The 37th Division in 1914-1918

The history of 37th Division

Raised for the Sixth New Army, 37th Division began to form in March 1915. It was originally known as 44th Division. A War Office decision to convert the Fourth New Army into training units and to replace 16th (Irish) Division in Second New Army led to it being "promoted" . It now became 37th Division and was in Second New Army, and a Divisional HQ was established at Andover on 12 April 1915. Many units that had been formed for a while came into its command.

Divisional symbolsIn April 1915 the Division concentrated at Cholderton on Salisbury Plain and on 25 June the units were inspected by king George V at Sidbury Hill. On 22 July 1915 the Division began to cross the English Channel and by 2 August all units were concentrated near Tilques.

The Division then remained on the Western Front for the remainder of the war and took part in the following engagements:

1916
The Battle of the Ancre*
* the battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, including the capture of Monchy-le-Preux+
The Second Battle of the Scarpe+
The Battle of Arleux+
+ the battles marked + are phases of the Arras Offensive
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge**
The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge**
The Battle of Polygon Wood**
The Battle of Broodseinde**
The Battle of Poelcapelle**
The First Battle of Passchendaele**
** the battles marked ** are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres 1917

1918
The Battle of the Ancre, a phase of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of the Albert, a phase of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Havrincourt++
The Battle of the Canal du Nord++
The Battle of Cambrai++
The pursuit to the Selle++
++ the battles marked ++ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The Battle of the Selle^
The Battle of the Sambre^
^ the battles marked ^ are phases of the Final Advance in Picardy

At the Armistice on 11 November 1918 the Division was in the area of Le Quesnoy. After moving back to the Bethencourt - Caudry area, it moved forward on 1 December 1918 to Charleroi. By 20 December, units were billeted between Charleroi and the Maubeuge-Nivelles road. Demobilisation began on Boxing Day and by 25 March 1919 the Division ceased to exist.

The Great War cost 37th Division 29969 men killed, wounded or missing.

The order of battle of the 37th Division

110th Brigade  
This brigade (often known as the Leicester Tigers Brigade) transferred to 21st Division on 7 July 1916
6th Bn, the Leicestershire Regiment  
7th Bn, the Leicestershire Regiment  
8th Bn, the Leicestershire Regiment  
9th Bn, the Leicestershire Regiment  
110th Machine Gun Company joined 4 March 1916, moved to 37th Bn MGC February 1918
110th Trench Mortar Battery formed on 13 June 1916 from two sections that arrived in March
   
111th Brigade  
This brigade was attached to 34th Division between 6 July and 22 August 1916
10th Bn, the Royal Fusiliers  
13th Bn, the Royal Fusiliers moved to 112th Bde 4 February 1918
13th Bn, the King's Royal Rifle Corps  
13th Bn, the Rifle Brigade  
111th Machine Gun Company joined 4 March 1916, moved to 37th Bn MGC 4 March 1918
111th Trench Mortar Battery formed 2 July 1916 from two sections that joined in May
   
112th Brigade  
This brigade was attached to 34th Division between 6 July and 22 August 1916
11th Bn, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment disbanded 7 February 1918
6th Bn, the Bedfordshire Regiment left 21 May 1918
8th Bn, the East Lancashire Regiment disbanded 4 February 1918
10th Bn, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment disbanded 4 February 1918
112th Machine Gun Company joined 4 March 1916, moved to 37th Bn MGC 4 March 1918
112th Trench Mortar Battery formed 1 July 1916 from two sections that joined in May and June
13th Bn, the Royal Fusiliers joined from 111th Bde 4 February 1918
1st Bn, the Essex Regiment joined 4 February 1918
1/1st Bn, the Hertfordshire Regiment joined 11 May 1918
   
63rd Brigade  
This brigade joined from 21st Division in exchange for 110th Bde on 8 July 1916
8th Bn, the Lincolsnhire Regiment  
8th Bn, the Somerset Light Infantry  
4th Bn, the Middlesex Regiment  
10th Bn, the York & Lancaster Regiment disbanded 4 February 1918
63rd Machine Gun Company moved to 37th Bn MGC 4 March 1918
63rd Trench Mortar Battery  
   
Divisional Troops  
9th Bn, the North Staffordshire Regiment Divisional Pioneer Battalion (was attached to 34th Division with 111th and 112th Bdes in 1916)
16th Motor Machine Gun Battery joined 26 July 1915, left 9 May 1916
247th Machine Gun Company joined 19 July 1917, moved to 37th Bn MGC 4 March 1918
37th Battalion MGC formed 4 March 1918
   
Divisional Mounted Troops  
RHQ and B Sqn, the Yorkshire Dragoons left May 1916
37th Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps left 12 May 1916
   
Divisional Artillery  
The three field gun Brigades (CXXIII, CXXIV and CXXV) were raised for the original 31st Division but when this was broken up they joined the artillery reserve. They joined 37th Division by 15 April 1915. CXVI (Howitzer) Brigade was raised for the original 32nd Division which was also broken up, and it too joined by 15 April 1915.
CXXIII Brigade, RFA  
CXXIV Brigade, RFA  
CXXV Brigade, RFA broken up 31 August 1916
CXVI (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA broken up January 1917
37 Heavy Battery RGA raised with the Division but was broken up at home
37th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA  
V.37 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery, RFA formed 25 May 1916; left 6 February 1918
X.37, Y.37 and Z.37 Medium Mortar Batteries, RFA formed May 1916; on 6 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
   
Royal Engineers  
152nd Field Company  
153rd Field Company  
154th Field Company  
37th Divisional Signals Company raised as 40th Divisional Signals Company, joined 17 June 1915
   
Royal Army Medical Corps  
48th Field Ambulance joined from 16th (Irish) Division in June 1915
49th Field Ambulance joined from 16th (Irish) Division in June 1915
50th Field Ambulance joined from 16th (Irish) Division in June 1915
37th Sanitary Section left 20 April 1917
   
Other Divisional Troops  
37th Divisional Train ASC 288, 289, 290 and 291 Companies.
28th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
234th Divisional Employment Company joined 16 June 1917
35th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop absorbed into Divisional Supply Column 6 April 1916

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