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1 (UK) Division History

1st (United Kingdom) Division has existed in the British Army since 1809 when the Duke of Wellington formed it, in Portugal, from two British brigades and one Hanoverian brigade of the King's German Legion. Therefore, since its inception in the 1800s 1 Division has had strong links with Germany and western Europe.

British Forces Germany

Since 1960, the Division had been stationed in Germany as part of NATO, first in Verden an der Aller and in 1993 at Herford.  The 1st (UK) Division was the last British division to be stationed in Germany, from a peak of four divisions during the height of the Cold War, though it was not the only element of the British Forces in Germany.

The Support Command was based in Rheindahlen, (just outside Mönchengladbach) with some 3,600 personnel.  The majority of British forces in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen, Germany, belonged to the 1st (UK) Division.

NATO Contribution

In 1990, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the British Government conducted a defence review, which reduced the size of the British Army.  The impact of this restructuring was that the British Army of the Rhine was reduced to a strength of one Armoured Division with supporting troops.  That division was 1st (UK) Division, which was assigned as part of the UK's contribution to the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps.

Return to the United Kingdom

In the summer of 2015, the division returned to the United Kingdom and a new home in Fulford within the historic City of York garrison.  HQ 1st (UK) Division now heads up the British Army’s Light Role Adaptable Force with approximately 14,000 Regular and 11,000 Army Reserve soldiers and is configured to deliver ‘light role excellence’.