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201 Guards Brigade


201 Guards Brigade was originally created as 22 Infantry Brigade in Egypt in February 1941. It was renamed 22nd Guards Brigade in March 1941, then to 200 Guards Brigade in January 1942, and 201 Guards Brigade in May 1942. It served in the Western Desert campaign with a number of parent formations but most of the time with 4th Indian Division and 1st Armoured Division. It fought at Tobruk in 1941 and then in the Gazala battles before it was captured at the fall of Tobruk in June 1942. It was reformed in August 1942 in Egypt and went onto serve in the Tunisian campaign, again with a number of different parent divisions.

In late July 1943, the brigade was assigned to 56th Division as a replacement for 168 Infantry Brigade which had been detached to serve with 50th Infantry Division in the Sicily campaign. It landed at Salerno on the 9th September as part of the second wave. 

In early 1944, it became apparent that there were not enough Guards reinforcements in the Mediterranean theatre to keep three Guards Brigades up to strength. As the junior brigade, 201 Guards Brigade was chosen to be reduced to cadre to be transferred back to the UK where it would become responsible for the training of Guards recruits. 

In March 1944, the brigade was withdrawn from the line and 

The 2nd Battalion Scots Guards was reduced to cadre and accompanied the Brigade HQ back to the UK. The 6th Battalion Grenadier Guards was disbanded with personnel being transferred to 5th Battalion Grenadier Guards. The 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards was transferred to 24 Guards Brigade with 1st Battalion Irish Guards being moved to 201 Guards Brigade to return to the UK.

Higher Formations

56th Infantry Division25 July 1943 - 03 January 1944
10th Corps04 January 1944 - 06 January 1944
5th Infantry Division07 January 1944 - 02 March 1944
88th US Infantry Division03 March 1944 - 08 March 1944
HQ AAI09 March 1944 - 25 March 1944
No. 3 District26 March 1944 - 09 April 1944

Commanding Officers

- Brigadier J.A. Gascoigne Wounded by sharpnel at Mieli - a splinter through left arm into lung and a splinter to right arm.
- Lieutenant-Colonel W.H. Kingsmill MCResumed command of 6th Battalion Grenadier Guards.
- Brigadier R.B.R. Colvin Brigade Tac HQ hit by 120mm mortar and was badly shaken.
- Lieutenant-Colonel W.H. Kingsmill MCResumed command of 6th Battalion Grenadier Guards.
- Brigadier R.B.R. Colvin Taken for medical tests.
- Lieutenant-Colonel W.H. Kingsmill MCResumed command of 6th Battalion Grenadier Guards.
- Brigadier R.B.R. Colvin


The brigade consisted of the following units during the Italian campaign:

6th Battalion Grenadier Guards (disbanded xx xx 1944)

3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards (left xx xx 1944 and joined 24 Guards Brigade)

2nd Battalion Scots Guards

1st Battalion Irish Guards (joined xx xx 1944)

42 Field Company Royal Engineers

5th Light Field Ambulance

0 results

Awards and Decorations

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National Archives Files

TNA File NameDescriptionDates
WO 169/8984201 Guards Brigade: HQ.1943 January- June, September
WO 169/8985201 Guards Brigade: HQ.1943 October - December
WO 169/8986201 Guards Brigade: Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Workshop (REME Wksp).1943 January - July, September - December
WO 170/636201 Guards Brigade: H.Q.1944 January - March
WO 170/637201 Guards Brigade: Ord. Fd. Pk.1944 February - April
WO 170/639201 Guards Brigade: R.E.M.E. Wksp.1944 January - August
WO 204/1760201 Guards Brigade: command and administration, employment and equipment.1943 May - 1945 March