The 1st Division in 1914-1918

The history of 1st Division

One of the first British formations to move to France, the 1st Division remained on the Western Front throughout the war. It took part in most of the major actions, including:

1914
The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, including the Rearguard Affair of Etreux
The Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Aisne including participation in the Actions on the Aisne heights and the Action of Chivy
First Battle of Ypres

On 31 October 1914, at the climax of the First Battle of Ypres, Divisional headquarters at Hooge was hit by enemy shellfire, whereupon the Divisional Commander (Major-General Lomax) was severely wounded and the GSO1 (Col. F.W.Kerr) was killed.

1915
Winter Operations 1914-15
The Battle of Aubers
The Battle of Loos

1916
The Battle of Albert*
The Battle of Bazentin*
The Battle of Pozieres*
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
The Battle of Morval*
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line
The Division was warned to prepare for an operation along the Belgian coast (Operation Hush) in Summer 1917 and several mobile units were attached in readiness. The operation was cancelled when the initial assaults in the Third Battle of Ypres failed to progress as expected.
The Second Battle of Passchendaele**
The battles marked ** are phases of the Third Battle of Ypres

1918
The Battle of Estaires***
The Battle of Hazebrouck***
The Battle of Bethune***
The battles marked *** are phases of the Battles of the Lys
The Battle of Drocourt-Queant+
The battle marked + is a phase of the Second Battles of Arras 1918
The Battle of Epehy++
The Battle of the St Quentin Canal++
The Battle of Beaurevoir++
The battles marked ++ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The Battle of the Selle
The Battle of the Sambre, in which the Division fought the Passage of the Sambre-Oise Canal

The Division was selected to advance into Germany and form part of the Occupation Force at Bonn.

The order of battle of the 1st Division

1st Guards Brigade On the formation of the Guards Division in August 1915, this brigade lost its two Guards battalions and was retitled as the 1st Brigade.
1st Bn, the Coldstream Guards left August 1915
1st Bn, the Scots Guards left August 1915
1st Bn, the Black Watch  
2nd, the Royal Munster Fusiliers left August 1914 after near-destruction at the Rearguard Affair of Etreux
1st Bn, the Cameron Highlanders joined September 1914
1/14th Bn, the London Regiment joined November 1914, left February 1916
10th Bn, the Gloucestershire Regt joined August 1915
8th Bn, the Royal Berkshire Regt joined August 1915, left 2 February 1918
1st Trench Mortar Battery joined by 27 November 1915
1st Machine Gun Company formed on 26 January 1916
left to move into 1st MG Battalion 28 February 1918
1st Bn, the Loyal North Lancashire Regt joined February 1918

2nd Brigade
 
2nd Bn, the Royal Sussex Regt  
1st Bn, the Loyal North Lancashire Regt left for 1st Brigade February 1918
1st Bn, the Northamptonshire Regt  
2nd Bn, the King's Royal Rifle Corps  
1/5th Bn, the Royal Sussex Regt joined February 1915, left August 1915
1/9th Bn, the King's (Liverpool Regt) joined March 1915, left November 1915
1/5th Bn, the King's Own (Lancaster Regt) joined October 1915, left January 1915
2nd Trench Mortar Battery joined by 27 November 1915
2nd Machine Gun Company formed on 26 January 1916
left to move into 1st MG Battalion 28 February 1918

3rd Brigade
 
1st Bn, the Queen's left November 1914
1st Bn, the South Wales Borderers  
1st Bn, the Gloucestershire Regiment  
2nd Bn, the Welsh Regiment  
2nd, the Royal Munster Fusiliers joined November 1914, left February 1918
1/4th Bn, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers joined November 1914, left September 1915
1/6th Bn, the Welsh Regiment joined October 1915, left May 1916
1/9th Bn, the King's (Liverpool Regt) joined November 1915, left January 1916
3rd Trench Mortar Battery joined by 27 November 1915
3rd Machine Gun Company formed on 26 January 1916
left to move into 1st MG Battalion 28 February 1918

Divisional Troops
under direct command of Divisional HQ
1/6th Bn, the Welsh Regiment joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion May 1916
216th Company, the Machine Gun Corps joined 22 March 1917
left to move into 1st MG Battalion 28 February 1918
1st Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps formed 28 February 1918
1st Divisional Train ASC 6, 13, 16 and 36 Companies
2nd Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
204th Divisional Employment Company joined 19 May 1917 at which time it was 6th Divisional Employment Company; renamed 14 June 1917
1st Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop Unit joined by 30 January 1915, transferred to Divisional Train 7 April 1916

Divisional Mounted Troops
under direct command of Divisional HQ
C Squadron, the 15th (King's) Hussars left April 1915
B Sqn, 1/1st Northumberland Hussars joined 13 April 1915, left 18 April 1916
1st Company, Army Cyclist Corps left 15 June 1916

Divisional Artillery
 
XXV Brigade, RFA  
XXVI Brigade, RFA left January 1917
XXXIX Brigade, RFA  
LXI (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA broken up 14 November 1916
1st Divisional Ammunition Column  
26th Heavy Battery RGA left April 1915
V.1 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA formed 30 January 1917, broken up 9 February 1918
X.1, Y.1 and Z.1 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA joined by 16 March 1916; on 9 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each

Royal Engineers
 
23rd Field Company  
26th Field Company  
1st (Lowland) Field Company joined December 1914, later renamed 409th Field Company
1st Divisional Signals Company  

Royal Army Medical Corps
 
1st Field Ambulance  
2nd Field Ambulance  
3rd Field Ambulance left for Guards Division 24 August 1915
142nd Field Ambulance joined 24 August 1915
13th Sanitary Section joined by 30 January 1915, left 2 April 1916