10th (Irish) Division

The history of 10th (Irish) Division

The Division came into existence as a result of Army Order No. 324, issued on 21 August 1914, which authorised the formation of the six new Divisions of K1. It was formed of volunteers, under the administration of Irish Command. After initial training at the regimental depots, the units of the Division moved in 1915 to the Curragh, Newbridge and Kildare, where training in Brigade strength began.

In May 1915 the Division moved to England and concentrated around Basingstoke. It was inspected by Lord Kitchener at Hackwood Park on 28/29 May.

Gunners
RFA Gunners of 10th (Irish) Division attend a church service at Basingstoke camp. Note the rows of tents on the hillside.

On 27 June, the Division received orders to prepare for service at Gallipoli.

1915 and 1916
Divisional HQ embarked at Liverpool on 9 July, and by the end of the month most units had assembled on Lemnos. On 6-7 August 1915 the Division landed at Suvla Bay, less 29th Brigade which went to ANZAC Cove. The
main body made an attack on Chocolate Hill 7/8 August. Parts of 29th Brigade took part in actions on Sari Bair 6-10 August and at Hill 60 later that month.

On 29 September 1915 the Division withdrew from Gallipoli and moved to Mudros, and on 4-5 October went on to Salonika, landing there 5-10 October. Took part on 7 and 8 December 1915 in the action at Kosturino, in the retreat from Serbia. Brigades of the Division were in action at the Karajakois (30 September to 2 October 1915) and Yenikoi (3-4 October 1915).

1917 and 1918
On 18 August 1917, the Division was ordered to concentrate at the port of Salonika for embarakation. Early in September it moved to Egypt, completing assembly near Rafa by 16 October 1917. The Division was involved in the Palestine campaign thereafter. Between April and June 1918, a major reorganisation took place as many
British units were replaced by Indian ones.

On 12 November 1918 the Division concentrated at Sarafand, ready for moving back to Egypt. By 1 December it was at Cairo.

From 1915 to 1918 the Division suffered a total of 9,363 officers and men killed, wounded or missing in action.

The order of battle of the 10th (Irish) Division

29th Brigade
5th Bn, the Royal Irish Regt left June 1915
6th Bn, the Royal Irish Rifles disbanded 15 May 1918
5th Bn, the Connaught Rangers left 29 April 1918
6th Bn, the Leinster Regt left 2 May 1918
10th Bn, the Hampshire Regt joined March 1915, left November 1916
1st Bn, the Leinster Regt joined November 1916
29th Machine Gun Company formed 10 May 1916
left to move into 10th MG Battalion 7 May 1918
29th Trench Mortar Battery joined 2 October 1916 (title up to 8 December 1916 was No 7 Stokes Mortar Battery).
Merged into Divisional TMB 17 October 1917
1/54th Sikhs joined 27 April 1918
1/101st Grenadiers joined 30 April 1918
2/151st Infantry joined 10 June1918
30th Brigade
6th Bn, the Royal Munster Fusiliers left 30 April 1918
7th Bn, the Royal Munster Fusiliers absorbed by 6th Bn, 3 November 1916
6th Bn, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers left 27 May 1918
7th Bn, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers left 30 April 1918
1st Bn, the Royal Irish Regt joined 3 November 1916
30th Machine Gun Company formed 10 May 1916
left to move into 10th MG Battalion 7 May 1918
30th Trench Mortar Battery joined 28 September 1916 (title up to 8 December 1916 was No 8 Stokes Mortar Battery).
Merged into Divisional TMB 17 October 1917
38th Dogras joined 29 April 1918
46th Punjabis joined 25 May 1918
1st Kashmir Rifles joined 30 April 1918
31st Brigade
5th Bn, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers left 28 May 1918
6th Bn, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers left 2 May 1918
5th Bn, the Royal Irish Fusiliers left 30 April 1918
6th Bn, the Royal Irish Fusiliers absorbed by 5th Bn 2 November 1916
2nd Bn, the Royal Irish Fusiliers joined 2 November 1916
31st Machine Gun Company formed 11 May 1916
left to move into 10th MG Battalion 7 May 19188
31st Trench Mortar Battery joined 17 October 1916
Merged into Divisional TMB 17 October 1917
38th Bn, the Royal Fusiliers joined 11 June 1918, left 17 July 1918
2/42nd Deoli joined 18 July 1918
74th Punjabis joined 29 April 1918
2/101st Grenadiers joined 1 May 1918
Divisional Troops
5th Bn, the Royal Irish Regt joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalion June 1915, left April 1918
Divisional Trench Mortar Battery formed 17 October 1917, broken up 9 June 1918
Divisional Mounted Troops
10th Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps left 7 December 1916
Divisional Artillery
LIV Brigade, RFA left for 28th Division 29 August 1917
LV Brigade, RFA left for 13th Division January 1916
LVI Brigade, RFA left for 13th Division January 1916
LVII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA left for XII Corps artillery 28 August 1917
10th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA the original column did not go overseas with the Division. The Column formerly with 29th Division joined in Egypt in October 1915. Suffered losses when transport “Marquette” torpedoed off Salonika on 23 October. Numbers were made up by men, horses and equipment from 42nd Division Ammunition Column. Formally renumbered 10th DAC on 4 March 1916
LXVII Brigade, RFA joined from 13th Division October 1915
LXVIII Brigade, RFA joined from 13th Division October 1915
10th Heavy Battery RGA joined March 1915, left by 10 August 1915
15th Heavy Battery RGA joined 10 August 1915, left by 19 December 1915
IV (Highland) Mountain Bde, RGA joined 13 August 1915
2nd Mountain Battery RGA joined 30 December 1915, left for 27th Division 27 February 1916
CXXXII (Howitzer) Bde, RFA joined 26 April 1916, broekn upo 25 January 1917
Hong Kong & Singapore Mountain Battery RGA joined 1 September 1918, left 26 October 1918
Royal Engineers
65th Field Company left 14 July 1918
66th Field Company
85th Field Company joined January 1915
10th Divisional Signals Company
18/3 Sappers & Miners joined by 17 July 1918
Royal Army Medical Corps
30th Field Ambulance
31st Field Ambulance
32nd Field Ambulance
When the Division was indianised, the three Field Ambulances above handed over all stores and equipment to the 154th, 166th and 165th Camel Field Ambulances and left on 20 May 1918, going to base
21st Sanitary Section left 31 July 1915, rejoined October 1915, left again 22 October 1917
18th Sanitary Section joined 22 October 1917
Other Divisional Troops
10th Divisional Train ASC 108, 109, 110 and 111 Companies. Did not move overseas with the Irish Division and transferred to 22nd Division. Replaced by 52nd Divisional Train (471, 472, 473 and 474 Companies) in October 1915
25th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC
212th Divisional Employment Company formed by 23 June 1917
10th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop remained with original Divisional Train when it left

Divisional histories

“The Tenth (Irish) Division in Gallipoli” by Major Bryan Cooper

“Neither Unionist nor Nationalist: The 10th (Irish) Division in the Great War” by Stephen Sandford

Divisional memorials

There is a memorial to the Division in Salonika, located at Rabrovo which is near the Kosturino Ridge. It is of the same celtic cross pattern as the two memorials to the 16th (Irish) Division in France.

The memorial to the 10th (Irish) Division, depicted on the cover of the journal of the Salonika Campaign Society

The memorial to the 10th (Irish) Division, depicted on the cover of the journal of the Salonika Campaign Society

Links

Other Divisions