The 11th (Northern) Division in 1914-1918

The history of 11th (Northern) Division

symbolThe Division came into existence as a result of Army Order No. 324, issued on 21 August 1914, which authorised the formation of the six new Divisions of K1. It was formed of volunteers, under the administration of Northern Command. After initial training at the regimental depots, the units of the Division concentrated: the infantry at Grantham in Lincolnshire, artillery at Leeds, Sheffield, Norwich and Weedon in Northamptonshire, RE at Newark, RAMC at Sheffield, ASC at Lichfield in Staffordshire.

On 18 October 1914, still desparately short of uniform and equipment, the infantry of the Division was inspected by Lord Kitchener at Belton Park. On 4 April 1915 teh Division assembled at Witley and Frensham, where final training was undertaken. King George V inspected the Division on Hankey Common on 31 May 1915.

On 12 June 1915, the Division received orders to prepare for service at Gallipoli.

1915
Embarkation took place at Liverpool from 30 June, with much of the Division sailing on the Aquitania and Empress of Britain. Mudros was reached by Divisional HQ and 32nd Brigade on 10 July. On 6-7 August 1915 the Division landed near Lala Baba at Suvla Bay.
Gallipoli

On 19/20 December 1915 the Division withdrew from Gallipoli and moved to Imbros.

1916
On 26 January the Division began to move to Egypt, landing at Alexandria on 2 February and concentrating at Sidi Bishr six days later. 19 February saw the Division take over a section of the Suez canal defences.

The Division received orders on 17 June 1916 for a move to France. Embarkation at Alexandria was completed on 3rd July and by 7th of that month Divisional HQ had been set up at Flesselles. By 27 July, the Division had taken over part of the front in Third Army sector. The Division then took part in the following operations:

The capture of the Wundt-Werk (Wonder Work)*
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
The Battle of Thiepval*
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
Operations on the Ancre
The Battle of Messines
The Battle of the Langemarck**
The Battle of Polygon Wood**
The Battle of Broodseinde**
The Battle of Poelcapelle**
The battles marked ** are phases of the Third Battle of Ypres

1918
The Battle of the Scarpe+
The Battle of the Drocourt-Quant Line+
The battles marked + are phases of the Second Battles of Arras 1918
The Battle of the Canal du Nord^
The Battle of Cambrai 1918^
The pursuit to the Selle^
The battles marked ^ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The Battle of the Sambre including the passage of the Grand Honelle

When the Armistice halted the fighting, the Division was on high ground east of Havay.
Between 26-28 November the Division was moved back behind the River Scheldt.
Demobilisation began in January 1919 and ended in June 1919.

From 1915 to 1918 the Division suffered a total of 32,165 officers and men killed, wounded or missing in action.

The order of battle of the 11th (Northern) Division

32nd Brigade  
9th Bn, the West Yorkshire Regt  
6th Bn, the East Yorkshire Regt left December 1914
6th Bn, the Yorkshire Regt left June 1918
6th Bn, the York & Lancaster Regt  
8th Bn, the Duke of Wellington's joined 18 January 1915, disbanded February 1918
32nd Machine Gun Company formed March 1916
left to move into 11th MG Battalion 28 February 1918
32nd Trench Mortar Battery joined 17 July 1916
2nd Bn, the Yorkshire Regt joined May 1918
   
33rd Brigade  
6th Bn, the Lincolnshire Regt  
6th Bn, the Border Regt disbanded February 1918
7th Bn, the South Staffordshire Regt  
9th Bn, the Sherwood Foresters  
33rd Machine Gun Company formed March 1916
left to move into 11th MG Battalion 28 February 1918
33rd Trench Mortar Battery joined July 1917
   
34th Brigade  
8th Bn, the Northumberland Fusiliers  
9th Bn, the Lancashire Fusiliers disbanded February 1918
5th Bn, the Dorsetshire Regt  
11th Bn, the Manchester Regt  
34th Machine Gun Company formed March 1916
left to move into 11th MG Battalion 28 February 1918
34th Trench Mortar Battery joined July 1917
   
Divisional Troops  
6th Bn, the East Yorkshire Regt joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion in December 1914
11 Motor Machine Gun Battery joined early 1915, left before embarkation
250th Machine Gun Company joined 16 November 1917
left to move into 11th MG Battalion 28 February 1918
11th Battalion Machine Gun Corps formed 28 February 1918
   
Divisional Mounted Troops  
A Sqn, the Royal Glasgow Yeomanry 2-30 June 1915 only
B Sqn, the Hertfordshire Yeomanry 4 April - July 1916
11th Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps formed January 1915, left 12 July 1916
   
Divisional Artillery  
LVIII Brigade, RFA  
LIX Brigade, RFA  
LX Brigade, RFA broken up January 1917
LXI (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA left before embarkation
11th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA  
11th (Hull) Heavy Battery, RGA left before embarkation
91st Heavy Battery, RGA left before embarkation
10th Heavy Battery, RGA attached at Suvla Bay 14 August to 17 December 1915
CXXXIII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA joined 26 April 1916, broken up January 1917
V.11 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA joined 9 August 1916, left 12 February 1918
X.11, Y.11 and Z.11 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA joined 9 August 1916; on 3 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
   
Royal Engineers  
67th Field Company  
68th Field Company  
86th Field Company joined February 1915
11th Divisional Signals Company  
   
Royal Army Medical Corps  
33rd Field Ambulance  
34th Field Ambulance  
35th Field Ambulance  
21st Sanitary Section left 9 December 1916
   
Other Divisional Troops  
11th Divisional Train ASC 112, 113, 114 and 115 Companies. Did not move overseas with the Division and transferred to 26th Division. Shared 10th Divisional Train at Gallipoli and Egypt. Replaced by new Train (479, 480, 481 and 482 Companies) in July 1916
22nd Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
213th Divisional Employment Company formed by 30 June 1917
11th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop remained with original Divisional Train when it left

This page is dedicated to the memory of men like
Albert Baker, my grandfather's cousin. Among the first to enlist, he served with the 7th South Staffords at Gallipoli and on the Somme. He was killed in action on 7 June 1917 and has no known grave. Albert, like all of my father's family, was from Aston, Birmingham. He was 19 when he died.
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