'An Inauspicious beginning – The early trials and tribulations of 59th (2nd North Midland) Division' with Bill Mitchinson
15 Jun

The 59th (2nd North Midland) Division was an infantry division of the British Army during World War I. It was formed in late 1914/early 1915 as a 2nd Line Territorial Force formation raised as a duplicate of the 46th (North Midland) Division. After training in the United Kingdom and saw service in the Easter Rising in April 1916, the division joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front in early 1917. It saw action at Ypres and Cambrai, and was almost destroyed during the German Army's Spring Offensive in March 1918. The reconstituted division took part in the final advances of the war.

The talk will relate some of the unfortunate early experiences of the 2nd North Midland and suggest reasons how and why it was in its first 12 months overseas considered a less than reliable division.

Featured image: The German Spring Offensive, March-July 1918 King George V and General Henry Horne Horne, the Commander of the 1st Army, inspecting the 2/6th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment (59th Division) at Gauchin, 30th March 1918. Brigadier General T. G. Cope, the Commander of the 76th Brigade, and General Cecil Romer, the Commander of the 59th Division accompany them.


The Methodist Church Centre South Parade, Sutton Coldfield B72 1QY
15 Jun 2024 14:00