21st Division 1914-18...a divisional history

Divisional Emblem

 

 

The Divisional emblem/Insignia was created before it left England for France, under the command of Major-General G T Forestier-Walker. The actual designer being Major-General (then Lieut-Colonel) Clifford Coffin, VC, DSO, who at the time was the divisions Commander Royal Engineers. The sign itself is really self explanitary being three sevens linked, making a total of twenty-one.

 

Below is information in regard to the battle insignia of units of the division through out the war. My thanks to Arthur, from the GWF for the information below.

 

62nd Brigade

12th (Service) Bn , the Northumberland Fusiliers (joined September 1914)
Red disc 1” diameter worn on sleeve and collar, Felt

13th (Service) Bn , the Northumberland Fusiliers (joined September 1914)
Red ‘V’ worn on back 1916, Felt

3/4th Bn (TF), the Queen's (joined 9 August 1917)
a Red pennant, Felt
b Red rectangle 2”X1”, Felt

1st Bn, the Lincolns (joined November 1915)
Red ‘X’ 2” worn on collar, Felt

2nd Bn, the Lincolns (joined February 1918)
Red ‘X’ on dark blue, Embroided on Felt

8th (Service) Bn, the East Yorkshires(joined September 1914, left November 1915)
H.Q. Coy green star; A Coy green square 1 ½” sides; B Coy green triangle 1 ½” sides”; C Coy green diamond 1 ½” sides; D Coy green disc 1 ½” diameter; Felt.

10th (Service) Bn, the Yorkshire (joined October 1914,disbanded February 1918)
Red triangle 1” base X 1 ¼” sides, Felt.

62nd Brigade Machine Gun Company (joined on 4 March 1916, moved into 21 MG Bn 24 February 1918)
62:Red oval, Felt, 21: Nothing found!

62nd Trench Mortar Battery (formed by 16 June 1916)
1 ½” triangle outlines for various btys: V Bty black; X Bty blue; Y Bty red; Z Bty Yellow; Note: The colour of triangle is not given!


63rd Brigade

8 July 1916 : the Brigade was transferred to 37th Division

8th (Service) Bn, the Lincolns (joined September 1914)
Yellow disc 2” diameter, Silk

8th (Service) Bn, the Somerset Light Infantry (joined October 1914)
Dark yellow rectangle 2”X1”, Cotton

12th (Service) Bn, the West Yorkshires(joined September 1914, left November 1915)
Dark blue square 1 ½” sides, Cotton

4th Bn, the Middlesex (joined November 1915, left July 1916)
Dark yellow square 1 ½” sides, Cotton

10th (Service) Bn, the York and Lancaster (joined October 1914, left July 1916)
Yellow triangle with Coy bars: A Coy Red; B Coy black; C Coy violet; D Coy light green;

63rd Brigade Machine Gun Company (joined on 4 March 1916, left July 1916)
Yellow cross 3 ½” diagonals, Felt

63rd Trench Mortar Battery (formed by 16 June 1916, left July 1916)
Yellow shell over blue embroidered grenade on khaki, Cotton embroidered on felt


64th Brigade

1st Bn, the East Yorkshires(joined November 1915)
Green square 1” sides, Cotton

2nd Bn, the South Lancashire (joined June 1918, left same month)
a Green rectangle 2”X½” Felt
b White ‘82’ on red oval, embroidered on felt

9th (Service) Bn, the KOYLI (joined October 1914)
Green disc 1 ½“ diameter, Cotton

10th (Service) Bn, the KOYLI (joined October 1914, disbanded February 1918)
Dark green rectangle 2 ½”X1 ½”, Felt

14th (Service) Bn, the Durham Light Infantry (joined September 1914, left November 1915)
Dark green triangle 3” base 2” sides, Felt

15th (Service) Bn, the Durham Light Infantry (joined September 1914)
Dark green inverted triangle 2” top 3” sides, Felt

64th Brigade Machine Gun Company (joined on 4 March 1916, moved into 21 MG Bn 24 February 1918)
Olive green oval, Felt

64th Trench Mortar Battery (formed by 19 June 1916)
Dark green diamond, Felt


110th Brigade
7 July 1916 : Brigade transferred from 37th Division

6th (Service) Bn, the Leicesters
a6 Bn Officer’s, Yellow disc 2” Silk
b6 Bn O/Ranks, Yellow disc and bar, Silk/Cotton. Size unknown.
c6 Bn Yellow diamond 1 ½” sides Silk.

7th (Service) Bn, the Leicesters
7 Bn Yellow rectangle 1”x1 ½” worn on sleeve and back, Silk.

8th (Service) Bn, the Leicesters (left June 1918)
8 Bn Yellow square 1 ¼” sides, Silk.

9th (Service) Bn, the Leicesters (disbanded February 1918)
9 Bn Yellow triangle 2” base 2 ½” sides worn on sleeve and back, Cotton.

1st Bn, the Wiltshires (joined June 1918)
Nothing found!

110th Brigade Machine Gun Company (joined with Brigade, moved into 21 MG Bn 24 February 1918)
Yellow oval, Cotton

110th Trench Mortar Battery (joined with Brigade)
Nothing found!

Divisional Troops

14th (Service) Bn , the Northumberland Fusiliers (joined September 1914, became Pioneers January 1915)
Brown disc 1 ¼” diameter, Canvas

13th (Service) Bn, the King's Royal Rifle Corps (joined October 1914, left April 1915)
a Blue 2” square with Coy bar worn on shoulder strap A Coy Red; B Coy blue; C Coy violet; D Coy dark green; Felt
b Blue 2” square with Coy arc above A Coy Red; B Coy blue; C Coy violet; D Coy dark green; Felt

13th (Service) Bn, the Rifle Brigade (joined October 1914, left April 1915)
Dark blue triangle with Coy bar below A Coy Red; B Coy dark blue; C Coy violet; D Coy green; Felt

237th Machine Gun Company (joined 17 July 1917, moved into 21 MGBn 24 February 1918)
237: Dark blue oval, 24: Red crossed guns and crown on white, Embroidered on felt

No 21 Machine Gun Battalion (created 24 February 1918)
Nothing found!

Divisional Mounted Troops

A Squadron , the South Irish Horse (joined January 1915, left May 1916)
Nothing found!

21st Divisional Cyclist Company (formed in February 1915, left 10 May 1916)
Nothing found!


Divisional Artillery

21st Divisional Artillery
2” disc Dark blue left / red

XCIV Brigade, RFA
XCV Brigade, RFA
XCVI Brigade, RFA (broken up 13 January 1917)
XCVII (H) Brigade, RFA (broken up 28-31 August 1916)
21st Heavy Battery, RGA (a Battery of 4 60-lbr guns raised with the Division but moved to XXII Heavy Artillery Brigade on formation)
21st Divisional Ammunition Column
21st Divisional Ammunition Column dark blue left / red diamond
V.21 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA (joined 1 June 1916, transferred to Corps Troops February 1918)
X.21, Y.21 and Z.21 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA (joined by 1-13 March 1916; in February 1918, Z broken up and batteries re-organized to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each)

Engineer Units

85th Field Company (joined Sep 1914, left Jan 1915)

86th Field Company (joined Sep 1914, left Feb 1915)

97th Field Company (joined Jan 1915)
Light blue disc 1  ¼” diameter, Cotton

98th Field Company (joined Jan 1915)
Light blue rectangle 2 ½”X1 ½” sides, Cotton

126th Field Company (joined Mar 1915)
Light blue square 1 ½” sides, Felt

94th Field Company (joined Jan 15)

21st Divisional Signal Company (joined Sep 1914)

Field Ambulances

63rd Field Ambulance (joined Oct 1914)
Maroon disc 1 ½” diameter

64th Field Ambulance (joined Oct 1914)
Dark red rectangle 2 ½”X1 ½”, Felt

65th Field Ambulance (joined Oct 1914)
Maroon Square 2” sides, Felt

21st Divisional Train ASC (182, 183, 184 and 185 Coys ASC joined November 1914)

222nd Divisional Employment Company (joined 30 June 1917)

33rd Mobile Veterinary Section (joined early 1915)

38th Sanitary Section ( left 1 April 1917)

21st Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop (broken up in April 1916)