The 3rd Division in 1914-1918

The history of 3rd Division

3rd Division

 

 

One of the first British formations to move to France, the 3rd 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 the Rearguard action of Solesmes
The Battle of Le Cateau
The Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Aisne including participation in the Actions on the Aisne heights
The Battles of La Bassee and Messines 1914
First Battle of Ypres

1915
Winter Operations 1914-15
The First Attack on Bellewaarde
The Actions of Hooge
The Second Attack on Bellewaarde (in support of the opening attack in the Battle of Loos)

1916
The Actions of the Bluff and St Eloi Craters (local operations 1916)
The Battle of Albert*
The Battle of Bazentin* in which the Division helped capture Longueval
The Battle of Delville Wood*
The Battle of the Ancre*
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**
The Battle of Arleux**
The Third Battle of the Scarpe** in which the Division helped capture Roeux
The battles marked ** are phases of the Battles of Arras 1917
The Battle of the Menin Road***
The Battle of Polygon Wood***
The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battle of Ypres
The Battle of Cambrai 1917

1918
The Battle of St Quentin****
The Battle of Bapaume****
The First Battle of Arras 1918****
The battles marked **** are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 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 Albert++
The Second Battle of Bapaume++
The battles marked ++ are phases of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of the Canal du Nord^
The Battle of Cambrai 1918^
The battles marked ^ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The Battle of the Selle

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

The order of battle of the 3rd Division

7th Brigade This Brigade left 3rd Division to go to 25th Division on 18 October 1915
3rd Bn, the Worcestershire Regt  
2nd Bn, the South Lancashire Regt  
1st Bn, the Wiltshire Regt  
2nd Bn, the Royal Irish Rifles  
1/1st Bn, the Honourable Artillery Company joined from 8th Bde 9 December 1914, left 14 October 1915
1/4th Bn, the South Lancashire Regt joined 24 February 1915, left to become Pioneers 12 October 1915
8th Brigade  
2nd Bn, the Royal Scots  
2nd Bn, the Royal Irish Regt left 24 October 1914
4th Bn, the Middlesex Regt left 13 November 1915
1st Bn, the Gordon Highlanders left 12 September 1914, returned 30 September 1914
1st Bn, the Devonshire Regt joined 14 September 1914, left 30 September 1914
2nd Bn, the Suffolk Regt joined 25 October 1914, left for 76th Bde 22 October 1915
1/1st Bn, the Honourable Artillery Company joined 10 November 1914, left for 7th Bde 9 December 1914
1/4th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders joined 27 February 1915, left for 76th Bde 19 October 1915
13th Bn, the King's (Liverpool Regt) joined 23 October 1915, left for 9th Bde 4 April 1916
7th Bn, the King's (Shropshire Light Infantry) joined from 76th Bde 19 October 1915
1/5th Bn, the London Regt (LRB) joined 25 October 1915, left 10 February 1916
8th Bn, the East Yorkshire Regt joined 16 November 1915, left 17 February 1918 to form 10th Entrenching Bn with 12th West Yorks
1st Bn, the Royal Scots Fusiliers joined from 9th Bde 5 April 1916
8th Machine Gun Company formed on 22 January 1916
left to move into 3rd MG Battalion 6 March 1918
8th Trench Mortar Battery joined by 18 April 1916
9th Brigade This Brigade temporarily transferred to 28th Division between 17 February and 2 April 1915, in exchange for 85th Brigade from that Division
1st Bn, the Northumberland Fusiliers  
4th Bn, the Royal Fusiliers  
1st Bn, the Lincolnshire Regiment left 13 November 1915
1st Bn, the Royal Scots Fusiliers left for 8th Bde 5 April 1916
1/10th Bn, the King's (Liverpool Regiment) joined 25 November 1914, left 6 January 1916
12th Bn, the West Yorkshire Regiment joined 16 November 1915, left February 1918
9th Brigade Machine Gun Company formed on 8 February 1916
left to move into 3rd MG Battalion 6 March 1918
13th Bn, the King's (Liverpool Regiment) joined from 8th Bde 4 April 1916
9th Trench Mortar Battery joined by 1 May 1916
76th Brigade This Brigade was transferred from 25th Division on 18 October 1915 in exchange for 7th Brigade.
8th Bn, the King's Own (Lancaster)  
10th Bn, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers left 15 February 1918 to form 8th Entrenching Bn with 19th RWF
7th Bn, the King's (Shropshire Light Infantry) left 19 October 1915 for 8th Bde
13th Bn, the King's (Liverpool Regiment) left 23 October 1915 for 8th Bde
1st Bn, the Gordon Highlanders joined from 8th Bde 19 October 1915
2nd Bn, the Suffolk Regt joined from 8th Bde 22 October 1915
76th Brigade Machine Gun Company formed on 13 April 1916
left to move into 3rd MG Battalion 6 March 1918
76th Trench Mortar Battery joined on 1 April 1916 as 43rd TMB but immediately renamed
Divisional Troops under direct command of Divisional HQ
1/4th Bn, the South Lancashire Regt became Divisional Pioneer Battalion from 7th Bde 12 October 1915, left 9 January 1916
20th Bn, the King's Royal Rifle Corps joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion 19 May 1916
233rd Company, the Machine Gun Corps joined 18 July 1917
left to move into 3rd MG Battalion 6 March 1918
3rd Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps formed 6 March 1918
3rd Divisional Train ASC comprised 15, 21, 22, 29 HT Companies ASC
11th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
206th Divisional Employment Company joined 31 May 1917 at which time it was 8th Divisional Employment Company; renamed in June 1917
3rd Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop Unit joined by 18 April 1915, transferred to Divisional Supply Column 9 April 1916
Divisional Mounted Troops under direct command of Divisional HQ
B Squadron, the 15th (King's) Hussars left 14 April 1915
C Sqn, South Irish Horse joined May 1915, left 11 May 1916
3rd Company, Army Cyclist Corps left 31 May 1916
Divisional Artillery  
XXIII Brigade, RFA left to become an Army Brigade 21 January 1917
XL Brigade, RFA  
XLI Brigade, RFA  
XXX (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA broken up 14 May 1916
3rd Divisional Ammunition Column  
48th Heavy Battery RGA left 19 April 1915
No 5 Pom-Pom Section RGA attached 20 September 1914 to December 1914
No 5 Mountain Battery RGA attached 14 December 1914 to 3 March 1915
V.3 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA formed July 1916, left 6 March 1918
X.3, Y.3 and Z.3 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA joined in February 1916; in February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
Royal Engineers  
56th Field Company  
57th Field Company left 7 April 1915
438th (1/1st Cheshire) Field Company joined 22 December 1914
529th (1/1st East Riding) Field Company joined 20 September 1915
3rd Divisional Signals Company  
Royal Army Medical Corps  
7th Field Ambulance  
8th Field Ambulance  
9th Field Ambulance left for Guards Division 26 August 1915
142nd Field Ambulance joined 26 August 1915
4A Sanitary Section joined 9 January 1915, left 3 April 1917. reitled as 5th Sanitary Section in April 1916