Thursday, 4 February 2010

A Short History of 3 Infantry Brigade

During the 19th Century, divisional and brigade organisation in the British Army existed only at times of actual operations overseas. In the Peninsula War the numbers of brigades within a division varied and were often known only by their commanders' names. In the campaigns of the later 19th Century, there were normally only two brigades allocated to the divisions formed for each specific expedition. The addition of a third infantry brigade to enlarge divisions engaged on operations was a temporary measure and the brigade would then be disbanded or merged. It was only due to operational requirement that a third infantry brigade was used and this function has followed the brigade throughout its history.

Although it is possible to trace the existence of a third infantry brigade in the Peninsula war and at Waterloo, it was not until the official formation in 1857 that 3 Infantry Brigade gained its name. Following its official formation in Aldershot there were only two occasions, prior to the Army reorganisation of 1904, when a third infantry brigade was required for operational reasons. The first was during the Egyptian Campaign of 1882 and the second was the initial stages of the Boer War. The reforms of Haldane after the Boer War consolidated the 3rd Infantry Brigade as a permanent regular formation. 3 Infantry Brigade served on the Western Front throughout the First World War and in North Africa and Italy as part of the First Division during the Second Ward War. After 1945 the Brigade served in Palestine, Cyprus and Egypt until it was disbanded in 1962.

The Brigade has been reformed on two occasions since 1962. On both occasions 3 Infantry Brigade was formed to fulfil an operational role in Northern Ireland. From 1971 to 1981 and then 1988 until 2004 the brigade was responsible for the south of Northern Ireland including the South Armagh area, notoriously known as bandit country.

During its time in Northern Ireland the Brigade has borne the brunt of numerous terrorist campaigns always striving to maintain security and allowing the return to normality in Northern Ireland. It stands as a testament to all those from 3 Infantry Brigade who have served, and particularly to those who gave their lives, that the Brigade is now to be disbanded as part of the ongoing normalisation of Northern Ireland.

click to enlarge map

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

A Short History of the Kitchen Hill Factory

The factory was built in 1958 for Pinehurst Textiles the British Army took it over in early 1971 and the following Brigade Headquarters have served there with their supporting Royal Signals Squadrons known as the "Knicker Factory" to those who served there
09 Feb 71 to 04 Jun 71 – 16 Parachute Brigade HQ & 216 Signal Squadron
04 Jun 71 to 26 Oct 71 – 19 Airportable Brigade HQ & Signal Squadron
25 Oct 71 to 25 Feb 72 – 5 Airportable Brigade HQ & Signal Squadron
25 Feb 72 to Jan 76 – 3 Infantry Brigade HQ & Signal Squadron
then moved to Mahon Road Camp – Portadown

In addition units in the infantry role and bomb disposal teams served at Kitchen Hill until 1980
Elements of 1 Parachute Logistic Regiment RCT – 09 Feb 71 to 04 Jun 71
3 Section 321 EOD Company RAOC – 1971 to 1980
8 Field Squadron 22 Engineer Regiment – Oct 71 to Nov 71

? Company 1 Battalion Staffordshire Regiment – Sep 72 to Jan 73
? Squadron 3 Royal Tank Regiment – Jan 73 to May 73
4 Field Squadron 21 Engineer Regiment – Dec 74 to Apr 75
56 Battery 27 Field Regiment Royal Artillery – Apr 75 to Aug 75
? Battery 26 Field Regiment Royal Artillery – Aug 75 to Dec 75

? Battery 2 Field Regiment Royal Artillery – Mar 77 to Jul 77
21 Battery 27 Field Regiment Royal Artillery – Aug 77 to Nov 77

? Battery 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery – Mar 78 to Jul 78
5 Field Squadron and TAC HQ 3 Armoured Division Engineer Regiment – Jul 78 to Nov 78
F Battery 22 Air Defence Regiment Royal Artillery – Nov 78 to Mar 79
7 Field Squadron 1 Armoured Division Engineer Regiment – Mar 79 to Jul 79
52 Battery 45 Field Regiment Royal Artillery – Jul 79 to Nov 79
RHQ + 58 (Eyres) Battery 22 Air Defence Regiment Royal Artillery – Nov 79 to Mar 80
64 Amphibious Engineer Squadron 28 Amphibious Engineer Regiment Mar 80 to Jul 80