-1. 
  • Cliff Lord & Graham Watson, Royal Corps of Signals: Unit Histories of the Corps (1920–2001) and its Antecedents, Solihull: Helion, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-92-2.
  • Maj-Gen R.F.H. Nalder, The Royal Corps of Signals: A History of its Antecedents and Developments (Circa 1800–1955), London: Royal Signals Institution, 1958.

External links[edit]