The 1st Armoured Division was a regular division in the British Army at the outbreak of World War II. It had formerly been designated The Mobile Division. It first saw service in incomplete form under the second British Expeditionary Force sent to France in 1940. It landed in France on 14 April 1940 and was evacuated on 16 June, having served south of the River Somme, isolated from the other British formations.
For the rest of 1940 and up until 27 August 1941, the division was stationed in the United Kingdom on anti-invasion duties. It then embarked for Egypt under the command of Major General Herbert Lumsden. Arriving in Egypt on 13 November 1941, it took part in many of the major battles of the later part of the campaign against Rommel including Gazala, Mersa Matruh, 1st El Alamein, 2nd El Alamein, Tebaga Gap, Akarit, El Kourzia and Tunis.
From the end of the Tunisian campaign the division remained in North Africa until May 1944. It then transferred to Italy, fighting one last battle at Coriano in the fighting on the Gothic Line before ceasing to be an operational unit on 28 October. The division was disbanded on 1 January 1945.
Memories of Armoured Division HQ and Signal Regiment
(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)
Armoured Division HQ and Signal Regiment, in 1976
Written by Alan cowlishaw
On exercise there was a sudden requirement to calculate ammo tonnages and I offered my pocket calculator to a certain young Lt who was in a bit of a panic. Unable to work it he flung it at the wall in sheer frustration. Incredulous, I reminded him that it was my own personal property and the look on his face was priceless. Luckily there was no harm done but I do recall that he was known as Golden Bollocks many years before David Beckham came on the scene!