Adjutant’s Notebook: What Is A Division?

In a new Podcast Series we use the Adjutant’s Notebook to look at different aspects of First World War history. In this episode we examine the cornerstone of the British Army in the Great War – the Division. These self-contained units of nearly 20,000 men fought the battles and held in the line, and by 1918 there were more than seventy of them.


Chris Baker’s Long, Long Trail website: British Divisions in WW1.


15 Comments on “Adjutant’s Notebook: What Is A Division?

  1. Paul, really good episode (as ever!). One comment you made pricked my imagination. For a long time I’ve been trying to track down a Croix de Guerre citation for an RFC pilot. I’ve been to Kew to check and I know it isn’t mentioned in the unit war diary and I know it isn’t mentioned in RFC Pt 1 orders. You mentioned citations showing up in DAQMG’s war diaries? Do you think I could get something from there?



    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK thanks, it’s just I’m amazed that a CdG avec palme citation can’t be found anywhere, it seems like a big deal to me. I’ve been looking for years on and off!

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  3. One area which shows how soldiers had a “Divisional Identity” are the Divisional Christmas cards. I have no idea whether every Division had them but they seem to have been quite common, especially later in the war, and are an interesting and varied (and relatively cheap) area of Great War memorabilia to collect.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Paul.
    Filled in a couple of gaps!
    One question…what was the structure of a Brigade LTMB ? 4 sections with 4 mortars? How many men in each?
    Or is there a reference book?
    Sorry for – pardon the pun – bombarding you !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m going to need to relisten to this podcast a few times I think.. So much information to absorb, but definitely something I want to take in.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An excellent account of divisional organisation in the Great War. A good reading list too. For the early period I would also recommend Bruce Gudmundsson’s The British Expeditionary Force 1914-15 in the Osprey Battle Orders series.


  7. Great episode Paul, perhaps an Adjutant’s Notebook episode on the various entities comprising the British Army–territorials, pals, regular Army, etc. The many different regiment names and what they mean is daunting to this American. Thanks as always!

    Liked by 1 person

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