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140th (4th London) Brigade
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army Territorial Army
Service history
Active 1908–19
1920–36
1939–44
1944–45
Part of 47th (1/2nd London) Division
Nickname The Grey Brigade
Battles World War I
Commanders
Commanders Brig.-Gen. Viscount Hampden
Brig. Arnold Cazenove
Insignia

140th (4th London) Brigade (140 Bde) was an infantry formation of Britain's Territorial Army that served in World War I and World War II.

OriginEdit

When the Territorial Force was created in 1908 under the Haldane Reforms, the existing volunteer units in the London area were brought together into a new London Regiment and organised into two divisions with a full complement of infantry brigades and supporting arms. 4th London Brigade formed part of 2nd London Division, with the following composition:[1][2][3][4][5]

The 4th London was sometimes known as 'The Grey Brigade' from the original uniform colour of its constituent Rifle Volunteer battalions. This name was carried over from the South London Volunteer Infantry Brigade of the 1890s in which they had served.[6]

World War IEdit

The outbreak of war on 4 August saw 4th London Brigade at Perham Down on Salisbury Plain, where it had just arrived for its annual training camp with the rest of 2nd London Division. They were immediately recalled to London to complete their mobilisation and by mid-August 4 London Bde had reached its war station round St Albans, Hertfordshire.[2][3][7] The County of London Territorial Force Association immediately began raising 'Second Line' battalions, which quickly led to the formation of a duplicate 2/4th London Brigade (eventually 179th Brigade); consequently 4th London Brigade became 1/4th and its battalions similarly renumbered (1/13th–1/16th).[8][9][10][11]

Order of BattleEdit

Several of the London battalions were politically well-connected[12] and were selected for overseas service ahead of the bulk of the Territorial Force. Thus the London Scottish, Queen's Westminsters and Kensingtons went to the Western Front as individual battalions attached to the British Expeditionary Force, the London Scottish being the first TF infantry battalion to see action, at Messines on 31 October 1914.[13] These battalions were replaced by others from 2nd London Bde of 1st London Division, which had been temporarily broken up.[14]

The following units served in 140 Bde during World War I:[2][3][15]

  • 1/6th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment joined 5 November 1914; sent drafts to 1/15th and 1/17th Londons on 30 January, and cadre left to merge with 2/6th Londons in 58th (2/1st London) Division on 2 February 1918.
  • 1/7th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment joined 5 November 1914; sent a draft to 1/19th Londons in 141st (5th London) Brigade on 29 January, and cadre left to merge with 2/7th Londons in 58th Division on 2 February 1918.
  • 1/8th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) joined 6 November 1914; sent a draft to 1/17th Londons and cadre left to merge with 2/8th Londons in 58th Division on 2 February 1918.
  • 1/15th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles)
  • 140th Light Trench Mortar Battery formed June 1915.
  • 2nd London Company ASC became 456th (Horse Transport) Company ASC August 1915.
  • 1/4th (City of London) Bn London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) joined 15 November 1915; transferred to 168th (2nd London) Brigade in 56th (1st London) Division on 9 February 1916.[16]
  • 1/17th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Poplar and Stepney Rifles) joined from 141st (5th London) Bde 1 February 1918.
  • 1/21st (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (1st Surrey Rifles) joined from 142nd (6th London) Brigade 1 February 1918.
  • 140th Machine Gun Company formed December 1915; merged into 47th Battalion Machine Gun Corps March 1918.

The 1/15th Londons (Civil Service Rifles) was the only prewar battalion of the brigade to serve with it throughout the war.

ServiceEdit

In October 1914, 2nd London Division was selected for service on the Western Front and progressive training was carried out through the winter. The division embarked for France in March 1915, concentrating round Béthune. In May the division (already known in France simply as 'The London Division' to distinguish it from the Regular Army 2nd Division) took its place in the line and was designated 47th (1/2nd London) Division, with the brigades numbered consecutively: 4th London became 140th (1/4th London) Brigade.[2][17]

ActionsEdit

During World War I the brigade was engaged in the following operations:[2][3][4][18]

1915

1916

1917

Early in 1918 the brigade was completely reorganised (see Order of Battle above)

1918

After the Armistice, 47th Division was engaged in railway repair and then settled down around Bethune to await demobilisation. This began in January, and the last troops left France on 10 May 1919. The brigade was demobilised at Felixstowe in May–June 1919.[2][3][19]

Interwar yearsEdit

47th Division and its subformations began to reform in the redesignated Territorial Army in 1920.[2][3][20] 140 Bde was reformed with brigade HQ at the Regimental Headquarters of the Irish Guards at Wellington Barracks in Birdcage Walk. Initially the brigade was composed of its original prewar battalions, but in 1921 the Civil Service Rifles merged with the Queen's Westminsters, and the brigade was brought up to strength by the addition of the Artists' Rifles:[21]

  • 13th London Regiment (Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment).
  • 14th London Regiment (London Scottish).
  • 16th London Regiment (Queen's Westminster and Civil Service Rifles), headquartered at 58 Buckingham Gate.
  • 28th London Regiment (Artists Rifles) headquartered at Duke's Road, Euston.

In the 1930s, reorganisation of the TA saw the division's traditional battalions being retasked and posted away, and it was disbanded in 1936 along with its brigades.[21]

The rapid expansion of the TA after the Munich Crisis saw 4th London Brigade reformed with Second Line TA battalions, to provide a duplicate of 1st London Brigade. 4th London Brigade resumed its number as 140 (London) Brigade on 21 November 1940.[22]

World War IIEdit

The composition of 140 (London) Bde during World War II was as follows:[22][23][24]

140 Bde did not see any active service in World War II. It mobilised as a motor brigade, but became a conventional infantry brigade in June 1940. It was disbanded on 31 August 1944.[33] On 17 November 1944, 213th Brigade (which had recently joined 47th Division, now reformed as a reserve division) was renumbered 140th Infantry Brigade, but without any London connection. The new brigade had the following composition:[24][34]

  • 4th Bn Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
  • 6th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment
  • 7th Bn Gloucestershire Regiment

140 Bde was not included in the Territorial Army when it reformed in 1947.[35]

CommandersEdit

140 Brigade was commanded by the following officers:[22][36][37]

  • Brig.-Gen. F.J. Heyworth (from 9 October 1913)
  • Brig.-Gen. G.J. Cuthbert (from 26 November 1914)
  • Brig.-Gen. W. Thwaites (from 2 June 1915)
  • Brig.-Gen. Viscount Hampden (from 11 July 1916; went sick 6 May 1917)
  • Brig.-Gen. H.B.P.L. Kennedy (from 18 May 1917)
  • Col. L.M. Gregson, Irish Guards, (1932)[38]
  • Brig. W.P.A. Bradshaw (on outbreak of war)
  • Brig. J.W. Pendlebury (from 3 November 1941)
  • Brig. A. de L. Cazenove (from 12 April 1943 to disbandment of original brigade)
  • Brig. E.H.L. White (from 213th Bde)
  • Brig M.A. James (from 24 July 1945)

NotesEdit

  1. Maude, pp. 1–2, 227–8.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Becke, Part 2a, pp. 69–75.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 47th Division (Long, Long Trail)
  4. 4.0 4.1 47th Division (Regimental Warpath)
  5. British Army 1914
  6. Bailey & Hollier, pp. 4, 382.
  7. Maude, pp. 2–3.
  8. Maude, p. 287.
  9. Becke, Part 2b, pp. 25–30.
  10. 60th Division (Long, Long Trail)
  11. 60th Division (Regimental Warpath)
  12. Beckett.
  13. Edmonds, pp. 295, 307–10 and Appendix 4, pp. 487–8.
  14. Becke, pp. 141–7.
  15. Maude, p. 227.
  16. Maude, p. 43.
  17. Maude, pp. 11–19.
  18. Maude, pp. 239–40.
  19. Maude, p. 211.
  20. Maude, p. 212.
  21. 21.0 21.1 47 (2 London) Division (1930–36) (British Military History)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Joslen, p. 235.
  23. London District on 3 September 1939 (Patriot Files)
  24. 24.0 24.1 47 Infantry Division (British Military History)
  25. Joslen, pp. 235, 374.
  26. Joslen, pp. 235, 373.
  27. Joslen, pp. 235, 377, 539.
  28. Joslen, pp. 235, 238.
  29. Joslen, pp. 235, 238, 329.
  30. Joslen, pp. 235, 296, 330.
  31. Joslen, pp. 235, 286, 369.
  32. Joslen, pp. 235, 326, 551.
  33. Joslen, pp. 41, 235.
  34. Joslen, p. 376.
  35. Territorial Army 1947 (Orbat.com)
  36. Maude, p. 232.
  37. Becke, p. 70.
  38. Monthly Army List January 1932.

ReferencesEdit

  • Sgt O.F. Bailey and Sgt H.M. Hollier, "The Kensingtons" 13th London Regiment, London: Regimental Old Comrades' Association, 1935/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2002, ISBN 1-84342-364-2.
  • Maj A.F. Becke,History of the Great War: Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 2a: The Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territorial Force Divisions (42–56), London: HM Stationery Office, 1935/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2007, ISBN 1-847347-39-8.
  • Maj A.F. Becke,History of the Great War: Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 2b: The 2nd-Line Territorial Force Divisions (57th–69th), with the Home-Service Divisions (71st–73rd) and 74th and 75th Divisions, London: HM Stationery Office, 1937/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2007, ISBN 1-847347-39-8.
  • Ian F.W. Beckett, Riflemen Form: A study of the Rifle Volunteer Movement 1859–1908, Aldershot: Ogilby Trusts, 1982, ISBN 0 85936 271 X.
  • Brig-Gen Sir James E. Edmonds, History of the Great War: Military Operations, France and Belgium, 1914, Vol II, London: Macmillan, 1925/Imperial War Museum & Battery Press, 1995, ISBN 1-870423-55-0.
  • Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2003, ISBN 1-84342-474-6.
  • Alan H. Maude (ed.), The History of the 47th (London) Division 1914–1919, London: Amalgamated Press, 1922/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2002, ISBN 1-84342-205-0.

External sourcesEdit

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