The Guards Division in 1914-1918

The history of Guards Division


This Division has the unusual distinction of being formed in France in August 1915. The various Guards units that had been with other divisions were withdrawn to be brought together to create this fine formation. It remained on the Western Front throughout the rest of the war and was engaged in the operations listed below.

1915
The Battle of Loos

1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
The Battle of Morval, in which the Division captured Lesboeufs*
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line
The Battle of Pilkem**
The Battle of the Menin Road**
The Battle of Poelkapelle**
The First Battle of Passchendaele**
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 Albert****
The Second Battle of Bapaume****
The battles marked **** are phases of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Havrincourt+
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 pursuit to the Selle
The Battle of the Selle
The Battle of the Sambre

The division, which was in and around Maubeuge at the Armistice, was joined by the 4th (Guards) Brigade from 31st Division on 17 November 1918. The Guards Division was then ordered to the Rhine and crossed the German frontier on 11 December. Battalions began to return to England on 20 February 1919 and the final moves of the Division were completed by 29 April 1919.

Gouzeaucourt

The order of battle of the Guards Division

1st Guards Brigade  
Joined as complete 4th (Guards) Brigade from 2nd Division on 20 August 1915 and renumbered two days later.
2nd Bn, the Grenadier Guards  
2nd Bn, the Coldstream Guards  
3rd Bn, the Coldstream Guards left 8 February 1918
1st Bn, the Irish Guards  
1st Guards Brigade Machine Gun Company formed by 19 September 1915
left to move into 4th Bn Guards MG Regiment 1 March 1918
1st Guards Trench Mortar Battery formed by 18 May 1916
   
2nd Guards Brigade  
3rd Bn, the Grenadier Guards joined 19 August 1915
1st Bn, the Coldstream Guards joined 25 August 1915
1st Bn, the Scots Guards joined 25 August 1915
2nd Bn, the Irish Guards joined 17 August 1915, left 8 February 1918
2nd Guards Brigade Machine Gun Company formed by 19 September 1915
left to move into 4th Bn Guards MG Regiment 1 March 1918
2nd Guards Trench Mortar Battery formed in April 1916
   
3rd Guards Brigade  
1st Bn, the Grenadier Guards joined 4 August 1915
4th Bn, the Grenadier Guards joined 19 August 1915, left 18 February 1918
2nd Bn, the Scots Guards joined 9 August 1915
1st Bn, the Welsh Guards joined 20 August 1915
3rd Guards Brigade Machine Gun Company formed by 19 September 1915
left to move into 4th Bn Guards MG Regiment 1 March 1918
3rd Guards Trench Mortar Battery formed 24 March 1916
   
Divisional Troops  
4th Bn, the Coldstream Guards joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion 15 August 1915
4th (Foot Guards) Bn, the Guards Machine Gun Regiment joined 27 March 1917 as 4th Guards MG Company, became Bn 1 March 1918
Guards Divisional Employment Company formed by 30 June 1917
   
Divisional Mounted Troops  
The Household Cavalry Divisional Squadron joined 5 August 1915, broken up 20 June 1916
   
Divisional Artillery  
LXI (Howitzer) Brigade joined 24 August 1915, broken up 14 November 1916
LXXIV Brigade, RFA joined 30 August 1915
LXXV Brigade, RFA joined 4 September1915
LXXVI Brigade, RFA joined 4 September 1915, left 19 January 1917
Guards Divisional Ammunition Column joined 3 September 1915, from 16th (Irish) Division. The four Brgade Ammunition Columns amalgamated into DAC on13 May 1916
V.Gds Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA formed May 1916, left 8 February 1918
X.Gds, Y.Gds and Z.Gds Medium Mortar Batteries RFA formed March 1916; on 8 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
   
Royal Engineers  
55th Field Company joined September 1915
75th Field Company joined August 1915
76th Field Company joined August 1915
Guards Divisional Signals Company joined August 1915 from 16th (Irish) Division
   
Royal Army Medical Corps units  
3rd Field Ambulance joined 25 August 1915
4th Field Ambulance joined 19 August 1915
9th Field Ambulance joined 28 August 1915
45th Sanitary Section joined August 1915, transferred to XVII Corps on 9 April 1917
   
Other Divisional Troops  
4th Divisional Train ASC 11, 124, 168, 436 Companies, joined 24 August 1915
46th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC joined 17 August 1915
Guards Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop joined from England 23 August 1915, transferred to Divisional Train 9 April 1916