1st Commonwealth Division

The 1st Commonwealth Division was the name given, after July 1951, to Commonwealth land forces in the Korean War.[1] The division was a multinational unit that was part of British Commonwealth Forces Korea, and whilst British and Canadian Army units formed the bulk of the division, Australian infantry, New Zealand artillery and an Indian medical unit were also a part of the division. As with the US "KATUSA" programme, numerous South Korean troops were seconded to the Commonwealth division to make up numbers under a programme known as "KATCOM".

1st Commonwealth Division
Formation patch
Country United Kingdom
 New Zealand
 South Korea
Allegiance United Nations
Part ofUS I Corps
Garrison/HQJamestown Line
EngagementsKorean War
James Cassels
Michael West

The unit was preceded by the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade, which was the initial parent formation of Commonwealth army units in Korea, and which arrived in Korea in August 1950. Its two British Infantry battalions were joined by the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) in September, and by the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), in February 1951. The brigade was subsequently re-constituted as 28th Commonwealth Brigade in April 1951. In November 1950 the brigade was joined by 29th Independent Infantry Brigade, and in May 1951 by 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade.[2] In July 1951 these units were combined to form 1st Commonwealth Division. The Division was made up of 58% British forces, 22% Canadian forces, 14% Australian forces, 5% New Zealander forces, and 1% Indian forces.[3]

The 1st Commonwealth Division was part of the US I Corps, which also included the US 1st Cavalry Division, the US 3rd and 25th Infantry Divisions, and the ROK 1st Division. The division occupied the strategically important sector of front on the Jamestown Line, stretching from the Kimpo peninsula on the Yellow Sea coast to a point east of Kumhwa about 6.3 miles (10.1 km), and just 30 miles (48 km) from the South Korean capital, Seoul.[4]

It was deactivated in 1954 as part of the demobilisation of forces in Korea in the aftermath of the war, being reduced to a Commonwealth Brigade Group, and from May 1956 until its final withdrawal in August 1957 to a Commonwealth Contingent of battalion strength.[5]

1st Commonwealth Division Headquarters Staff

  • Commanding officers
  • Divisional Commander Royal Artillery (CRA)
  • Divisional Commander Royal Engineers (CRE)
    • Colonel ECW Myers, RE
  • Divisional Commander Royal Signals (CRSigs)
    • Lt Col AC Atkinson, Royal Sigs
  • Divisional Commander Royal Army Service Corps (CRASC)
    • Lt Col MGM Crosby, RASC
  • Assistant Director Medical Services (ADMS)
    • Col G Anderton, RAMC
  • Divisional Commander Royal Army Ordnance Corps (CRAOC)
    • Lt Col MR Maclean, RAOC
    • Lt Col GJH Atkinson, RNZAOC
  • Divisional Commander Royal Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (CREME)
    • Lt Col HG Good, REME

Order of battle


  1. Grey 1988, p. 88.
  2. Grey 1988, pp. 68–87.
  3. Grey, Jeffrey (1990). The Commonwealth Armies and the Korean War: An Alliance Study. War, Armed Forces and Society. Manchester University Press. p. 104. ISBN 9780719027703. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  4. Grey 1988, p. 135.
  5. Grey 1988, p. 183.
  6. Rottman, Gordon L (2002). Korean War Order of Battle: United States, United Nations, and Communist Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, 1950–1953. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0275978354.
  7. Dutton, John (2007). Korea 1950-53 Recounting Reme Involvement. Lulu.com. ISBN 0955675308.
  8. Morris, Grant John (2012). Wagons of War: A History of 10 transport Company 1951–2011 (PDF). Massey University. pp. 7–19.
  9. From September 1950 to July 1951 3rd RAR was part of 27th British Commonwealth Brigade
  10. From November 1950 to July 1951,1stRNF was part of 29th Independent Infantry Brigade
  11. From November 1950 to July 1951,1st Glosters was part of 29th Independent Infantry Brigade
  12. From November 1950 to July 1951,1stRUR was part of 29th Independent Infantry Brigade


  • Grey, Jeffrey (1988). The Commonwealth Armies and the Korean War: An Alliance Study. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-2770-5.
  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). Korean War Order of Battle: United States, United Nations, and Communist Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, 1950–1953. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishing. ISBN 9780313013324.
  • Smith, Alan H. (2012). Do Unto Others: Counter Bombardment in Australia's Military Campaigns. Newport: Big Sky Publishing. ISBN 9780987057440.
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