British units in World War I

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This page is about units mainly recruited in the United Kingdom from British subjects. For units recruited by the British Crown or colonial governments outside the UK, India and the major dominions, see British colonial units in World War I. For example, we class the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, West India Regiment and British West Indies Regiment as colonial, not British, as this seems to agree with the definition in the Manual of Military Law. If you're not sure where to look for a specific unit, use the website search. This can also help you find specific units under variant names.

See how you can help to find out how you can help collect experiences of those in the First World War in their own words.

Here's a list of REGIMENTS and CORPS of the BRITISH ARMY in 1918 (via the Internet Archive as the site appears to have been down for some years).

If you've got a diary, letters or other personal narratives you want to add now:

  • if the page for the author's unit already exists, you can add it straight to the page. See below for which British units do and don't currently have pages.
  • if the page for the author's unit doesn't yet exist, you can create it.
  • if you don't want to create a page or you don't know which unit the author belonged to, you can add the narrative to Lists of personal diaries, letters, memoirs.

See also naming conventions for British units.

British Army

The British Army consisted of land forces raised in the United Kingdom apart from the Royal Marines and the Royal Naval Division. It had these branches:

  • Regular Army
  • New Army
  • Territorial Force
  • Special Reserve
  • Volunteer Force

Most regiments and corps included a mixture of units from each branch.

Every British army unit that has a page on this site should be listed in Category:All British Army units.

See also British Army Hierarchies for more information about the structure of the Army.

Higher formations

These are tactical formations above division level:

  • Category:British corps (tactical) has pages for every corps except and Tank Corps headquarters. These were the next level above divisions.
  • Category:British armies has pages for all the armies on the Western Front and at Salonika and Gallipoli. These were the next level above corps.
  • Category:British Empire GHQs contains expeditionary forces and other formations that had the general headquarters in a theatre of war. Some pages have been added but several theatres are still missing.


Infantry regiments

We now have a page for every infantry regiment of the British Army. The table below shows links to the pages and the regiments' full names. It can be sorted by names or order of precedence. The website search can also help you find specific units under variant names.

Page Name Full Name Precedence
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, British Army Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) 091
Bedfordshire Regiment, British Army Bedfordshire Regiment 016
Black Watch, British Army Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) 042
Border Regiment, British Army Border Regiment 034
Cambridgeshire Regiment, British Army Cambridgeshire Regiment 199 04
Cameron Highlanders, British Army Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders 079
Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), British Army Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 026
Cheshire Regiment, British Army Cheshire Regiment 022
Coldstream Guards, British Army Coldstream Guards 000 02
Connaught Rangers, British Army Connaught Rangers 088
Devonshire Regiment, British Army Devonshire Regiment 011
Dorsetshire Regiment, British Army Dorsetshire Regiment 039
Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, British Army Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 032
Durham Light Infantry, British Army Durham Light Infantry 068
East Kent Regiment, British Army Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 003
East Lancashire Regiment, British Army East Lancashire Regiment 030
East Surrey Regiment, British Army East Surrey Regiment 031
East Yorkshire Regiment, British Army East Yorkshire Regiment 015
Essex Regiment, British Army Essex Regiment 044
Gloucestershire Regiment, British Army Gloucestershire Regiment 028
Gordon Highlanders, British Army Gordon Highlanders 075
Grenadier Guards, British Army Grenadier Guards 000 01
Hampshire Regiment, British Army Hampshire Regiment 037
Herefordshire Regiment, British Army Herefordshire Regiment 199 07
Hertfordshire Regiment, British Army Hertfordshire Regiment 199 06
Highland Cyclist Battalion, British Army Highland Cyclist Battalion 199 09
Highland Light Infantry, British Army Highland Light Infantry 071
Honourable Artillery Company (Infantry), British Army Honourable Artillery Company (Infantry) 199 02
Household Battalion, British Army Household Battalion 000 00
Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion, British Army Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion 199 11
Irish Guards, British Army Irish Guards 000 04
Kent Cyclist Battalion, British Army Kent Cyclist Battalion 199 10
King's Liverpool Regiment, British Army King's (Liverpool Regiment) 008
King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, British Army King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) 004
King's Own Scottish Borderers, British Army King's Own Scottish Borderers 025
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, British Army King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) 051
King's Royal Rifle Corps, British Army King's Royal Rifle Corps 060
King's Shropshire Light Infantry, British Army King's (Shropshire Light Infantry) 053
Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army Lancashire Fusiliers 020
Leicestershire Regiment, British Army Leicestershire Regiment 017
Leinster Regiment, British Army Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) 100
Lincolnshire Regiment, British Army Lincolnshire Regiment 010
London Regiment, British Army London Regiment 199 05
Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, British Army Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 047
Manchester Regiment, British Army Manchester Regiment 063
Middlesex Regiment, British Army Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) 057
Monmouthshire Regiment, British Army Monmouthshire Regiment 199 03
Norfolk Regiment, British Army Norfolk Regiment 009
North Staffordshire Regiment, British Army Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment) 064
Northamptonshire Regiment, British Army Northamptonshire Regiment 048
Northern Cyclist Battalion, British Army Northern Cyclist Battalion 199 08
Northumberland Fusiliers, British Army Northumberland Fusiliers 005
Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, British Army Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry 043
Rifle Brigade, British Army Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 199 01
Royal Berkshire Regiment, British Army Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regiment) 049
Royal Dublin Fusiliers, British Army Royal Dublin Fusiliers 102
Royal Fusiliers, British Army Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) 007
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, British Army Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 027
Royal Irish Fusiliers, British Army Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers) 087
Royal Irish Regiment, British Army Royal Irish Regiment 018
Royal Irish Rifles, British Army Royal Irish Rifles 083
Royal Munster Fusiliers, British Army Royal Munster Fusiliers 101
Royal Scots Fusiliers, British Army Royal Scots Fusiliers 021
Royal Scots, British Army Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) 001
Royal Sussex Regiment, British Army Royal Sussex Regiment 035
Royal Warwickshire Regiment, British Army Royal Warwickshire Regiment 006
Royal Welsh Fusiliers, British Army Royal Welsh Fusiliers 023
Royal West Kent Regiment, British Army Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) 050
Royal West Surrey Regiment, British Army Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) 002
Scots Guards, British Army Scots Guards 000 03
Seaforth Highlanders, British Army Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's) 072
Sherwood Foresters, British Army Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) 045
Somerset Light Infantry, British Army Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry) 013
South Lancashire Regiment, British Army Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) 040
South Staffordshire Regiment, British Army South Staffordshire Regiment 038
South Wales Borderers, British Army South Wales Borderers 024
Suffolk Regiment, British Army Suffolk Regiment 012
Welsh Guards, British Army Welsh Guards 000 05
Welsh Regiment, British Army Welsh Regiment 041
West Riding Regiment, British Army Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) 033
West Yorkshire Regiment, British Army Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) 014
Wiltshire Regiment, British Army Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment) 062
Worcestershire Regiment, British Army Worcestershire Regiment 029
York and Lancaster Regiment, British Army York and Lancaster Regiment 065
Yorkshire Regiment, British Army Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment) 019

Also administratively part of the infantry:

Regiment pages show each regiment's parent record office. Record offices also have their own pages, listed in Category:British Army record offices.

Infantry battalions

'The battalion was the basic tactical unit of the infantry of the British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918. At full establishment it consisted of 1,007 men of whom 30 were officers. It comprised a Battalion Headquarters and four Companies.'[1]

We now have pages for nearly every British infantry battalion known to have existed. There might be some provisional battalions and Royal Defence Corps battalions missing: these will need to be added manually if any can be identified.

We don't yet have any information about Royal Defence Corps protection companies.

See also #Volunteer Training Corps below.

There are too many battalions to list on this page (already more than 1,700), but there are several ways you can find them:

The regiment pages shown in the table above should list all battalions known to have been part of a regiment.

The following categories list British infantry battalions:

  • Category:British infantry battalions: all British infantry battalions that have pages, listed alphabetically by regiment, then in order of battalion numbers. Includes Army, Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
    • Also has sub-categories listing certain battalions by uniform distinctions and special roles, but these are not yet complete.
  • Category:British Army infantry battalions by regimental precedence: British Army infantry battalions only, listed in order of regimental precedence as shown in the above table, then in order of battalion numbers.

You can also use the search box to find battalions that already have pages. You don't always have to enter the name exactly as it appears in the page title: alternative names will often show up as redirects or part of the page text.

Infantry brigades

We now have a page for nearly every British infantry brigade that has war diaries. These pages are listed in Category:British infantry brigades.

Please feel free to add any missing brigades.

Infantry divisions

We now have pages for every British infantry division, including the divisions of the original Fourth New Army that were broken up in April 1915. These pages are listed in Category:British divisions.


We now have pages for more or less every British cavalry and yeomanry unit. You can find them in Category:British mounted units and its sub-categories.

Cavalry administrative units

These are the administrative corps and record offices of the British cavalry, including regular, yeomanry and Special Reserve regiments:

Cavalry divisions and corps

Cavalry brigades

See Category:British cavalry and mounted brigades for regular cavalry and yeomanry mounted brigades.

Cavalry and yeomanry regiments

Cavalry and yeomanry (ie Territorial cavalry) regiments and independent squadrons are listed in these categories:


Imperial Camel Corps

Machine Gun Units

We now have pages for all British machine gun units that have war diaries. Any that don't have war diaries will need to be added manually.

Most units belonged to Machine Gun Corps, British Army, consisting of:

The Guards had their own machine gun units which were administratively separate from the Machine Gun Corps:


Royal Artillery, British Army was an arm of the British Army, divided into two corps:

The basic unit of the Royal Field Artillery was the brigade, which was roughly equivalent to an infantry battalion.

We now have pages for every Royal Horse Artillery unit that has war diaries. These are listed in Category:British horse artillery units.


See Category:British cyclist battalions and Category:British cyclist companies for cyclist units.

Most of these were administratively under Army Cyclist Corps, British Army but there are some exceptions. The following independent units were also classed as infantry regiments:

The Territorial battalions of some county infantry regiments were equipped as cyclists. All of these battalions have pages and are categorised as cyclist battalions as well as infantry battalions.

Some yeomanry cavalry regiments were converted into cyclists. We haven't yet catalogued these changes but all yeomanry regiments have pages.

Other regiments, corps and departments

This is a list of other regiments, corps and departments of the British Army.

Women's departments

Officer Cadet Battalions

These battalions were set up to train new officers. They all have pages, listed in Category:British officer cadet battalions.

Volunteer Training Corps and Volunteer Force

Home defence units similar to the Home Guard in WW2. Initially known as the Volunteer Training Corps and not officially part of the British Army, although regulated by the War Office. In June 1916, the British Crown declared that volunteer units could be accepted under the terms of the 1863 Volunteer Act, which had never been repealed but had not been used in practice since the old Volunteer Force was converted into the Territorial Force in 1908. From then on, volunteer units accepted by the Crown were part of the Volunteer Force and their names were listed in the official Army Orders when they were accepted.[1] In 1918, Volunteer battalions were integrated into British Army regiments. We're not yet sure how far they were administratively integrated, but at the very least they took the name and badge of the parent regiment.

For the purposes of data on this site, "Volunteer Force" is treated as a branch of the British Army, covering units from the date they were accepted by the Crown. "Volunteer Training Corps" is treated as a separate service, covering the same units before they were accepted by the Crown, and units that were never accepted into the Volunteer Force, if any can be identified.

Infantry units accepted by the Crown in 1916 are listed in Army Orders 206, 284, 323 and 374 of 1916. A few more are shown in Army Order 110 of 1918. New names and affiliations given in 1918 are shown in Army Order 208 of 1918.

For more information see:

Royal Navy


  • Regular Navy
  • Royal Naval Reserve
  • Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Also included the Royal Naval Air Service, which operated aircraft and armoured cars.

Royal Navy infantry

These infantry units and formations were raised by the Royal Navy but fought on land under Army command.

Royal Marines

RMLI units that were not part of the Royal Naval Division will need to be added manually if any can be identified.

Royal Air Force

Formed in April 1918 from the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and Royal Naval Air Service (part of the Royal Navy).

Other organisations

We need more information about the legal and administrative status of some of these organisations in relation to the British Army.

Women's organisations

See also women's departments of the British Army above.

  • Units started to be recognised on 17 June 1916, Army Order number 203 (1916)