Formation patch 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division (canvas)

printed rose on red square on canvas

€ 15,00

The war-time deployment of the Territorial Army envisioned it being deployed piecemeal, to reinforce the regular army that had already been deployed to the European mainland, as equipment became available. The plan envisioned the deployment of the whole force in waves, as divisions completed their training, with the final divisions not being deployed until a year had elapsed from the outbreak of war. As a result, the division did not leave the United Kingdom as the British Expeditionary Force was evacuated from France during May and June 1940.

As soon as the troops returned from France, the British Army began implementing lessons learned from the campaign and re-organizing formations. As part of this, the army's five motor divisions (made up of two brigades) were to be reformed as regular infantry divisions (made up of three brigades). As a result, the 66th Infantry Division was disbanded on 23 June, and its 199th Infantry Brigade was assigned to the 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division.

In October 1941, the division was no longer an operation formation to be sent overseas and, in January 1942, was placed on a Lower Establishment but did not become a training division as many others did. In December 1943 it was sent to Northern Ireland and came under command of British Troops Northern Ireland. In May 1944, shortly before the Allies invaded Normandy, the division was again raised to a Higher Establishment and returned to the mainland in July.

On 4 September 1939, the day after war was declared, the 55th (West Lancashire) Division was split up to form the 55th and 59th (Staffordshire) Division. The 59th Division received the 176th (ex 166th) and 177th brigades along with the 61st and 116th Field regiments and the 6th Battalion, Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire). All other units remained with the 55th Division.

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