Aircraft of World War I by Kenneth Munson

By Kenneth Munson

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As tactical purposes could often require a regiment to be split into separate battalions the natural division was to bind two regiments together to form a brigade. When seen on an organizational chart or lined up in the field these brigades typically form a square, hence the name. A square division would advance with either two brigades in line or one in front of the other. One regiment would be forward while the other would remain in reserve, ready to engage the enemy once the first regiment made contact.

Sappers had also been attached to infantry strong points to ensure damage to trenches could quickly be repaired. In early 1915 the 3rd Division moved up to the Ypres salient and took over the trenches opposite the Messines Ridge, St Eloi and The Bluff. From here they moved up to the Menin Road sector at Hooge and Bellewaarde. In June 1915 3rd Division consisted of four Brigades: 7th, 8th, 9th and 76th, Divisional Troops, Divisional Mounted Troops (C Sqn South Irish Horse and 3rd Company Army Cyclist Corps), Divisional Artillery (XXIII Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, X1 Brigade Field Artillery, XLI Brigade Royal Field Artillery, XXX (Howitzer) Brigade Royal Field Artillery, 3rd Divisional Ammunition Column), and the Royal Army Medical Corps: 4A Sanitary Section, 7th Field Ambulance, 8th Field Ambulance, 9th Field Ambulance.

French’s orders were to turn the left flank of General Kronje’s army. This would bring about the retreat of the Boers from Magersfontein and leave the way open to relieve the siege at Kimberley. On 11 February 1900 French’s cavalry and mounted infantry forced the River Riet and by 15 February he entered Kimberley. He carried on to seize Koedoesrand Drift and then took part in the successful defeat of General Kronje’s Boer forces at Paadeberg. He followed this with further successes at Poplar Grove and Driefontein against De Wet and Delarey.

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