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6th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)

The 6th Infantry Brigade was a regular infantry brigade of the British Army that was in existence during the Second Boer War, the First World War and the Second World War and later formed part of British Army of the Rhine.

6th Brigade
6th Infantry Brigade
6th Infantry Brigade Cloth Badge.JPG
Post World War 2 badge of 6th Infantry Brigade
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
RoleInfantry Brigade
Garrison/HQSan Sebastian Barracks, Soest
EngagementsSecond Boer War
World War I
World War II
William Bartholomew



Second Boer WarEdit

The brigade was a part of the Natal Field Force under the command of Major General Sir Geoffrey Barton.[1] It was composed as follows;

Following the end of the Boer war in 1902 the army was restructured, and a 3rd Infantry division was established permanently at Bordon as part of the 1st Army Corps, comprising the 5th and 6th Infantry Brigades.[2][3]

World War IEdit

The brigade was part of 2nd Division. The brigade commanded the following units in the First World War:[4]

The following battalions were part of the brigade during 1915.

  • 1st Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment (August 1914 to December 1915)
  • 1/5th Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment) (February 1915 to December 1915)
  • 1/7th Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment) (March 1915 to September 1915)
  • 1/1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment (August 1915 to June 1916)

The 17th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers joined the brigade from the 5th Brigade in February 1918.

World War IIEdit

Men of the 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers practise firing their Boys anti-tank rifles on the beach near Etaples, France, 6 February 1940.

At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 the 6th Infantry Brigade was, as in the last war, part of the 2nd Infantry Division, although with a very different composition. In October the brigade, under the command of Brigadier Noel Irwin, moved with the rest of the division to France to become part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The brigade was involved in the short Battle of France fighting at the Battles of The Dyle, St Omer-La Bassée and the retreat to and evacuation from Dunkirk in May–June 1940. With the invasion of Burma by the Imperial Japanese Army in early 1942 the brigade was shipped out to India with the 2nd Division where it would remain for the rest of the war, fighting in the Burma Campaign. It fought in the Arakan and at Kohima and Mandalay.

Order of battleEdit

The brigade was composed as follows;[5]

While an Independent Brigade Group fighting in the Arakan between 1 November 1942 and 2 June 1943, the following additional units were attached:[6]

Post World War IIEdit

The brigade was reformed from 153rd Infantry Brigade in 1947[7] and then formed part of British Army of the Rhine being based at St Sebastian Barracks in Soest in 1952.[8]

During the 1970s, the brigade was one of two "square" brigades assigned to 3rd Armoured Division.[9] After being briefly converted to "Task Force Foxtrot" in the late 1970s,[10] the brigade was reinstated in 1981, assigned to 3rd Armoured Division[11] and was then was reformed as an airmobile brigade at Salamanca Barracks in Soest from 1986 to 1988 and then reformed again as an armoured brigade from 1988 to 1992.[12]


  1. ^ Army of Natal,
  2. ^ Rinaldi, p. 31
  3. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence - The 1st Army Corps". The Times (36892). London. 7 October 1902. p. 8.
  4. ^ Baker, Chris. "The 2nd Division in 1914-1918". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  5. ^ Joslen p240
  6. ^ Joslen, p. 240
  7. ^ "Shiel Barracks". BAOR locations. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  8. ^ "St Sebastian Barracks". BAOR Locations. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  9. ^ Watson, Graham (2005). "The British Army in Germany: An Organisational History 1947-2004". Tiger Lily. p. 95.
  10. ^ Lord, p. 83
  11. ^ Black, Harvey. "The Cold War Years. A Hot War in reality. Part 6".
  12. ^ "Salamanca Barracks". BAOR Locations. Retrieved 31 October 2015.


External linksEdit