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The British 50th (Northumbrian) Division was a first-line Territorial Force division. The division was sent to Francemarker in April 1915 and served on the Western Front for the duration of the First World War. The division suffered heavily during the Second Battle of the Aisne in May–June 1918 and underwent a reorganisation in July 1918.

For the division's formation and operations in World War II, see British 50th Infantry Division.


Under the Army reforms of 1908, the Territorial Army was formed and organised into regional Divisions, area Brigades and local Battalions. There were 14 Territorial Divisions when war broke out in 1914. A Division (Divn) was in effect a self-contained army of approximately 18000 men including infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineer, medical, supply and signal units. The Northumberland Divn was typical, consisting of three infantry brigades (Bde), namely the 'Northumbrian', 'York and Durham' and 'Durham Light Infantry (DLI)' Bdes. Each Bde was composed of four infantry battalions (Bn). The Northumbrian Infantry Bde was composed of the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Bns of the Northumberland Fusiliers.

Northumbrian (Territorial) DivisionHQ - Richmond (Yorkshire)GOC - Major General B. Burton1914Infantry composed of 12 battalions organised into 3 Brigades:

149th Brigade

Until July 1918:

  • 1/4th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (to 150 Bde)
  • 1/5th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers
  • 1/6th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers
  • 1/7th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (transferred to 42nd Division as a Pioneer Battalion, February 1918)
  • 1/5th (Cumberland) Battalion, The Border Regiment (from May 1915 to 151 Bde December 1915)

From July 1918:

150th Brigade

Until July 1918:

From July 1918:

151st Brigade

Until February 1918:

  • 1/6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
  • 1/7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (to pioneers November 1915)
  • 1/8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
  • 1/9th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
  • 1/5th (Cumberland) Battalion, The Border Regiment (from 149 Bde December 1915)
  • 1/5th Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (from June 1915 until December 1915)

From February to July 1918:

  • 1/5th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (from 150 Bde February 1918 until July 1918)

From July 1918:


  • 1/7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (until June 1918)


Comprised only of 'A' Sqn from the Yorkshire Mounted Bde.'A' Squadron Yorkshire Hussars


Composed of the 1st and 2nd Northumbrian Field Coys and 50th Division Signal Company (Royal Engineers):

  • 1st Northumbrian Field Company. HQ - Newcastle
  • 2nd Northumbrian Field Company. HQ - Newcastle


The 50th Division Signal Company


Composed of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Northumbrian Bdes (Royal Field Artillery) and the Northumbrian Heavy Battery (Royal Garrison Artillery).

Royal Field Artillery

  • 1st Northumbrian Bde was composed of:
    • 1st Northumberland Battery
    • 2nd Northumberland Battery
    • 3rd Northumberland Battery

The 1st Northumbrian Ammunition Column. HQ - Newcastle

  • 2nd Northumbrian Bde was composed of:
    • 1st East Riding Battery
    • 2nd East Riding Battery
    • 3rd East Riding Battery

The 2nd Northumbrian Ammunition Column. HQ - Hull

  • 3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Bde was composed of:
    • 1st Durham Battery. HQ - Seaham Harbour
    • 2nd Durham Battery. HQ - Durham
    • 3rd Durham Battery. HQ - West Hartlepool

The 3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Ammunition Column. HQ - Seaham Harbour

  • 4th Northumbrian (County of Durham) Howitzer Bde was composed of:
    • 4th Durham (Howitzer) Battery. HQ - South Shields
    • 5th Durham (Howitzer) Battery. HQ - Hebburn on Tyne

The 4th Northumbran (County of Durham) Ammunition Column. HQ - South ShieldsRoyal Garrison ArtilleryNorthumbrian (North Riding) Heavy Bty. HQ - Middlesbrough

Transport & Supply

was composed of the 50th Divisional Train (Army Service Corps):

  • 50th Divisional Train was composed of 467, 468, 469 and 470 Coys:
    • 467 Company. HQ - Gateshead
    • 468 Company. HQ - Newcastle
    • 469 Company. HQ - Hull
    • 470 Company. HQ - Sunderland

Joined by 336 (Motor Transport) Company


  • 1st Northumbrian Field Ambulance. HQ - Newcastle
  • 2nd Northumbrian Field Ambulance. HQ - Darlington
  • 3rd Northumbrian Field Ambulance. HQ - Hull


See also

External links

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