The British Fifth or Reserve Army 1916-1918

On 22 May 1916, the Reserve Corps Headquarters under Lieutenant-General Sir Hubert Gough became the Reserve Army, which was then renamed Fifth Army on 30 October 1916. Seriously damaged by the great German assault in late March 1918, it was renamed Fourth Army on 2 April 1918, and its HQ became HQ Reserve Army once again. Gough was sacked from his post. It was restored as HQ Fifth Army on 23 May 1918 under the command of Sir William Birdwood.

Headquarters locations

  • 22 May 1916: Regnières-Ecluse
  • 12 June 1916: Daours
  • 2 July 1916: Toutencourt
  • 28 March 1917: Albert
  • 2 June 1917: La Lovie, near Poperinghe
  • 15 November 1917: Dury
  • 13 December 1917: Villers-Bretonneux
  • 15 February 1918: Nesle
  • 22 March 1918: Villers-Bretonneux
  • 25 March 1918: Dury
  • … after reconstitution …
  • 23 May 1918: Crécy-en-Ponthieu
  • 27 June 1918: Upen d’Aval
  • 21 October 1918: Labuissière
  • 26 October 1918: advanced Army HQ at Lille
  • 29 October 1918: whole Army HQ at Lille

Commanding officers

  • 22 May 1916: Lt-Gen Sir Hubert Gough (promoted General 7 July 1916)
  • 28 March 1918 (4pm) : General Sir Henry Rawlinson
  • 8 April 1918 : Lt-Gen Sir William Peyton
  • 23 May 1918: General Sir William Birdwood

Battles

  • The Battles of the Somme, 1916
  • Operations on the Ancre, 1917
  • German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, 1917
  • Flanking attacks in Battle of Arras (Bullecourt and Lagnicourt), 1917
  • Third Battles of Ypres, 1917
  • First Battles of the Somme, 1918
  • The advance in Flanders, 1918
  • The final advance in Artois, 1918

Lille
Official entry into Lille. General William Birdwood, the Commander of the British Fifth Army, addressing Mayor Charles Delesalle, the Bishop, the neutral consuls and prominent citizens of the city in the Grande Place of Lille. IWM image Q11427, with my thanks.

Links

The British Armies in the various theatres of war