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Royal Naval Division Battalion badges.
  • The Royal Naval Division included elements of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Army:
    • Naval Infantry Battalions: Howe, Anson, Hood, Nelson, Drake, Collingwood, Benbow, Hawke
    • Royal Marines Infantry Battalions: Chatham, Deal, Portsmouth, Plymouth, later the 1st and 2nd RMLI
    • Army Infantry Battalions: 7th Royal Fusiliers, 4th Bedfords, 1st HAC, 10th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 1/28th Londons (Artists Rifles); 2nd Royal Irish Rifles; 1/4th Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, 14th Worcesters (Pioneers).
    • Royal Artillery: 4th Field Brigade of the RFA
    • Royal Engineers: 247th, 248th, 249th, Field Companies
    • Royal Army Medical Corps
  • Battle Honours for the Division are: Antwerp, Gallipoli, Ancre, Arras, Ypres, Welsh Ridge and Hindenburg Line.

Drake Battalion RND

Hood Battalion RND

Howe Battalion RND Nelson Battalion RND

Anson Battalion

Royal Naval Division Cap Badges

28th Londons (Artists Rifles)

Anson battalion/RND Machine Gun Coy.

Hawke Battalion

Hawke Battalion

Rank badge/RND (all battalions)

History of the division (in part) Quoted from
At the outbreak of the War, there was a surplus of some 20-30,000 men on the Reserves of the Royal Navy who would not find jobs on any ship of war. It was recognised that this was sufficient to form two Naval Brigades, and a Brigade of Marines. The Royal Marine Brigade was formed at once, and was moved to Ostende on 27th August 1914, although it returned 4 days later. On 20th September it arrived at Dunkirk with orders to assist in the defence of Antwerp. The two other Brigades moved to Dunkirk for the same purpose on 5th October 1914. In the haste to organise and move the units to Belgium, 80% went to war without even basic equipment such as packs, mess tins or water bottles. No khaki uniform was issued. The two Naval Brigades were armed with ancient charger-loading rifles, only 3 days before embarking. The Division was originally titled the Royal Naval Division, and was formed in England in September 1914. At this stage, it had no Artillery, Field Ambulances etc.

The Defence of Antwerp

RND units that withdrew from Antwerp returned to England, arriving 11th October 1914. Approximately 1,500 troops of the 1st Royal Naval Brigade crossed the Dutch frontier and were interned in the Netherlands. After a lengthy period of refit and training (scattered in various locations, and still short of many of the units that ordinarily made up the establishment of a Division), the Division moved to Egypt preparatory to the Gallipoli campaign.


By the end of the Division's part in the Gallipoli campaign, very few men with sea service remained. The Division transferred from the authority of the Admiralty to the War Office on 29th April 1916, and was redesignated the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division on 19th July 1916. The Division moved to France, arriving Marseilles 12-23rd May 1916, after which it remained on the Western Front.

RND at Gallipoli Quoted from
The RN Div landed at Dover about 11/10/14 and started to replace lost equipment and men. (Note; by 1916 there were only a handful of the "Antwerp" men left, the casualties being so high). The Div assembled around Blandford 27/11/14.

The Div started to embark for Lemnos at Devonport 06/02/15 and by 01/03/15 the rest of the Div (except the training Depot) were on their way to Lemnos. By 19/03/15 the Div were stationed of the Gallipoli Peninsular, but as the "great Naval attack" on the 18th had failed the Div were landed at Port Said by 29/03/15. The Div re-embarked for Mudros 08/04/15 and were landed Helles, Gallipoli 25/04/15.

25-26 Apr 1915 Gulf of Xeros
25-26 Apr 1915 Landing at Cape Helles (Anson & Plymouth Bns)
28 Apr -12 May 1915 Defence of Anzac (Chatham, Portsmouth, Nelson & Deal Bns)
28 Apr 1915 1st Krithia (2nd RN Bde and Drake & Plymouth Bns)
1-2 May 1915 Eski Hissarlik (2nd RN Bde and Drake & Plymouth Bns)
6-8 May 1915 2nd Krithia (Drake, Plymouth, Howe, Hood & Anson Bns)
2 May 1915 The Chessboard (Nelson, Deal, Chatham & Portsmouth Bns)
4 Jun 1915 3rd Krithia (RN Div)
7-9 Jan 1916 Evacuation of Helles (RN Div).

The Div were evacuated to Mudros and split up. Drake and Hawke to Imbros 19 Jan - 15 Feb 1916. Hood to Mudros 20 Jan - 22 Feb 1916. 2nd Bde to Stavros 20 Jan. The Division did not reform until arriving back in France in May 1916. During this time the Naval Division were transferred from the Admiralty to the War Office (Army) (Authority. - 79/8954 (S.D.2.) d/d. 29/04/16).


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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces