British Infantry Battalion, 1914–1918

British Infantry Battalion, 1914–1918

The British infantry battalion consisted of a battalion headquarters, four infantry companies, a machine gun section, and a base depot detachment, which remained in garrison when the battalion deployed for active duty. The infantry companies were designated A through D in Regular Battalions, or 1 through 4 in Guards Battalions. The nominal battalion strength was over 1000 men, but actual field strength might drop as low as 200 men.

1914 Infantry Battalion

  • Battalion Headquarters
    • Lieutenant-Colonel (Battalion Commander)
    • Major (Second-in-Command)
    • Captain or Lieutenant (Adjutant)
    • Captain or Lieutenant (Quartermaster)
    • Royal Army Medical Corps
      • Officer
      • Corporal
      • 4 RAMC Privates
    • Regimental Sergeant-Major (RSM)
    • Quartermaster Sergeant
    • Drummer (Sergeant)
    • Cook (Sergeant)
    • Pioneers
      • Sergeant
      • 10 Privates
    • Shoemaker (Sergeant)
    • Transport (horse-drawn)
      • Sergeant
      • 11 Privates
      • 13 riding horse
      • 43 draught and pack horses.
      • 6 ammunition carts
      • 2 water carts
      • 3 General Service Wagons (tools and machine guns)
      • Medical Officer’s Maltese Cart
    • Signallers
      • Sergeant
      • Corporal
      • 15 Privates
      • 9 bicycles
    • Armourer (Sergeant)
    • Orderly Room Clerk (Sergeant)
    • 6 Officer’s Batmen
    • 2 Medical Orderlies
    • 16 Stretcher-bearers
  • A Company
    • Company Headquarters
      • Major or Captain (Company Commander)
      • Captain (Second-in-Command)
      • Company Sergeant-Major (CSM)
      • Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS)
      • 2 Officer’s Batmen
      • 3 Drivers
    • 1st Platoon
      • Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant
      • Batman
      • Drummer
      • 1st Section, NCO and 12 men
      • 2nd Section, NCO and 12 men
      • 3rd Section, NCO and 12 men
      • 4th Section, NCO and 12 men
    • 2nd Platoon, same as above
    • 3rd Platoon, same as above
    • 4th Platoon, same as above
  • B Company, same as above
  • C Company, same as above
  • D Company, same as above
  • Machine Gun Section
    • Lieutenant
    • Sergeant
    • Corporal
    • Batman
    • 2 Drivers
    • 12 Privates
    • 2 Vickers machine guns
  • Base Depot Detachment
    • Subaltern
    • 2 Sergeants
    • 91 Privates
    • 4 Storemen
    • Band Sergeant
    • Sergeant Master Tailor
    • Bandmaster
    • Sergeant-Instructor of Musketry

In 1914, the infantry battalion had only two six-man machine gun teams operating two Vickers Heavy Machine Guns to support the riflemen. This number was doubled in Februar 1915.

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