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Brief History 29th Division.

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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Jan 2012 at 18:43
The following is a brief history of the 29th Infantry Division.

The history of 29th Division

Divisional symbolAs regular units from the further garrisons of Empire arrived back in England, many having waited until a Territorial unit had gone out to replace them, they were formed up into three Divisions, numbered 27th to 29th. The 29th, consisting of units that arrived from the most distant stations, was formed in the Stratford-Warwick-Leamington-Rugby-Nuneaton area in January-March 1915. Originally intended for France, pressure on Lord Kitchener to launch a ground attack at Gallipoli forced him to deploy the Division there. The Division embarked at Avonmouth on 16-22 March 1915 and went via Malta to Alexandria. On 7 April re-embarkation began for the first units to have arrived at Egypt, for the move to Mudros. The Division landed at Cape Helles on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and subsequently took part in the following actions:



The memorial to the 29th Division, on the A45 at Stretton-on-Dunsmore between Coventry and Rugby, marks the spot where the troops were inspected by King George V just before the departure for Gallipoli. Thanks to Rlangham at Planetalk for this photo.

On the nights 7-8 January 1916, the Division was evacuated from Gallipoli and all units returned to Egypt. Orders were received there on 25 February for a move to France. Embarking in March it arrived at marseilles and moved to concentrate in the area east of Pont Remy between 15 and 29 March. The Division remained on the Western Front for the remainder of the war.

The Battle of Albert*
The Battle of the Transloy Ridges*
* the battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916


The memorial to the 29th Division in Newfoundland Park near Beaumont-Hamel, a reminder of the costly attack on this ground on 1 July 1916

The First Battle of the Scarpe**
The Second Battle of the Scarpe**
The Third Battle of the Scarpe**
** the battles marked ** are phases of the Arras Offensive 1917

The Battle of Langemarck^
The Battle of Broodseinde^
The Battle of Poelcapelle^
^ the battles marked ^ are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres 1917

The Battle of Cambrai

The Battle of Estaires+
The Battle of Messines 1918+
The Battle of Hazebrouck+ including the defence on Nieppe Forest 
The Battle of Bailleul+
+ the battles marked + are phases of the Battles of the Lys

The Action of Outtersteene Ridge-
The capture of Ploegsteert and Hill 63-
- the battles marked - are phases of the Advance in Flanders
The Battle of Ypres 1918++
The Battle of Courtrai++
++ the battles marked ++ are phases of the Final Advance in Flanders

After the Armistice the Division was among those selected to march into Germany to occupy the Rhine bridgehead. All units crossed the Belgian-German border at Malmedy on 4 December 1918 and arrived in Cologne five days later. The Division crossed the Rhine by the Honhenzollern Bridge on 13 December. Gradually, demobilisation began and by March 1919 most units were down to cadre strength.

The order of battle of the 29th Division

86th Brigade 
2nd Bn, the Royal Fusiliers 
1st Bn, the Lancashire Fusiliers 
1st Bn, the Royal Munster Fusiliersleft April 1916
1st Bn, the Royal Dublin Fusiliersleft October 1917, rejoined April 1918
2/3rd Bn, the London Regimentjoined August 1915, left January 1916
86th Machine Gun Companyformed 26 February 1916, moved to 29 Battalion 15 Feb 1918
16th Bn, the Middlesex Regimentjoined April 1916, disbanded February 1918
86th Trench Mortar Batteryformed 21 April 1916
1st Bn, the Royal Guernsey Light Infantryjoined October 1917, left April 1918
87th Brigade 
2nd Bn, the South Wales Borderers 
1st Bn, the King's Own Scottish Borderers 
1st Bn, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliersleft February 1918
1st Bn, the Border Regiment 
87th Machine Gun Companyformed 16 February 1916, moved to 29 Battalion 15 Feb 1918
87th Trench Mortar Batteryformed 28 April 1916
88th Brigade 
4th Bn, the Worcestershire Regiment 
2nd Bn, the Hampshire Regiment 
1st Bn, the Essex Regimentleft February 1918
1st Bn, the Royal Newfoundland Regimentleft April 1918
1/5th Bn, the Royal Scotsjoined March 1915, left July 1915
2/1st Bn, the London Regimentjoined August 1915, left Hanuary 1916
88th Machine Gun Companyformed 21 February 1916, moved to 29 Battalion 15 Feb 1918
88th Trench Mortar Batteryformed 16 April 1916
2nd Bn, the Leinster Regimentjoined April 1918
Divisional Troops 
1/2nd Bn, the Monmouthshire Regimentjoined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion in May 1916
227th Machine Gun Companyjoined 20 July 1917, moved to 29 Battalion 15 Feb 1918
29th Machine Gun Battalion MGCformed 15 February 1918
Divisional Mounted Troops 
C Sqn, the Surrey Yeomanryleft 11 May 1916
1 Section, 10 Squadron, Royal Naval Armoured Car Detachmentattached between 5 May 1915 and 20 June 1915
Divisional Artillery 
XV Brigade, RHA 
XVII Brigade, RFA 
CXLVII Brigade, RFAleft January 1917
IV Highland Mountain Brigade, RGAleft July 1915
29th Divisional Ammunition Column RFAoriginal 29th DAC remained in Egypt when the Division moved to France (in October 1916 it was transferred to the 10th (Irish) Division. While en-route to Salonika its ship was torpedoed and more than 100 men were lost). On arrival in France the former DAC of the 53rd (Welsh) Division joined 29th Division
CXXXII Brigade, RFAformerly LVII (H) joined 2 March 1916, broken up 12 September 1916
V.29 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery, RFAformed May 1916, broken up 4 February 1918
X.29, Y.29 and Z.29 Medium Trench Moratr Batteries, RFAjoined April 1916; on 4 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
Royal Engineers 
2nd (Lowland) Field Companyleft February 1916
510th Field Companyrenamed from 2nd (London) Field Company
455th Field Companyrenamed from 1st (West Riding) Field Company
497th Field Companyjoined February 1916, renamed from 3rd (kent) Field Company
1st London Divisional Signals Company 
Royal Army Medical Corps 
87th (1st West Lancashire) Field Ambulance 
88th (1st East Anglian) Field Ambulance 
89th (1st Highland) Field Ambulance 
16th Sanitary Sectionleft April 1917
Other Divisional Troops 
29th Divisional Train ASC246, 247, 248 and 249 TF Companies, ASC. This was originally the Wessex Divisional Train from the Wessex Division. This transferred to 53rd (Welsh) Division in Egypt, March 1916, after seeing action in Gallipoli. A new Divisional Train was formed in England, consisting of 225, 226, 227 and 228 Companies, ASC. It moved to France and joined the Division 24 March 1916
18th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC 
226th Divisional Employment Companyjoined on 25 May 1917, as 28th Employment Company, 1st Labour Corps; redesignated in June 1917
29th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshopremained in Egypt when Division moved to France. A fresh unit joined in France, and it was absorbed by the Divisional Supply Column in April 1916
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