70th Infantry Brigade

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Background to the creation of the Brigade

A conference had been held on 9.6.1939 to discuss the proposed title of 23rd Division in the context of the duplication of the size of the Territorial Army – whether in fact it should be 63rd Division.

Reference was made to the First World War links with 50th Division, when the 23rd Division had included both the 12th and 13th Battalions DLI (New Army) and had fought on the left of the 50th Division at the Somme in 1916. The 50th and 23rd Divisions had met again at the 3rd Battle of Ypres in 1917.

The prevailing view was that the title of 23rd Division was most appropriate and this was eventually authorised after an appeal by ex-officers to Mr Hore-Belisha, the Secretary of State for War.

Separation of the Brigades was intended to be on a geographical basis. The initial idea was to create a 150th (N.Durham) Brigade under Brigadier Kirkup, containing the 9th, 12th and 11th Battalions of The Durham Light Infantry, headquartered at Chester-le-Street. The 151st Brigade would then be a South Durham Brigade, under Brigadier Churchill, with 6th, 8th and 10th Battalions of The Durham Light Infantry, with their HQ at Durham City.

Both Brigades were intended to be part of the 50th Division. When duplication of the scale of manpower was being planned the original 150th Brigade and its duplicate had been intended to make up the 23rd Division – both 23rd and 50th Divisions were intended to be motorised.

However, the annual training for the existing 151st Brigade at Whitby had been fixed for 10th – 24th September 1939 so that the Battalions could take part in some exercises in Yorkshire – separation into the new Brigades was to be deferred until after the conclusion of this camp, as all personnel would be attending – recruits for the two weeks, trained men taking part in the exercises on the second week.

Mobilisation orders interfered with these plans with one Division being required to go overseas as soon as possible - this of course was 50th Division.

As a result, all trained men except the duplicate COs, Adjutants, Quartermasters and a cadre were kept in the original 151st Brigade Battalions - 6th, 8th and 9th Battalions of The Durham Light Infantry - which then formed 50th Division, along with 150th Brigade, and departed for the B.E.F. in France in due course.

The duplicate Battalions of those in the 151st Brigade - namely 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions of The Durham Light Infantry formed 70th Brigade.

The Commander of 50th Division, Maj Gen le Q Martel instructed on 14 6 1939 that the procedure for the final separation of the original and duplicate units should be….”The date from which a duplicate unit is considered sufficiently organised to be independent of the “original” unit will be decided and reported to 50th Division”.

For the time being, 69th and 70th Brigades in the 23rd Division were administered by the 50th Division and this applied when embodiment took place on 1 9 1939.

Wikipedia History

To read the relevant Wikipedia page please click here. It will be noted that the Wikipedia page contains errors with regard to dates and efforts will be made to have these corrected. In particular, the position of 187th Field Ambulance is not fully described - the War Diaries contained within this Website show clearly that the Field Ambulance served as part of the structure of the Brigade from its return via Dunkirk up until its disbandment.

War Diary

70th Infantry Brigade War Diary 1939

70th Infantry Brigade War Diary 1940

70th Infantry Brigade War Diary 1941

70th Infantry Brigade War Diary 1942

70th Infantry Brigade War Diary 1943

70th Infantry Brigade War Diary 1944

'''Brigade Locations in ICELAND.'''

'''Brigade Locations in FRANCE and NORMANDY'''

Personnel Records for 70th Infantry Brigade

Ableman Cpl 0
Akroyd Pte 0
Allan Alfred Carney 2/Lt 190229
Archer George Pte 4459289
Atkinson Isaac Pte 4455940
Bale Denis Malcolm Lieutenant 140909
Banks Thomas Pte 4458440
Barlow Pte 0
Barron John Weeks Lt 148990
Beaumont John William 2/Lt 95522
Bell William Lewis Lt 138331
Benvie Donald Mitchell Captain 268165
Beveridge Norman Sgt 4456148
Bowen Peter Magrane Captain 0
Boys John Harvey Lt. 156254
Brabyn Frederick James Ch (4th Class) 89536
Braithwaite A.D. Major 0
Brander James Sgt 2753126
Brown Pte 0
Bruce James Alexander 2/Lt 138525
Buckton John Pte 4451679
Callaghan L/Cpl 0
Campbell Sgt 0
Catto Archibald Inch 2/Lt 90380
Chadwick Pte 0
Chesworth Clifford Wharmby Captain/Reverend 257120
Christer Pte 0
Clazey Frederick Oswald 2/Lt 126486
Cleminson John Henry 2/Lt 240439
Cobb G.M. Lt 137123
Codd L/Cpl 0
Conway Alfred Dvr aka Cohen Abraham T/171865
Collins A.H. Major 336633
Cooke-Collis E.C. Lt. Col. 24314
Corthorn H. 2/Lt 304544
Cottenham Pte 0
Coupe William Captain Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class 246436
Craig Richard Newcombe Captain (Chaplain 4th Class) 95722
Crawford Robert Moffat Pte 3322769
Davidson S/Sgt 0
Davie Major 0
Davies Kenneth Harold T/Captain REME 277365.
Davison Pte 0
Day Philip Anston Pte 4458086
Dean George Chambers Pte 4448808
Degrelle Lt 0
Dixon Robert Bagnall Pte 4455504
Donovan Lt 0
Draper Robert William Cpl 4447032
Elrick Cecil Donald Major 148992
Evans R.E. 2/Lt 0
Fawcett Henry Nussey Noble Major 23790
Fillingham George Sidney Captain 1057
Firth Ernest Pte 4459369
Garnett Joseph Pte 4455931
Gay Geoffrey Lytton 2/Lt 113543
Getty Thomas Pte 2762459
Gilbey Quinton Holland Lt 120038
Gordon Pte 0
Grant Hugh Pte 4454592
Greenhouse Roger Harold Captain 78044
Greer William Pte 4457196
Grieve Pte 0
Grieveson Pte 0
Grimsley Richard L/Cpl 4458028
Grylls William Michell Lt Col 0
Hall S Sgt 0
Handley L/Cpl 0
Haslegrave John Ramsden Captain 97623
Hodgson Percy Pte 4457165
Hood John W. Pte 4455648
Hunwick Charles Henry Pte 4453490
Jacobsen Anton Hannar 2/Lt 128166
Jerrome Ronald Henry Lt 132463
Jobson Robert Pte 4459791
Johnson Pte 0
Jordan Jack Leslie Major 28094
Keighley Cpl 0
King Percy Paulet Brigadier 11804
Kirkup Philip Brigadier 7992
Kirkup William Brookes Lt 73651
Lamb John Douglas Cfmn 10571260
Lester George Alfred 2/Lt 146177
Little C/Sgt 0
Littlewood Pte 0
Lloyd L/Cpl 0
Loggie Robert Baird Pte 3133764
Lovegrove Leslie Wilfred Lt 69253
Lowrey John Pte 2760286
MacNicol Duncan Cowan 2/Lt 94715
May F.J. Lieutenant 0
Melrose N. Captain 88246
Milburne Major 0
Minnis Gordon 4454604
Morrison Martin James Captain 0
Munford Alexander Frank 2/Lt 138537
Murden William R. Cpl 4458357
Murray Vivian Bernard 2/Lt 138538
Nash Lt 0
Neeson Pte
Nicholson Pte
Nicol Robert L/Cpl (Pte) 14607786
Ogg Allan Kelly Alexander Lt 138004
O'Hanlon William Bernard Lt 130479
O'Hara John Pte 4454614
O'Rourke D. Driver
Pirnie Frank Pte 3322864
Prickett Antony John Cecil Major 53693
Pullan Edward Cpl 4461176
Reick Ralph Pte 4457670
Rennick Dennis Patrick Kingston Captain 74573
Ricketts Abdy Henry Gough Captain 33748
Robson Joseph Walton 2/Lt 138539
Roper Kenneth Trevor Major 40718
Scott Pte 0
Sebag-Montefiore Eric Cecil Major 15336
Stedman W. Captain 0
Steele John Richard Kenneth 2/Lt 105611
Stewart-Rattray Gerald Alec Captain 66756
Stuart Cpl 0
Thomas Thompson Signalman 2586058
Tones Joseph Pte 4454281
Trail John Harman Lt 90600
Troughton Henry Leonard Captain 122656
Troupe George William Lt 180307
Troupe Leslie Clement 2/Lt 247059
Turnbull J.J. Captain 0
Turnbull P. Captain 185531
Vallely Terence Pte 4457173
Veitch Ernest Hardinge Major
Waddell P.L. Captain 0
Walker CSM 0
Wedderburn Major 0
West S.A.H. Lt 0
Wilkinson Thomas Geoffrey Lt 71539
Wilson 2/Lt 0
Winter F.M.S. Lt 267386
Wood C.S. Lt 145885

Additional members of the Brigade HQ Staff, Signals Section and Light Aid Detachment

From vehicle Movement Tables and Convoy listings from the mid-1942 War Diary information was gleaned on the drivers and passengers taking part in exercises or Brigade movements. Unfortunately only ranks and surnames were included and it has not yet been possible to definitively identify all the men concerned.

However, a listing of their names is set out below and if users of the Website recognise anyone, they are asked to click on the link below to contact the Lead Researcher. Those men who could be identified are already included in the listing above.

Brigade HQ

Pte Barnsley

Pte Beasley

Cpl Belben

L/Cpl Brunskill

L/Cpl Campbell

Pte Clayton

Pte Cuthbertson

Pte Farrell

Sgt Gaskell (possibly Gaskill)

Pte Gillies

Cpl Goldsbrough

Sgt Graham

Pte Harrison

Pte Haydock

Pte Heatherington

Pte Heron

Pte Hodgkinson

Pte Izon (possibly L.A.D.)

Pte Kelly

Pte Maddison

Pte O'Donnell

Pte Palmer

Pte Rowell

Pte Sommerville

Pte Stott

Cpl Thomas

Pte Walmsley

Sgt Ward

Pte Watkinson

A.S.M. White

L/Sgt Withey

Pte Yates

Brigade Signal Section

Pte/Sgmn Arnold

Cpl Bailey

Pte/Sgmn Bellinger

Pte/Sgmn Casey

Pte/Sgmn Clark

Pte/Sgmn Drummond

Pte/Sgmn Gavin

Sgmn Hughes

Sgmn Jubb

Sgmn Knox

Pte/Sgmn Laviolette

Pte/Sgmn Lennie

L/Cpl Lewis

Pte/Sgmn Lyons

Sgmn Plamplin

Pte/Sgmn Pond

Sgmn Robinson

Pte/Sgmn Taylor

L/Cpl Thwaites

Pte/Sgmn Waud

Cpl Webster

Brigade Light Aid Detachment

Pte/Cfmn Burton

Pte/Cfmn Carter

Pte/Cfmn Cooper

L/Cpl French

Pte/Cfmn Fry

Pte/Cfmn Truman

To contact the author by e-mail with any queries, or to send information - click here.