Roll of Honour of Officers of the Gloucestershire Regiment

Who Died in the Great War

The Gloucestershire Regiment in the Great War

Order of Battle  -  Fighting Battalions

Battalion

Formed

Brigade

Division

Other Assignments

Post War

1st Battalion

Regular battalion

3rd Brigade

1st Division

-

Remained a regular battalion

2nd Battalion

Regular battalion

81st Brigade

27th Division

Trans to 82 Inf Bde in Oct 16

Remained a regular battalion

1/4th Battalion TF

Bristol - 1908

144th Brigade

48th Division

Returned to UK March 1919

Returned to UK March 1919 - remained a TF battalion

2/4th Battalion TF

Bristol - September 1914

183rd Brigade

61st Division

-

Disbanded France - February 1918

1/5th Battalion TF

Gloucester - 1908

145th Brigade

48th Division

Trans to 75 Inf Bde/25th Div in Sep 1918

Returned to UK July 1919 - remained a TF battalion

2/5th Battalion TF

Gloucester - September 1914

184th Brigade

61st Division

Catterick October 1919

Disbanded Catterick - October 1919

1/6th Battalion TF

Bristol - 1908

144th Brigade

48th Division

-

Returned to UK March 1920 - remained a TF battalion

2/6th Battalion TF

Bristol - September 1914

183rd Brigade

61st Division

-

Disbanded France - October 1918

7th (Service) Battalion

Bristol - August 1914

39th Brigade

13th Division

-

Disbanded Turkey - September 1919 -

8th (Service) Battalion

Bristol - September 1914

57th Brigade

19th Division

-

Disbanded Gloucester - May 1919

9th (Service) Battalion

Bristol - September 1914

78th Brigade

26th Division

Trans to 198 Inf Bde/66th Div in Sep 1918

Disbanded Germany - November 1919

10th (Service) Battalion

Bristol - September 1914

1st Brigade

1st Division

-

Disbanded France - February 1918

12th (Service) Battalion

Bristol - September 1914

95th Brigade

32nd Division

Trans to 5th Div in Dec 1915

Disbanded France - October 1918

13th (Service) Battalion

Malvern - December 1914

Divisional Pioneers

39th Division

-

Reduced to cadre May 1918

14th (Service) Battalion

Bristol - April 1915

105th Brigade

35th Division

-

Disbanded France - February 1918

18th (Service) Battalion

Clacton - June 1918

49th Brigade

16th Division

-

Disbanded Bristol - June 1919

 

 

The Gloucestershire Regiment in the Great War

Order of Battle  -  UK Based Battalions

3rd (Reserve) Battalion

Bristol - Special Regular Reserve

Thames/Medway

Home Defence, training and supply of reinforcements

Returned to Bristol in 1919 - remained a reserve battalion

3/4th Battalion TF

Bristol - April 1915

Tyne Garrison

TF Training and Home Defence Duties

With 3/5th Bn and 3/6th Bn, formed 4th (Reserve) Bn TF - 1916

3/5th Battalion TF

Gloucester - April 1915

Tyne Garrison

TF Training and Home Defence Duties

As above.

3/6th Battalion TF

Bristol - April 1915

Tyne Garrison

TF Training and Home Defence Duties

As above.

11th (Reserve) Battalion

Woolwich - October 1914

4th Reserve Bde

New Army Recruit Training Unit at Grays and Seaford

Formed 16th Training Reserve Battalion from 1st September 1916

15th (Reserve) Battalion

Sutton Coldfield - August 1915

22nd Reserve Bde

New Army Recruit Training Unit at Chiseldon

Formed 93rd Training Reserve Battalion from 1st September 1916

16th (Reserve) Battalion

Chiseldon - November 1915

22nd Reserve Bde

New Army Recruit Training Unit at Chiseldon

Formed 94th Training Reserve Battalion from 1st September 1916

17th Battalion TF

Walton on Naze - November 1917

226th Brigade

Home Defence Duties

Disbanded Bristol - November 1918

 

 

Organisation of the Infantry of the British Army

and The Gloucestershire Regiment 1914 - 1918

Pre-War Regular, Reserve and Territorial Force Infantry Battalions.

Immediately prior to the outbreak of the Great War, the Regular Infantry of the British Army consisted of four Guards Regiments and sixty-nine Infantry Regiments.   Infantry Regiments normally consisted of two active Battalions, with one Battalion serving overseas and one in the UK.   Each Regiment would normally have one Reserve Battalion, based at the Regimental Depot, which trained new soldiers and supplied reinforcing drafts to the two active Battalions.   In the case of the Gloucestershire Regiment, as with most Infantry Regiments, the active Battalions were numbered the 1st and 2nd, and the Reserve Battalion numbered the 3rd (Reserve).

Many of the Infantry Regiments, including the Gloucestershire Regiment, also had Territorial Force (TF) Battalions.   These were made up of part-time officers and soldiers who had signed up for Imperial or Home Service, and each of these Battalion trained its own personnel so there was therefore no requirement for the TF to be established with Reserve Battalions.   The TF Battalions were numbered after the Regular and Reserve Battalions of the Regiment and often had a second title linking them with their home city or town.   In the Gloucestershire Regiment these were numbered 4th (City of Bristol), 5th and 6th Battalions TF.

Each of the active Battalions, overseas and UK based, were grouped with a Brigade and/or Division and immediately prior to the outbreak of war, Battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment were deployed as follows:

  • 1st Battalion (Regular).   Based at Bordon, Hants, part of 3rd Brigade/1st Division.
  • 2nd Battalion  (Regular).   Based at Tientsin, China (protecting the British Concession in the City).
  • 3rd (Reserve) Battalion.   Based at Horfield Barracks, Bristol.
  • 4th Battalion (TF).   Based at Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol.   Part of the Gloucestershire and Worcestershire Brigade, South Midland Division (TF) - later 144th Brigade, 48th Division.
  • 5th Battalion (TF).   Based at The Barracks, Gloucester.   Part of South Midlands Brigade, South Midland Division (TF) - later 145th Brigade, 48th Division.
  • 6th Battalion (TF).   Based at St Michael's Hill, Tyndall's Park, Bristol.   Part of the Gloucestershire and Worcestershire Brigade, South Midland Division (TF) - later 144th Brigade, 48th Division.

The Re-Organisation at the Outbreak of War.

The Regular and Reserve Battalions saw little change at the outbreak of war, only their reinforcement to War Establishment by Regular and Special Reservists and the deployment to mobilisation locations.   In the TF Battalions, those personnel who had signed up for Imperial Service were formed into the First Line of the Battalion, designated (for example) 1/4th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment (TF), for service overseas.   Those who had signed for Home Service (and could not or would not sign up for Imperial Service) were formed up into the Second Line of the Battalion (eg, 2/4th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment) for Home Service only.   These Battalions continued to recruit and train their own personnel.   In the Gloucestershire Regiment, after the First Line Battalions joined their respective Brigades/Divisions, the Second Line Territorial Force Battalions raised were:

  • 2/4th Battalion (TF).   Based at Bristol, part of 2nd Gloucestershire and Worcestershire Brigade, South Midland Division (TF) - later 183rd Brigade, 61st Division.
  • 2/5th Battalion (TF).   Based at Gloucester, part of 2nd South Midland Brigade, South Midland Division (TF) - later 184th Brigade, 61st Division.
  • 2/6th Battalion (TF).   Based at Bristol, part of 2nd Gloucestershire and Worcestershire Brigade, South Midland Division (TF) - later 183rd Brigade, 48th Division.

Service Battalions.   On the outbreak of war, The Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, saw that the UK must be prepared for a war lasting three to four years, requiring an Army of at least 70 Divisions.   On 7th August 1914, he started a campaign to recruit an initial 100,000 men, but the response was overwhelming and 500,000 were signed up.   He decided not to use the framework of the TF to expand the Army, but to create a "New Army", separate from the current Regulars and Territorials.   More than 500 New Army Battalions were raised forming the basis of three New Armies, known as K1 (9th - 14th Division), K2 15th - 20th Division) and K3 (21st- 26th Division).   The New Army Battalions were numbered consecutively after the existing Regular and Territorial Battalions and they were distinguished by the word "Service", in brackets, after their number.   In the Gloucestershire Regiment the Service Battalions raised were:

  • 7th (Service) Battalion.   Raised at Horfield Barracks, Bristol, in August - September 1914.   K1.   Allocated to 39th Brigade, 13th Division.
  • 8th (Service) Battalion.   Raised at Horfield Barracks, Bristol, in August - September 1914.   K2.   Allocated to 57th Brigade, 19th Division.
  • 9th (Service) Battalion.   Raised at Horfield Barracks, Bristol in August  - September 1914.   K3.   Allocated to 78th Brigade, 26th Division.
  • 10th (Service) Battalion.   Raised at Horfield Barracks, Bristol in August - September 1914.   K3.   Initially allocated to 26th Division.
  • 11th (Service) Battalion.   Formed at Woolwich Garrison, London in October 1914.    K4.   Allocated to 106th Brigade, 35th Div.   Became a Second Reserve Battalion, on the break-up of 4th Army in late 1914/early 1915, to train and supply reinforcements to Gloucestershire Regiment Service Battalions of K1, K2 and K3.

Locally Raised Service Battalions.   Apart from the formal Service Battalions being raised as described above, local Citizen's Recruiting Committees were raising their own Battalions independent of the War Office.   The expense of raising, clothing, feeding, housing and training of these Battalions were met by the Recruiting Committees until they were formally taken over by the War Office in 1915 and added to the Army Establishment.   At this time all previous expenses were refunded to Committees and further costs borne by the War Office.   These Battalions were to become known as Locally Raised Battalions and provided the majority of the infantry for the 4th New Army (K4).   The Battalions were number consecutively after the Service Battalions in a Regiment and had an additional title showing the connection with the city, area or organisation which raised them.   In the Gloucestershire Regiment the Locally Raised  Battalions were:

  • 12th (Service) Battalion (Bristol).   Raised at Bristol, in August - September 1914.   K4.   Allocated to 95th Brigade, 32nd Division.
  • 13th (Service) Battalion (Forest of Dean)(Pioneer).   Raised at Malvern, in December 1914.   K4.   Allocated to 39th Division as the Divisional Pioneer Battalion.
  • 14th (Service) Battalion (West of England).   Raised at Bristol in April 1915.   K4.   Allocated to 105th Brigade, 35th Division.

Further Re-Organisations.

Territorial Force (TF).   By June 1915 most of the First Line Battalions of the TF had been deployed to active service locations overseas and the Second Line Battalions were preparing for future overseas service and so a Third Line Battalion (eg 3/4th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment TF) was formed to train and supply reinforcements to the First Line and later to the Second Line Battalions.    Home Service personnel and those not fit for overseas service were transferred from the Second and Third Line Battalions to the non-Regimentally affiliated 82nd Provisional Battalion TF at Walton-on-the-Naze.   In the Gloucestershire Regiment, the Third Line Battalions raised were:

  • 3/4th Battalion (TF).   Formed at Bristol and moved Weston-super-Mare in April 1915 to train recruits and provide drafts for 1/4th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment and later 2/4th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.   Part of South Midland Reserve Group TF.   Became 4th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire TF on 1st April 1916, part of South Midland Reserve Brigade TF at Ludgershall, Wilts.   The unit was billeted at Cheltenham, Catterick and Horton before being based at Seaton Delavel in October 1917 where it remained to the end of the war as part of Tyne Garrison.
  • 3/5th Battalion (TF).   Formed at Gloucester and moved Weston-super-Mare in April 1915 to train recruits and provide drafts for 1/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment and later 2/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.   Part of South Midland Reserve Group TF.   Became 5th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire TF on 1st April 1916, part of South Midland Reserve Brigade TF.   On 1st September 1916 the unit was subsumed into 4th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.
  • 3/6th Battalion (TF).   Formed at Bristol and moved Weston-super-Mare in April 1915 to train recruits and provide drafts for 1/6th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment and later 2/6th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.   Part of South Midland Reserve Group TF.   Became 6th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire TF on 1st April 1916, part of South Midland Reserve Brigade TF.    On 1st September 1916 the unit was subsumed into 4th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.

Locally Raised Service Battalions.   By late 1915 and early 1916 the three locally raised battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment (12th, 13th and 14th) had been deployed to active service locations overseas but no local Reserve Battalions had been established to supply them with recruited and trained manpower.   Two further Reserve Battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment were therefore raised as follows:

  • 15th (Reserve) Battalion.   Formed at Sutton Park Camp, Sutton Coldfield in August 1915 from the Depot Companies of 12th and 14th Battalions.

  • 16th (Reserve) Battalion.   Formed at Chiseldon Camp in November 1915 from the Depot Company of 13th Battalion.

Service Battalions.   By spring 1915 it had become clear that voluntary recruitment was not going to provide the numbers of men required.   The Government passed the National Registration Act on 15th July 1915 as a step towards stimulating recruitment and to discover how many men between the ages of 15 and 65 were engaged in each trade.   The results of this census became available by mid-September 1915 and on 11th October 1915, Lord Derby was appointed Director-General of Recruiting.   He brought forward a scheme five days later, always called the Derby Scheme, for raising the numbers.  It was half-way to conscription.   Disappointed at the results of the Derby Scheme, the Government introduced the Military Service Act on 27 January 1916.   All voluntary enlistment was stopped as all British males were now deemed to have enlisted - that is, they were conscripted - if they were aged between 18 and 41 and resided in Great Britain (excluding Ireland) and were unmarried or a widower on 2 November 1915.   Conscripted men were no longer given a choice of which service, regiment or unit they joined, although if a man preferred the navy it got priority to take him.   This act was extended to married men on 25 May 1916.

The Training Organisation, based on the Regimental Reserve Battalions could not cope with the sheer number of conscripted men now available and a new system was put in place on 1st September 1916 to deal with these numbers.   All New Army Regimental Reserve Battalions would lose their Regimental identity and become a Battalion of the Training Reserve.   The role of these Battalions was to train new recruits and despatch drafts to Service Battalions overseas.   The Reserve Battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment were reorganised as follows:

  • 11th (Reserve) Battalion.   Based at Seaford, formed the 16th Training Reserve Battalion, part of 4th Reserve Brigade.
  • 15th (Reserve) Battalion.   Based at Chiseldon, formed 93rd Training Reserve Battalion, part of 22nd Reserve Brigade.
  • 16th (Reserve) Battalion.   Based at Chiseldon, formed 94th Training Reserve Battalion, part of 22nd Reserve Brigade.

More Reorganisations.

Territorial Force.   On 1st January 1917 the 82nd Provisional Battalion TF with all medically fit Home Service personnel conscripted and sent overseas with active units, was formed into the 17th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment TF for Home Defence duties, part of 226th Brigade, based at Walton-on-the-Naze and later St Osyth, Clacton.

 

Service Battalions.   The 18th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment was formed at Clacton on 20th June 1918 from a cadre of 5th Bn Ox & Bucks LI, and allocated to the re-constituted 49th Brigade, 16th Division.

 

 

 

Page last updated:  15th November 2017

 

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