AN EXPLANATION OF THE FORMATIONS WITHIN THE BRITISH ARMY
The formation titles used by the British Army can cause confusion by the fact that there are so many. I have tried to explain the more common Infantry ones below.
Army. A formation made up of several Corps. Corps were allocated to armies as required.
Corps. A formation made up of several Divisions. Divisions were allocated to and from Corps as required.
Division. (Div). A formation made up of three Brigades. This was the largest self-contained formation which normally was consistent in its make up.
Brigade. (Bde). A formation made up of four Battalions. (This changed to three towards the end of the war).
Battalion. (Bn). Approximately 1000 men made up a Battalion, although this was seldom achieved once a Battalion had been in combat. This was the smallest self-contained formation which normally was consistent in its make up.
Company. (Coy). A sub unit of a Battalion. Four Companies make up a Battalion. (This changed to three towards the end of the war).
Platoon. A sub unit of a Company. Four platoons make up a Company.
Section. A sub unit of a platoon. Four sections make up a platoon.
Regiment. (Regt). Not an actual body of men, but a title under which a number of Battalions are formed and maintained.
Cadre. Later in the war some Divisions and Battalions were reduced to Cadre strength, this was when most of the fighting strength of the unit was drafted to other units and a small Cadre (number) of troops remained to reform the unit with new soldiers. This allowed new troops to receive training from veteran troops prior to reaching the front. The Cadre would normally be brought back to Great Britain to be either absorbed or reformed. Some Battalions were reduced to Training Cadre, here the Battalion would send fewer troops to other units and the Cadre of the Battalion would be used to train new units arriving in France, normally American troops.