The 38th (Welsh) Division in 1914-1918

The history of 38th (Welsh) Division

symbolOn 10 October 1914 official sanction was given for a Welsh Corps of two Divisions to be raised by public subscription. It is generally described as the "Welsh Army Corps". The Corps was never actually formed but two months later, this Division was created, originally part of the Fifth New Army and numbered 43rd. However, the Fourth New Army was broken up in April 1915 and the Division was renumbered 38th (Welsh), becoming part of K4. It was formed of many volunteer units that had already been raised by public subscription and private projects. The Division moved to France between 21 November and 6 December 1915 and then remained in France and Flanders throughout the war. It took part in the following engagements:

1916
The Battle of Albert (a phase of the Battles of the Somme 1916)
The Division was used to assault and clear Mametz Wood. It suffered severe casualties and did not return to major action until over a year later.

1917
The Battle of Pilkem*
The Battle of Langemark*
The battles marked * are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres

1918
The Battle of Albert+
The Battle of the Bapaume+
The battles marked+ are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Havrincourt^
The Battle of Epehy^
The Battle of Beaurevoir^
The Battle of Cambrai^ in which the Division captured Villers-Outreaux
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

1919
The Division was demobilised between December 1918 and June 1919, having suffered 28,600 casualties during the war.

The order of battle of the 38th (Welsh) Division

113th Brigade  
13th (Service) Bn (1st North Wales), the Royal Welsh Fusiliers joined November 1914
14th (Service) Bn, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers joined November 1914
15th (Service) Bn (1st London Welsh), the Royal Welsh Fusiliers joined November 1914, disbanded 8 February 1918
16th (Service) Bn , the Royal Welsh Fusiliers joined November 1914
17th (Service) Bn (2nd North Wales), the Royal Welsh Fusiliers joined February 1915, left July 1915
113th Machine Gun Company joined 19 May 1916, moved into 38 MG Bn March 1918
113th Trench Mortar Battery joined 26 December 1915
   
114th Brigade  
10th (Service) Bn (1st Rhondda), the Welsh joined September 1914, disbanded February 1918
13th (Service) Bn (2nd Rhondda), the Welsh joined October 1914
14th (Service) Bn (Swansea), the Welsh joined October 1914
15th (Service) Bn (Carmarthenshire County Committee), the Welsh joined October 1914
114th Machine Gun Company joined 19 May 1916, moved into 38 MG Bn March 1918
114th Trench Mortar Battery joined 26 December 1915
   
115th Brigade  
16th (Service) Bn (Cardiff City), the Welsh joined October 1914, disbanded February 1918
10th (Service) Bn (1st Gwent), the South Wales Borderers joined November 1914
11th (Service) Bn (2nd Gwent), the South Wales Borderers joined January 1915, disbanded February 1918
17th (Service) Bn (2nd North Wales) , the Royal Welsh Fusiliers joined July 1915
2nd Bn, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers joined February 1918
115th Machine Gun Company joined 19 May 1916, moved into 38 MG Bn March 1918
115th Mortar Battery joined 26 December 1915
   
Divisional Troops  
19th (Service) Bn (Glamorgan Pioneers), the Welsh joined as Divisional pioneer battalion February 1915
176th Machine Gun Company joined 28 March 1917, moved into 38 MGB March 1918
38th Machine Gun Battalion formed 2 March 1918
   
Divisional Mounted Troops  
HQ, MG Section and D Squadron, the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry joined by 4 December 1915, left 31 May 1916
38th Divisional Cyclist Company joined 22 April 1915, left 10 May 1916
   
Divisional Artillery  
CXIX Brigade, RFA joined by August 1915, left 14 January 1917
CXX Brigade, RFA joined by August 1915, broken up late August 1916
CXXI Brigade, RFA joined by August 1915
CXXII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA joined by August 1915
38 Heavy Battery, RGA raised with the Division but left for XLII Heavy Artillery Group soon after
38th Divisional Ammunition Column joined December 1914. The four Brigade Ammunition Columns amalgamated into DAC in May 1916
V.38 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA formed by 28 July 1916, left for V/XV Corps 9 February 1918
X.38, Y.38 and Z.38 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA formed April 1916; Z Bty broken up 9 February 1918 when batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
   
Royal Engineers  
123rd Field Company joined April 1915
124th Field Company joined April 1915
151st Field Company joined August 1915
38th Divisional Signals Company  
   
Royal Army Medical Corps units  
129th Field Ambulance joined December 1914
130th Field Ambulance joined December 1914
131st Field Ambulance joined December 1914
77th Sanitary Section left April 1917
No 5 (Welsh) Bacteriological Section transferred to First Army 3 December 1915
   
Other Divisional Troops  
38th Divisional Train ASC 330, 331, 332 and 333 Companies, formed April 1915
235th Divisional Employment Company joined 23 June 1917
49th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC joined December 1914
38th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop joined from Meerut Division and redesignated 30 November 1915, left April 1916

Memorial

This page is dedicated to the memory of Valentine Joseph "Donald" Loneragan. Born at Lithgow, New South Wales in 1884, he attested to enlist into the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps on 28 June 1915. After being commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery he was posted to France and joined the 119th Brigade RFA at Vieille Chapelle on 15 January 1916. Donald served with this brigade with distinction throughout the rest of the war, being awarded the Military Cross and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. He returned to Australia aboard the "Megantic" in January 1921.
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