The 64th (2nd Highland) Division in 1914-1918

The history of 64th (2nd Highland) Division

On 31 August 1914 the War Office issued instructions for all units of the Territorial Force to form a reserve unit. The men who had agreed to serve overseas were separated from the rest. Those left as 'home service only' were formed into 'second line' units, which would be this reserve. They were joined by many new recruits from September 1914 onward.

The 'first line' 51st (Highland) Division went to France in late April and early May 1915.

The units of the 'second line', the 2nd Highland Division, remained at home. Along with other 'second line' Divisions suffered it greatly from lack of equipment of all sorts, and training was inevitably affected.

Divisional HQ was set up at Perth in January 1915; the infantry Brigades at Blair Atholl, Scone and Falkirk. The artillery was at Edzell, Forfar, Brechin and Rothesay with the heavy battery at Dunfermline; the RE, RAMC and ASC at Blair Atholl, Perth and Scone. Later that year a move was made to winter quarters. Divisional HQ remained at Perth; 192st Brigade went to Pitlochry, Crieff, Aberfeldy and Auchterarder; 192nd Brigade to Blairgowrie and Forfar; 193rd to Montrose and Arbroath. The artillery was now at Blairgowrie, Forfar, Brechin and Rothesay; the RE at Perth, Alyth, Dundee and Coupar, RAMC at Comrie, Alyth and Forfar and ASC at Kirriemuir, Montrose, Blairgowrie and Crieff.

On 26 July 1915 orders were received that 600 was the minimum strength for any 'second line' infantry battalion and any men in excess of that number could be taken for overseas service.

Between November 1915 and April 1916 the infantry battalions titles were changed. For example the 2/4th Seaforth Highlanders in 191st Brigade became No 1 Battalion.

In March 1916, the Division moved to England, with HQ being set up in Norwich. The brigades went to Kelling, Taverham and North Walsham; the artillery to Blickling and Worstead; RE at Norwich, Taverham, North Walsham and Kelling.

During 1917 a major restructuring of the Division took place, with the 'second line' units being withdrawn and replaced by Graduated Battalions. Further moves around East Anglia were made throughout the year and 1918.

Orders were received to demobilise in early 1919 and by 15 April the Division had ceased to exist.

The order of battle of the 64th (2nd Highland) Division

191st (2nd Seaforth & Cameron Highlanders) Brigade  
2/4th Bn, the Seaforth Highlanders left by February 1918, disbanded June 1918
2/5th Bn, the Seaforth Highlanders absorbed into 2/6th Bn in October 1915
2/6th Bn, the Seaforth Highlanders left by February 1918, disbanded June 1918
2/4th Bn, the Cameron Highlanders left by February 1918, disbanded June 1918
2/4th Bn, the Black Watch joined by November 1915, disbanded December 1917
201st Graduated Battalion joined 16 July 1917, became 51st Bn of the Highland Light Infantry on 27 October 1917
202nd Graduated Battalion joined 16 July 1917, became 51st Bn of the Gordon Highlanders on 27 October 1917
51st (Graduated) Battalion, the Royal Sussex Regiment joined 25 February 1918
52nd (Graduated) Battalion, the Royal Sussex Regiment joined 25 February 1918
   
192nd (2nd Gordon Highlanders) Brigade  
2/4th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders absorbed into 2/5th Bn in November 1915
2/5th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders disbanded on 31 July 1918
2/6th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders absorbed into 2/7th Bn in November 1915
2/7th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders disbanded on 30 September 1918
2/6th Bn, the Black Watch disbanded in September 1917
2/7th Bn, the Black Watch disbanded in April 1918
205th Graduated Battalion joined 16 July 1917, became 52nd Bn of the Highland Light Infantry on 27 October 1917
206th Graduated Battalion joined 16 July 1917, became 51st Bn of the Devonshire Regiment on 27 October 1917
52nd (Graduated) Battalion, the Queen's joined 25 February 1918
52nd (Graduated) Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment joined from 193rd Bde 26 February 1918
   
193rd (2nd Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) Brigade  
2/6th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders disbanded 13 March 1918
2/7th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders disbanded Autumn 1917
2/8th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders disbanded 19 July 1918
2/9th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders disbanded October 1917
209th Graduated Battalion joined 16 July 1917, became 51st Bn of the Middlesex Regiment on 27 October 1917
210th Graduated Battalion joined 16 July 1917, became 52nd Bn of the Devonshire Regiment on 27 October 1917, left for 192nd Bde 26 February 1918
52nd (Graduated) Battalion, the Middlesex Regiment joined 25 February 1918
51st (Graduated) Battalion, the Bedfordshire Regiment joined 25 February 1918
52nd (Graduated) Battalion, the Bedfordshire Regiment joined 25 February 1918
   
Divisional Mounted Troops  
2nd Highland Divisional Cyclist Company  
C Sqn, 2/1st Glasgow Yeomanry brief ely between April 1916 and June 1917
   
Divisional Artillery  
CCCXX (2/I Highland) Brigade, RFA  
CCCXXI (2/II Highland) Brigade, RFA  
CCCXXII (2/III Highland) (How) Brigade, RFA broken up May 1916
(new) CCCXXII Brigade, RFA joined by 3 November 1916, broken up by 29 January 1917
Bute Mountain Battery, RFA attached April - September 1916
1129 Battery, RFA attached May 1917
2/1st Highland (Fifeshire) Heavy Battery, RGA left September 1916
   
Royal Engineers  
2/1st Highland Field Company later numbered 403 Company
3/2nd Highland Field Company later numbered 405 Company
1/3rd Highland Field Company later numbered 402 Company
2nd Highland Divisional Signals Company  
   
Royal Army Medical Corps  
2/2nd Highland Field Ambulance later numbered 311 Field Ambulance
2/3rd Highland Field Ambulance later numbered 312 Field Ambulance
3/1st Highland Field Ambulance later numbered 310 Field Ambulance
2/1st Highland Sanitary Section left late 1917
   
Other Divisional Troops  
64th Divisional Train ASC formed November 1914, the units were eventually titled 533, 534, 535 and 536 Companies ASC
2/ 1st Highland Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
64th Divisional Ambulance Workshop absorbed into Divisional Supply Column 1916