42nd Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)

The 42nd Infantry Brigade, also known as 42 (North West) Brigade, was a brigade of the British Army.

42nd Brigade
42 Infantry Brigade
Insignia of 42 (North West) Brigade.
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
TypeRegular and Territorial Army
Part of1st (United Kingdom) Division
Garrison/HQFulwood Barracks, Preston
EngagementsSecond Boer War
First World War
Second World War


The brigade first saw action during the Second Boer War.[1]

The brigade was reformed in August 1914 during World War I as the 42nd Brigade, raised from the first wave of men volunteering for Kitchener's Army. The 42nd Brigade was a component formation of the 14th (Light) Division and originally consisted of light infantry regiments but, as the war progressed and casualties mounted, the brigades' original battalions were replaced by non-light infantry regiments.[2]

Order of battle World War I

The brigade was re-formed during World War II as a security force to protect lines of communication in North Africa. In November 1943, the brigade HQ was redesignated as the HQ of the 57th Infantry Division for deception purposes.[3] The brigade was disbanded in July 1944.[4]

Order of battle World War II

Post war

Headquarters 42 (North West) Brigade was reformed at Fulwood Barracks in 1982, so perpetuating the memory of the 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division, and became the regional military headquarters for North West England.[5]

Structure in 1989:[6]

Under Army 2020, it was renamed 42nd Infantry Brigade and became the Regional Point of Command for the British Army in the region of North West England and the Isle of Man.[7] Its headquarters were situated at Fulwood Barracks in Preston. Units included:[7]

  • 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment in Weeton (rotates to British Forces Cyprus)
  • 2nd Battalion, Mercian Regiment in Chester
  • 4th Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment in Preston (Army Reserve - paired with 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment)
  • 4th Battalion, Mercian Regiment in Wolverhampton (Army Reserve - paired with 2nd Battalion, Mercian Regiment)

The brigade was removed from the British Army Order of Battle in January 2017. The brigade was reduced and became Headquarters North West, now part of Regional Command.[8][9]


  1. "42nd (North West) Brigade : history". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  2. Baker, Chris. "The Long Long Trail". Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  3. Joslen, pp. 92, 287, 354.
  4. Joslen, p. 287
  5. "Fulwood Barracks". Lancashire Infantry Museum. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  6. "BOAR 1989" (PDF).
  7. "Army 2020 Report" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  8. "1st United Kingdom Division". British Army. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  9. "Army Commands" (PDF). Retrieved 31 March 2018.


  • Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military, 2003, ISBN 1843424746.

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