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Far East 1930 - 1947:

British Formations

Only one British formation saw active service in the Malayan campaign of 1941 and 1942. This was the 18 Infantry Division, a second line Territorial Army formation raised in 1939 as a duplicate of the 54 (East Anglia) Infantry Division. However, it comprised first line units, as the 54 Division divided on geographical basis.


British Formations
» 18 Infantry Division (1942)

It was not deployed to France, remaining in the U.K. during 1940. The division left the U.K. on 28 October 1941 under the command of Major General M. G. BECKWITH-SMITH. The Commander Royal Artillery was Brigadier Hubert Coltart SERVAES. The original intention was for the division to be sent to the Middle East, but with the military threat from the Japanese, it was diverted to the Far East. It arrived in India on 27 December 1941.

The divisional headquarters sailed from India on 18 January 1942, originally bound for Burma, but was diverted again, this time to Singapore, where it arrived on 29 January 1942. The divisional headquarters were preceded by the 53 Infantry Brigade, which arrived at Singapore on 13 January 1942. This brigade was deployed in southern Malaya under command of the 8 Australian Infantry Division.

The next convoy arrived on 25 January 1942 with some motor transport and carriers for the division. The rest of the division arrived with the divisional headquarters on 29 January 1942. The division was deployed immediately in Singapore, but was captured on 15 February 1942 when the British and Commonwealth Forces in Singapore surrendered.

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