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Churchill's Commissions and Military Attachments

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Compiled by Douglas Russell & Paul Courtenay

COMMISSIONS HELD BY WINSTON S. CHURCHILL

  1. 2nd Lieutenant, 4th Queen's Own Hussars, 20 Feb 1895.
  2. Lieutenant, 4th Queen's Own Hussars, 20 May 1896.
  3. Lieutenant, South African Light Horse, Jan 1900.
  4. Captain, Imperial Yeomanry, Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, 4 Jan 1902.
  5. Major, Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, 25 May 1905.
  6. Lieutenant-Colonel (temporary), QOOH, posted to 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, 5 January 1916.

MILITARY UNITS WITH WHICH CHURCHILL SERVED


  1. 4th Queen's Own Hussars (cavalry regiment): England and India, 1895 99.
  2. 31st Punjab Regiment, Bengal Infantry, Indian Army, part of the 1st brigade, Malakand Field Force: NW Frontier of India, September 1897.
  3. 35th Sikh Regiment, Bengal Infantry, Indian Army, part of the 2nd brigade, Malakand Field Force: NW Frontier of India, September 1897.
  4. 21st Lancers (cavalry regiment): Egypt and the Sudan, August-October 1898. The regiment became the 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers after the Battle of Omdurman, 2 September 1898.
  5. South African Light Horse (Imperial Yeomanry cavalry regiment): commissioned January 1900, served as officer and correspondent until July 1900.
  6. Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars (Yeomanry cavalry regiment): January 1902. A reserve unit, the QOOH became part of the Territorial Force in 1908 (re-titled Territorial Army in 1920). In 1923 the regiment was superseded by 100th (Worcestershire & Oxfordshire Yeomanry) Royal Field Artillery Brigade, which contained two batteries formed from QOOH volunteers.

Note: Churchill was posted to the Western Front, first to the 2nd battalion, Grenadier Guards (infantry regiment) for one month's training (December 1915-January 1916); then to command the 6th battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers (infantry), part of the Ninth (Scottish) Division, 5 January to 16 May 1916. Despite these postings his commission remained in the QOOH.

BRITISH MILITARY ORGANIZATION

Army Group: two or more armies.
Army: two or more corps.
Corps: two or more divisions.
Division: field formation of about 10,000, containing two or more brigades or an administrative grouping of regiments.
Brigade: field formation of about 3000, containing two or more units of combat arms with support units.

Infantry

Regiment: The basic parent grouping of infantry, and not a tactical unit, subdivided into a variable number of battalions (often two regular, two militia, miscellaneous volunteer battalions and a depot unit).
Battalion: The standard tactical unit of infantry, approximately 800-1000 officers and men, similar in size to a cavalry regiment.
Company: Sub-unit of a battalion (120 men)
Platoon: Sub-unit of a battalion (35 men)
Section: Sub-unit of a platoon ("Squad" in U.S. Army)

Cavalry

Regiment: basic organizational unit of cavalry, 500-700 officers and men depending on wartime or peacetime and place of service: home, India, other colonies. Usually subdivided into four squadrons.
Squadron: sub-unit of a regiment; four make up a regiment.
Troop: sub-unit of a squadron, similar to an infantry platoon.