Thirty percent were regulars or reservists, 40 percent were Kitchener volunteers, 19 percent were Irish, Canadian or New Zealand volunteers, but only nine percent were conscripts, suggesting indulgence to the conscripts, many of them under 21, who made up the bulk of the army by late in the war. [38], In 1914, General Edmund Allenby was commander of the Cavalry Division and later the Cavalry Corps in the BEF. Three infantry brigades formed the bulk of an infantry division. [227], In late November 1915, in response to the growing threat from a pro-Turkish Islamic Arab sect known as the Senussi, a composite British body known as the 'Western Frontier Force' was sent into the Libyan Desert to Mersa Matruh, under the command of British Indian Army officer Major General Alexander Wallace. [213], 1914 also witnessed the commencement of the East African Campaign against von Lettow-Vorbeck's elusive German and African askari forces. The British Army had been prepared and primarily called upon for Empire matters and the ensuing colonial wars. A corpsis a formation of two or more divisions, potentially fifty thousand personnel or more. [19] At the outset of the conflict, the British Indian Army was called upon for assistance; in August 1914, 20 percent of the 9,610 British officers initially sent to France were from the Indian army, while 16 percent of the 76,450 other ranks came from the British Indian Army. [88] All waves were expected to take advantage of the ground during the advance. Soldiers also had to take it in turns to be on sentry duty, watching for enemy movements. Each platoon maintains its own medical and FAC capability within the command element and is responsible for maintaining these capabilities within the platoon. By 1914, French's dislike for Smith-Dorrien was well known within the army. Every division was assigned to one of these armies. It arrived in Baku in August 1918. [28] The first Commander in Chief of the BEF appointed in August 1914 was Field Marshal John French. The cavalry division also had a high allocation of artillery compared to foreign cavalry divisions, with 24 13-pounder guns organised into two brigades and two machine guns for each regiment. generalis "something pertaining to a whole unit of anything rather than just to a part". A variant was the box barrage, in which three or four barrages formed a box—or more often three sides of a box—around a position to isolate and prevent reinforcements being brought up into the front line. In the last years of the 19th century, the Army was involved in a major conflict, the Second Boer War (1899–1902), which hi… [37], General Plumer was eventually appointed to command II Corps in December 1914, and succeeded Smith-Dorrien in command of the Second Army in 1915. At the outbreak of the war, it consisted of 84 aircraft. An army is a formation consisting of two or more corps. [83] The Mark I had a range of 23 mi (37 km) without refuelling, and a speed of 3 mph (4.8 km/h); it first saw service on the Somme in September 1916. The French admitted to only 133 executions and the Germans 48, but these figures may not be reliable as both armies had problems with discipline. The main resource will be the war diary of the brigade headquarters, along with the battalions which served with it. During the March 1918 retreat 25,000 stragglers were rounded up and sent back to fighting units. [213], The British force fighting in Mesopotamia was principally drawn from the British Indian Army, with only one solely British formation, the 13th (Western) Division. More than one army operating together is known as an army … [198] The only real success was in the south where, using imaginative tactics and helped by the French, the New Army 18th and 30th Divisions took all their objectives, including Montauban, and the Regular 7th Division captured Mametz. Some units were engaged in Italy and Salonika against Austria-Hungary and the Bulgarian Army, while other units fought in the Middle East, Africa and Mesopotamia—mainly against the Ottoman Empire—and one battalion fought alongside the Japanese Army in China during the Siege of Tsingtao. [62][63], Once a candidate was selected as an officer, promotion could be rapid. The fourth army was the reinforcement of existing formations with conscripts after the introduction of compulsory service in January 1916. The Army had been prepared and primarily called upon for Empire matters and the ensuing colonial wars. In August 1915, General Hugh Trenchard replaced Henderson. [43] Byng had already returned to the western front, where he was given command of the Canadian Corps. Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served with the Indian Army, Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served with the British Army. Most stayed on the Home Front, but around 9,000 served in France. Each brigade in the division also had a mortar battery with eight Stokes Mortars. [213] This situation lasted until 18 September 1918, when the British and Greek Armies, under the command of General George Milne attacked in the Lake Doiran Sector. The number was reduced to three in early 1918 due to a manpower shortage. [132] By September 1915, the length of the British front line stretched some 70 mi (110 km). Eleven British armies were formed during the First World War. [200] Having failed to deliver a breakthrough, Haig now embarked on his favoured plan to launch an offensive in Flanders. [88] (see below for when operating with tanks), Each platoon now had a Lewis gun section and a section that specialised in throwing hand-grenades (then known as bombs), each section was compelled to provide two scouts to carry out reconnaissance duties. In 1914, they were aged over 50, while the average age for a battalion commanding officer in the BEF between 1917 and 1918 was 28. [115] Each division also had a Signals company, which was responsible for communications between Corps, Division and Brigade headquarters. However, their sentences were not overturned as it was impossible after this length of time to re-examine the evidence in every case. In the early part of the 20th century, the British Army was a fairly small professional body of volunteer regular soldiers. [8] Most of the line infantry regiments had two regular battalions, one of which served at home and provided drafts and replacements to the other which was stationed overseas, while also being prepared to be part of the Expeditionary Force – the Royal Fusiliers, Worcestershire Regiment, Middlesex Regiment, King's Royal Rifle Corps and the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) had four regular battalions, two of which served overseas. The third army was Kitchener's Army, comprising men who answered Lord Kitchener's call for volunteers in 1914–1915 and which went into action at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. [78] One account tells of the action by the 100th Company of the Machine Gun Corps at High Wood on 24 August 1916. Lat. Those not involved in fighting or occupation duties were demobilised. [141] For petty offences, a company commander could have men fined or confined to barracks for fatigue duty[142] A battalion Commanding Officer could give detention, order up to 28 days Field Punishment, or demote corporals to the ranks (officers and senior NCOs were dealt with by court martial other than for very trivial offences). He was given command of the 2nd Cavalry Division in September 1914, the 7th Division in April 1915, and the British I Corps in July 1915. [117] The first British mine was detonated at Hill 60 on 17 February 1915. [173] One historian writes that "in no case was a soldier whom the medical staff certified as suffering from shell shock actually executed", that "there appear to have been very few cases where men who alleged shell shock, but whose claim was denied, were actually executed", and that the suggestions of modern campaigners that most of the executed men suffered from shell shock are "palpably untrue". [99][100] A creeping barrage could maintain the element of surprise, with guns opening fire only shortly before the assault troops moved off. [58] The officer corps, during the war, consisted of regular officers from the peacetime army, officers who had been granted permanent commissions during the war, officers who had been granted temporary commissions for the duration of the war, territorial army officers commissioned during peacetime, officers commissioned from the ranks of the pre-war regular and territorial army and temporary officers commissioned from the ranks for the duration of the war alone. [47] The collapse of the Fifth Army was widely viewed as the reason for the German breakthrough in the Spring Offensive, and Gough was dismissed as its commander in March 1918,[47] being succeeded by General William Birdwood for the last months of the war. [213] A week after the capture of Baghdad, General Maude issued the Proclamation of Baghdad, which contained the famous line, "our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators". In 1917, he was given command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, where he oversaw the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918. You will need to find out which formation the battalion served in which can often be found by searching the battalion’s title online. Indian Army Distribution Lists: Find out where in India or Burma (Myanmar) a British unit was stationed during the war. Resources to consult: Battalion, regimental and divisional histories. [82] The weapon was fully man-transportable yet also capable of firing reasonably powerful shells at targets beyond the range of rifle grenades. It was not until 6 November that Passchendaele ridge was captured, by which time the BEF had sustained around 310,000 casualties. Resources: Divisional history along with regimental and battalion histories if they exist. He may be appointed to Lance-Sergeant. [76], The British Army was armed with the Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk III (SMLE Mk III), which featured a bolt-action and large magazine capacity that enabled a trained rifleman to fire 20–30 aimed rounds a minute. [184], Race meetings, concert parties (including drag acts – good drag queens were in great demand), trips to the seaside and football matches were organised to keep men entertained. [42] Allenby replaced Archibald Murray, who had been the Chief of Staff of the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1914. FP No.1 (in which the man was shackled to fixed object, e.g. One of its first acts was to close the Dardanelles Straits to the Allies. [188] The BEF had a small role in halting the German advance at the First Battle of the Marne, before participating in the Aisne counter-offensive, in September which was followed by a period known as the "Race to the Sea" during which the BEF redeployed to Flanders. 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