1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by DavidW, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Can anyone help with the movements of the above unit in 1940 -1942 please.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    I believe you are talking about the 1st Guards Brigade here, my memory may not be up to scratch here but it was the 6th A&SH?...

    Anyway the A&SH were in the Independent 1st Guards Brigade in 1941-1942 as the independent brigades additional (4th) Battalion after the 3 Grens, 2 Coldstream and 2 Northamptons.

    The reason they were attached was for operation Blazing, the invasion of Alderney. However this never happened and they were transferred away when the brigade was absorbed by the 78th division, (38 Brigade? you can tell I dont have my records here yet, I just moved house).

    They were loaned again to the 1st Guards Brigade in December 1942 after the 2nd Northamptons battalion was virtually destroyed in Tebourba but were transferred back when the Brigade was transferred to the 6th armoured division and the 3rd welsh guards were brought up- Im sure the thinking being that as many available guards Bns should be in a Guards Brigade.

    They never saw large scale action with the 1st Brigade, however they were involved in holding the station area on several occasions in January 1942 in which active patrolling was a daily issue. They were also involved in the Battle of Longstop hill when they were brought in to replace the 3 Grens on Grenadier Hill. The move happened too late and the Grens arrived at Longstop too lare to make a difference.

    Is there a particular incident or date I can help with?
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Why is this thread in the Scots Guards section of the forum ?
  4. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    No, we are talking about different units.
    The 1st were with the 22nd, 200th & 201st Guards Motorised Infantry Brigades at the time in question.
    But thanks anyway.
  5. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    Hi there.

    No, we are talking about different units.
    The 1st were with the 22nd, 200th & 201st Guards Motorised Infantry Brigades at the time in question.
    But thanks anyway.

    I see, the Argylle and Sutherland Highlanders were not a Guards Battalion, they were in a Guards Brigade however.
  6. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Sorry all, my mistake.
    Owen. An easy mistake to make, I'm sure you will agree. Please feel free to move the question to a more appropriate section.
    Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    David .
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    So are we on about 1st Argylls or not?
    Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The 1st Battalion fought in the Western Desert Campaign, Crete, Abyssinia, Sicily and in the Italian Campaign. The first action for the 1st Battalion was at Sidi Barani where they joined the battle on 10 December 1940 as part of the 16th Brigade. On 17 May 1941 the battalion moved to Crete where they formed part of the defence based on the east side of the island at Tymbaki. Most of the Argylls marched from Tymbaki to the airfield at Heraklion on the night of 24 May to help support the 14th Infantry Brigade in the fighting at that airfield. They were successfully evacuated on 29 May from Heraklion but their convoy suffered air attacks and many casualties on the route away from Crete. The Argylls left at Tymbaki were captured when the island surrendered. The 1st Battalion was shipped to Alexandria and after garrison duties followed by a raid into the Gondar region of Abyssinia, they were sent back to the Western Desert where they were eventually attached to the 10th Indian Infantry Division and fought at the Battle of El Alamein. The 1st Battalion landed on Sicily during Operation Husky in 1943 and fought throughout the Italian Campaign with firstly the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division and then the 8th Indian Infantry Division.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    They were loaned again to the 1st Guards Brigade in December 1942 after the 2nd Northamptons battalion was virtually destroyed in Tebourba

    That'll be 5th Bn Northamptons. ;)
    2nd Bn were in 5th Div.
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    In France and Flanders the Bn was a MG Battalion and was part of I Corps Troops.

    Left Bordon 10.1.40

    Arrived Cherbourg 11.1.40

    La Hutte and then Champfleur 12.1.40

    Armentieres 17.1.40

    Auberchicourt 1.3.40

    Mekingen 10.5.40

    Foret De Soignes 15.5.40

    Bois De Lessines 17.5.40

    Voorde 17.5.40

    Grammont 18.5.40

    Nomain 20.5.40

    Rumes 21.5.40

    Carvin 24.5.40

    La Gorgue 25.5.40

    Neuve Eglise 28.5.40

    Poperinghe 28.5.40

    Dunkirk 29.5.40

    England 1.6.40 to 10.6.40

    Willsworthy Camp England 10.6.40

    Lodge Moor, Sheffield 16.6.40
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    :lol: Can't believe I wasted an hour typing up the right info for the wrong unit :lol:
  11. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    So are we on about 1st Argylls or not?

    Owen, yes we are.
    The confusion arose as I incorrectly called them the 1st Guards Battalion.
    Again, I'm sorry.
  12. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Can't believe I wasted an hour typing up the right info for the wrong unit

    I'm going to run away and hide!
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Thread retitled & moved.
    Hope this helps.
    1 The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

    03-Sep-1939 16-Jan-1940 British 14 Infantry Brigade
    17-Jan-1940 15-May-1941 British 16 Infantry Brigade
    19-May-1941 29-May-1941 British 14 Infantry Brigade
    30-May-1941 11-Jun-1941 British 16 Infantry Brigade
    12-Jun-1941 ? 26-Jul-1942 ? British HQ British Troops Sudan
    27-Jul-1942 23-Aug-1942 Indian 21 Indian Infantry Brigade
    23-Aug-1942 30-Nov-1942 Indian 161 Indian Infantry Brigade
    30-Nov-1942 31-May-1943 ? British HQ British Troops Egypt
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive


    Don't worry about it...It could have been worse and I typed up the Battalions Nominal Roll :D
  15. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Can we place them geographically on 10th June 1940?

    Owen. No mention of them in any of the Guards Brigades in your post above?

  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) - Scottish Regiments, 1st Battalion A&SH, National Service, world war time, peace time and active service with the Argylls in Stirling, Cyprus (Limni and Dhekelia), Aden, Libya (Tobruk), Germa
    Formed part of 14 Infantry Brigade of 8 Infantry Division.
    1/40-2/40 Part of 16 Infantry Brigade of 8 Infantry Division in Palestine.
    4/40-6/40 Part of 16 Infantry Brigade of 6 Infantry Division in Palestine.
    6/40-9/40 Part of 14 Infantry Brigade in Palestine.
    7 September moved from Palestine to the Western desert, North Africa.
    9/40-2/41 part of 16 Infantry Brigade in North Africa.
    10 December took part in the Battle of Sidi Barani.
  17. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    So were thay a Motor Battalion at any time in 1940 - 1942?
  18. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    I can answer my own. No they weren't
  19. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I think this is what you are looking for:

    1st Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise’s)

    14th Infantry Brigade – 3 September 1939 to 16 January 1940
    This regular battalion was unofficially called the “91st Highlanders”. The 1st Battalion received orders to deploy to Palestine on April 1st, 1939 to counter an Arab revolt. It left Aldershot by train, embarked on HMT Somersetshire at Southampton, and arrived at Haifa on May 3rd. On arrival it took over positions in the Jenin area under the 14th Infantry Brigade of the 8th Division. At the start of the war, the battalion was still located at Jenin in Palestine with ‘A’ Company at Umm-al-Fahm (one platoon at Kufier and one at Haifa) and ‘C’ Company at Arraba (one platoon at Kafkrai). A draft of five officers and three hundred other ranks arrived from Great Britain to reinforce the battalion on September 19th, 1939 since it had been on home establishment when it left. During December it took part in two operations, one at Wadi Shubash on the 5th and another at Umm al Fahm on the 17th, ending Arab resistance. It left Jenin and the brigade on January 16th.

    16th Infantry Brigade – 17 January 1940 to 15 May 1941
    The battalion joined the brigade at Jericho on January 17th, 1940. On March 4th, it moved to the Tel Aviv area, arriving at nearby Jaffa to quell Jewish unreset in the area. Shortly after the battalion’s arrival at Latrun Camp in March, it received a draft of two officers and eighty other ranks from the Rhodesia Regiment in April 14th. It moved to Gedera on June 8th, 1940 and to Egypt on September 4th, 1940. The brigade was assigned to the 4th Indian Infantry Division on September 7th to defend the Baggush Box, two miles west of Sidi Haneish. On December 5th, the Argyll received orders to move out and, five days later, attacked Italian positions located between Ilwet Matrud and Alam el Dab. It then took up defensive positions at Beit Ait Hassan and secured Hill X by the end of the day. On the 11th, it was placed into brigade reserve before it moved to positions facing east near Abar Yusef. Later the same day it moved back to Alam el Dab. The battalion was sent to Salum on the evening of December 19th/20th, where ‘D’ Company was detached for dock duties. After getting six officers and seventy-six other rank reinforcements, the battalion was placed into brigade reserve and moved to Halfaya Wadi, better known as ‘Hellfire Pass’. It returned to Salum in January 1941 for garrison duties, although without ‘D’ Company. The battalion left Libya on February 13th, was reunited on the 16th, and arrived at Tahag Camp in the Nile Delta on the 17th. On March 28th, the Argylls marched to Kabrit on the Great Bitter Lake, but left there on April 9th for garrison duty in Mersa Matruh Fortress. It returned to Baggush Box on April 23rd for a three-week period.

    GHQ Middle East Force – 15 May 1941 to 19 May 1941
    On May 16th it moved to Amiriya Transit Camp in preparation for a move to Crete. It left Alexandria on May 17th, 1941 and arrived on the night of May 18th/19th.

    14th Infantry Brigade – 19 May 1941 to 29 May 1941
    The Argylls arrived at Tymbaki and was given the task of defending the Plain of Messara, which included the Nida Plateau and the defence of Tymbaki beach. The German airborne assault came on May 20th and four days later the battalion marched north to aid in the defence of Heraklion, although it left a detachment at Ay Deka on the Plain of Messara. The evacuation was announced on May 28th and the battalion left Crete, leaving behind some 300 men that were part of the Ay Deka detachment.

    16th Infantry Brigade – 30 May 1941 to 11 June 1941
    The 1st Battalion spent the night of May 29th/30th at Sidi Bishr Camp and moved to Quassassin Camp in the Canal Area on the 30th. At Quassassin, a draft of 7 officers and 350 other ranks were taken in. Due to its losses on Crete and the need to train the new draft, the battalion was left behind when the 16th Infantry Brigade moved to Syria for operations on June 12th.

    HQ British Troops Egypt – 12 June 1941 to 18 July 1941
    The battalion moved into Mustapha Barracks in Alexandria on June 15th to rest and recover. It received orders to embark for Asmara in Eritrea on July 4th.

    GHQ Middle East Force – 18 July 1941 to 27 July 1941
    On July 18th, it boarded the HMS Westernland at Suez, but was delayed for five days at Port Sudan. I arrived at Massawa on July 27th, 1941.

    HQ East Africa Force – 27 July 1941 to 24 October 1941
    On arrival, it moved to Asmara at ‘Officio Genio’ Barracks with one company at Fort Baldissera on POW duties. Between August 3rd and September 28th, 1941, it rotated six different platoons weekly to serve in Debivar, Abyssinia to patrol near the Italian positions including Wolchefit and Debarech, which surrendered on September 28th. The Argylls came under the command of the 2/4th King’s African Rifles of the 25th East African Infantry Brigade to fight the Italians at Wolchefit Pass. On October 6th, 1941 ‘B’ Company moved to Kufra Oasis.

    26th (East African) Infantry Brigade – Attached – 24 October 1941 to 29 November 1941
    On October 24th, 1941, the 1st Battalion was re-assigned to the 26th East African Brigade and completed a move to Dabat near Gondar on November 9th, 1941, less ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies, which were deployed at Kufra and Asmara respectively. ‘A’ and ‘C’ Companies attacked Venticinque on November 17th, 1941, clearing it two days later before participating in a divisional assault against Italian positions at Gondar on November 27th, 1941. The 1st Battalion was sent to seize Ambazzo, which was the last Italian position to surrender, that evening.

    25th (East African) Infantry Brigade – Attached – 29 November 1941 to 7 December 1941
    The battalion moved to Gondar on November 29th and came under the command of the 25th (East African) Infantry Brigade. On December 7th, it was ordered to entrain for Khartoum in the Sudan.

    HQ British Troops in the Sudan – 7 December 1941 to 13 May 1942
    The Argylls moved to Asmara first and then arrived in Khartoum by the December 9th, less ‘B’ Company still at Kufra It moved into South Barracks, Khartoum on December 21st, 1941, where it received a draft of 3 officers and 153 other ranks. Between February 10th and 24th, 1942, the entire battalion encamped at Omdurman, engaging in exercises and training. The 1st Welch Regiment relieved it at South Barracks on May 10th, 1942, when it departed for Egypt

    HQ Cairo Area, BTE – 13 May 1942 to 22 July 1942
    By May 13th, 1942 the Argylls had returned to Cairo, Egypt and came under the command of HQ Cairo Area for internal security duties based at Abbassia. ‘A’ and ‘C’ Companies were detailed to Alexandria, and occupied Mustapha Barracks with detachments on the docks for sentry duties and manning the Dekalia defences. On May 18th, 1942, ‘B’ Company returned from Kufra, Libya, and arrived at the battalion’s primary encampment at Abbassia. ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies were sent to Cairo at the end of May 1942.

    21st Indian Infantry Brigade – 23 July 1942 to 23 August 1942
    The Argylls joined the 21st Indian Infantry Brigade on July 23rd, 1942 at Alexandria. It moved to Cowley Camp, Mena on July 27th, 1942 and to Amiriya on July 31st. The battalion went to Alam el Bueib (West) on August 2nd, 1942. ‘D’ Company was detached on August 7th to serve under the command of Force ‘C’ for the Tobruk Raid, which took place from September 13th to November 13th, 1942, but it was not used. The battalion moved to Alam Ridge on August 15th, 1942 and was relieved by 133rd Infantry Brigade there on August 17th.

    161st Indian Infantry Brigade – 23 August 1942 to 30 November 1942
    The 1st Argylls transferred to the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade in Egypt on August 23rd, being sent at once into reserve. Shortly after it moved into positions along Ruweisat Ridge. On September 23rd, 1942, ‘D’ Company rejoined the battalion, after taking part in a commando raid on Tobruk. A battalion attack slated for September 27th, 1942 was canceled, and it remained primarily in reserve throughout the Battle of El Alamein, although it did push forward in the wake of enemy evacuations along Ruweisat Ridge. The battalion reported to Aqqaqir on November 4th, 1942 for salvage operations before being ordered back to Egypt.

    GHQ Middle East Force – 1 December 1942 to 5 June 1943
    The battalion moved to Alexandria on December 1st, 1942. ‘A’ and ‘C’ Companies, less one detachment on escort duties with the 8th Army commander, were sent to Mustapha Barracks while ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies were at Sidi Bishr Camp. ‘B’ Company was sent to the Army Tank School at Rafah, Palestine, leaving on January 20th, 1943, and was replaced by ‘X’ Company Royal Fusiliers. ‘X’ Company left on March 18th, 1943, when the battalion left for Hadera Palestine. On arrival, the battalion began to reorganise in preparation for its duties as No. 33 Beach Brick Battalion. It took on the new title on April 1st and added an extra company, 53rd Company, to complete the Beach Brick establishment. On May 20th 1943, the battalion was concentrated at Aartouz, near Damascus, for a full-scale exercise that was a rehearsal for the Sicily landing. By June 1st, 1943, all Brick personnel were at El Shatt, having completed Exercise Dryshod and readied for another full-scale exercise named Wetshod, which was held in the Gulf of Aquaba.
  20. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thank you.

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