The author served as the division’s GSO1 from March 1918 to its demise in March 1919. In his preface he states his aim to include as many names as possible, and in doing so he has added human interest to a graphic, detailed account of the part played by one of Kitchener’s divisions on the Western Front and in Italy. The appendices are particularly useful, including the divisional order of battle, with any changes; successive reorganisations of the divisional artillery; succession of commanders and staff with dates of appointment; summary of honours and awards, British and Foreign (over3,200 including nine VCs); extracts from the Battles Nomenclature Committee Report identifying those battles in which the division took part. There is a comprehensive index and to conclude this admirable History there is a chronological record of the division’s activities with dates and reference to the pages of the History where they are mentioned.The 23rd Division, one of Kitchener’s Third New Army divisions, began forming in the middle of September 1914 in the Aldershot area. The divisional sign is a red cross patte on a white disc, all encircled by a red ring; the significance and origin is not known. The division landed in France in August 1915 and for the next two years it fought on the Western Front – in the Armentieres and Carency sectors, on the Somme where it captured Contalmaison, Munster Alley and Le Sars. It took part in the June 1917 Messines offensive and in Third Ypres, after which it moved to Italy in November 1917. In June 1918 it fought in the Battle of the Piave, sustaining losses of 556 and gaining two VCs. It took part in the final offensive, the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, ending its part in the war about ten miles east of that place after an advance of some thirty miles. This good division was unique in that it was the only one to retain the same GOC throughout the entire war, apart from the last three weeks. Total casualties amounted to 23,574, about ninety percent of them on the Western front.
Lt Col H.R Sandilands
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2003 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1925). SB. x + 389pp with 24 b/w illus and ten
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