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29th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)

The 29th Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade unit of the British Army. It was originally raised in 1914 and saw service during the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.

29th Infantry Brigade
29th Infantry Brigade Formation Patch.svg
29th Infantry Brigade insignia.
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Nickname(s)"Frozen Arsehole"
EngagementsFirst World War

Second World War

Korean War

Sir Oliver Leese, 3rd Baronet
Sir Francis Festing

First World WarEdit

The 29th Brigade was formed in August 1914 as part of the 10th (Irish) Division, of the first wave of Kitchener's Army (K1). The division and brigade transferred to Lemnos in July 1915 in preparation for the Gallipoli landings. The 29th Infantry Brigade landed at Anzac Cove on August 6/7 of the same year, participating in the Battle of Chunuk Bair. The 10th (Irish) Division was withdrawn from Gallipoli to Salonika at the end of September 1915, elements of the division participating in actions at Karajakois, Yenikoi and Kosturino. In early September 1917, the Division was withdrawn to Egypt and took part in the Palestine Campaign where it fought in the third Battle of Gaza. The division moved back to Cairo at the end of the war.

Second World WarEdit

In the Second World War, the Cairo Brigade (a Regular Army force stationed in Egypt) was renamed as the 29th Infantry Brigade on 20 September 1939. In October 1939, it was redesignated as the 22nd Infantry Brigade. On 14 July 1940, a new 29th Independent Infantry Brigade Group, under the command of Brigadier Oliver Leese, was formed in the United Kingdom from Regular Army infantry battalions. It was successively under command of XII Corps, the West Sussex County Division, IV Corps and South Eastern Command before passing to War Office Control in May 1941.

Troops rushing ashore from a landing craft during combined operations training by 29th Infantry Brigade Group at Loch Fyne, Argyllshire.

The brigade, under the command of Brigadier Frank Festing, led the invasion of Madagascar by Force 121 on 5 May 1942. It left Madagascar for two weeks in East Africa in late August 1942 and finally departed on 16 October 1942 for South Africa. After two months, the brigade departed for India, arriving on 26 January 1943, and came under the command of Frank Festing's 36th Indian Infantry Division, where it was trained in amphibious assault operations. It entered Burma on 12 February 1944.[1]

Men of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers use paddy fields for cover as they approach Japanese positions around Pinbaw, 1944.

It remained in 36 Division, which was redesignated as the British 36th Infantry Division on 1 September 1944, for the rest of the Burma Campaign, returning to India in June 1944 before flying into North Burma in August 1944 and advancing south to Mandalay. Throughout its time in the 36th Division, it was commanded by Brigadier Hugh Stockwell. The 29th Brigade returned to India in May 1945.

Officially recognised battles:[2]

  • North Arakan 1 January – 12 June 1944
  • Mandalay 12/13 February – 21 March 1945
  • Rangoon Road 1 April – 6 May 1945

Korean WarEdit

Tanks and infantry of the 29th Brigade advancing to attack Hill 327, March 1951.

The 29th Brigade was back in existence by 1949, and then was re-mustered after the outbreak of the Korean War as 29th Independent Infantry Brigade to reinforce the United Nations war effort. When it arrived in Korea, in December 1950, it comprised the 1st Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, 1st Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment, 1st Battalion, the Royal Ulster Rifles, 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, C Squadron, 7th Royal Tank Regiment (specialised armour), 45 Field Regiment RA, 11 LAA Battery RA, and 170 Mortar Battery RA, plus supporting units. It also incorporated elements from non-British forces, including the Belgian United Nations Command.

The brigade saw action during the third Battle for Seoul in late December 1950 and the Chinese Spring Offensive (the Battle of the Imjin River) in April 1951. In July 1951, it was re-organized as 29th British Infantry Brigade and absorbed into the 1st Commonwealth Division, the brigade finished its tour of duty in November 1951.[3]

Component unitsEdit

  • 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers
  • 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment
  • 2nd Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers
  • 2nd Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment (only till April 16, 1944)
  • 29th Independent Brigade Group Anti-tank Company (1 September 1940 – 18 January 1941)
  • 204th (Oban) Anti-tank Battery, Royal Artillery (16 July 1940 – 5 May 1941)
  • 17th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (16 July 1940 – 5 May 1941)
  • "E" Company, 5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Machine Guns) 16 August 1940 – 11 June 1941)
  • 29th Independent Brigade Group Machine Gun Company Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (12 June 1941 – 31 October 1941)
  • 29th Independent Brigade Group Reconnaissance Company (19 January 1941 – 5 May 1941)
  • 29th Independent Brigade Group Machine Gun Company Royal Northumberland Fusiliers (19 January 1941 – 5 May 1941)
  • "B" SS Squadron Royal Armoured Corps (20 August 1942 – 1 June 1943)
  • 455th Independent Light Battery, Royal Artillery (20 August 1942 – 1 June 1943)
  • "D" Company, 2nd Manchester Regiment (Machine Guns) 17 October 1943 – 16 June 1944)
  • 236th Field Company, Royal Engineers (16 July 1940 – 25 January 1943)
  • 29th Independent Brigade Group Company, Royal Army Service Corps 1 August 1940 – 5 May 1941)
  • 154th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps (16 July 1940 – 25 January 1943)
  • 29th Independent Brigade Group Workshop, Royal Army Ordnance Corps (27 April 1940 – 10 July 1941)
  • 29th Independent Brigade Group Ordnance Field Park, Royal Army Ordnance Corps (29 April 1940 – 5 May 1941)
  • 29th Independent Brigade Group Provost Section, Royal Military Police (18 July 1940 – 15 January 1943)
From May–Aug 1945
From Nov 1950 – July 1951
  • As 29th Independent Infantry Brigade
From July–Nov 1951
From Nov 51 – Nov 52
from Nov 52 – July 53


World War II

Korean War


  1. ^ Joslen Vol 1 pg 276-7
  2. ^ Joslen Vol 1 pg 277
  3. ^ Boose, Donald (2014). "The Ashgate Research Companion to the Korean War". Routledge. p. 445. ISBN 978-1409439288.


  • Farrar-Hockley, Anthony (1990). The British Part in the Korean War Vol I & II. HMSO. ISBN 978-0-11-630958-7.
  • Foster, Geoffry (1946). 36th Division – North Burma – 1944–45. Privately published. OCLC 20762802.
  • Joslen, H.F. (1960). Orders of Battle, Volume 1: United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War 1939–1945. London: HMSO.

External linksEdit