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United Kingdom 1930 - 1938:

London District

The London District encompassed the County of London and the City of London. It also included the Guard’s Depot at Caterham and Pirbright in Surrey, Windsor (for Regular troops) in Berkshire; and Purfleet, the Rainham Rifle Range and Warley in Essex. The headquarters of the district were located at Horse Guards in London S.W.1. (see picture below). The district was a Major General’s appointment.

The main focus of the district in peacetime was to provide guarding duties for the Royal palaces in the capital and the Tower of London, ceremonial duties associated with the Royal family and state occasions, and to house the Regimental Headquarters of the Guards regiments.

There was, however, a significant Territorial Army presence in London, with the large population of the capital providing several T.A. units.


There was one Regular Army brigade stationed in London. This was the 4 Infantry Brigade, which comprised four (latterly three) Foot Guards battalions. There were usually both the Life Guards and The Blues based in the District and three other Foot Guards battalions.

In addition, there were two Territorial Army formations based within the London District. The 56 (1 London) Division and 47 (2 London) Division. In 1936, a large number of units within the London District were converted into an anti-aircraft role as part of the Air Defence Great Britain. This led directly to the 2 London Division being disbanded. The one remaining formation became known as The London Division.

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