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About this blog

Royal Artillery topics

Information and topics relating to the Gunners of the Royal Horse Artillery, Royal Field Artillery, and the Royal Garrison Artillery during the First World War. 

As I meander through research, battlefield tours and contributions to the GWF Forum, certain topics arise an interest which I record here. 

 

Entries in this blog

Shanghai Contingent Gunners

Whilst reading Betrayed Ally - China in the Great War [Pen & Sword - Frances Wood / Christopher Alexander] there was a reference to 110 men working in China at the beginning of the Great War volunteering to join the British Army.  Did any of these men end up as Gunners? ----------------------------------------------------------- China at the beginning of the Great War China was a republic, though European Powers and Japan had spheres of influence in the country. In those areas

ianjonesncl

ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

3.7 inch Mountain Howitzer Mule loads

The 3.7inch howitzer was introduced in 1917 and deigned to be transported by pack animals. 3.7in QF Mountain Howitzer  It would see action in Palestine, Mesopotamia, East Africa, and post Armistice, in Russia and on the North West Frontier of India. 3. 7 inch mountain howitzers on pack mules, Sadleir-Jackson Brigade, Troitsa, 1919. The mountain howitzer broke down in to eight mule loads. Additional mules carried ammunition, gun stores, signalling equipment, with spa

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ianjonesncl in Guns and Equipment

Arras Faubourg Cemetery - 40 Brigade RFA Officers

Whilst wandering around the Arras Faubourg Cemetery, I observed Gunner graves where all had been killed on the same date buried together. Often the sign of a gun detachment who lost their lives because of a single incident. In Plot V Row F, there were four Gunner graves together. A closer examination revealed it was four Gunner Officers, all killed on the 19th May 1917. Who were these Officers? What had happened on 19th May 1917 ? The CWGC records revealed the Offer

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

Conveying A Field Gun Across The Yser Canal Under Fire

An interesting pistol gun action took place in early 1915,  conducted by a gun from 135 Battery, 32 Brigade RFA, part of the 4th Divisional Artillery. The 4th Division were located north of Ypres, bounded by the Ypres to Thourout railway. The 32nd Brigade RFA were in support of an assault by 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade which took place on 6th July 1915 south of Boesinghe. The assault would be conducted in 4 phases with each of 32 Brigade's batteries allotted objectives to eng

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Action

Gunners of the Great War

From the long running thread Postcards, extracts of pictures of  the men who served as Gunners during the Great War. https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/153347-postcards/ Many thanks to all who have posted on the thread. ========================== 1 https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/153347-postcards/?do=findComment&comment=1478721 --------------------------------------------- 2 https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/153347-postcards/?do=findComment&comm

ianjonesncl

ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

WW1 Illustrations of Fortunino Matania

A number of iconic paintings and illustrations I have viewed over the years have  included the Last Absolution of the Munsters, Good by Old Man, and L Battery RHA at Nery. It was when I was looking at war artists depicting the Gunners during WW1 that I realised that they were all the work of Fortunino Matania. Delving into Fortunino Matania revealed that his work included other areas where I have come across his work including illustrating the sinking of the Titanic pre war, and travel post

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ianjonesncl in War Art

First British Artilley round fired on Western Front

At 11:00 hours on the 22nd August 1914 at Bray, Belgium,C Sub-section of E Battery Royal Horse Artillery fired the first British Artillery rounds of the First World War on the Western Front. [1] 1914 - First round fired by RA on the Western Front British cavalry were holding bridges in the area of Peronnes, east of the main BEF positions in the Mons area. In support were the 13 pounder gun batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery. A troop from  16th  Lancers were enraged an enemy pa

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Action

Mechanisation of the Royal Artillery

Moving the Guns - Mechanisation of the Royal Artillery 1854 - 1939 by Philip Ventham and David Fletcher. Moving the Guns - The mechanisation of the Royal Artillery 1854 - 1939 traces how the Royal Artillery transitions from it's guns being moved by horses, to the mechanised force that began the Second World War. I was supprised that the story began in 1854, though with the advent of the Railways from 1825 onwards, the thought for steam traction engines had been considred for some time.

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Operations

9.2 inch Howitzer Deployment

Whilst researching the  first ever 9.2 inch howitzer 'Mother'  9.2 inch Howitzer "Mother" - Northumbrian Gunner meanderings - The Great War (1914-1918) Forum (greatwarforum.org) I realised that whilst one had seen many pictures of the 9.2 inch howitzer, read accounts of their deployment and it being the weapon system that is on the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park, I must admit I was not sure how this multi-part howitzer actually fitted together. 9.2 inch howitzer Royal

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Operations

Artillery Narrow Gauge Transport

A visit to Beamish Open Air Museum revealed a Simplex 40HP Armoured Locomotive. The locomotive, LR3098, never saw war service having not been completed until 17/12/1918. Over 900 locomotives would be manufactured between 1916 and 1918 for use within the UK and on the Western Front. Simplex 40HP Protected Loco Beamish June 2022 The Motor Rail & Tram Company won a tender in January 1916 and produced narrow gauge locomotive for use on the Western Front. A protptype proved succesf

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Operations

9.2 inch Howitzer "Mother"

One of the most iconic of artillery equipments that saw action in World War One was the 9.2 inch howitzer. It's influence was such that it was chosen as the weapon system to symbolise the Gunners during the conflict on the Royal Artillery Memorial. RA Memorial Hyde Park - Northumbrian Gunner meanderings - The Great War (1914-1918) Forum (greatwarforum.org) The prototype 9.2 inch howitzer, which became known as 'Mother', fired the first round on operations 1st November 1914. The ho

ianjonesncl

ianjonesncl in Guns and Equipment

Chillwell National Shell Filling Factory No 6

Staged through Chillwell, near Nottingham,  en route to and from Salisbury Plain on a number of occasions with out realising it's contribution to the war effort during World War One. It was a vital part of the artillery ammuntion production for the Western Front and the location of the the worst accidental munitions explosion of the Great War in Britain. Chillwell was the location of National Filling Factory No 6. Information Source: Historic England Research Records National Filling F

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Operations

Chapperton Down Artillery School

An intersting film I came across on the Imperial War Musuem collection features the Chapperton Down Artillery School.  "Taken at the school on 9 March 1916, this film shows in detail the firing procedures for the 6-inch 26cwt howitzer, the 8-inch Mk VI howitzer and the 9.2-inch Mk I howitzer with the new Type 106 graze fuse (not shown). It shows the effects of the fall of shot, giving the distance and line of camera to the point of impact with the direction of wind for each firing. In each

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Operations

Remembered Today: Captain GN WALFORD VC RFA died 26/04/1915 V Beach Cemetery Gallipoli

Remembered Today: Captain Garth Neville WALFORD Victoria Cross Royal Field Artillery who died 26/04/1915 V BEACH CEMETERY Turkey (including Gallipoli) Captain Garth Neville Walford was the only Gunner to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the Gallipoli Campaign, his actions being part of a double award along with Lieutenant-Colonel Doughty-Wylie.  [1] Captain Garth Walford VC Garth Neville Walford was born on the 27th of May 1882 at Camberley, Surrey, in a house within the

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

British Gun Carrier

The British had 48 tracked carriers for moving guns as prime movers. They were not self propelled artillery, they were designed to transport guns. . http://en.wikipedia...._Carrier_Mark_I During 1916 it became clear that in case of a breakthrough, the very purpose of the first tank, the Mark I, artillery would have great trouble following the advancing troops. Any successful offensive would therefore be in danger of stalling immediately. To solve this problem Major Gregg, an engineer w

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Operations

Remembered Today: 2.Lieut Herbert LUMB RFA who died 08/10/1915 commemorated HELLES MEMORIAL Turkey

Remembered Today: Second Lieutenant Herbert LUMB A Bty. 66th Bde. Royal Field Artillery who died 08/10/1915 HELLES MEMORIAL Turkey (including Gallipoli) Many thanks to @corisande @David Porter @David26 for their assistance to bring together the information about Herbert Lumb. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2nd Lieut. Herbert Lumb RFA  

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

Remembered Today: Major Arthur Raymond Boscawen SAVAGE RFA who died 18/05/1921 GRANGEGORMAN

Remembered Today: Major Arthur Raymond Boscawen SAVAGE {Intelligence Officer, Dublin District). Royal Field Artillery who died 18/05/1921 GRANGEGORMAN MILITARY CEMETERY Ireland, Republic of   Major Arthur Raymond Boscawen Savage Royal Field Artillery  is a reminder that some who served would have an ignominious career and death.    Arthur Savage commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery 23rd July 1887 from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.    Savage came from

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

Bermuda Contingent Royal Garrison Artillery

An interesting unit I came across was the Bermuda Contingent RGA who were employed on the vital task of ammunition handing. As ever, a quick search on the GWF helped point me in the right direction. Many thanks to those who contributed to Bermuda Contingent RGA in paticular @aodhdubh The information has been drawn from many sources, and there are discrepancies in ranks between accounts, possibly due to acting and local rank.  Bermuda Contingent Royal Garrison Artillery The Be

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ianjonesncl in RA Units

TE Lawrence - 10 (Motor Section) RFA

TE Lawrence of Arabia and his exploits, as portrayed in the iconic film with Peter O' Toole, have always intrigued me. I was aware of the irregular Arab Army being reinforced with armoured cars and aircraft, however I did not realise Lawrence's forces were supported by artillery. In November 1917, 10 (Motor Section) Royal Field Artillery joined the Arab Northern Army, equipped with 10 pounder mountain guns.   As ever, a search of the GWF revealed more about 10 (Motor Section) RFA, and

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ianjonesncl in RA Units

Notable Persons who served as a Gunner in WW1

I came across a series of postings by Pete Hill posted way back in June 2009 outlining Notable Persons who served in WW1. A fascinating piece of research and I became interested in those who served as Gunners.    Having enjoyed the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, read Dennis Wheatley's books, and admired the illustrations of Winnie the Pooh drawn by Ernest Sheppard, it was pleasing to find they all served as Gunners. I have admired the exploits of George Mallory and his attempts on Ev

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

A/58 Mobile Field Battery RFA

The 58th Brigade RFA was one of Kitchener's New Army's first artillery units forming part of the 11th (Northern) Divisional Artillery. They deployed to Gallipoli 1st July 1915 landing on the  peninsular at the beginning of August. Following the evacuation of Gallipoli, the 11th (Northern) Division deployed to the Western Front arriving in France 2nd July 1916. The Division with the 58th Brigade RFA in support were active till the Armistice in  1918.  

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ianjonesncl in RA Units

Gunners - Shot at Dawn

During World War One committing serious civil and military offences could result in the death penalty and the means of execution was the firing squad. A sentence that was traditionally carried out at dawn. Shot At Dawn   The Long Long Trail details that "3,080 men (1.1% of those convicted) were sentenced to death. Of these, 89% were reprieved and the sentence converted to a different one. 346 men were executed. Their crimes included desertion – 266; murder – 37; cowardice in

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

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