46th (North Midland) Division Memorial, Vermelles

The 46th (North Midland) Division was a Territorial formation recruited from the North Midland area prior to the Great War. It crossed to France in February 1915, and served in the Ypres Salient, occupying positions below the Messines Ridge. It then moved down to Loos to take part in the fighting for the Hohenzollern Redoubt  in October 1915. Commanded by Major General Montague Stuart-Wortley, it's principal Order of Battle at this time was:

46th (North Midland) Division

137th (Staffordshire) Brigade

1/5th Bn South Staffordshire Regt. 
1/6th Bn South Staffordshire Regt. 
1/5th Bn North Staffordshire Regt.
1/6th Bn North Staffordshire Regt. 

138th (Lincolnshire & Leicestershire) Brigade

1/4th Bn Lincolnshire Regt. 
1/5th Bn Lincolnshire Regt. 
1/4th Bn Leicestershire Regt. 
1/5th Bn Leicestershire Regt. 

139th (Notts & Derby) Brigade

1/5th Bn Sherwood Foresters. 
1/6th Bn Sherwood Foresters.  
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters.  
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters. 

The attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt took place on 13th October 1915. This strong position proved impossible to capture, and casualties in the Division were heavy. Total losses 13th-15th October 1915 were 180 Officers and 3,583 Other Ranks killed, wounded and missing. The Division would go on to suffer even heavier casualties at Gommecourt on the Somme, on 1st July 1916, but the battle for the Hohenzollern Redoubt wiped out the original composition of the division and largely destroyed its 'local' character.

After the war the Old Comrades Association of the Division erected the memorial here to commemorate the fearful losses of 1915.

ŠPaul Reed 2005

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