1st (British) Infantry Division BEF 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Uncle Target, Jul 4, 2021.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    I guess that all the interest in the efforts of British 1st Division is an illusion and rests solely with the activities in the years immediately prior to and after their embarkation to North Africa and Italy. When members relatives joined them.
    A period when they made news and appear in books that can be posted or referred to. Their involvement as a rear-guard
    seems only to be remembered by the Artillery, who held the beaches to their last rounds.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  2. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Perhaps people associate their relatives to the regiment or the battalion during 1939-40 not the brigade or division that they served under.

    I mean, if somebody has a relative who was with 1KSLI, do they go looking for a 3rd Infantry Brigade thread or 1st Infantry Division thread to chat, discuss or ask questions?
  3. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    My line of thought was that little has been written about the 1st Infantry Division compared with other Divisions.
    Take for instance the 78th Division which fought in fairly close proximity to the 1st.
    In Tunisia. There is much written about the 78th regarding Long Stop etc but I have found nothing comparable to the 1st Division. Similarly in Italy the 1st fought at Anzio where the 2nd Infantry Brigade led the assault on the beaches. They also fought and on the Gothic line but historians seem to ignore their efforts .
    Perhaps this is because they spent much of their time supporting the Americans whereas the 78th were closer to the British 8th Army Public Relations machine.
    They seem to be almost invisible. Rather than replenish and reinforce them, they were banished to Palestine.
    The only book about them seems to have been written by themselves and gone out of print long ago.
    I felt that someone should try to raise their profile, acknowledge their efforts beginning with the BEF where they were commanded by General Alexander, tasked with covering the withdrawal.
    Encourage the people of WW2talk to talk or even write about the British 1st Infantry Division.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  4. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Originally inspired by Rich Payne's From the Dyle to the Sea, I have tried to show how the Division contributed to the war effort from the beginning by using my knowledge of one Artillery Regiments activities in the campaign. Sadly none of the other Regiments (Artillery or Infantry) seem to have followers interested in combining their knowledge to put forward the Divisions endeavours.
    Perhaps I am too impatient and it needs more time.
    I feeel that history is not merely a list of events, facts and dates but a story which includes the political, social, human and environmental impact.
    My ambitions for the 1st Infantry Division's story grew.
    For anyone who has experience in researching or writing a book about the Division, or for those who dont know who they are, below are a few links which might explain.
    I am afraid that it will be too much for me now. I am a sprinter by nature not a long distance runner.
    The time required and the cost of research is now far beyond my resources.

    1st Infantry Division (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia.

    List of component units of British 1st Infantry Division - Wikipedia

    Good luck to anyone who would give it a try.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021

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