4th Division

The history of 4th Division

This Division, initially planned to be part of the original British Expeditionary Force, was at the last minute held back in England to counter any German landing. A decision was soon taken to despatch it to France and it arrived just in time to play a valuble part at Le Cateau. The 4th Division then remained on the Western Front throughout the war. It took part in most of the major actions, including:

1914
The Battle of Le Cateau (The Division fought in this action without its Mounted Troops, Heavy Battery, Divisional Ammunition Column, Field Companies RE, Signals Company RE, Field Ambulances RAMC and Divisional Train, which were all still en route from England)
The Battle of the Marne
The Battle of the Aisne
The Battle of Armentières 1914

1915
The Second Battle of Ypres

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

1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe**
The Third Battle of the Scarpe**
The battles marked ** are phases of the Battles of Arras 1917
The Battle of Polygon Wood***
The Battle of Broodseinde***
The Battle of Poelcapelle***
The First Battle of Passchendaele***
The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battle of Ypres

1918
The First Battle of Arras 1918****
The battle marked **** is a phase of the First Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Hazebrouck+ in which the battalion fought in the Defence of Hinges Ridge
The Battle of Bethune+
The battles marked + are phases of the Battles of the Lys
The Advance in Flanders
The Battle of the Scarpe+
The Battle of Drocourt-Queant+
The battles marked + are phases of the Second Battles of Arras 1918
The Battle of the Canal du Nord^
The battle marked ^ is a phase of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The Battle of the Selle++
The Battle of Valenciennes++
The battles marked ++ are phases of the Final Advance in Picardy

The Division was demobilised in Belgium in early 1919.

The order of battle of the 4th Division

10th Brigade
1st Bn, the Royal Warwickshire Regt
2nd Bn, the Seaforth Highlanders
1st Bn, the Royal Irish Fusiliers left August 1917
2nd Bn, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers left November 1916
1/7th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders joined January 1915, left March 1916
1/9th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders joined May 1915, left July 1915
The Household Battalion joined November 1916, disbanded February 1918
3/10th Bn, the Middlesex Regt joined August 1917, disbanded February 1918
2nd Bn, the Duke of Wellington’s joined February 1918
10th Machine Gun Company formed on 22 December 1915
left to move into 4th MG Battalion 26 February 1918
10th Trench Mortar Battery formed June 1916
11th Brigade
1st Bn, the Somerset Light Infantry
1st Bn, the East Lancashire Regt left February 1918
1st Bn, the Hampshire Regt
1st Bn, the Rifle Brigade
1/5th Bn, the London Regt (LRB) joined November 1914, left May 1915
2nd Bn, the Royal Irish Regt joined July 1915, left May 1916
11th Machine Gun Company formed on 23 December 1915
left to move into 4th MG Battalion 26 February 1918
11th Trench Mortar Battery formed in June 1916
12th Brigade
This Brigade was attached to 36th (Ulster) Division between 4 November 1915 and 3 February 1916 in exchange for 107th Brigade
1st Bn, the King’s Own (Lancaster)
2nd Bn, the Lancashire Fusiliers
2nd Bn, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers left December 1914
2nd Bn, the Essex Regt
1/2nd Bn, the Monmouthshire Regt joined November 1914, left January 1916 but absent May to July 1915
1/5th Bn, the South Lancashire Regt joined February 1915, left January 1916
2nd Bn, the Royal Irish Regt joined March 1915, left July 1915
2nd Bn, the Duke of Wellington’s joined January 1916, left February 1918
12th Brigade Machine Gun Company formed on 24 January 1916
left to move into 4th MG Battalion 26 February 1918
12th Trench Mortar Battery formed 11 June 1916
107th Brigade
This Brigade joined from 36th (Ulster) Division in temporary exchange for 12th Brigade (see above)
Divisional Troops
21st Bn, the West Yorkshire Regt joined as Divisional Pioneer Battalionin June 1916
234th Company, the Machine Gun Corps joined 16 July 1917
left to move into 4th MG Battalion 26 February 1918
11 Entrenching Battalion formed 20 February 1918 from troops from disbanded 3/10th Middlesex Regt
No 4 Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps formed 26 February 1918
Divisional Mounted Troops
B Squadron, the 19th Hussars left April 1915
A Sqn, the 1/st Northamptonshire Yeomanry joined 13 April 1915, left 11 May 1916
4th Company, Army Cyclist Corps left June 1916
Divisional Artillery
XIV Brigade, RFA left January 1917
XXIX Brigade, RFA
XXXII Brigade, RFA
XXXVII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA left February 1915
CXXVII (Howitzer) Brigade left May 1916
4th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA
31st Heavy Battery RGA left April 1915
No 4 Pom-Pom Section RGA attached 20 September 1914 to January 1915
No 2 Mountain Battery RGA attached 14 December 1914 to 21 April 1915
V.4 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA formed by July 1916, left 8 February 1918
X.4, Y.4 and Z.4 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA joined in February 1916; on 8 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
Royal Engineers
7th Field Company left April 1915
9th Field Company
1st (West Lancashire) Field Company joined February 1915, left February 1916
1st (Durham) Field Company joined September 1915, later renamed 526th Field Company RE
1st (Renfrew) Field Company joined May 1916, renamed 406th Field Company RE
4th Divisional Signals Company
Royal Army Medical Corps
10th Field Ambulance
11th Field Ambulance
12th Field Ambulance
4th Sanitary Section joined as 3A Section 20 February 1915, renamed in April 1916, left 29 March 1917
Other Divisional Troops
4th Divisional Train ASC 18, 25, 32, 38 Companies
4th Mobile Veterinary Section AVC
207th Divisional Employment Company joined 17 May 1917 at which time it was 4th Divisional Employment Company; renamed in June 1917
4th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop joined by 18 April 1915, transferred to Divisional Train 9 April 1916

Divisional histories

Divisional memorials

There is no memorial for this Division.

Links

Other Divisions