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British 1st (Guards) Brigade: Wikis


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1st Mechanised Brigade
Insignia of 1st Mechanised Brigade
Active 1914 - present day
Country Great Britain
Branch British Army
Type Mechanised Infantry
Part of 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division
Engagements World War I
Battle of Mons
First Battle of the Marne
Battle of the Aisne
First Battle of Ypres
Battle of Aubers Ridge
Battle of Loos
Battle of the Somme (1916)
Battle of Pozières
Third Battle of Ypres
Battle of Épehy
World War II
Battle of France
El Kourzia
Battle of Monte Cassino
Liri Valley -

The 1st Infantry Brigade is a British Army formation with a long history including service during the First and Second World Wars .



Initially as 1st (Guards) Brigade, the formation was part of 1st Division during World War I. On formation of the Guards Division in August 1915, the Brigade lost 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards and 1st Battalion, Scots Guards and was redesignated without the Guards reference in its title. It was with the 1st Division throughout the war.

As the 1st Guards Brigade, it was again part of the regular army British 1st Infantry Division during the Battle of France in June 1940. In 1942 the brigade was transferred into the British 78th Infantry Division (United Kingdom), First Army (United Kingdom) where it acted as a reserve formation for Operation Torch: the allied landings in north western Africa, arriving in Algiers in November 1942. In March 1943, whilst still in Tunisia, the brigade was again transferred- this time to the 6th Armoured Division (United Kingdom).

In Feb 1944 the brigade was temporarily separated from the 6th Armoured Division and moved to Italy, where it came under the control of a number of allied divisions in the mixed force U.S. 5th Army. Despite operating in other divisions sectors during this period it was never truly separated from the 6th Armoured Division and after the final Battle of Monte Cassino in May 1944 (where the brigade played a holding "hinge" role during Operation Diadem) it was returned to the 6th Armoured Division, which had been transferred across from Tunisia piecemeal. It was whilst the Battalion was in Cassino that the 1st Guards Brigade was moved to the British Eighth Army. At the end of the war, back as part of the 1st Infantry Division, it was transferred to Palestine for internal security duties.

After the war the brigade only remained in Palestine for a short time. It was transferred to Egypt for a few months before going back to Palestine in April 1946. Two years later as the British mandate over Palestine ended the brigade and division returned to Egypt. In October 1951, British forces pulled out of Egypt outside of the Suez Canal Zone, and later the brigade returned to the United Kingdom, though it was in Cyprus during the EOKA insurgency for a period in 1957-8.

By the early 1980 the brigade, having lost its 'Guards' title some time before, had been based in the UK for many years, forming the UK Mobile Force earmarked to reinforce Denmark in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. After the end of the Cold War it was reassigned as part of the new 3rd (UK) Division and subsequently became a Mechanised Brigade. It is now headquartered at Tidworth.


Commanders (World War II)

  • Brig. M.B.Beckwith-Smith
  • Brig. F.A.V. Copland-Griffiths
  • Brig. S.A. Foster
  • Brig. P.G.S. Gregson-Ellis
  • Brig. J.C. Haydon
  • Brig. C.A.M.D. Scott
  • Brig. G.L. Verney

Battles and Engagements (World War 2)

Structure (World War 2)

Current Formation

1 Mechanized Brigade Units 2009

External links


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