The 15th (Scottish) Division in 1914-1918

The history of 15th (Scottish) Division

symbolThis Division was established by the Scottish Command in September 1914, as part of the Army Orders authorising Kitchener's Second New Army, K2. Early days were somewhat chaotic, the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them, no organised billets or equipment. The Division was inspected by HM King George V on 26 September 1914 - the first occasion on which the Division paraded as a formed unit, and with the exception of the Staff, plain clothes were worn. By 22 January 1915 the Division was in uniform for an inspection by Kitchener. By the early summer of 1915, the Division was considered to be ready for France and embarkation orders were received on 3 July 1915.

7-13 July 1915 : landed in France. The Division served with distinction on the Western Front for the remainder of the war, taking part in most of the significant actions and winning regard by the enemy as one of the most formidable in the British army.

1915
The Battle of Loos

1916
In spring 1916, the Division was involved in German gas attacks near Hulluch (27-29 April 1916) and in the defence of the Kink position (11 May 1916). These are among the engagements officially known as the Actions of Spring 1916.
The Battle of Pozieres*
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette* in which the Division captured Martinpuich
The Battle of Le Transloy* in which the Division took part in attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe**
The Second Battle of the Scarpe** in which the Division captured Guemappe
The battles marked ** are phases of the Arras Offensive
The Battle of Pilckem***
The Battle of Langemark***
The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres

1918
The First Battle of Bapaume+
The First Battle of Arras+
The battles marked + are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of the Soissonnais and of the Ourcq including the the attack on Buzancy, a phase of the Battles of the Marne 1918
The Final Advance in Artois

The order of battle of the 15th (Scottish) Division

44th Brigade  
9th Bn, the Black Watch left February 1918
8th Bn, the Seaforth Highlanders  
9th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders left January 1915
10th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders left May 1916
7th Bn, the Cameron Highlanders joined January 1915, left as a cadre June 1918
1/4th Bn, the Black Watch joined November 1915, left January 1916
8th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders joined May 1916, left as a cadre June 1918. Named 8/10th Bn from May 1916
44th Machine Gun Company joined 12 January 1916
left to move into 15th MG Battalion 17 March 1918
44th Trench Mortar Battery joined 25 June 1916
4/5th Bn, the Black Watch joined June 1918
1/5th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders joined June 1918
   
45th Brigade  
13th Bn, the Royal Scots  
6/7th Bn, the Royal Scots Fusiliers joined as 7th Bn September 1914, became 6/7th May 1916, left February 1918
6th Bn, the Cameron Highlanders  
11th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders left as a cadre in June 1918
45th Machine Gun Company joined 12 February 1916
left to move into 15th MG Battalion 17 March 1918
45th Trench Mortar Battery joined 17 June 1916
1/8th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders joined June 1918
   
46th Brigade  
7th Bn, the King's Own Scottish Borderers  
8th Bn, the King's Own Scottish Borderers merged and became 7/8th Bn, May 1916
10th Bn, the Cameronians  
12th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry left February 1918
1/4th Bn, the Suffolk Regiment joined November 1915, left February 1916
1/4th Bn, the Seaforth Highlanders joined November 1915, left February 1916
46th Machine Gun Company joined 11 February 1916
left to move into 15th MG Battalion 17 March 1918
10/11th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry joined May 1916, left February 1918
46th Trench Mortar Battery joined 20 June 1916
9th Bn, the Black Watch joined February 1918, left as a cadre May 1918
4/5th Bn, the Black Watch joined May 1918, left June 1918
1/9th Bn, the Royal Scots joined June 1918
   
Divisional Troops  
7th Bn, the Bedfordshire Regiment left February 1915
7th Bn, the Leicestershire Regiment left April 1915
9th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders joines as Divisional Pioneer Bn January 1915
11th Motor Machine Gun Battery joined 23 June 1915, left 22 July 1916
225th Machine Gun Company joined 19 July 1917
left to move into 15th MG Battalion 17 March 1918
15th Battalion Machine Gun Corps formed 17 March 1918
   
Divisional Mounted Troops  
B Sqn, the Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry joined 23 June 1915, left 10 May 1916
15th Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps formed 23 December 1914, left 21 June 1916
   
Divisional Artillery  
LXX Brigade, RFA  
LXXI Brigade, RFA  
LXXII Brigade, RFA left 20 January 1917
LXXIII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA broken up 1-3 December 1916
15th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA  
15th Heavy Battery, RGA raised with the Division but moved independently to Gallipoli and was attached to 10th (Irish) Division in 1915
V.15 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA joined November 1916, left 9 February 1918
X.15, Y.15 and Z.15 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA formed by June 1916; on 9 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
   
Royal Engineers  
73rd Field Company  
74th Field Company  
91st Field Company joined January 1915
15th Divisional Signals Company  
   
Royal Army Medical Corps  
45th Field Ambulance  
46th Field Ambulance  
47th Field Ambulance  
32nd Sanitary Section left 29 March 1917
   
Other Divisional Troops  
15th Divisional Train ASC 138, 139, 140 and 141 Companies
27th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
216th Divisional Employment Company joined 22 May 1917
15th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop absorbed into Divisional Train 9 April 1916

This page is dedicated to the memory of men like Robert MacLeod. Commissioned into the 8th Seaforth Highlanders, he was made a Trench Mortar Officer, for which he won the Military Cross in 1916. Robert went on to command the group of Medium TM Batteries of 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
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