The Divisional HQ was formed 2 October 1939 in the UK. Though only partially trained and very ill-equipped, units of the division, including the 2/5th Sherwood Foresters, fought in France in 1940 with the British Expeditionary Force and were subsequently evacuated at Dunkirk.

16 DLI were assigned to the Division in late 1940, replacing the 9th Sherwood Foresters. 137 Brigade (2/5th West Yorkshire Regt, 2/5th DWR, 2/7th DWR) were replaced by 128 Brigade in Sept 1942.

The nominal strength of an infantry division in 1942 was around 17,500 officers and men The Division's Commander in North Africa was Major General H A Freeman-Attwood. The main components of the 46th Division on Embarkation to North Africa in December 1942 were:

128 Infantry Brigade

lst/4th Bn The Hampshire Regiment
2nd/4th Bn The Hampshire Regiment (later redesignated the 2nd)
5th Bn The Hampshire Regiment

138 Infantry Brigade

6th Bn The Lincolnshire Regiment
2nd/4th Bn The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
6th Bn The York & Lancaster Regiment

139 Infantry Brigade

2nd/5th Bn The Leicestershire Regiment
2nd/5th Bn The Sherwood Foresters (later redesignated the 5th)
16th Bn The Durham Light Infantry

46th Reconnaissance Regiment

Plus: 2/7th Bn The Middlesex Regiment (a machine gun battalion, equipped with Vickers MMGs), replaced by the 2nd Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, May 1943, which was in turn replaced by the 9th Bn Manchester Regt in May 1944.

Royal Artillery

70th Field Regiment
71st Field Regiment
172nd Field Regiment
58th Anti-Tank Regiment
115th Light Anti-Aircraft

Royal Engineers

270th Field Company
271st Field Company
272nd Field Company
273rd Field Park Company


520 Coy (Inf Bde)
519 Coy (Inf Bde)
570 Coy (Inf Bde)
521 Coy (Inf Div Trps)


183 Field Ambulance
184 Field Ambulance
185 Field Ambulance
15th Field Hygiene Section


128 Inf Bde Workshops
138 Inf Bde Workshops
139 Inf Bde Workshops
46 Div Light Aid Detachments
46 Light Recovery Section
46 Infantry Troops Workshop


46 Division Ordinance Field Park
60 Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit


46th Divisional Signals


46th Divisional Provost Company

NEXT: Chain of Command: Battalion, Brigade, Divison.

16 DLI Concise History Index Page.

46th Infantry Division Component Units
46th Division Shoulder Flash

ĎA Sherwood Forest Oak set on a black square. The tree had a brown trunk and green foliage and was edged with a narrow white border. The Oak being an emblem of strength and reliability.í

Described as such in a wartime First Army publication, the recognition badge of the 46th Infantry Division was worn on each shoulder of the soldierís battledress. The example illustrated above, which is also featured on the website homepage, was given to me by my fatherís C Company, 16 DLI platoon mate Les Bernard, of Scarborough.