The 65th (2nd Lowland) Division in 1914-1918

The history of 65th (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' 52nd (Lowland) Division went to Gallipoli in July 1915.

The units of the 'second line', the 2nd Lowland 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 Bridge of Allan; the infantry Brigades at Rumbling Bridge, Cambusbarraon and Dunfermline. The artillery was at Edinburgh, Larbert and Tillicoultry with the heavy battery at Stirling; the RE at Bridge of Allan; RAMC and ASC at Dunfermline, Rumbling Bridge and Stirling. in November 1915 a move was made to winter quarters.

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.

In March 1916, the Division moved to England, with HQ being set up in Chelmsford. The brigades went to Chelmsford, Billericay and Danbury.

Early in 1917 the Division moved to Ireland, allowng the release of 59th (2nd North Midland) Division for service in France. By 10 January Divisional HQ had been established at the Curragh. The brigades of the Division were widely dispersed: 194th to Dublin and the Curragh; 195th to Fermoy, Tralee, Limerick, Moore Park and Kilworth; 196th at the Curragh, Galway and Naas. In August 1917 194th moved to Oughterard and Moycullen, and 196th to Dublin.

During 1917 a restructuring of the Division took place, with the 'second line' units being withdrawn and replaced by Graduated Battalions.

Orders were received on 11 January 1918 to disband the Division. The various units were redeployed or disbanded and Divisional HQ closed on 18 March 1918. The final details had left the Division by 15 May 1918.

The order of battle of the 65th (2nd Lowland) Division

194th (2nd South Scottish) Brigade  
2/4th Bn, the Royal Scots Fusiliers merged in November 1915 with 2/5th Bn and 2/5th Border Regiment to form 13th Bn. Resumed identity in January 1916 and absorbed 2/5th Bn. Disbanded 15 May 1918
2/5th Bn, the Royal Scots Fusiliers merged in November 1915 with 2/4th Bn and 2/5th Border Regiment to form 13th Bn. Absorbed into 2/4th Bn in January 1916
2/4th Bn, the King's Own Scottish Borderers merged in November 1915 with 2/5th Bn to form 14th Bn. Absorbed into 2/5th Bn in January 1916
2/5th Bn, the King's Own Scottish Borderers merged in November 1915 with 2/4th Bn to form 14th Bn. Resumed identity in January 1916 and absorbed 2/4th Bn. Disbanded 15 May 1918
2/7th Bn, the Royal Scots joined November 1915, initially retitled as 15th Bn but resumed identity in January 1916
2/8th Bn, the Royal Scots joined November 1915, initially retitled as 16th Bn but resumed identity in January 1916; disbanded summer 1917
213th Graduated Battalion joined 23 July 1917, became 51st Bn of the Cheshire Regiment on 27 October 1917
   
195th (2/1st Scottish Rifles) Brigade  
2/5th Bn, the Cameronians merged in November 1915 with 2/8th Bn to form 17th Bn. Resumed identity in January 1916 and absorbed 2/8th Bn. Disbanded 15 May 1918
2/6th Bn, the Cameronians merged in November 1915 with 2/7th Bn to form 18th Bn. Resumed identity in January 1916 and absorbed 2/7th Bn. Disbanded 15 May 1918
2/7th Bn, the Cameronians merged in November 1915 with 2/6th Bn to form 18th Bn. Absorbed into 2/6th Bn January 1916
2/8th Bn, the Cameronians merged in November 1915 with 2/5th Bn to form 17th Bn. Absorbed into 2/5th Bn January 1916
2/4th Bn, the Royal Scots joined November 1915 and amalgamated with 2/5 and 2/6th to become 19th Bn. Resumed identity in January 1916
2/9th Bn, the Royal Scots joined November 1915 and renamed 20th Bn. Resumed identity in January 1916. Disbanded March 1918
217th Graduated Battalion joined 23 July 1917, became 51st Bn of the King's (Liverpool Regiment) on 27 October 1917
   
196th (2/1st highland Light Infantry) Brigade  
2/5th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry temporarily renamed as 21st Bn between November 1915 and January 1916
2/6th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry temporarily renamed as 22nd Bn between November 1915 and January 1916
2/7th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry temporarily renamed as 23rd Bn between November 1915 and January 1916. Disbanded by end of 1917
2/9th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry temporarily renamed as 24th Bn between November 1915 and January 1916
221st Graduated Battalion joined 23 July 1917, became 52nd Bn of the Cheshire Regiment on 30 October 1917
   
Divisional Mounted Troops  
2/1st Lowland Divisional Cyclist Company  
A Sqn, 2/1st Glasgow Yeomanry briefly in 1916-1917
   
Divisional Artillery  
CCCXXV (2/I Lowland) Brigade, RFA  
CCCXXVI (2/II Lowland) Brigade, RFA  
CCCXXVII (2/III Lowland) Brigade, RFA  
CCCXXVIII (2/IV Lowland) (How) Brigade, RFA broken up May 1916
65th Divisional Ammunition Column  
2/1st Lowland (City of Edinburgh) Heavy Battery, RGA left May 1916 and went to France, arriving Le Havre 30 May
   
Royal Engineers  
3/1st Lowland Field Company later numbered 414 Company
3/2nd Lowland Field Company later numbered 415 Company
1/3rd Lowland Field Company later numbered 411 Company
2nd Lowland Divisional Signals Company  
   
Royal Army Medical Corps  
2/1st Lowland Field Ambulance later numbered 313 Field Ambulance
2/2nd Lowland Field Ambulance later numbered 314 Field Ambulance
2/3rd Lowland Field Ambulance later numbered 315 Field Ambulance
2/1st Lowland Sanitary Section left 7 May 1917
   
Other Divisional Troops  
65th Divisional Train ASC formed November 1914, the units were eventually titled 537, 538, 539 and 540 Companies ASC
2/ 1st Lowland Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
65th Divisional Ambulance Workshop absorbed into Divisional Supply Column 1916