Text Box: http://penhey.name/omiwxb262Div1(p).htmText Box: © 2006 R.J.PENHEYRounded Rectangle: The British 62nd Division

Rounded Rectangle: In the Great War

RJP: 62 Div: Origins         Latest edit 24 Nov 2008                                                                                                


1.  Origins

On the outbreak of war in August 1914, the West Riding (Territorial) Division was formed from territorial battalions of the West Riding (of Yorkshire) regiments. Thus:-

1st West Riding Infantry Brigade – 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th West Yorkshire Regiment.

2nd West Riding Infantry Brigade – 4th, 5th, 6th, & 7th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.

3rd West Riding Infantry Brigade – 4th & 5th York and Lancaster Regiment together with the 4th and 5th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

During September 1914 all these battalions were redesignated ‘Service’ battalions and at the same time each battalion raised a ‘Reserve’ battalion bearing the same number. From the reserve battalions was formed the 2nd West Riding Division.

Thus at this stage there were:-

1st West Riding Division – 1/1st W.R. Infantry Brigade – 5th (Service), 6th (Service), 7th (Service) and 8th (Service) battalions, West Yorks;

2nd West Riding Division – 2/1st W.R. Infantry Brigade – 5th (Reserve), 6th (Reserve), 7th (Reserve) and 8th (Reserve) battalions, West Yorks;

and so also with the other brigades.

In February 1915 the designations ‘Service’ and ‘Reserve’ were dropped and replaced by the prefixes 1/ and 2/ respectively. Thus for example 6th (Service) Battalion became 1/6th Battalion and 6th (Reserve) Battalion became 2/6th Battalion.  When the 1st West Riding Division went to France in April 1915, it was re-named 49th (West Riding) Division and its three brigades became 146th, 147th and 148th Infantry Brigades respectively. At the same time 2nd West Riding Division became a training and reinforcement formation to supply 49 Div with replacements.

In August 1915 a third West Riding division and its corresponding brigades and battalions were formed. The 2nd West Riding Division was then re-designated 62nd (West Riding) Division and its three brigades became 185th, 186th and 187th Infantry Brigades respectively. The 3rd West Riding Division never became an active service division but remained in the UK as a holding formation.


See also: Military organization

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