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Remembered Today:

DIVISIONAL HISTORIES OF THE GREAT WAR


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For those interested, the back cover of "The Seventh Division" by C.T. Atkinson states:

DIVISIONAL HISTORIES OF THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918

ON 1st AUGUST 1914 THERE were six Regular and 14 Territorial Divisions in Great Britain and Ireland, all Infantry (the Cavalry Division only came into existence on mobilization), and before the war had ended 70 more had been formed including a further two Cavalry and a Royal Naval Division.

These Divisions were constituted as follows: Regular - 15 (incl. three Cavalry): Territorial/Yeomanry - 34 (inc. six Yeomanry); New Army - 36 (of which six were broken up in April 1915 to create a training reserve); and five others, which included the RN Division, three Home Service Divisions (71st 72nd and 73rd). and a mixed British/Indian Division (75th). Of these Divisions 69 served overseas in Theatres of War. three (TF) went to India and 18 never left the UK. Those histories which were written were, naturally, about the Divisions which went on active service; none of those that remained at home or went to India produced a history.

In all, 39 Divisional Histories were written and published between 1918 (10th Division) and 1939 (50th) and it is interesting to see the breakdown by types of Division; all 15 Regular Divisions were on active service and of these only seven produced Histories (none of them Cavalry); all 30 New Army Divisions went to war and they produced 17 Histories, to which we must add one more - (16th Irish) - which only appeared in 1992, a belated but very welcome tribute to the men of Southern Ireland who fought on the Western Front 22 TF/Yeomanry Divisions were in action and 14 of these wrote Histories; and finally the RN Division recorded its service. The cost of writing and publication had to be borne by donations and subscriptions which may well explain why, with their comparatively wealthy membership and their continued existence as Divisions in the post-war years the Territorial Divisions came out so well. Eleven of the original 14 TF Divisions fought in one or more theatres of war and ten of these published Histories.

The Histories vary in scope, detail and length. The Guards, 2nd and 62nd Divisions extend to two volumes, the 30th has only 64 pages. Most though not all, have photos and maps, and the standard of the latter also varies considerably, especially in the amount of operational detail shown. Some Histories are concerned only with a specific campaign or period of the war. Thus the History of 10th (Irish) Division deals only with Gallipoli; 46th (N Midland), which carried out one of the finest operations of the war in crossing the St Quentin Canal and breaching the Hindenburg Line in September 1918, covers only the last three months. Several Histories have been reprinted within the last few years; 10th (Irish), 36th (Ulster), 38th (Welsh) and 63rd RN, and now The Naval & Military Press plans to reprint limited editions of selected Histories, starting with 7th (Regular), 34th (New Army) and 56th (London) (TF) Divisions.

As a check list, the following Divisional Histories have been published:

Regular - Guards, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 29th.

New Army - 9th, 10th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, 30th, 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 38th, 40th, and the unique 63rd RN.

Territorial - 42nd, 46th, 47th, 49th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 55th, 56th, 59th, 60th, 62nd, 74th.

Check out > http://www.naval-military-press.com/FMPro?...ameset.htm&-new for further information.

Regards

Richard

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