19th (Western) Division

The history of 19th (Western) Division

This Division was established by the Western Command in September 1914, as part of the Army Orders authorising Kitchener’s Second New Army, K2. Early days were somewhat chaotic, the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them, no organised billets or equipment. The units of the Division initially concentrated in the Bulford area with the infantry being at Tidworth, Ludgershall and Grately. The battalions moved into billets for the winter, in Andover, Whitchurch, Basingstoke and Weston-super-Mare. In March 1915 all units concentrated near Tidworth..

The Division was inspected by King George V on 23 June 1915. Advanced parties left for France on 11 July and the main body crossed the English Channel 16-21 July. Units initially moved to the point of assembly near St Omer.

The Division served on the Western Front for the remainder of the war, taking part in many of the significant actions:

1915
The Action of Pietre, a supporting/diversionary action during the Battle of Loos

1916
The Battle of Albert* in which the Division captured La Boisselle
The attacks on High Wood*
The Battle of Pozieres Ridge*
The Battle of the Ancre Heights*
The Battle of the Ancre*
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
The Battle of Messines
The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge***
The Battle of Polygon Wood***
The Battle of Broodseinde***
The Battle of Poelcapelle***
First Battle of Passchendaele***
The Second Battle of Passchendaele***
The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres

1918
The Battle of St Quentin+
The Battle of Bapaume+
The battles marked + are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Messines++
The Battle of Bailleul++
The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge++
The battles marked ++ are phases of the Battles of the Lys 1918
The Battle of the Aisne
The Battle of the Selle^^
The Battle of the Sambre^^ and the passage of the Grand Honelle
The battles marked ^^ are phases of the Final Advance in Picardy

The Division advanced across Marlborough’s old battlefield at Malplaquet on 8 November, after which it was withdrawn into XVII Corps Reserve. When the Armistice came into effect at 11am on 11 November 1918 the units of the Division were in billets near Bavay. By 26 November they had moved west to Naours. Demobilisation began in December 1918 and by 18/19 March 1919 the Division ceased to exist. Final cadres returned to England 21-27 June 1919.

In all the 19th (Western) Division had suffered the loss of 39381 killed, wounded and missing.

The order of battle of the 19th (Western) Division

56th Brigade
7th Bn, the King’s Own disbanded February 1918
7th Bn, the East Lancashire Regiment disbanded February 1918
7th Bn, the South Lancashire Regiment disbanded February 1918
7th Bn, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment disbanded February 1918
4th Bn, the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) joined 3 December 1915, left 19 December 1915
56th Machine Gun Company joined 14 February 1916, although a provisional Company existed September – December 1915
left to move into 19th MG Battalion 14 February 1918
56th Trench Mortar Battery joined 17 June 1916, broken up 5 February 1918 and reconstructed 6 March 1918
9th Bn, the Cheshire Regiment joined February 1918
1/4th Bn, the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry joined February 1918
8th Bn, the North Staffordshire Regiment joined February 1918
57th Brigade
10th Bn, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment
8th Bn, the Gloucestershire Regiment
10th Bn, the Worcestershire Regiment left as a cadre June 1918
8th Bn, the North Staffordshire Regiment left February 1918
57th Machine Gun Company joined 14 February 1916
left to move into 19th MG Battalion 14 February 1918
57th Trench Mortar Battery joined 15 June 1916
3rd Bn, the Worcestershire Regiment joined June 1918
58th Brigade
9th Bn, the Cheshire Regiment left February 1918
9th Bn, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers
5th Bn, the South Wales Borderers left December 1914
9th Bn, the Welsh Regiment
6th Bn, the Wiltshire Regiment joined December 1914, left as a cadre June 1918
58th Machine Gun Company joined 14 February 1916
left to move into 19th MG Battalion 14 February 1918
58th Trench Mortar Battery joined 15 June 1916
2nd Bn, the Wiltshire Regiment joined May 1918
Divisional Troops
6th Bn, the Wiltshire Regiment left December 1914
5th Bn, the South Wales Borderers joined as provisional Pioneer Bn December 1914, conversion completed February 1915
13th Motor Machine Gun Battery joined 14 July 1915, left 7 March 1916
246th Company, MGC joined 19 July 1917, moved into 19 Mg Bn 14 February 1918
19th Battalion Machine Gun Corps formed 14 February 1918
Divisional Mounted Troops
C Sqn, the Yorkshire Dragoons Yeomanry joined 26 June 1915, left 21 April 1916
19th Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps formed 19 November 1914, left 21 April 1916
Divisional Artillery
LXXXVI Brigade, RFA left 23 January 1917
LXXXVII Brigade, RFA
LXXXVIII Brigade, RFA
LXXXIX (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA broken up 8-9 September 1916
19th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA
19th Heavy Battery, RGA raised with the Division but moved independently to France on 15 July 1915 and joined XXI Bde RGA
W.19 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA joined may 1916, disbanded 19 February 1918
X.19, Y.19 and Z.19 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA formed by May 1916; on 18 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
Royal Engineers
81st Field Company
82nd Field Company
94th Field Company
19th Divisional Signals Company
Royal Army Medical Corps
57th Field Ambulance
58th Field Ambulance
59th Field Ambulance
36th Sanitary Section left 9 July 1917
Other Divisional Troops
19th Divisional Train ASC 154, 155, 156 and 157 Companies
31st Mobile Veterinary Section AVC
220th Divisional Employment Company joined 19 July 1917
19th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop absorbed into Divisional Train 6 April 1916

Divisional histories

The Nineteenth Division 1914-1918” by Everard Wyrall

Divisional memorials

Memorial

Links

Other Divisions