- 5th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 5th Infantry Division
caption=Insignia of the 5th Division
dates= 1906 - 1960
1995 - Present
Shrewsbury, Shropshire(1995- )
current_commander=Maj. General M. J. Rutledge OBE [ [http://www.army.mod.uk/servingsoldier/senior_appts/announcements.htm Senior Officer appointments] ]
notable_commanders=Maj. Gen. Herbert Plumer
1914 - 1918
nickname=The Globe Trotters
The Fighting Fifth
Battle of Bussaco Battle of Sabugal Siege of Almeida (1811) Battle of Badajoz (1812) Battle of Salamanca Battle of Vitoria Siege of San Sebastian Battle of Nivelle Battle of the Nive
Battle of Quatre Bras Battle of Waterloo
World War I
Battle of Mons Battle of Le Cateau First Battle of Ypres Second Battle of Ypres(13th Brigade)
Battle of the Somme
Third Battle of Ypres
Battle of Vimy Ridge
Battle of Epehy
World War II
North West Europe Campaign
Battle of Surabaya
battle_honours=The British 5th Infantry Division was established by
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellingtonfor service in the Peninsula Warand has been active for most of the period since, including World War Iand World War II. The modern day division was established in 1995 and is an administrative division covering Walesand the English regions of West Midlands, East Midlandsand East. Its headquarters are in Shrewsbury.
The 5th Division during the
Peninsula Warunder the command of General James Leith was present at most of the major engagements including the Battle of Bussacothe Battle of Sabugalthe Siege of Almeida (1811)the Battle of Badajoz (1812)the Battle of Salamancathe Battle of Vitoriathe Siege of San Sebastianthe Battle of Nivelleand the Battle of the Nive.
**3/1st Regiment of Foot
9th Regiment of Foot
38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot
**1/4th Regiment of Foot
30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot
44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot
The Division was also present during the
Waterloo Campaignfirst seeing action at the Battle of Quatre Brasthen at the Battle of Waterloounder the command of Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton
the formation was
*8th Brigade Major-General Sir
28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot
32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot
**79th Regiment of Foot (Cameron Highlanders)
*9th Brigade Major-General Sir
**3/1st Regiment of Foot (Royal Scots)
**42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot "Black Watch"
44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot
**92nd Regiment of Foot (Gordon Highlanders)
*5th Hanoverian Brigade Colonel Ernst von Vincke
**Landwehr Battalion Gifhorn
**Landwehr Battalion Hameln
**Landwehr Battalion Hildesheim
**Landwehr Battalion Peine
*Artillery Major Heinrich Heise
**Roger's Battery R. A.
**Braun's Hanoverian Foot Artillery
World War I
The 5th Division was a permanently established Regular Army division that was amongst the first to be sent to
Franceat the outbreak of the First World War. It served on the Western Front for most of the war except for a brief period in Italy.
The 5th Division, as a regular army formation (one of the
Old Contemptibles) fought in many of the major battles of the Western Front from The Battle of Monsin 1914 , the later stages of the Somme offensive , including the first battle using tanks, up to the Battle of the Sellein 1918. They were in almost continuous action throughout the war and suffered a tremendous amount of casualties as can be seen from the way the battalions that made up the division changed during the war. By 1918 the 5th Division, like most other regular divisions, contained very few of those regulars who went to France in 1914.
Commanders during World War I
*Maj. Gen. Sir Charles Ferguson
*Maj. Gen. T.Morland
*Maj. Gen. C.Kavanagh
*Maj. Gen. R.Stephens
*Maj. Gen. John Ponsonby
World War I formation
13th Brigade This Brigade was temporarily under the command of 28th Division between 23 February and 7 April 1915, when it was replaced by 84th Brigade from that Division.
The King's Own Scottish Borderers
*2nd Bn, The Duke of Wellington's left January 1916
The Royal West Kent Regiment
*2nd Bn, The KOYLI left December 1915
*1/9th (City of London) Bn, The London Regiment joined November 1914, left February 1915
*14th (Service) Bn, The Royal Warwicks joined December 1915, became Divisional Pioneers October 1918
*15th (Service) Bn, The Royal Warwicks joined January 1916, disbanded October 1918
*16th (Service) Bn, The Royal Warwicks joined October 1918
14th Brigade Brigade transferred to 32nd Division on 30 December 1915
*1st Bn, The Devons
The Suffolk Regimentleft September 1914
The East Surrey Regiment
*1st Bn, The DCLI
*2nd Bn, The Manchesters
*1/5th Bn, The Cheshires joined February 1915, left November 1915
*1/9th (Highlanders) Bn,
The Royal Scotsjoined November 1915
The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliersjoined November 1915 15th Brigade This Brigade was temporarily under the command of 28th Division between 3 March and 7 April 1915, when it was replaced by 83rd Brigade from that Division.
The Norfolk Regiment
The Bedfordshire Regiment
*1st Bn, The Cheshires
*1st Bn, The The Dorsets left December 1915
*1/6th Bn, The Cheshires joined December 1914, left March 1915
The King's (Liverpool) Regimentjoined February 1915, left November 1915
*16th (Service) Bn, the Royal Warwicks joined December 1915, left October 1918
95th Brigade Brigade transferred from 32nd Division on 26 December 1915
*12th (Service) Bn (Bristol), The Gloucesters joined December 1915, disbanded October 1918
The Devonshire Regimentjoined January 1916
The East Surrey Regimentjoined January 1916
*1st Bn, The DCLI joined January 1916
The division was unusual among other British divisions in that no battle patches were worn on their tunics or helmets, aside from those briefly worn by New Army battalions bringing them from their former division. [
Osprey PublishingMAA 182, p.9]
World War II
In September 1939 the Division was a regular formation in the UK. Both its infantry brigades went to France by early October as independent infantry brigades, but Divisional Headquarters crossed to France on 19 December and by the new year the Division was reformed.
The 5th Infantry Division saw action in France and
Belgiumin 1940 including at the Ypres-Comines Canal from 26th to 28 May 1940, and then was withdrawn, along with the rest of the British Expeditionary Force, from Dunkirk. After this it served and travelled in so many regions of the world that they became known as the Globe Trotters. In April 1942 13th and 17th Infantry Brigades and a portion of the Divisional Troops were detached to 'Force 121' for Operation Ironclad, the invasion of VichyFrench held Madagascar. The Division was not complete again until August 1942.It was sent from the UK to Indiato Iraq, and Persiato join Tenth Army, where it spent time under the command of III Corps and XXI Indian Corps. It then went to Syriaand Egyptbefore being withdrawn in preparation for the Sicily landings.
Sicily and Italy
The 5th Division saw action in the Sicily Landings from 9th to 12 July 1943, and then was part of the
British Eighth Armyin Italy. Under XIII Corps, it was in the Messina area in September 1943, involved in the Sangrobattles from 19th Nov. to 3rd Dec. 1943, engagements at GariglianoCrossing from 17th to 31 January1944.
After the British 1st Infantry Division and other British forces, as part of the
U.S. VI Corpsunder Major General John P. Lucas, landed at Anzio in January 1944, the 5th Division was part of later reinforcements sent there, along with the 56th (London) Infantry Division .
It was part of the drive on
Romefrom 22 May to 4 June 1944. From there they were sent to Palestine, back to Italy and finally to North West Europe for the final months of the war.
During World War II, unlike during World War I, the Division used a 'Y' on a black square background as its insignia.
World War II formation
13th Infantry Brigade (26 April 1942 – 2 August 1942 detached to
Force 121in Madagascar)
Inniskilling Fusiliers(30 Nov.1939-14 Aug.1944)
The Essex Regiment(From 14 Aug.1944)
15th Infantry Brigade
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
York and Lancaster Regiment
17th Infantry Brigade (15 March 1942 - 30 June 1942 Detached to
Force 121in Madagascar)
Royal Scots Fusiliers
* 7th Bn.
The Cheshire Regiment(Machine Gun Battalion)
* 5th Reconnaissance Regt.
Royal Armoured Corps
Post War War II
It was reformed briefly from the
7th Armoured Divisionin Germany on 16 April 1958, with the 7th and 20th Armoured Brigades but was then redesignated the 1st Division on June 30, 1960. It was again reformed in the UK on 1 April 1968, under Army Strategic Command, incorporating the 2nd, 8th, and 39th Brigades, but disbanded in February 1971.
Today the 5th Division is an administrative division - effectively a military district, having been reformed from North West, Wales, and Western Districts on April 1, 1995. It has administrative control over a wide range of regiments, training establishments and cadet corps. It has its permanent headquarters at the Copthorne Barracks in
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, which is also the headquarters of the 143rd Brigade.
The division was in charge of the majority of
British Armyunits in Wales, the English West Midlands and South West England, with approximately 20,000 regular personnel, 9,000 TA personnel and around 5,000 civilians, between 1995 and 2007. The South West has now been transferred to the 4th Division, replaced by the East Midlandsand the East English regions. The division therefore now covers the central regions of England as well as Wales.
The 5th Division took command of Headquarters
Salisbury PlainArea and 43rd (Wessex) Brigade from 3rd Division on April 1, 1999, and 107 (Ulster) Brigade also fell under its responsibility. [Soldier Magazine, December 1998, p.13] However 107 Brigade was shifted back under Headquarters, Northern Ireland, at a later date. HQ 43rd Brigade moved to Bulford by September 1, 1999, and HQ Salisbury PlainArea disbanded by that date. This process freed Headquarters 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division from its administrative and regional responsibilities and it become a deployable or "fly-away" division.
The current composition is as follows:
*49th (Eastern) Brigade
*143rd (West Midlands) Brigade
160th (Wales) Brigade
16th Air Assault Brigade- operationally independent unit that, because its Headquarters is at Aldershot, falls under purely administrative command of 5th Division.
Recent Commanders have been: [Whitaker's Almanacks]
*1995-1996 Major General IL Freer
*1996-1999 Major General RV Searley
*2000-2001 Major General AP Grant Peterkin
*2002-2003 Major General AG Denaro
*2003-2004 Major General NJ Cottam
*2005-2008 Major General A Farquhar
*From May 2008 Major General MJ Rutledge
* A Guide to Appointments and Invitations for High Commissions & Embassies in London, UK Ministry of Defence, June 2006 Edition
* Gregory Blaxland, The Regiments Depart: A History of the British Army 1945-70, William Kimber, London, 1971.
* Readers' Digest, The World At Arms, 1989
* [http://www.army.mod.uk/5div/index.htm 5th Division official website]
* [http://orbat.com/site/history/historical/uk/army1939-45.html British Army Order of Battle 1939 - 1945]
* [http://www.1914-1918.net/5div.htm The British Army in the Great War: The 5th Division]
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