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British 4th Infantry Division

British 4th Infantry Division

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The 4th Infantry Division is a regular British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 division with a long history having been present at the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 , the First World War , and during the Second World War.

Napoleonic Wars


The 4th Division was originally formed in 1809 by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

, as part of the Anglo-Portuguese Army
Anglo-Portuguese Army
The Anglo-Portuguese Army was the combined British and Portuguese army that won the Peninsular War, under the command of Arthur Wellesley. The Army is also referred to as the British-Portuguese Army and, in Portuguese, as the Exército Anglo-Luso or the Exército Anglo-Português.The Anglo-Portuguese...

, for service in the Peninsula War. It fought in the Battle of Talavera and the Battle of Salamanca
Battle of Salamanca
The Battle of Salamanca saw Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish armies under the Duke of Wellington defeat Marshal Auguste Marmont's French forces among the hills around Arapiles south of Salamanca, Spain on July 22, 1812 during the Peninsular War....

 , Battle of Badajoz (1812)
Battle of Badajoz (1812)
In the Battle of Badajoz , the Anglo-Portuguese Army, under the Earl of Wellington, besieged Badajoz, Spain and forced the surrender of the French garrison....

 and the Battle of Roncesvalles (1813)
Battle of Roncesvalles (1813)
The Battle of Roncesvalles was a battle between French and Anglo-Portuguese forces during the Peninsular War .-Background:...

 , Battle of Vitoria
Battle of Vitoria
At the Battle of Vitoria an allied British, Portuguese, and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan near Vitoria in Spain, leading to eventual victory in the Peninsular War.-Background:In July 1812, after...

 , Battle of the Pyrenees
Battle of the Pyrenees
The Battle of the Pyrenees was a large-scale offensive launched on 25 July 1813 by Marshal Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult from the Pyrénées region on Emperor Napoleon’s order, in the hope of relieving French garrisons under siege at Pamplona and San Sebastián...

 , Battle of Orthez
Battle of Orthez
The Battle of Orthez saw the Anglo-Portuguese Army under Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington defeat a French army led by Marshal Nicolas Soult in southern France near the end of the Peninsular War.-Preliminaries:...

 , Battle of Toulouse (1814)
Battle of Toulouse (1814)
The Battle of Toulouse was one of the final battles of the Napoleonic Wars, four days after Napoleon's surrender of the French Empire to the nations of the Sixth Coalition...

.

Peninsula War formation


(from January 1812)

Major General Sir Charles Colville (to April 1812)
Major General Lowry Cole (from June 1812)
  • 1st Brigade: Major General Kemmis
    • 3/27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot
    • 1/40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot
    • 1/48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot (from October 1812)
    • 2nd Provisional Battalion (2nd & 1/53rd Regiments of Foot) (from December 1812)
    • 1 Coy., 5/60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot

  • 2nd Brigade: Major General Sir Edward Pakenham
    Edward Pakenham
    Sir Edward Michael Pakenham GCB , styled The Honourable from his birth until 1813, was an Irish British Army Officer and Politician. He was the brother-in law of the Duke of Wellington, with whom he served in the Peninsular War...

    • 1/7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers)
    • 2/7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers) (November 1810 to May 1811)
    • 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot (from November 1812)
    • 1/23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fusiliers)
    • 1/48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot (to October 1812)
    • 1/82nd Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales's Volunteers) (October to November 1812)
    • 1 Coy., Brunswick-Oels Jaegers

  • 3rd Brigade: Major General Skerrett (October to December 1812)
    • 3/1st Foot Guards
    • 2/47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot
    • 2/87th (Prince of Wales's Irish) Regiment of Foot
    • 2 Cos., 2/95th Regiment of Foot (Rifles)

  • Portuguese
    Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

     Brigade: Major General Collins
    • 1/11th Line Infantry of the Portuguese Army
      Portuguese Army
      The Portuguese Army is the ground branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in co-operation with other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the defence of Portugal...

    • 2/11th Line Infantry of the Portuguese Army
    • 1/23rd Line Infantry of the Portuguese Army
    • 2/23rd Line Infantry of the Portuguese Army
    • 7th Caçadores of the Portuguese Army

Waterloo


At the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 it was tasked with holding Wellington's right flank and, with the exception of its 4th brigade, took no active part in the fighting, but did capture the town of Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

 afterwards.

The commanding General at this time was Charles Colville
Charles Colville
Sir Charles Colville was a British military leader who fought in the Peninsular War and in action near the Battle of Waterloo, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. He was the son of John Colville, 8th Lord Colville of CulrossAmong other battles, Colville led the 2nd Brigade in Picton's 3rd...

 ,In his novel Les Misérables
Les Misérables
Les Misérables , translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century...

Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

 credits Colville with asking for the surrender of the Imperial Guard at Waterloo and receiving General Cambronne's reply of "Merd
Shit
Shit is usually considered vulgar and profane in Modern English. As a noun it refers to fecal matter and as a verb it means to defecate or defecate in; in the plural it means diarrhea...

".

Formation at Waterloo

  • Commanding General Major-General Sir Charles Colville
    Charles Colville
    Sir Charles Colville was a British military leader who fought in the Peninsular War and in action near the Battle of Waterloo, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. He was the son of John Colville, 8th Lord Colville of CulrossAmong other battles, Colville led the 2nd Brigade in Picton's 3rd...


  • 4th Brigade – Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Henry Mitchell
    Hugh Henry Mitchell (1770-1817)
    Colonel Sir Hugh Henry Mitchell, CB was a British military leader who fought in several decisive battles during the Napoleonic Wars, including the Battle of Salamanca and the Battle of Waterloo.-Career:...


  • 6th Brigade – Major-General George Johnstone
    • 2/35th (Sussex) Regiment of Foot
    • 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot
    • 59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot
      59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot
      The 59th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1755 in response to the threat of renewed war with France. It was amalgamated with the 30th Regiment of Foot in 1881 to form The East Lancashire Regiment as part of the Childers Reforms.-Formation and numbering:In...

    • 1/91st (Argyllshire) Regiment of Foot
      91st Regiment of Foot
      The 91st Regiment of Foot was a Line Regiment of the British Army . It was first formed in 1759 and in 1881 became the 1st Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.- Early formations :...


  • 6th Hanoverian Brigade – Major-General Sir James Lyon
    • Field Battalion Calenberg
    • Field Battalion Lauenburg
    • Landwehr Battalion Bentheim
    • Landwehr Battalion Hoya
    • Landwehr Battalion Nienburg

Crimean War


The Division was also called for service during the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 fought between the allied forces of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, French Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

 and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 on one side and Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 on the other.
It saw action in the Battle of Alma
Battle of Alma
The Battle of the Alma , which is usually considered the first battle of the Crimean War , took place just south of the River Alma in the Crimea. An Anglo-French force under General St...

 the Battle of Inkerman
Battle of Inkerman
The Battle of Inkerman was fought during the Crimean War on November 5, 1854 between the allied armies of Britain and France against the Imperial Russian Army. The battle broke the will of the Russian Army to defeat the allies in the field, and was followed by the Siege of Sevastopol...

 and the Battle of Balaclava
Battle of Balaclava
The Battle of Balaclava, fought on 25 October 1854 during the Crimean War, was part of the Anglo-French-Turkish campaign to capture the port and fortress of Sevastopol, Russia's principal naval base on the Black Sea...

 ,fought on 25 October 1854 ( famous for the Charge of the Light Brigade
Charge of the Light Brigade
The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. The charge was the result of a miscommunication in such a way that the brigade attempted a much more difficult objective...

 and the Thin Red Line
The Thin Red Line (1854 battle)
The Thin Red Line was a military action by the Sutherland Highlanders red-coated 93rd Regiment at the Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854, during the Crimean War. In this incident the 93rd aided by a small force of Royal Marines and some Turkish infantrymen, led by Sir Colin Campbell, routed a...

 ).

Formation During The Crimean War


Commanding General: Major General Sir George Cathcart
George Cathcart
General The Honourable Sir George Cathcart GCB was a British general and diplomat.-Military career:He was born in Renfrewshire, son of William Cathcart, 1st Earl Cathcart. After receiving his education at Eton and in Edinburgh, he was commissioned into the Life Guards in 1810...


  • 7th Brigade: Brigadier General Torrens
    Henry Torrens
    Lieutenant General Sir Henry D'Oyley Torrens KCB KCMG was a British army officer and colonial governor. He was born in Meerut, India, the son of Henry Whitelocke Torrens and Eliza Mary Roberts and died in London....

    • 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot
      Lancashire Fusiliers
      The Lancashire Fusiliers was a British infantry regiment that was amalgamated with other Fusilier regiments in 1968 to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.- Formation and early history:...

    • 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers
      Royal Scots Fusiliers
      -The Earl of Mar's Regiment of Foot :The regiment was raised in Scotland in 1678 by Stuart loyalist Charles Erskine, de jure 5th Earl of Mar for service against the rebel covenanting forces during the Second Whig Revolt . They were used to keep the peace and put down brigands, mercenaries, and...

    • 68th (Durham) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry)
      68th (Durham) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry)
      The 68th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1758 and amalgamated into The Durham Light Infantry in 1881. It saw action during the Seven Years War before being converted to Light Infantry in 1808. Fighting with distinction in the Peninsular Army under Arthur...


  • 8th Brigade
    • 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment of Foot
      46th (South Devonshire) Regiment of Foot
      The 46th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, created in 1741 and amalgamated into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in 1881.-History:...

    • 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot
      57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot
      The 57th Regiment of Foot was a regiment of line infantry in the British Army.-History:The regiment started out as the 59th Regiment of Foot raised in Gloucester in 1755....

  • one field battery royal Artillery

First World War


As a permanently established Regular Army division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

 it was amongst the first to be sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force at the outbreak of the First World War. It served on the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

 for the duration of the war and was present during all the major offensives including the Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Marne was a First World War battle fought between 5 and 12 September 1914. It resulted in an Allied victory against the German Army under Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke the Younger. The battle effectively ended the month long German offensive that opened the war and had...

 , Battle of Ypres
First Battle of Ypres
The First Battle of Ypres, also called the First Battle of Flanders , was a First World War battle fought for the strategic town of Ypres in western Belgium...

 , Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Passchendaele.

First World War formation


10th Brigade
British 10th Infantry Brigade
- History :The 10th Infantry Brigade was a regular British Army brigade.During the Second World War this brigade was part of the 4th Infantry Division throughout the war....

:
  • 1st Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders
    Seaforth Highlanders
    The Seaforth Highlanders was a historic regiment of the British Army associated with large areas of the northern Highlands of Scotland. The Seaforth Highlanders have varied in size from two battalions to seventeen battalions during the Great War...

  • 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Fusiliers
    Royal Irish Fusiliers
    The Royal Irish Fusiliers was an Irish infantry regiment of the British Army, formed by the amalgamation of the 87th Regiment of Foot and the 89th Regiment of Foot in 1881. The regiment's first title in 1881 was Princess Victoria's , changed in 1920 to The Royal Irish Fusiliers...

     (until August 1917)
  • 2nd Battalion, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (until November 1916)
  • 1/7th Battalion, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (from January 1915 until March 1916)
  • The Household Battalion
    Household Battalion
    The Household Battalion was an infantry battalion of the British army during the Great War. It was formed in September 1916 from the reserves of the Household Cavalry regiments to help fill the every-increasing demands for infantry on the Western Front...

     (from November 1916 until February 1918)
  • 3/10th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (from August 1917 until February 1918)
  • 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) (from 12th Bde. February 1918)


11th Brigade
British 11th Infantry Brigade
The 11th Infantry Brigade is a British Army regular formation that served in both the First and Second World Wars. Deactivated in 1958 it was reactivated in 2008 to assume command of the planned Operation Herrick deployment to Afghanistan in late 2009....

:
  • 1st Battalion, the Somerset Light Infantry
  • 1st Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment
  • 1st Battalion, the Rifle Brigade
  • 1/5th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (until May 1915)
  • 1st Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment (until February 1918)
  • 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment (from 12 Bde. July 1915 until May 1916)

12th Brigade
British 12th Infantry Brigade
The 12th Mechanized Brigade is a regular British Army brigade which has been in existence since 1899.-History:The brigade was first formed in December 1899 as 12th Infantry Brigade, part of 6th Division...

:
  • 1st Battalion, The King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)
  • 2nd Battalion, the Lancashire Fusiliers
    Lancashire Fusiliers
    The Lancashire Fusiliers was a British infantry regiment that was amalgamated with other Fusilier regiments in 1968 to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.- Formation and early history:...

  • 2nd Battalion, The Essex Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) (from January 1916 to 10th Bde. February 1918)
  • 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment (from March 1915, to 11th Bde. July 1915)
  • 1/5th Battalion, The South Lancashire Regiment (from February 1915 until January 1916)
  • 1/2nd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment (until January 1916)


From early November 1915 until February 1916 the 12th Brigade was swapped with the 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division
British 36th (Ulster) Division
The 36th Division was a division of Lord Kitchener's New Army formed in September 1914. Originally called the Ulster Division, it was made up of members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, who formed thirteen additional battalions for three existing regiments: the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Irish...

.

Second World War


The Division served during the Second World War and was sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force
British Expeditionary Force (World War II)
The British Expeditionary Force was the British force in Europe from 1939–1940 during the Second World War. Commanded by General Lord Gort, the BEF constituted one-tenth of the defending Allied force....

 (BEF), together with the 3rd Infantry Division
British 3rd Infantry Division
The 3rd Mechanised Division, known at various times as the Iron Division, 3rd Division or as Iron Sides; is a regular army division of the British Army...

 forming the British II Corps. After the 1940 Battle of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

 and the evacuation at Dunkirk, it spent the next two years in the United Kingdom on Invasion duties and training for its next deployment which would be as part of the British First Army
British First Army
The First Army was a field army of the British Army that existed during the First and Second World Wars. Despite being a British command, the First Army also included Indian and Portuguese forces during the First World War and American and French during the Second World War.-First World War:The...

 and Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

, the landings on the North West African coast.

During the Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 Campaign it was involved in Operation Vulcan
Operation Vulcan
During the Second World War, Operation Vulcan was the final ground attack against German forces in Tunis, Cap Bon, and Bizerte, Tunisia, the last Axis toeholds in North Africa. German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel believed that the Axis position in Tunisia was untenable, and he had recommended the...

 the final ground attack against Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 forces in North Africa.

After the Axis defeat in Africa it was next involved in the Italian Campaign
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

, and fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino
Battle of Monte Cassino
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies against Germans and Italians with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.In the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans...

.

In November 1944 it was dispatched to Greece to provide assistance during the Greek Civil War
Greek Civil War
The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party , backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania...

.

Second World War formation


10th Infantry Brigade
British 10th Infantry Brigade
- History :The 10th Infantry Brigade was a regular British Army brigade.During the Second World War this brigade was part of the 4th Infantry Division throughout the war....

:
  • 2nd Battalion, the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
    Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
    The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment was the final title of an infantry regiment of the line in the British Army originally formed in 1688...

  • 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1959. Its lineage is continued today by The Rifles....

  • 1st Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (until May 1940)
  • 1/6th Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment
    East Surrey Regiment
    The East Surrey Regiment was a regiment in the British Army formed in 1881 from the amalgamation of the 31st Regiment of Foot and the 70th Regiment of Foot...



11th Infantry Brigade
British 11th Infantry Brigade
The 11th Infantry Brigade is a British Army regular formation that served in both the First and Second World Wars. Deactivated in 1958 it was reactivated in 2008 to assume command of the planned Operation Herrick deployment to Afghanistan in late 2009....

(until June 1942) :
  • 2nd Battalion, the Lancashire Fusiliers
    Lancashire Fusiliers
    The Lancashire Fusiliers was a British infantry regiment that was amalgamated with other Fusilier regiments in 1968 to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.- Formation and early history:...

  • 1st Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment
  • 1st Battalion, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
    Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
    The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was an infantry regiment of the British Army.The regiment was formed as a consequence of Childers reforms, a continuation of the Cardwell reforms, by the amalgamation of the 43rd Regiment of Foot and the 52nd Regiment of Foot , forming the 1st...

  • 5th Battalion, the Northamptonshire Regiment
    Northamptonshire Regiment
    The Northamptonshire Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1960. Its lineage is now continued by The Royal Anglian Regiment.-Formation:The regiment was formed as part of the reorganisation of the infantry by the Childers reforms...

     (from January 1940)


12th Infantry Brigade
British 12th Infantry Brigade
The 12th Mechanized Brigade is a regular British Army brigade which has been in existence since 1899.-History:The brigade was first formed in December 1899 as 12th Infantry Brigade, part of 6th Division...

:
  • 2nd Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers
  • 1st Battalion, the South Lancashire Regiment (until June 1940)
  • 1st Battalion, the Black Watch
    Black Watch
    The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The unit's traditional colours were retired in 2011 in a ceremony led by Queen Elizabeth II....

     (until March 1940)
  • 6th Battalion, the Black Watch
    Black Watch
    The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The unit's traditional colours were retired in 2011 in a ceremony led by Queen Elizabeth II....

     (from March 1940)
  • 1st Battalion, the Royal West Kent Regiment (from September 1940)


21st Tank Brigade
British 21st Army Tank Brigade
The 21st Army Tank Brigade was a British Army formation active during World War II. It served with the British First Army and the British Eighth Army during the battles in Tunisia and Italy.- History :...

(June 1942 – December 1943) :
  • 48th Royal Tank Regiment
    48th Royal Tank Regiment
    The 48th Royal Tank Regiment was an armoured regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps....

  • 12th Royal Tank Regiment
  • 145th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps
    Royal Armoured Corps
    The Royal Armoured Corps is currently a collection of ten regular regiments, mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Army...



28th Infantry Brigade
British 28th Infantry Brigade
The 28th Infantry Brigade was a British Army formation which served during the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War.-Second World War:...

(from December 1943) :
  • 2nd Battalion, the Somerset Light Infantry
  • 2nd Battalion, the King's Regiment (Liverpool)
  • 1st Battalion, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
    Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
    The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland....

  • 2/4th Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment

Support Units

  • 2nd Bn. The Northumberland Fusiliers (Machine-Gun Battalion)
  • 4th Reconnaissance Regt. Royal Armoured Corps
    Royal Armoured Corps
    The Royal Armoured Corps is currently a collection of ten regular regiments, mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Army...


Post Second World War


It was reformed from 11th Armoured Division on 1 April 1956, and took on 20th Armoured Brigade Group from the disbanding 6th Armoured Division in May 1958. At the time the Division also incorporated the (Canadian) 4th Infantry Brigade and the 4th Guards Brigade
British 4th Infantry Brigade
The 4th Infantry Brigade was a Second World War British Army brigade. It was part of the British 2nd Infantry Division.- World War II History :...

. It was redesignated 4th Armoured
Armoured warfare
Armoured warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war....

 Division
on 1 January 1978, parenting Task Force Golf and Task Force Hotel, and served as part of I (BR) Corps in Germany.
Following the 1981–1983 Army reorganisation, I (BR) Corps consisted of 1st
British 1st Armoured Division
The 1st Armoured Division is an armoured division of the British Army. Originally formed in November 1937 as the Mobile Division, it saw extensive service during the Second World War, was disbanded afterward, was reconstituted in 1976, and remains in service today...

 and 4th Armoured Divisions, which would have manned the front line against the anticipated attack by the Soviet 3rd Shock Army
3rd Shock Army (Soviet Union)
The 3rd Shock Army was a field army of the Red Army formed during the Second World War. The 'Shock' armies were created with the specific structure to engage and destroy significant enemy forces, and were reinforced with more armoured and artillery assets than other combined arms armies...

.
It ceased this role on 1 July 1993.

Formation 1981–1983

  • 11th Armoured Brigade
    British 11th Armoured Brigade
    The 11th Armoured Brigade was a 1st Line Territorial Army brigade during the Second World War.- History :It was formed from the 126th Infantry Brigade in 1941 and converted to the 11th Tank Brigade in 1942. The unit was disbanded on 23 November 1943...

  • 20th Armoured Brigade
    British 20th Armoured Brigade
    The British Army's 20th Armoured Brigade is an armoured formation currently based in Sennelager, northern Germany, as part of the 1st Armoured Division.- World War II :...

  • 33rd Armoured Brigade
    33rd Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)
    The 33rd Armoured Brigade was a British Army brigade active in 1944-45, in the 1970s, and in 1980-92.- Normandy :The brigade was formed in the UK on 17 March 1944 by re-designating of the 33rd Tank Brigade. The brigade took part in the Normandy campaign and landed on Gold Beach on 6 June 1944...


Current formation



The Division was reformed again in 1995 as a regenerative division – a military district
Military district
Military districts are formations of a state's armed forces which are responsible for a certain area of territory. They are often more responsible for administrative than operational matters, and in countries with conscript forces, often handle parts of the conscription cycle.Navies have also used...

 in all but name – that serves as the parent formation for units in Southern England.

The Division's current insignia is a tiger. It is currently commanded by Major General Lamont Kirkland, from HQ at Steeles Road, Aldershot
Aldershot
Aldershot is a town in the English county of Hampshire, located on heathland about southwest of London. The town is administered by Rushmoor Borough Council...

. Major General Kirkland reports to the Commander Regional Forces
Commander Regional Forces (United Kingdom)
The Commander Regional Forces was a senior British Army officer who had command over the Regenerative Divisions of the British Army i.e. those divisions that are not on full strength and would only be mobilised in a national emergency. The post was held by a Lieutenant General and was based at HQ...

, at HQ Land Forces at Wilton. The Division is responsible for the administration of Aldershot Garrison
Aldershot Garrison
Aldershot Garrison, also known as Aldershot Military Town, is a major garrison in South East England. Established in 1854, Aldershot has long been seen as the home of the British Army. The garrison was established when the war department brought a large area of land near to the village of...

 and three Regional Brigades:
  • 2nd (South East) Brigade
  • 43rd (Wessex) Brigade
  • 145th (South) Brigade


For administrative purposes, the following formations are also under the administrative control of 4th Division:
  • British Gurkhas Nepal
    British Gurkhas Nepal
    British Gurkhas Nepal is an administrative organisation of the British Army that forms part of the Brigade of Gurkhas. The mission of BGN is to organise and facilitate the recruitment, transit and welfare of Gurkhas recruited into the British Army, to ensure that all Gurkha units are manned fully...

  • British Garrison Brunei
    British Military Garrison Brunei
    The British Military Garrison Brunei is the name given to the British armed forces presence in Brunei. Since the handover ceremony of Hong Kong in 1997, the garrison in Brunei is the only remaining British military base in the Far East, and along with Diego Garcia one of only two East of Suez...


Recent Commanders


Recent Commanders have been:

GOC 4th Division
  • 1902-1906 Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Knox
    Charles Edmond Knox
    Lieutenant General Sir Charles Edmond Knox KCB was an Anglo-Irish soldier of the British Army.-Early life:...

  • 1906-1907 Major-General William Franklyn
    William Franklyn (British Army officer)
    Lieutenant General Sir William Edmund Franklyn KCB was a senior British Army officer who went on to be Military Secretary.-Military career:...

  • 1907-1911 Major-General Herbert Belfield
    Herbert Belfield
    Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert Eversley Belfield KCB KCMG KBE DSO was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:Educated at Wellington College, Belfield was commissioned into the Royal Munster Fusiliers in 1876...

  • 1911-1914 Major-General Thomas Snow
    Thomas D'Oyly Snow
    Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas D’Oyly Snow KCB, KCMG was a British General in the First World War who commanded during some of the major battles of the Western Front. He had two nicknames, ‘Slush’ and ‘Snowball’, both plays on 'Snow'.-Education and early military career:Snow was born on 5 May 1858...

  • Sep 1914-Oct 1914 Major-General Sir Henry Rawlinson
    Henry Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson
    General Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson, GCB, GCSI, GCVO, KCMG , known as Sir Henry Rawlinson, Bt between 1895 and 1919, was a British First World War general most famous for his roles in the Battle of the Somme of 1916 and the Battle of Amiens in 1918.-Military career:Rawlinson was...

  • 1914-1915 Major-General Henry Wilson
    Henry Fuller Maitland Wilson
    Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Fuller Maitland Wilson, KCB, KCMG, was a British soldier who served in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, the Second Boer War and World War I...

  • 1915-1917 Major-General William Lambton
    William Lambton (British Army officer)
    Major-General The Hon. Sir William Lambton KCB CMG CVO DSO was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division during World War I.-Military career:...

  • 1917-1918 Major-General Torquhil Matheson
    Torquhil Matheson
    General Sir Torquhil George Matheson, 5th Baronet, KCB, CMG, was a senior British Army officer of the First World War who commanded three different divisions in some of the heaviest fighting of the conflict. He had previously served in the militia and with the Coldstream Guards in the Second Boer...

  • Sep 1918-Oct 1918 Major-General Louis Lipsett
    Louis Lipsett
    Major General Louis James Lipsett CB, CMG , was a senior officer in the British Army and Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. He commanded the 3rd Canadian Division during some of the bitterest battles of the war, taking over in 1915 after his predecessor was killed...

  • 1918-1919 Major-General Cuthbert Lucas
    Cuthbert Lucas
    Major-General Cuthbert Henry Tindall Lucas CB CMG DSO was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:...

  • 1919-1923 Major-General Sir Cameron Shute
    Cameron Shute
    General Sir Cameron Deane Shute KCB KCMG was a British Army General during World War I.-Military career:Shute was commissioned into the Welsh Regiment in 1885. He transferred to the Rifle Brigade in 1895 and participated in the Nile Expedition and the Siege of Khartoum in 1898...

  • 1923-1926 Major-General Sir Reginald Stephens
    Reginald Byng Stephens
    General Sir Reginald Byng Stephens KCB CMG DL was a British Army general of the First World War and later Commandant of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from 1919 to 1923, Major-General commanding the 4th Division, 1923 to 1926, and finally Director-General of the Territorial Army, 1927 to...

  • 1926-1927 Major-General Sir Percy Radcliffe
    Percy Radcliffe (British Army officer)
    General Sir Percy Pollexfen de Blaquiere Radcliffe KCB KCMG DSO was a British Army officer who reached high office in the 1930s.-Military career:...

  • 1927-1931 Major-General Archibald Cameron
    Archibald Rice Cameron
    General Sir Archibald Rice Cameron of Locheil GBE KCB CMG was a British Army General during the 1930s.-Military career:...

  • 1931-1933 Major-General Charles Bonham-Carter
    Charles Bonham-Carter
    |-...

  • 1933-1935 Major-General Sir John Brind
    John Brind
    General Sir John Edward Spencer Brind KCB KBE CMG DSO was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:Brind was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1897...

  • Jun 1935-Nov 1935 Major-General James Dick-Cunyngham
    James Dick-Cunyngham
    Major General James Keith Dick-Cunyngham CB CMG DSO was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:Educated at Cheltenham College, Dick-Cunyngham was commissioned into the Gordon Highlanders in 1898...

  • 1935-1937 Major-General Clive Liddell
    Clive Gerard Liddell
    General Sir Clive Gerard Liddell KCB CMG CBE DSO was Adjutant-General to the Forces of the British Army.-Military career:Clive Liddell joined the British Army in 1902. He was an Adjutant from 1908 to 1911 and then became Staff Captain at 6th District of Northern Command in 1912...

  • 1938-1940 Major-General Dudley Johnson
    Dudley Graham Johnson
    Major General Dudley Graham Johnson VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Military career:Johnson served with the Wiltshire Regiment...

  • Jun 1940-Oct 1940 Major-General Ralph Eastwood
    Ralph Eastwood
    Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Ralph Eastwood KCB DSO MC was a British Army General during World War II.-Military career:Ralph Eastwood was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade in 1910...

  • 1940-1942 Major-General John Swayne
    John Swayne
    Lieutenant General Sir John George des Reaux Swayne KCB CBE was General Officer Commanding South-East Command.-Military career:Swayne was commissioned into the Somerset Light Infantry in 1911...

  • 1942-1943 Major-General John Hawkesworth
    John Hawkesworth (British Army officer)
    Lieutenant-General Sir John Ledlie Inglis Hawkesworth, KBE, CB, DSO and Bar was an officer in the British Army during World War I and World War II.-Early life and career:...

  • 1943-1944 Major-General Hayman Hayman-Joyce
    Hayman Hayman-Joyce
    Major-General Hayman John Hayman-Joyce CBE DSO was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division during World War II.-Military career:...

  • 1944-1945 Major-General Alfred Dudley Ward
    Alfred Dudley Ward
    General Sir Alfred Dudley Ward, GCB, KBE, DSO , was a British Army officer during the Second World War and later Governor of Gibraltar. He served as an ordinary soldier for three years before being sent for officer training in 1926...

  • 1945-1946 Major-General Colin Callander
    Colin Callander
    Lieutenant General Sir Colin Bishop Callander KCB KBE MC was a senior British Army officer who went on to be Military Secretary.-Military career:...

  • 1946-1947 Major-General Ernest Down
    Ernest Down
    Lieutenant-General Sir Ernest Edward Down KBE CB was a British General during World War II.-Military career:Ernest Down was commissioned into the Dorset Regiment in February 1923. He served in World War II being appointed Commander of the 2nd Parachute Brigade in North Africa in 1942...

Note: The Division was disbanded after the War and reformed in 1956
  • 1956-1957 Major-General Reginald Hewetson
    Reginald Hewetson
    General Sir Reginald Hackett Hewetson GCB CBE DSO is a fomer Adjutant-General to the Forces.-Military career:...

  • 1957-1959 Major-General Gerald Hopkinson
    Gerald Hopkinson
    Major-General Gerald Charles Hopkinson CB DSO OBE MC was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:Educated at Haileybury, Hopkinson was commissioned in to the Royal Tank Corps in 1930. He served in World War II as Commanding Officer of 44th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment...

  • 1959-1961 Major-General Desmond Gordon
    Desmond Gordon
    Major-General Desmond Spencer Gordon CB CBE DSO JP DL was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:...

  • 1961-1963 Major-General Jean Allard
    Jean Victor Allard
    Jean Victor Allard, was the first French-Canadian to become Chief of the Defence Staff, the highest position in the Canadian Forces, from 1966–1969. He was also the first to hold the accompanying rank of general....

  • 1963-1965 Major-General Basil Eugster
    Basil Eugster
    General Sir Basil Oscar Eugster KCB, KCVO, CBE,DSO MC was a Commander in Chief, UK Land Forces.-Army career:A British soldier of Swiss descent, Basil Eugster attended Beaumont College. In 1935 he joined the Irish Guards. He served with his Regiment through World War II and fought in the Narvik...

  • 1965-1967 Major-General Michael Forrester
    Michael Forrester
    Major-General Michael Forrester CB CBE DSO & Bar MC & Bar was a British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:...

  • 1967-1969 Major-General Vernon Erskine-Crum
    Vernon Erskine-Crum
    Lieutenant-General Vernon Forbes Erskine-Crum, CIE, MC was a British Army officer, who briefly served as General Officer Commanding in Northern Ireland during the early period of the Troubles.-Regimental career:...

  • 1969-1971 Major-General David Fraser
    David William Fraser
    General Sir David William Fraser, GCB, OBE is a retired British Army officer who became Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies.-Military career:...

  • 1971-1973 Major-General Anthony Farrar-Hockley
    Anthony Farrar-Hockley
    General Sir Anthony Heritage Farrar-Hockley GBE, KCB, DSO & Bar, MC , affectionately known as 'Farrar the Para' , was a British soldier and a military historian who distinguished himself in a number of British conflicts...

  • 1973-1975 Major-General Michael Gow
    Michael Gow (British Army officer)
    General Sir James Michael Gow GCB is a retired British Army General who reached high office in the 1980s.-Military career:Educated at Winchester College, Gow was commissioned into the Scots Guards during World War II...

  • 1975-1977 Major-General Nigel Bagnall
    Nigel Bagnall
    Field Marshal Sir Nigel Thomas Bagnall GCB, CVO, MC was Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army.-Army career:...


GOC 4th Armoured Division
  • 1977-1979 Major-General Richard Vickers
    Richard Vickers
    |-...

  • 1979-1981 Major-General John Akehurst
    John Akehurst (British Army officer)
    General Sir John Bryan Akehurst KCB CBE was a British Army General who rose to be Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.-Military career:...

  • 1981-1983 Major-General Jeremy Reilly
    Jeremy Reilly
    Lieutenant-General Sir Jeremy Calcott Reilly KCB DSO is a former British Army officer who commanded 4th Armoured Division.- Military career :...

  • 1983-1985 Major-General John Waters
    John Waters (British Army officer)
    General Sir Charles John Waters GCB CBE is a former Commander in Chief, UK Land Forces.-Army career:Educated at Oundle School, John Waters was commissioned into the Gloucestershire Regiment in February 1956. He was made Commanding Officer of 1st Bn Gloucestershire Regiment in 1975...

  • 1985-1987 Major-General Michael Hobbs
  • 1987-1989 Major-General William Rous
    William Rous (British Army officer)
    Lieutenant General The Honourable Sir William Edward Rous KCB OBE is a former Quartermaster-General to the Forces.-Military career:Born the son of the Earl of Stradbroke, Rous was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1959....

  • 1989-1991 Major-General Jeremy Mackenzie
    Jeremy Mackenzie
    General Sir John Jeremy Mackenzie GCB, OBE, DL is a former British Army General who became Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.-Military career:...

  • 1991-1993 Major-General Anthony Denison-Smith
    Anthony Denison-Smith
    Lieutenant General Sir Anthony Arthur Denison-Smith KBE DL is a former British Army officer who commanded 1st Armoured Division.-Military career:...


GOC 4th Division
  • 1996-1998 Major General Nigel Richards
    Nigel Richards (British Army officer)
    Major-General Nigel William Fairbairn Richards CB CBE is a former British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:...

  • 1998-2001 Major General Timothy Sulivan
    Timothy Sulivan
    Major-General Timothy John Sulivan CB CBE is a former British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:Sulivan was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1966 and transferred into the Blues and Royals in 1980. He served as the only non-US member of General Norman Schwarzkopf's...

  • 2001-2002 Major General John Holmes
    John Holmes (British Army officer)
    Major-General John Taylor Holmes DSO OBE MC is a former Director Special Forces.-Military career:Holmes was commissioned into the Scots Guards in 1970. In 1972 he was awarded the Military Cross for service in Northern Ireland. He transferred to 22 Special Air Service in 1974 and was Commanding...

  • 2002-2003 Major General Andrew Ritchie
    Andrew Ritchie (British Army officer)
    Major-General Andrew Stephenson Ritchie CBE is a British soldier, formerly Commandant of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, now Director of Goodenough College, London...

  • 2003-2004 Major General David Judd
  • 2004-2006 Major General Seumas Kerr
    Seumas Kerr
    Major-General John Seumas Kerr CBE is a former British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:Kerr was commissioned in to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1973. As a colonel he undertook a tour in Northern Ireland in 1995 during the Troubles for which he was awarded the CBE...

  • 2006-2008 Major General Peter Everson
    Peter Everson
    Major-General Peter Frederick Everson OBE is a former British Army officer who commanded 4th Division.-Military career:Everson was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps in 1976. As a lieutenant-colonel he undertook a tour in Northern Ireland in 1997 during the Troubles for which he was awarded...

  • 2008-present Major General Lamont Kirkland

The future


A single UK Support Command, which is planned to replace three existing divisional headquarters, will be based in Aldershot
Aldershot
Aldershot is a town in the English county of Hampshire, located on heathland about southwest of London. The town is administered by Rushmoor Borough Council...

. HQ 2nd division in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, HQ 4th division in Aldershot and HQ 5th division in Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Lying on the River Severn, it is a civil parish home to some 70,000 inhabitants, and is the primary settlement and headquarters of Shropshire Council...

 will all be disbanded in 2012.

See also

  • List of British divisions in World War I
  • British Divisions in World War II
    British Divisions in World War II
    This page is a list of British Army divisions that fought in World War II.-Armoured:*Guards Armoured Division*1st Armoured Division*2nd Armoured Division - Formed 15 December 1939 in the UK. Served in Egypt from January 1941 until March 1941 and from April 1941 until May 1941, and in Libya from...

  • British Army Order of Battle - September 1939

External links