The 41st Division in 1914-1918

The history of the division

This division was formed at Aldershot in September 1915. The majority of the units that comprised the division were originally locally raised ones, primarily from the south of England. The division was inspected by king George V and Field Marshal Lord French on 26 April 1916.

The units of 41st Division moved to France between 1 and 6 May 1916 and by 8 May had concentrated between Hazebrouck and Bailleul. The division then remained on the Western Front until October 1917 and took part in the following engagements:

1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
The Battle of the Transloy Ridges*
* the battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
The Battle of Messines
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge^
The Battle of the Menin Road^
^ the battles marked ^ are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres 1917
Operations on the Flanders coast

On 7 November the Division was notified that it was to be transferred to Italy. The move (by train) began five days later and by 18 November all units had concentrated north west of Mantua. The Division took over a sector of front line behind the River Piave, north west of Treviso, between 30 November and early on 2 December.

1918

On 28 February 1918 the Division concentrated in Campo San Piero, preparatory to returning to France. By 9 March it had completed concentration near Doullens and Mondicourt.

The Battle of St Quentin**
The Battle of Bapaume**
The Battle of Arras**
** the battles marked ** are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battles of the Lys
The Advance in Flanders
The Battle of Ypres++
The Battle of Courtrai++
The action of Ooteghem++
++ the battles marked ++ are phases of the Final Advance in Flanders

The forward units of the Division were at Nederbrakel, Tenbosch and on the line of the River Dender near Grammont when the Armistice brought fighting to an end. Selected to join the Army of Occupation, the Division began to move on 18 December, going via Enghien - Hal - Braine 'Alleud - Sombreffe - Temploux - north of Namur and Huy. On 6 January the move was completed by train and on 12 January the Division took over the left section of the Cologne bridgehead.Demobilisation began; on 15 March the Division was retitled as the London Division.

The Great War cost 41st Division 32158 men killed, wounded or missing.

The order of battle of the 41st Division

122nd Brigade  
12th Bn, the East Surrey Regiment (Bermondsey)
15th Bn, the Hampshire Regiment (2nd Portsmouth)
11th Bn, the Royal West Kent Regiment (Lewisham) disbanded March 1918
18th Bn, the King's Royal Rifle Corps (Arts and Crafts)
122nd Machine Gun Company joined May 1916, moved to 41st Bn MGC March 1918
122nd Trench Mortar Battery joined June 1916
   
123rd Brigade  
11th Bn, the Queen's  
10th Bn, the Royal West Kent Regiment (Kent County)
23rd Bn, the Middlesex Regiment (2nd Football)
20th Bn, the Durham Light Infantry (Wearside) left for 124th Bde March 1918
123rd Machine Gun Company joined June 1916, moved to 41st Bn MGC March 1918
123rd Trench Mortar Battery joined June 1916
   
124th Brigade  
10th Bn, the Queen's  
26th Bn, the Royal Fusiliers  
32nd Bn, the Royal Fusiliers disbanded March 1918
21st Bn, the King's Royal Rifle Corps (Yeomen Rifles) disbanded March 1918
124th Machine Gun Company joined June 1916, moved to 41st Bn MGC March 1918
124th Trench Mortar Battery joined June 1916
20th Bn, the Durham Light Infantry (Wearside) joined from 123rd Bde March 1918
   
Divisional Troops  
13th Bn, the East Surrey Regiment (Wandsworth) left October 1915
23rd Bn, the Middlesex Regiment (2nd Public Works) joined as Divisional Pioneer Bn October 1915
238th Machine Gun Company joined July 1917, left October 1917
199th Machine Gun Company joined October 1917, moved to 41st Bn MGC March 1918
41st Battalion MGC formed March 1918
   
Divisional Mounted Troops  
B Sqn, the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry left 31 May 1916
41st Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps left 28 May 1916
   
Divisional Artillery  
CLXXXIII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA broken up November 1916
CLXXXVII Brigade, RFA  
CLXXXIX Brigade, RFA left January 1917
CXC Brigade, RFA  
41st Divisional Ammunition Column RFA (West Ham)
V.41 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery, RFA formed July 1916; disbanded October 1917
X.41, Y.41 and Z.41 Medium Mortar Batteries, RFA formed May 1916; in April 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
XIII Belgian Field Artillery Regiment attached January to May 1917
   
Royal Engineers  
228th (Barnsley) Field Company  
233rd (Ripon) Field Company  
237th (Reading) Company  
41st Divisional Signals Company  
   
Royal Army Medical Corps  
138th Field Ambulance  
139th Field Ambulance  
140th Field Ambulance  
84th Sanitary Section left April 1917
   
Other Divisional Troops  
41st Divisional Train ASC 296, 297, 298 and 299 Companies
52nd Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
41st Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop left May 1916