Rifle Brigade - Company designations

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Gary Kennedy, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    A recent thread reminded me of an outstanding item on my 'I should really know that' list. Several Battalions of the Rifle Brigade used variations of the normal (though by no means standard) designations for Rifle Companies, which usually ran A to D inclusive in a four Rifle Company format.

    Below are the designations that I believe were used, along with a few queries, and any solutions, confirmations or corrections would be welcomed.

    1st Bn, RB - A, B, C and I (B Coy became the Support Coy during 1943 but retained its letter)
    2nd Bn, RB - A to D (D Coy appears to have been re-titled as S Coy when it became the Support Coy)

    7th Bn, RB - A to D inclusive (Support Coy designation?)*
    8th Bn, RB - E to H inclusive (E Coy became the Support Coy during 1943 but retained its letter)

    (7th and 8th were 1st and 2nd Bns respectively of the London Rifle Brigade before being re-designated in January 1941).

    9th Bn, RB - A to D inclusive? (disbanded before Support Coy formed)
    10th Bn, RB - A to D inclusive (Support Coy designation?)*

    9th and 10th RB were 1st and 2nd Bns respectively of the Tower Hamlets Rifles before being re-designated in May and January 1941 respecitvely).

    7th and 10th may buck the trend somewhat here. As I understand it both were formed as Lorried Infantry Battalions rather than Motor Battalions when they were part of 61 Infantry Brigade in Italy. As a result they may have had A to D for their four Rifle Coys, plus S for Support Coy. The third Battalion in the Brigade was kept as a Motor Bn, this being 2nd RB. The two London Rifle Bde Bns look to have been the only ones to letter their Coys consecutively across both Battalions.

    Thanks,

    Gary
     
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  2. Hi Gary,

    According to this post:
    7th Battalion; Rifle Brigade
    C Coy 7 RB became the Support Coy in July 1942. Not clear whether it retained its letter though.

    B Coy 1 RB was apparently also referred to as S Coy. See:
    Infantry Regiments Page
    "Unlike the other Rifle Brigade Battalions instead of the usual A, B C and S (Support) Companies, 1st Bn The Rifle Brigade consisted of A, C, I and S (Support) Companies."

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  3. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Thanks Michel,

    Paul Reed had kindly supplied scans of a brief history pf 1RB in NWE, which are linked to from the below post;

    1st Battalion Rifle Brigade 1944

    That does refer to B Coy as being the Support Coy, I can see though that both designations could be used.

    Gary
     
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