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Name Description #books
Aeronautical
Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment A research facility for British aviation until 1992.1
Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) A British civilian organisation setup during WW2 to transport new, repaired and damaged military aircraft.3
Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment A branch of the British Air Ministry which researched non-traditional applications such as gliders, rotary wing aircraft and parachutes.1
Armstrong Siddeley A British engineering group known for the production of luxury motor cars and aircraft engines.1
Armstrong Whitworth A major British manufacturing company who constructed armaments, ships, locomotives, cars and aircraft.1
Avro A British aircraft manufacturer that was notable for the Avro Lancaster Bomber, one of the preeminent bombers in the Second World War.1
Boulton and Paul Ltd A British general manufacturer from Norwich, England that became involved in aircraft manufacture.2
Bristol Aeroplane Company One of the first British aviation companies who designed both airframes and aero engines. Notible WW2 products were the Beaufort Torpedo Bomber and Beaufighter heavy fighter.1
British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) A British state owned airline created in 1940 by the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd.3
D. Napier and Son Ltd A British engine, automobile and aircraft engine manufacturer. It was noted in WW2 for its Sabre Engine which became one of the worlds most powerful piston aircraft engines and used in the Hawker Typhoon and Tempest.1
De Havilland Aircraft Company Ltd A British aviation manufacturer responsible for some important aircraft including the Moth, Fox Moth and the WW2 Mosquito light bomber.1
Dowty Rotol A British engineering company who specialised in the manufacture of propellers.1
Fairey Aviation Company A British aircraft manufacturer notable for the design of a number of naval military aircraft including the Fairey III, Swordfish, Firefly and Gannet.1
Gloster Aircraft Company A British aircraft manufacturer who produced Britains first test jet aircraft, the E.28/39 and then the Gloster Meteor jet, the only WW2 Allied combat jet aircraft.2
Handley Page Ltd A British aircraft company noted for producing heavy bombers such as the Hampden and Halifax.1
Hawker Aircraft Ltd A British aircraft manufacturer responsible for many WW2 fighters including the Hurricane, Typhoon and Tempest.3
Power Jets Ltd A British company set up by Frank Whittle to design and manufacture jet engines.1
Rolls-Royce Ltd An English car and aero-engine manufacturer who notably produced the Merlin Engine used in many WW2 aeroplanes including the Hurricane, Spitfire, Mosquito, Lancaster, Wellington and Mustang.3
Royal Aircraft Establishment A British research establishment which worked on many things during WW2 including aircraft engine issues.1
Short Brothers An aerospace company which was the first company in the world to make production aircraft. It was noted during WW2 for the Sunderland flying boat patrol bomber and the Stirling 4 engined bomber.1
Vickers Armstrongs A British engineering conglomerate formed by the merger of Vickers Limited and Armstrong Whitworth in 1927.0
Vickers A name in British engineering that existed though many companies until 1999. Supermarine, the builders of the Spitfire were part of this group from 1928.3
Automobiles
Austin Motor Company Ltd An Engish manufacturer of motor vehicles that was merged with Morris Motors Ltd in 1952.1
Governmental
Aeronautical Inspection Directorate A civilian government organisation responsible for inspecting Aeronautical products. The scope of the inspection carried comprised not only aircraft but supplies of many other items such as balloons, hangars, tents, machine tools, raw materials, fabrics and a variety of general equipment.1
Air Ministry A British Government department responsible for managing the affairs of the R.A.F. and existed from 1918 to 1964.8
Air Raid Precautions (ARP) An organisation in the United Kingdom set up as an aid in the prelude to WW2 dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air-raids. It was created in 1924 as a response to the fears about the growing threat from the development of bomber aircraft.5
Ambulance Service This provides immediate care to people with acute illness or injury, and are predominantly provided, free at the point of care, by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.1
Anti-U-boat Warfare Committee A War Cabinet Committee set-up in November 1942 as a series of weekly meetings designed to give the an impulse to the anti U-boat warfare and chaired by the Prime Minister. The Committee met between November 1942 and July 1945.1
Auxiliary Fire Service A part of Civil Defence Air raid precautions first formed in 1938 in Great Britain. Its role was to supplement the work of brigades at local level.2
Board of Trade A committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom that evolved into a government department.3
British Air Commission A UK organisation within the USA created to manage the increased demand for aircraft and aero-engines for the UK. Initially functioning within the 'British Purchasing Commission' framework, it became a separate organisation in Nov 1940, responsible to the 'Ministry of Aircraft Production'.1
British Purchasing Commission A UK organisation of WW2 based in New York City used for arranging the production and purchase of armaments from North American manufacturers. Prior to the 1940 French Surrender it had been known as the 'Anglo-French Purchasing Board'.1
Central Landing Establishment TBD.0
Civil Defence Service A civilian volunteer organisation created by the Home Office in Great Britain and existed from 1935 to 1945. It replaced the exising Air Raid Precautions(ARP) in 1941.2
Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts A government-funded Council appointed in 1940, during WW2 to help promote and maintain British culture and chaired by the President of the Board of Education. Later renamed the Arts Council of Great Britain.1
Emergency Services Organization A sub-division of the Ministry of Aircraft Production set up in order to provide a rapid mechanism for bringing broken factories back to working order.1
Factory and Welfare Advisory Board A body established in 1940 to assist in developing the health, safety and welfare arrangements inside the factory, and the billeting, feeding and welfare arrangements outside the factory in order to help maintaining maximum output. Part of the Factory and Welfare Department of the Ministry of Labour.1
Factory and Welfare Department A department within the Ministry of Labour for the purpose of carrying out duties regarding welfare within factories. 500-600 Welfare Officers dealt locally with welfare outside the factory, and acted in association with Labour Supply Committees.1
Factory Inspectorate A body responsible for checking that factories have adequate health and safety measures in place. The role was first introduced in the United Kingdom with the Factories Act 1833.1
Fire Brigade A single National Fire Service was created in Great Britain in Aug 1941 during the Second World War. The NFS were called to attend the aftermath of bombing raids, often whilst these attacks were still ongoing.3
Foreign Office A United Kingdom government department responsible for protecting and promoting British interests worldwide.1
H.M. Stationery Office HMSO took over as official publisher for both houses of Parliament from Hansard in 1882. Most of its publishing functions were privatised in 1996 as a separate company known as The Stationery Office (TSO), but HMSO continued as a separate part of the Cabinet Office.1
Home Guard A secondary defence organisation of the British Army during WW2 and operational from 1940 until 1944. It was composed of 1.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those too young or too old to join the services.3
Home Office A British government department responsible for immigration, security, and law and order. As such it is responsible for the police, British Visas and Immigration, and the Security Service.1
House of Commons of the United Kingdom The lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which, like the House of Lords (the upper house), meets in the Palace of Westminster6
House of Lords The upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which meets in the Palace of Westminster.1
London Passenger Transport Board The organisation responsible for local public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948. It was set up by the London Passenger Transport Act 1933 enacted on 13 April 1933.1
Ministry of Agriculture A Government Ministry responsible for the production, marketing, processing and merchandising of agricultural products during WW2.1
Ministry of Aircraft Production One of the special supply ministries setup during WW2 and responsible for aircraft production.5
Ministry of Food A department of government formed on 8 Sep 1939, which became the sole buyer and importer of food and regulated prices, guaranteeing farmers prices and markets for their produce.3
Ministry of Health A department of government existing during WW2, created in 1919 through the Ministry of Health Act, consolidating the medical and public health functions of central government.3
Ministry Of Home Security A British government department established in 1939 to direct national civil defence (primarily air-raid defences) during the Second World War.1
Ministry Of Information A United Kingdom government department responsible for publicity and propoganda during the WW2 period from Sep 1939 to Mar 1946.0
Ministry of Labour A British government department established by the New Ministries and Secretaries Act 1916. It later morphed into the Department of Employment. Most of its functions are now performed by the Department for Work and Pensions.3
Ministry of Production A British government department created in February 1942 to fill a gap in the machinery of government between the supply of arms (Ministry of Supply, Ministry of Aircraft Production and Admiralty) and the distribution of labour needed (Ministry of Labour and National Service).1
Ministry of Supply A department of the UK Government formed in 1939 to co-ordinate the supply of equipment to all three British armed forces.3
Ministry of War Transport A department of government formed early in WW2 to control transportation policy and resources. It was formed by merging the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Transport.1
National Arbitration Tribunal A Tribunal created by the Conditions of Employment and National Arbitration Order S.R. & O. 1940/1305 to help settle difficult trade disputes.1
National Maritime Board A board founded in November 1917, governing wages and working practices in the British shipping industry. It brought together representatives of the Shipping Federation, the National Union of Seamen and the National Union of Ship’s Stewards.1
Royal Ordnance Factory The collective name of the UK government’s munitions factories in and after WW2 which were the responsibility of the Ministry of Supply and later the Ministry of Defence.1
Seamen’s Welfare Board An organisation created in 1940 to deal with the welfare of merchant seaman. It took over the role of the existing 'British Council for the Welfare of the Mercantile marine' and was succeeded in 1948 by the 'Merchant Navy Welfare Board'.1
War Office A United Kingdom government department that was responsible for the administration of the Army between the 17th century and 1964 when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence.4
Women’s Auxiliary Services Women’s national service organisations including the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS), Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), Women’s Transport Service, Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) and the Women’s Land Army.1
Women’s Consultative Committee A committee established in 1941 by Ernest Bevin to advise the Ministry of Labour on the recruitment of women into industry during WW2.1
International
Anglo-French Supreme War Council A council (sometimes known as the Supreme War Council) established to oversee joint military strategy at the start of WW2. Most of its efforts were during the Phoney War period, with its first meeting at Abbeville on 12 September 1939 and the final three sessions held in France during May and June 1940.1
British Empire The Empire comprised of the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries.8
Marine
British-India Steam Navigation Company A Merchant shipping company that was one of the largest shipowners of all time. At its height in 1922, it had more than 160 ships in the fleet and had a long history of service to the British and Indian governments through trooping and other military contracts.1
Lloyd’s Register An organisation and maritime classification society, owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering. Historically, as Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, it was a specifically maritime organisation.1
Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment A British military research and test organisation originally formed to design, test and evaluate seaplanes, flying boats and other naval aircraft.1
Merchant Navy The maritime register of the United Kingdom flies the Red Ensign. It was given the title of 'Merchant Navy' following the merchant shipping fleets service in the First World War.14
Media
British Broadcasting Corporation The UK’s public-service broadcaster and is the world’s oldest national broadcasting organisation. Its Worldwide broadcasts formed an important service to WW2 and by 1942 its output had increases to 71 hours a day using 47 languages.6
Daily Express A daily national tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1900 by Sir Arthur Pearson, and was one of the first papers to carry gossip, sports, and women’s features. It was also the first newspaper in Britain to have a crossword.1
Daily Herald A British daily newspaper, published in London from 1912 to 1964. It underwent several changes of management before ceasing publication in 1964, when it was relaunched as The Sun, in its pre-Murdoch form.1
Daily Mail A British daily tabloid newspaper first published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe. It was Britain’s first daily newspaper aimed at the newly-literate market resulting from mass education, combining a low retail price with plenty of competitions, prizes and promotional gimmicks.3
Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) An organisation set up in 1939 by Basil Dean and Leslie Henson to provide entertainment for British armed forces personnel during World War II. Many popular stars performed including Gracie Fields, George Formby, Joyce Grenfell and Vera Lynn.3
Reuters An international news agency and a division of Thomson Reuters since 2008 when the original British Reuters news agency was acquired. The Reuter agency was established in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter in Britain at the London Royal Exchange. He later developed a prototype news service in 1849 in which he used electric telegraphy and carrier pigeons.1
The Daily Telegraph A daily morning English broadsheet newspaper, published in London. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in June 1855 as The Daily Telegraph and Courier.2
The Guardian A British centre-left national daily newspaper which was founded in 1821 as a local paper. It was known as The Manchester Guardian until 1959.1
The Press and Journal (Scotland) A daily regional newspaper established in 1747 serving northern and highland Scotland including the cities of Aberdeen and Inverness. It is Scotland’s oldest daily newspaper and one of the longest-running newspapers in the world.1
The Times A British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register and became The Times in 1788. Between 1941 and 1946, the left-wing British historian E.H. Carr was Assistant Editor and it popularly became known as the threepenny Daily Worker (a left wing paper).1
Medical
St Andrew’s First Aid A first aid charity based in Scotland. Founded in 1882, St Andrew’s was Scotland’s first ambulance service.1
Military - Air Force
Air-Sea Rescue Service Used for the coordinated search and rescue of the survivors of emergency water landings as well as people who have survived the loss of their seagoing vessel. Air-sea rescue operations carried out during war saved valuable trained and experienced airmen.3
Atlantic Ferry organisation 'AtFero'. A civil precursor of the later RAF Ferry Command organisation created for transporting aircraft from USA and Canada. Members in autumn 1940 answered a national call for skilled civil pilots, navigators and engineers.1
Bomber Command This controlled the R.A.F.’s bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris was a notable commander from Feb 1942 to Sep 1945.8
No. 10 Group RAF A group within Fighter Command reformed in Jun 1940 to defend the south-western region of England. It provided support to No. 11 Group by rotating squadrons, providing additional fighter support when needed, and supplying additional pilots.2
No. 10 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that was part of No.4 Group of RAF Bomber Command during the WW2 period when it flew Whitleys and later Halifaxes.1
No. 11 Group RAF A group in the Royal Air Force during the 20th century. Its most famous service was during 1940 when it defended London and the south-east during the Battle of Britain. Group Headquarters was at Hillingdon House within RAF Uxbridge2
No. 12 Group RAF A group of Fighter Command in the Royal Air Force assigned to defend the Midlands, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, North Wales and supporting both 10 Group and 11 Group. It also flew cover for 11 Group airfields.2
No. 120 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron with RAF Coastal Command during the WW2 period when it flew mainly Liberators for maritime patrol operations against the U-Boat threat in the North Atlantic sinking fourteen U-Boats by itself, sharing the sinking of three more and damaging a further eight.1
No. 172 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that was part of 19 Group, Coastal Command and operated as an anti-submarine squadron during WW2 using Wellingtons. It was the first to attack a U-Boat at night using the combination of ASV Radar and the Leigh Light.1
No. 200 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that during WW2 carried out bombing patrols, convoy protection missions in the European theatre and supply missions when with South East Asia Command. It flew Hudsons and Liberators.1
No. 201 Group RAF A General Reconnaissance Group of the Royal Air Force operating in the North African and Middle East theatres during WW2.1
No. 206 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that during WW2 carried out maritime patrolling, attacking German submarines and reconnaissance aircraft and later long range patrols over the Atlantic. It initially flew Ansons and then Hudsons, Fortress’s and Liberators.1
No. 210 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that operated mainly as a maritime patrol squadron during WW2. It initially flew Singapores and Sunderlands but then Catalinas for most of the war.1
No. 224 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that during WW2 carried varied tasks including attacking and sinking U-boats. It initially flew Ansons and Hudsons and then later Liberators.1
No. 228 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron those main role was performing anti-submarine, reconnaissance and air-sea rescue tasks. During the WW2 period it flew mainly Sunderlands.1
No. 257 Squadron RAF A Fighter Squadron of the RAF during WW2 re-formed on 17 May 1940 at RAF Hendon. It flew Hurricanes from RAF Northolt in the Battle of Britain, during which it was part of No. 11 Group RAF. During WW2 it was the Burma gift squadron; the chinte in its logo is a Burmese effigy.1
No. 269 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that operated mainly as a maritime patrol squadron during WW2 carrying out U-boats attacks, reconnaissance, air-sea rescue missions and attacking surface ships. In these roles it used mainly Hudsons, but also Martinets, Walruses and Warwicks.1
No. 500 (County of Kent) Squadron RAAF An AAF Squadron that during WW2 carried out general reconnaissance with RAF Coastal Command and later bombing operations with RAF Bomber Command. It initially flew Ansons, Blenheims, Hudsons and Venturas then later Baltimores.1
No. 502 (Ulster) Squadron RAAF An RAAF squadron those main role was performing anti-submarine patrols as part of Coastal Command. During the WW2 period it flew various aircraft including Ansons, Bothas, Whitleys and Halifaxes.1
No. 53 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that during WW2 carried out night reconnaissance bombing missions with RAF Fighter Command and later anti-submarine and anti-shipping operations with RAF Coastal Command. It initially flew Blenheims and later Hudsons and Whitleys.1
No. 621 Squadron RAF An RAF Squadron that operated from East Africa and the Middle East during WW2 carrying out reconnaissance and air-sea rescue. It flew Wellingtons and Warwicks.1
RAF Advanced Air Striking Force (AASF) A light bomber force formed on August 1939 and dispatched to Rheims in the September in support of France. Initially under B.E.F. control, it was later put under the command of the British Air Forces in France commanded by Air Vice-Marshall Barratt.1
RAF Army Co-operation Command A short-lived major command of the Royal Air Force during World War II, comprising the army cooperation units of the RAF. Its function was to act as the focus for activities connected with the interaction of the British Army and the RAF.2
RAF Coastal Command A formation within the Royal Air Force (RAF). Founded in 1936, it was the RAF’s premier maritime arm, after the Royal Navy’s secondment of the Fleet Air Arm in 1937.13
RAF Ferry Command A Royal Air Force command formed on 20 July 1941 to ferry aircraft from the place of manufacture or other non-operational areas, to the front line operational units. It was subsumed into a new Transport Command on 25 March 1943.2
RAF Fighter Command One of the commands of the Royal Air Force. It was formed in 1936 to allow more specialised control of fighter aircraft. It served throughout the Second World War and earned great fame during the Battle of Britain.7
RAF Flying Training Command An organisation within the Royal Air Force which controlled units responsible for delivering flying training. It was formed from elements of Training Command on 27 May 1940 when Reserve Command was also absorbed into it.2
RAF Transport Command A Royal Air Force command established on 25 March 1943 that controlled all transport aircraft of the RAF.2
Royal Air Force The aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed toward the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world.24
Royal Auxiliary Air Force Originally the Auxiliary Air Force (AAF), is the voluntary reserve element of the Royal Air Force, providing a primary reinforcement capability for the regular service.1
Royal Flying Corps The air arm of the British Army before and during WW1, until it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on 1 April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force.1
Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) The female auxiliary of the Royal Air Force used during WW2.7
Military - Army Brigades
152nd Infantry Brigade An infantry brigade of the British Army that fought during both world wars and was part of the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division. The original Brigade was effectively destroyed when the 51st Division surrendered during the Battle of France at St Valery-en-Caux on 12 June 19401
153rd Infantry Brigade An infantry brigade of the British Army that fought during both world wars and was part of the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division. The original Brigade was effectively destroyed when the 51st Division surrendered during the Battle of France at St Valery-en-Caux on 12 June 1940.1
154th Infantry Brigade An infantry brigade of the British Army that fought during both world wars and was part of the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division. It was detached in June 1940 to form the mobile battlegroup 'Arkforce' and was able to escape from Northern France while it’s sister Brigades (152nd/153rd) were forced to surrender at St Valery-en-Caux.1
1st Armoured Brigade A regular British Army unit formed in September 1939, by the redesignation of the 1st Light Armoured Brigade. It was initially part of the 1st Armoured Division and then as part of the newly formed 2nd Armoured Division and served in the Battle of Greece and the Battle of El Alamein.1
22nd Armoured Brigade A British Army brigade, formed as the 22nd Heavy Armoured Brigade on 3 September 1939 with three Yeomanry (Territorial Army) mechanised cavalry regiments. This formation fought in the Western Desert Campaign, the Italian Campaign through to the campaign in North West Europe.1
30th Infantry Brigade An infantry brigade in the 1st and 2nd world wars. It was hastily sent to Calais to defend the port in May 1940 against a German division.1
32nd Army Tank Brigade An armoured formation of the British Army during World War II. It was formed in Egypt in September 1941. The brigade HQ was sent to Tobruk to take command of all Royal Armoured Corps units stationed there. In June 1942, a composite brigade was formed in Tobruk with surviving elements of the 1st Army Tank Brigade, which surrendered on 22 June after the fall of Tobruk.1
4th Armoured Brigade A brigade formation of the British Army, now known as the 'Black Rats', was formed in 1939 and fought in WW2 in the Western Desert Campaign in North Africa. The Black Rats were subsequently involved in the invasion of Sicily and fighting in Italy before taking part in the Battle of Normandy and the advance through Belgium, Holland and into Germany.1
British 1st Army Tank Brigade A Tank Brigade that took part in the Battle of France, serving as part of the British Expeditionary Force. It covered the Allied retreat to Dunkirk and lost all of its equipment on the beaches following the retreat.1
Military - Army Corps
British 13th Corps A British infantry corps during WW1 and WW2 originally formed in France on 15 November 1915. On 1 January 1941, the Western Desert Force was redesignated 'XIII Corps' Eighth Army, during Operation Compass. The Corps remained part of the Eighth Army throughout the rest of the North African Campaign and in further campaigns.1
British 30th Corps A corps of the British Army during WW2 and part of the Eighth Army. It saw extensive service in North Africa at El Alamein in late 1942 and in Tunisia and Sicily in 1943. It returned to the United Kingdom and later fought again in Normandy, Holland and Germany from June 1944 until May 1945.1
Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) A specialist corps in the British Army which provides medical services to all British Army personnel and their families in war and in peace.1
Royal Army Ordnance Corps A core of the British Army responsible for the supply and repair of such things as weapons, armoured vehicles, ammunition, clothing and other military equipment.3
Royal Army Service Corps A core of the British Army responsible for many different services supporting the Army. It is now known as the Royal Logistics Corps.7
Royal Artillery The artillery arm of the British Army and comprises of a number of regiments.8
Royal Corps of Signals One of the combat support arms of the British Army. Signals units are among the first into action, providing the battlefield communications and information systems essential to all operations.1
Royal Engineers One of the corps of the British Army providing military engineering. It is commonly known as the sappers.7
Royal Military Police The corps of the British Army responsible for the policing of service personnel either in the UK or while service personnel are deployed overseas on operations and exercises.1
Royal Observer Corps A civil defence organisation to provide for the visual detection, identification, tracking and reporting of aircraft over Great Britain.5
Royal Pioneer Corps A British Army combatant corps used for light engineering tasks. It was formed in 1939 and amalgamated into the Royal Logistic Corps in 1993.5
Special Air Service A special forces unit of the British Army founded in 1941 as a regiment, and later reconstituted as a corps in 1950. It undertakes a number of roles including covert reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, direct action and hostage rescue.1
Military - Army Divisions
1st Armoured Division A division of the British Army formed in November 1937 as the Mobile Division. It saw extensive service during WW2 including the Battle of France in 1940, many battles during the North Africa Campaign from Nov 1941 to May 1944 with its last battle at Coriano, Italy before being disbanded on 1 January 1945.2
51st (Highland) Infantry Division An infantry division of the British Army that fought on the Western Front in France during WW1 and was renamed the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division and fought during WW2 as part of the Territorial Army. Its defeat in June 1940 was the end of the Allied resistance during the battle of France.2
52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division An infantry division of the British Army that was originally formed as the Lowland Division and later became the 52nd (Lowland) Division. It first saw action in WW2 in June 1940 where, following the Dunkirk evacuation, it was shipped to France as part of the Second BEF to cover the withdrawal of forces near Cherbourg.1
70th Infantry Division An infantry division of the British Army that fought during the Western Desert Campaign of WW2. It was recreated from the 6th Division on 10 October 1941, in an attempt to deceive Axis intelligence concerning the strength of the British military in the Middle East.1
7th Armoured Division An armoured division of the British Army that saw distinguished service during World War II where its exploits made it famous as the Desert Rats. It fought in most major battles during the North African Campaign and later in the Italian Campaign and across Europe.3
Arkforce An improvised formation of the BEF during the Battle of France in 1940. The units grouped into Arkforce were in the vicinity of Arques-la-Bataille and were to form a defensive line about 19 miles to the east of Le Havre, to allow the 51st Highland Division and the rest of IX Corps to retreat.1
Beauman Division An improvised formation of the BEF during WW2, which fought in Operation Red (Fall Rot) the final German offensive of the Battle of France in June 1940. It was formed on 18 May 1940 by Brigadier Beauman and consisted of Territorial battalions that had been intended to only protect lines of communication and undertake pioneer work.1
Military - Army Regiments
11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own) A cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was established in 1715 as a regiment of dragoons, and served until amalgamated with the 10th Royal Hussars to form the Royal Hussars in 1969. In 1928, it became the first British cavalry regiment to become mechanised.2
12th (Prince of Wales’s) Royal Lancers A cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was amalgamated in 1960 with the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers, to form the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s)1
1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery A regiment of the Royal Horse Artillery in the British Army that were part of 51st (Highland) Infantry Division, and fought at Saint Valery. The Regiment was captured, but some Batteries managed to escape after the Battle of Dunkirk. The Regiment reformed and was deployed to Northern Africa in late 1940.1
3rd The King’s Own Hussars A cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1685. It was amalgamated into The Queen’s Own Hussars in 1958.1
4th Royal Tank Regiment An armoured regiment of the British Army until 1993. It was part of the Royal Tank Regiment, itself part of the Royal Armoured Corps.1
6th Royal Tank Regiment A regiment of the Royal Tank Regiment, of the British Army, until 1959. It originally saw action as 6th Battalion Tank Corps in 1917 and in 1939, it was based in Egypt with the Heavy Armoured Brigade (Egypt), part of the Armoured Division (Egypt).1
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders An infantry regiment of the British Army that was created in 1881 as an amalgamation of the 91st and 93rd Regiments of Foot. It was amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006.3
Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) A Scottish infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 2006. In 2006 the regiment was restructured to be The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.3
Border Regiment A line infantry infantry regiment of the British Army, which was formed by the amalgamation of the 34th (Cumberland) Regiment of Foot and the 55th (Westmorland) Regiment of Foot. They saw action in the BEF in Europe from 1939-1940, in the invasion of Sicily, in Operation Market Garden, in British India, Ceylon and the Burma Campaign.1
British Commandos TBD.0
Coldstream Guards A part of the Guards Division and is the oldest regiment in the Regular Army in continuous active service, originating in Coldstream, Scotland in 1650 when General George Monck founded the regiment.1
Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) A line infantry regiment of the British Army, originally, the 33rd (or First Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment, it was renamed in 1853 the 33rd (or The Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment and later became the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. The 'Dukes' fought with the BEF in 1940 (part of the rearguard at Dunkirk) and also in the North Africa Campaign and Italian Campaigns.1
Gordon Highlanders A line infantry regiment of the British Army that was merged with the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) to form the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons). The Gordon Highlanders took its name from the Clan Gordon and recruited principally from Aberdeen and the North-East of Scotland.1
Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment) An infantry regiment of the British Army. It served under various titles until it was amalgamated with The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire and The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment to form The Yorkshire Regiment on 6 June 2006.2
Highland Light Infantry A light infantry regiment of the British Army formed by the amalgamation of the 71st (Highland) Light Infantry and the 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot. It was affiliated with a Canadian militia regiment called The Highland Light Infantry of Canada.1
King Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) A line infantry regiment of the British Army. It served and fought in many wars and conflicts, including both the First and Second World Wars, from 1680 to 1959. In 1959 the regiment was amalgamated with the Border Regiment to form the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment.1
King’s Own Scottish Borderers A line infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish Division. Were in action at Dunkirk, Normandy, India and the Burma Campaign. One of its heaviest losses during WW2 was at the ill-fated Battle of Arnhem in which the 7th Battalion, suffered 90% casualties.1
King’s Royal Rifle Corps A British Infantry regiment originally raised in North America as the Royal Americans and later ranked as the 60th Foot. It became the 2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets in 1966.3
Kings Dragoon Guards A cavalry regiment in the British Army formed in 1685 as The Queen’s Regiment of Horse. The regiment attained the title 1st King’s Dragoon Guards in 1751 and was mechanised with light tanks in 1937 becoming part of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939.1
Leicestershire Regiment An infantry regiment of the British Army first raised in 1688, becoming the 17th Regiment of Foot in 1751, the 17th (Leicestershire) regiment of Foot in 1782 and the Leicestershire Regiment in 1881. It was amalgamated into The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964.2
Long Range Desert Group A unit of the British Army during WW2 founded in Egypt in June 1940 by Major Ralph A. Bagnold for covert reconnaissance patrols and intelligence missions from behind Italian lines. It never numbered more than 350 men, all of whom were volunteers.2
Lothians and Border Horse A Yeomanry regiment, part of the British Territorial Army which was based in the Scottish Lowland area, recruiting in the Lothians – East Lothian (Haddingtonshire), Midlothian (Edinburghshire), and West Lothian (Linlithgowshire) – and along the border with England, particularly Berwickshire.1
Lovat Scouts A British Army unit formed during the Second Boer War as a Scottish Highland yeomanry regiment of the British Army. It served in WW1 and WW2 and today forms A (The Lovat Scouts) Company within the 2nd Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers.1
Princess Louise Kensington regiment A Territorial Signals Regiment located in Kensington who later became part of the Royal Corps of Signals. The 1st Btn. served during WW2 with the BEF in France, the Sicilian campaign and the Italian front. The 2nd Btn. served in Iceland and saw action from Normandy to Arnhem.1
Queen Victoria’s Rifles The designation of the 9th Battalion the London Regiment, a territorial unit of the British army formed in 1908.2
Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders A line infantry regiment of the British Army formed in 1793. In 1961 the regiment was amalgamated with the Seaforth Highlanders to form the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons).2
Queen’s Royal Regiment A line infantry regiment of the British Army from 1661 to 1959. It was the senior English line infantry regiment of the British Army, behind only the Royal Scots in order of precedence.1
Rifle Brigade An infantry rifle regiment of the British Army formed in Jan 1800 and the first regiment to use green uniforms as standard in place of the traditional red.3
Royal East Kent Regiment (The Buffs) A line infantry regiment of the British Army with a history dating back to 1572 and was one of the oldest regiments in the British Army. In 1961 it was amalgamated with the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment to form the Queen’s Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment.2
Royal Fusiliers A line infantry regiment of the British Army in continuous existence for 283 years. It was known as the 7th Regiment of Foot until 1881. It served in many wars including the Second Boer War, WW1 and WW2. In 1968 it was amalgamated with the other regiments of fusiliers to form a new regiment, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.2
Royal Horse Artillery These regiments, dating from 1793, are part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery (commonly termed Royal Artillery) of the British Army. Horses are still in service for ceremonial purposes but were phased out from operational deployment during the 1930s.1
Royal Norfolk Regiment A line infantry regiment of the British Army formed from the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot and later became the Royal Norfolk Regiment on 3 June 1935. It fought in WW2, in action in France and Belgium, the Far East, and then in the invasion of North-west Europe.1
Royal Northumberland Fusiliers An infantry regiment of the British Army originally raised in 1674 as the 5th Regiment of Foot who became the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers on 3 June 1935. They saw action during WW2 with the BEF in North-West Europe in 1940, North Africa 1940–43, Italy 1943–45, and the 21st Army Group in 1944–45.1
Royal Scots Fusiliers A line infantry regiment of the British Army that existed from 1678 until 1959 when it was amalgamated with the Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) to form the Royal Highland Fusiliers. In WW2, the regiment served in North-West Europe, Sicily and Italy, Madagascar and Burma.1
Royal Sussex Regiment A line infantry regiment of the British Army that was in existence from 1881 to 1966 and saw service in the Second Boer War, and both World War I and World War II. On 31 December 1966 the Royal Sussex Regiment was amalgamated with the other regiments of the Home Counties Brigade.1
Royal Tank Regiment The oldest tank unit in the world and is formerly known as the Tank Corps and the Royal Tank Corps.2
Royal West Kent Regiment An infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1961.1
Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) A line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 to 1970. It was formed from the 45th Regiment of Foot, the 95th Regiment of Foot, the Derbyshire and Royal Sherwood Foresters Militias and four Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire Volunteer battalions.1
The Seaforth Highlanders A line infantry regiment of the British Army, mainly associated with large areas of the northern Highlands of Scotland. They mergered with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders to form the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons), and later with the Gordon Highlanders to form the Highlanders (Seaforth, Camerons and Gordons).1
Welch Regiment An infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 to 1969 when it was amalgamated with the South Wales Borderers to form the Royal Regiment of Wales which was, in 2006, amalgamated with the Royal Welch Fusiliers to form the Royal Welsh.1
Welsh Guards Part of the Guards Division and is one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army. It was founded on 26 February 1915 by His Majesty King George V.1
West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) An infantry regiment of the British Army which amalgamated with the East Yorkshire Regiment to form the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire in 1958. In 2006 this regiment was amalgamated with the Green Howards and the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment to form the Yorkshire Regiment1
York and Lancaster Regiment An infantry regiment of the British Army that existed from 1881 until 1968. The regiment was formed by the amalgamation of the 65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot and the 84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment of Foot.1
Military - Army Services
Anti-Aircraft Command A British Army command of the Second World War that controlled the Territorial Army anti-aircraft artillery and searchlight units.4
Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) The women’s branch of the British Army during the Second World War. It was formed on 9 September 1938, and existed until 1 February 1949, when it was merged into the Women’s Royal Army Corps1
Military Police (UK) This general term refers to three branches of the service police and regimental provosts. The Army is policed by the Royal Military Police and by Regimental Provosts.2
Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) An organisation created in 1921 to run recreational establishments needed by the British Armed Forces, and to sell goods to servicemen and their families.2
Military - Army's
British Army A volunteer army at the beginning of the Second World War, that introduced limited conscription in early 1939, and full conscription shortly after the declaration of war with Germany.10
British Eighth Army One of the best-known formations of the British Army during World War II, fighting in the North African and Italian campaigns.4
British Expeditionary Force - WW1 The British Force sent to the Western Front during the First World War. It is often used to refer only to the forces present in France prior to the end of the First Battle of Ypres on 22 November 1914.1
British Expeditionary Force - WW2 The British Force in Europe deployed along the French-Belgian border from Sept 1939 until the evacuations in Jun 1940.4
British First Army A formation of the British Army that existed during both WW1 and WW2. It was reformed to command the American and British land forces which had landed as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa.1
Military - Navy
Admiralty The authority responsible for the command of the Royal Navy until 1964 in the United Kingdom.14
Fleet Air Arm The branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. On 1 April 1924, the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force was formed, encompassing those RAF units that normally embarked on aircraft carriers and fighting ships.8
Home Fleet A fleet of the Royal Navy that operated from the UKs territorial waters from 1902 with intervals until 1967. During WW2, it was the Royal Navy's main battle force in European waters2
Maritime Royal Artillery A regiment of the army that was responsible for manning artillery weapons used on defensibly equipped merchant shipping.1
Mobile Naval Base Defence Organization (MNBDO) An organisational unit of the Royal Marines used to provide a fleet with a base in any part of the world within a week and to defend it when prepared. It contained a large body of specialists construction and defence marines. The advanced groups of MNBDO1 under Major-General E.C. Weston had arrived in Crete by the time of the German invasion.1
No. 812 Naval Air Squadron A Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm, which saw varied service during WW2 including in Coastal Command for mining/bombing, Malta convoy protection, sinking U-boat’s and carrier operations. Initially flying Swordfishes, they later used Barracudas and Corsairs.1
No. 813 Naval Air Squadron A Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm, which saw varied service during WW2 with mainly Swordfishes including carrier based attacks, torpedo spotter reconnaissance and escort carrier duty in the atlantic.1
Royal Fleet Auxiliary A fleet owned by the United Kingdom but civilian-manned that is used to enable ships of the Royal navy to maintain operations around the world. It carries out duties such as refuelling, providing supplies and transporting personnel.1
Royal Marines The United Kingdoms amphibious light infantry force, forming part of the Naval Service and formed in 1755 as the Royal Navy’s infantry troops.6
Royal Naval Reserve A reserve force of the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom that has seen action in WW1, WW2 and the Iraq War. Created in 1859, it was merged with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1958.3
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve A civilian volunteer reserve force of the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom that was created in 1903, it was merged with the Royal Naval Reserve in 1958.4
Royal Navy 10th Destroyer Flotilla A Flotilla of Royal Navy Destroyers serving in the Mediterranean Fleet during the first half of WW2 and later the Eastern Fleet.1
Royal Navy 10th Submarine Flotilla (Malta) A British Submarine Flotilla formed during WW1. In January 1941 it was formed at Malta and comprised Royal Navy U-Class submarines and Polish Naval Force submarines assigned to the British Mediterranean Fleet.1
Royal Navy 12th Destroyer Flotilla A Flotilla of Royal Navy Destroyers serving initially in the Home Fleet and then in the Mediterranean Fleet during WW2.1
Royal Navy 14th Destroyer Flotilla A Flotilla of Royal Navy Destroyers assigned to the Mediterranean theatre durign WW2 commanded by Captain Philip Mack and including action at Cape Matapan, Taranto and Punto Stilo.1
Royal Navy 15th Cruiser Squadron A Squadron of Royal Navy Cruisers serving in the Mediterranean Fleet during most of WW2.1
Royal Navy 1st Submarine Flotilla A British Submarine Flotilla based during WW2 from the Royal Naval shore establishment at Gosport.1
Royal Navy 4th Submarine Flotilla A British Submarine Flotilla with headquarters at Singapore comprising of Rorqual, Grampus, Regent, Rover, Parthian, Olympus, Proteus, Regulus, Rainbow, Phoenix, Perseus, Pandora Orpheus, Odin and Otus.1
Royal Navy 5th Destroyer Flotilla A Flotilla of Royal Navy Destroyers commanded by Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten, initially assigned to the Home Fleet and later assigned to the Mediterranean theatre durign WW2.1
Royal Navy 7th Cruiser Squadron A Squadron of Royal Navy Cruisers serving in the Mediterranean Fleet during the first half of WW2.1
Royal Navy 7th Destroyer Flotilla A Flotilla of Royal Navy Destroyers serving initially in the Home Fleet then the Mediterranean Fleet and later assigned to the Eastern Fleet durign WW2.1
Royal Navy 8th Submarine Flotilla A British Submarine Flotilla that operated in the pacific arena. It was initially based from Fremantle, Australia and comprised six 'S' class and three 'T' class submarines. It moved in Apr 1945 to Subic Bay, Philippines.1
Royal Navy Eastern Fleet A fleet of the Royal Navy which existed between 1941 and 1971. It included many ships and personnel from other navies during WW2, including those of the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. With the creation of the British Pacific Fleet in 1944, it became the East Indies Fleet.1
Royal Navy Submarine Service One of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy founded in 1901. It is sometimes known as the Silent Service, as the submarines are generally required to operate undetected.1
Second Force K A naval force based at Malta during WW2 during the first half of the war to intercept and destroy Italian Navy and Merchant ships supporting North Africa.1
The Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom’s principal naval warfare force, tracing its origins to the 16th century.18
Trinity House A private corporation governed under a Royal Charter which has three functions: it is the General Lighthouse Authority for UK and Gibraltar, an official deep sea pilotage authority, and also a maritime charity. It was founded in 1514.1
Western Desert Lighter Force A force of smaller supply and landing crafts that provided a vital service at great risk running supplies into Tobruk during the time that it was besieged and taking out casualties.1
Political
Amalgamated Engineering Union A British trade union renamed in 1920 from the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE) originally formed in 1851. Became part of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers in 1967.1
British Employers’ Confederation An association originally established as the Employers’ Advisory Council in 1917 to consider questions of labour relations, becoming the BEC in 1939. It merged with the Federation of British Industries and the National Association of British Manufacturers in 1965 to form the Confederation of British Industry.1
Engineering and Allied Employers’ National Federation A British sector-based employers’ organisations, serving as the voice of UK manufacturing and engineering. It was formed in 1896 as the Engineering Employers’ Federation and merged in 1918 with the National Employers’ Federation.1
Institute of Labour Management An organisation dealing with the welfare of workers formed initially in York on 6 June 1913 as the Welfare Workers’ Association. It is the forerunner of the modern Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.1
National Union of General and Municipal Workers A British union created in 1924 by the merger of the National Amalgamated Union of Labour (NAUL), National Union of General Workers (NUGW) and the Municipal Employees Association. Later merges resulted in the modern GMB.1
National Union of Railwaymen A trade union of railway workers in the United Kingdom founded in 1913 by the merger of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, the United Pointsmen and Signalmen’s Society and the General Railway Workers’ Union.1
Royal Institute of International Affairs An independent policy institute based at Chatham House, London.1
Trades Union Congress A national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in England and Wales, representing the majority of trade unions.2
Transport and General Workers’ Union One of the largest general British trade unions in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was founded in 1922, and its final general secretary was Tony Woodley. In 2007, it merged with Amicus to form Unite the Union.1
Scientific
Medical Research Council A publicly funded government agency responsible for co-ordinating and funding medical research in the United Kingdom.1
National Physical Laboratory A British national laboratory specialising in measurement and materials science and the largest applied physics organisation in the UK.1
Telecommunications Research Establishment The main UK research and development organisation for radio navigation, radar and related work for the R.A.F. during WW2.1
Social
Citizens Advice Bureau A network of independent charities throughout the UK that give free, confidential information and advice.1
Joint Universities Council for Social Studies A body established in 1918 as part of the reconstruction programme at the end of WW1 and financed by the universities, with the object of developing and coordinating the work of the new social studies departments.1
Rover Scouts A service division of Scouting for young men which was started in 1918, following the successful growth of the Scout Movement.1
The Young Mens Christian Association TBD.0
Women’s Voluntary Service A womens voluntary organization concerned with helping people in need throughout the United Kingdom. (Now known as the Royal Voluntary Service).2
Young Women’s Christian Association A movement of women working for social and economic change around the world. It advocates for young women’s leadership, peace, justice, human rights and sustainable development.1
Transportation
Imperial Airways An early British commercial long-range airline, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but principally the British Empire routes. It was merged into the 'British Overseas Airways Corporation' in 1939, which in turn merged with the 'British European Airways' in 1974 to form British Airways.1