31st Division (United Kingdom)

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31st Division
Active April 1915 – March 1919
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry

World War I

Battle of the Somme (1916)
Robert Wanless O'Gowan (1915-1918)

The 31st Division was an infantry division of the British Army. It was raised in the Great War by volunteers from Kitchener's Army formed in April 1915 as part of the K4 Army Group and taken over by the War Office on 10 August 1915. Comprising mainly infantry battalions from Yorkshire and Lancashire, the division was sent to Egypt in December 1915 before moving to France in March 1916 and spent the remainder of the First World War in action on the Western Front. The 31st Division was the quintessential New Army division, being made up entirely of Pals battalions.

The 31st Division's first major action was on the first day of the Somme Campaign (1 July 1916), part of the Somme offensive. The division suffered 3,600 casualties and failed to reach any of its objectives.

Unit history


92nd Brigade 
93rd Brigade 
94th Brigade 
  • 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington), East Lancashire Regiment (to 92nd Brigade February 1918)
  • 12th (Service) Battalion (Sheffield), York and Lancaster Regiment (disbanded February 1918)
  • 13th (Service) Battalion (1st Barnsley), York and Lancaster Regiment (to 93rd Brigade February 1918)
  • 14th (Service) Battalion (2nd Barnsley), York and Lancaster Regiment (disbanded February 1918)
  • 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers (from May 1918 to June 1918)

The brigade was disbanded in February 1918 then began reforming in May. In June it was brought up to strength with the addition of Yeomanry battalions from the 74th (Yeomanry) Division and renamed the 94th (Yeomanry) Brigade.

4th Guards Brigade 

The brigade was attached to the division during February 1918 following the breakup of the 94th Brigade. It left when the 94th Brigade began reforming in May.

In April 1918 heavy casualties led to the brief amalgamation of the 92nd and 93rd brigades into the 92nd Composite Brigade.


See also

External links