4th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)
World War I
The brigade served with the 2nd Infantry Division and was among the first British units to be sent overseas, shortly after World War I began, as part of the British Expeditionary Force. At this time it was designated as 4th (Guards) Brigade as it commanded four battalions of Foot Guards. It served on the Western Front in 1914 and 1915 before being transferred to the Guards Division and redesignated as 1st Guards Brigade on 20 August 1915.
While with the 2nd Division, it took part in the Battle of Mons (23 and 24 August 1914), the First Battle of the Marne (6 – 9 September), the First Battle of the Aisne (13 – 20 September), the First Battle of Ypres (19 October – 30 November), and the Battle of Festubert (15 – 20 May 1915).
World War I Composition
The following units formed the brigade:
- 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards
- 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards
- 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards
- 1st Battalion, Irish Guards
- 1/1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment (from 20 November 1914, then to 6th Brigade 19 August 1915)
World War II
A regular army formation, this brigade served in France in 1940 as part of the BEF, evacuated to England on May 31, 1940. It remained in the United Kingdom until April 1942 when, with the rest of the 2nd Infantry Division, it was shipped to India to fight in the Burma Campaign until the end of the war in 1945. During the war, three members of the brigade won the Victoria Cross, all members of the 2nd Royal Norfolks, all posthumously. They were George Gristock, John Niel Randle and George Arthur Knowland.
World War II Composition
The following units served with 4th Infantry Brigade in World War II:
- 1st Battalion, Royal Scots (until 3 November 1942 and from 3 July 1943)
- 2nd Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment
- 1st Battalion, Border Regiment (until 4 May 1940)
- 1/8th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers (from 4 May 1940)
Battles in World War II
The brigade took part in the following actions:
- Becke, Major A.F. (1935). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 1. The Regular British Divisions. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-09-4.
- Joslen, Lt-Col H.F. (1990) [1st. Pub. HMSO:1960]. Orders of Battle, Second World War, 1939–1945. London: London Stamp Exchange. ISBN 0-948130-03-2.
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