The 27th Division in 1914-1918

The history of 27th Division

As regular units from the further garrisons of Empire arrived back in England, having been recalled soon after the declaration of war but many having waited until a Territorial unit had gone out to replace them, they were formed up into three Divisions, numbered 27th to 29th. The 27th was formed at Magdalen hill Camp near Winchester in November-December 1914 and was soon rushed as a much-needed reinforcement to France. Shortage of some types of units were filled by Territorial units taken from other Divisions. It embarked at Southampton and landed at Le Havre on 20-23 December 1914 and then moved to concentrate in the area between Aire and Arques. The Division subsequently took part in these actions:

1915
The action of St Eloi
The Second Battle of Ypres

The Division was ordered to Salonika in November 1915 and embarkation began on 17 November, but it was not until 13 February 1916 that the last of the Division finally arrived.

1916
30 September - 2 October 1916: the capture of Karajakois
3-4 October 1916: the capture of Yenikoi
17 November and 6-7 December 1916: the battle of Tumbitza Farm

1917
14 October 1917: the capture of Homondos

1918
The Division lost a number of units in mid 1918; they were transferred to France
1-30 September 1918: the final offensive in Salonika, including the capture of the Roche Noir Salient (1-2 September), the passage of the Vardar river and pursuit to the Strumica valley (22-30 September)

Hostilities with Bulgaria ceased on 30 September, with the Division by then in the area Kosturino - Rabrovo - Cestovo. The Division continued to advance and passed Krupnik by the end of October. 27th Division was ordered to halt and turn about on 2 November, embarking in December for operations on the Black Sea. It reached Constantinople on 19 December and opened HQ at Tiflis in January 1919. The Division was not disbanded until 24 September 1919, by which time it was at Batum.

The order of battle of the 27th Division

80th Infantry Brigade
2nd Bn, King's Shropshire LI  
3rd Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps  
4th Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps left June 1918
4th Bn, Rifle Brigade  
Princess Patricia's Canadian LI left for 3rd Canadian Division, November 1915
80th Machine Gun Company joined 16 May 1916
80th Trench Mortar Battery joined 2 September 1916
80th SAA Section Ammunition Column joined 28 September 1916
   
81st Infantry Brigade  
1st Bn, Royal Scots  
1st Bn, Gloucestershire Regt left November 1916
2nd Bn, Cameron Highlanders  
1st Bn, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders  
1/9th Bn, Royal Scots joined February 1915, left November 1915
1/9th Bn, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders joined February 1915, left May 1915
81st Machine Gun Company joined 16 May 1916
81st SAA Section Ammunition Column joined 28 September 1916
81st Trench Mortar Battery joined 16 October 1916
13th Bn, Black Watch joined October 1916, left June 1918
   
82nd Infantry Brigade
1st Bn, Royal Irish Regt left November 1916
2nd Bn, Duke of Cornwall's LI  
2nd Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers left November 1916
1st Bn, Leinster Regiment left November 1916
1/1st Bn, Cambridgeshire Regt joined February 1915, left November 1915
82nd Machine Gun Company formed 16 May 1916
82nd Trench Mortar Battery formed 31 July 1916
82nd SAA Section Ammunition Column joined 28 September 1916
10th Bn, Cameron Highlanders joined October 1916, left June 1918
2nd Bn, Gloucestershire Regt joined November 1916
10th Bn, Hampshire Regiment joined November 1916
   
19th Infantry Brigade This Brigade joined from 6th Division on 31 May 1915 but left to go to 2nd Division on 19 August 1915.
2nd Bn, Royal Welsh Fusiliers  
1st Bn, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)  
1/5th Bn, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)  
1st Bn, the Middlesex Regt  
2nd Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders  
   
Divisional Troops under direct command of Divisional HQ
26th Bn, Middlesex Regiment joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion in August 1916
27th Divisional Train 95, 96, 97 and 98 Companies ASC joined in November and December 1914 but remained when the Division moved to Salonika, becoming the 55th Divisional Train. A new Train, comprising 483, 484, 485 and 486 Companies sailed from devonport on 16 January 1916. In April 1916 the Train was reorganised into "Pack and Wheel Echelons"; 852, 853, 845 and 856 Companies also later joined.
16th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
818th Divisional Employment Company formed 14 September 1917
27th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop joined February 1915 but remained in France when Division moved to Salonika
   
Divisional Mounted Troops under direct command of Divisional HQ
A Sqn, the Surrey Yeomanry left 27 December 1916
D Sqn, the Derbyshire Yeomanry joined 26 March 1916, left June 1916
27th Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps left 7 December 1916
   
Divisional Artillery  
I Brigade, RFA  
XIX Brigade, RFA  
XX Brigade, RFA  
CXXIX (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA joined August 1915
27th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA formed December 1914 from the IV Home Counties (Howitzer) Brigade TF RFA; disbanded 8 January 1917. 27th Division retained the Brigade Ammunition Columns
130th Howitzer Battery, RFA attached between 8 January and 21 February 1915
61st Howitzer Battery, RFA attached between 21 February 1915 and June 1915
2nd Mountain Battery, RGA briefly attached 17 to 24 July 1916
Bute Mountain Battery of IV Highland Mountain Brigade, RGA attached between 22 July and 8 September 1918, and again 23 September and 25 September 1918
   
Royal Engineers  
1st (Wessex) Field Company later renamed 500th Field Company
2nd (Wessex) Field Company later renamed 501st Field Company
1st (South Midland) Field Company left March 1915
17th Field Company joined March 1915
Wessex Divisional Signal Company  
   
Royal Army Medical Corps  
81st (1st Home Counties) Field Ambulance  
82nd (2nd Home Counties) Field Ambulance  
83rd (3rd Home Counties) Field Ambulance  
7th Sanitary Section joined 9 January 1915, left 16 April 1917