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King George V - Colonel in Chief Royal Artillery

A post from Andrew Upton on King George V having a MIC https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/55721-lieutenant-colonel-the-prince-de-mahé/?do=findComment&comment=2981042  led me to wonder what his appointments were in the Royal Artillery. Did he have two appointments as Captain General; Royal Horse & Field Artillery and Royal Garrisons Artillery ? First learning point - the appointment of Captain General was not instituted till 1951 by King George VI. [1]   The Army List for 1914

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

Prince de Mahé aka Charles Digby Williams

An entry in the London Gazette of 9th August 1914 records the metamorphosis of a Captain Charles Digby Williams of the Royal Artillery Special Reserve from Glamorgan, Wales, into a French aristocratic Prince; The name of Captain and Honorary Major H. H. Charles Mahe de Chenal de la Bourdonnais, Prince de Mahe, is as now stated, and not Charles Digby Williams, as published in the Gazette of 4th September, 1914.   Intrigued as to who were the Mahe de Chenal de la Bourdonnais, [A] wh

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

Heavy Artillery Serviceability

Whilst  researching activities in the Nieuport sector in 1917, I came across a graph in the XV Corps Heavy Artillery War Diary for November 1917 (WO-95-927-3 - page 10) recording the serviceability of the guns attached to Corps. Reports and returns are an essential to the logistic system to ensure the availability  of resources to conduct operations.    The graph covers the period from 22nd June through to 30th November 1917, the period XV Corps occupied the Nieuport sector in preparat

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Operations

Gunner AF Bennett killed in Bombardment of Scarborough

Having visited the Heugh Battery in Hartlepool a number of times I was well aware of the circumstances of the Bombardment on December 1914, as well as shelling along the East Coast at Scarborough and Whitby. A tablet near the Heugh Battery records the death of the first soldier killed on British soil, Private Theopolis Jones of the 18th Battalion DLI.  Amongst the 8 servicemen killed were Gunners Houston and Spence of the Durham Royal Garrison Artillery. I visited the graves of Houston and Spenc

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

Easter Rising 1916 Artillery

Reading an article on Forces News Ireland On Stage – The 1916 Easter Rising it outlined that "a four-gun battery of field artillery pieces" formed part of the British response to the uprising. I wondered which unit the guns came from and what actions they took during the six days of the Easter Rising.   One interesting snippet outlined  ‘Field’ artillery is the key here though, since gunners soon found that, without the traction found on grass or mud, firing their guns on the smoothly-

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Action

UK Coastal Defences 1914

Whilst researching the defence of the River Tyne [Tyne Coastal Artillery ] it highlighted how important it was to maintain a creditable deterrent for home defence.  I wondered what preparations were in place to defend the coast around the rest of the Britain when the country went to war in 1914.   In his book History of Coast Artillery in the British Army, Colonel KW Maurice-Jones DSO (late RA) outlines "Coast Artillery in the British Army had never been more ready for war than it was

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ianjonesncl in Home Defence

Cologne Bridgehead

The terms of the Armistice signed 11th November 1918 contained clauses as to what German Forces were to do on cessation of hostilities. Article 1 detailing the Military Clauses on the Western Front required in clause two  "Immediate evacuation of invaded countries". To provide further security, particularly at the insistence pf the French, clause five required "Evacuation by the German armies of the countries on the left bank of the Rhine."   Clause five further

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Action

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

WW1 Paintings of Wyndham Lewis

One of the Notable Persons who served as a Gunner in WW1 was artist Wyndam Lewis.   In 1914, Lewis formed the Vorticism movement, a modernist art style inspired by cubism with bold lines and harsh colours.   LEWIS WYNDHAM - SELF PORTRAIT     Wyndham was also a writer and the ideas of Vorticism as rebel artists challenging the norm were published in BLAST, the first issue BLAST: The Review of the Great English Vortex, was published in July 1914, just before

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

Northumbrian Gunners New Year 1916

New Year 1916 would be the first, and only, time that the Northumbrian Gunners of 250 Brigade RFA (1st Northumbrian Brigade) would spend in the trenches. New Year 1917 would see them in billets resting, and New Year 1918 in Camp starting to demobilise and return home.    At midnight on 31st December 1915 / 1st January 1916 the Northumbrian Territorials were situated in the vicinity of Kemmel and Wytschaete at Kruistraat seeing the new Year in with a firing display.    The War

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Action

2nd Lieut. Eustace Carlton Berry attd RFC

Visiting Newcastle Jesmond Saint Andrew's Cemetery CWGC plot I came across a striking memorial of a Royal Flying Corps officer - 2nd Lieutenant Eustace Carlton Berry. The inscription on  his memorial detailed he was a Gunner officer attached to the RFC.     Eustace Carlton Berry was born 21st December 1898 and attended Bedford Grammar School. He commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery 26th May 1916 (Royal Artillery 200th Anniversary), aged 17 years 5 months.  Berry transf

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

523 Seige Battery

When researching No 1 Armoured Train Royal Garrison Artillery , information from Wigeon revealed that the unit was re-designated 523 Siege Battery and the armoured train broken up. The 523rd would re-equip with 9.2 inch Mark XIII railway guns. Thanks to Paul aka Ororkep who posted a photograph of one of 523 Battery's guns, it raised an interest in what the Battery did in the closing months of World War One.     523 Seige Battery was formed on 17th January 1918 being a unit re

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ianjonesncl in RA Units

Royal Artillery Baghdad North Gate Cemetery

Many thanks for a  post from Ahmed1984 Baghdad North Gate Cemetery, Iraq - Cemeteries and memorials - Great War Forum.  The legacy of WW1 with the defining Iraq's  borders resonates to this day with recent conflicts making Baghdad a relatively inaccessible for most people.      A reminder that many lost their lives serving in the Middle East during WW1 and after. A download of casualties commemorated in Iraq from CWGC records 51,113 casualties from the First World War. The h

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

Lt Col Edward Parker England DCM

I have just come across a post from Dick Flory who wrote an article for the Journal of the Royal Artillery ("An Officer who made good") [1] about the the amazing war service of Edward Parker England DCM. [2] Source: Find My Past courtesy of Swinesheadvillage   Edward Parker started the war in 1914 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Field Artillery, ended the  war in 1918 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Field Artillery, and in the intervening period won the Distinguishe

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ianjonesncl in RA Personnel

WW1 Artillery Combat Footage

Montage of British Artillery. Siege guns, Field guns and Anti-Aircraft guns.   4.7 inch firing / 18 pounder barrage / 8 inch howitzer / Ammunition supply using wheeled ammo carriers / 9.2 inch howitzer / Air Observation / Anti-Aircraft guns / 6 inch howitzer / 8 inch howitzer / 18 pounders   Source: Combat Archive    

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Action

Unknown Warrior - N Battery RHA

On the 11th November 1920 the Unknown Warrior was interred in Westminster Abbey. The body of an unknown soldier had been selected to represent those who's final resting place was unknown to loved ones.    On the 10th November 1920 the body was brought from France on the destroyer HMS Verdun, travelling from Boulogne to Dover.      The body was then transported from Dover by train to Victoria Station arriving at Victoria Station on platform 8 at 8:32 pm, where it rem

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ianjonesncl in Remembrance

Tyne Coastal Artillery

A recent request for research into defence of the River Tyne highlighted how important it was to maintain a creditable deterrent for home defence.  The Tyne gained prominence as the industrial revolution developed. The river shipped coal from the Northumberland and Durham coalfields. Shipbuilding and heavy industry grew up along the banks of the Tyne, notably Armstrong’s Ordnance works in Elswick.   Lord Morley's report on the defence of the United Kingdom published in 1883 said of the

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ianjonesncl in Home Defence

XV Corps Heavy Artillery Royal Naval Sieige Guns

2020 visit to Ypres was the opportunity to follow the Battle of the Yser, explore the Belgian sector and visit Nieuport. Whilst researching the period the British were in control of the Nieuport Coastal Sector, in July 1917, it was interesting to read about the work of the Royal Naval Siege Guns (RNSG) and the Dover Patrol. This included targeting the battery at Raversyde (Aachen Battery) which I visited in 2019.    Whilst reviewing the XV Corps Heavy Artillery war diary I came across

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ianjonesncl in RA Units

Amiens Gun - 374 SB Paris

Whilst reviewing the Fourth Army A & Q War Diary WO95- 445-2 I came across a Movement Order for a German 11inch gun and a detachment of 374 Siege Battery from Picquigny, 13km north west of Amiens to Paris. The entry sounded as if from Blackadder goes forth;   And might I suggest sir that having left the trenches, it might be a good idea to post our man to Paris Source: Black Adder IV - Episode 1 - Captain Cook.   So why were a detachment of 374 Siege Battery taking a

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Action

Chinese Labour Corps Ammunition Logistics

Whilst on my last trip to Ypres I visited the Chinese Memorial  at Busseboom which commemorates the part played by 140,000 Chinese Labourers employed by the British and French  during the Great War.   Their contribution and role is outlined by the National Archives;  National Archives - Chinese Labour Corps on the Western Front     CHINESE LABOUR CORPS MEMORIAL BUSSEBOOM   Adjacent is another memorial to 13 Chinese labourers killed in a German air raid on

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Operations

Albert Leaning Virgin Shoot

An interesting post by  BIFFO   shows an extract from the 13th Battalion Welsh Regiment war diary which recounts the toppling of the Leaning Virgin of Albert by British Artillery.   ALL artillery fans go stand in the corner   The Leaning Virgin was a familiar sight to soldiers on the Somme when passing through Albert. The statue remained in its precarious position from January 1915 until it was toppled by British Artillery in April 1918.   British Toops p

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ianjonesncl in Artillery Action

No1 Armoured Train Royal Garrison Artillery

No1 Armoured Train Royal Garrison Artillery( 1AT RGA)  was formed on the 15th September 1915.   It's origins lay in the armoured trains operated by the Royal Naval Air Service which were formed in September 1914 to support the Belgians in the defence of Antwerp. The First Sea Lord, Winston Churchill, sent  six naval guns and detachments drawn from naval gunnery schools to Belgium. The Belgians decided to mount these guns onto railway trucks and formed three armoured trains Two consiste

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ianjonesncl in RA Units

The King's Shot

A post on a model railway Boche buster model train pack highlighted an event that would be know as 'The King's Shot'.    It is an event that is recorded in the The Royal Artillery War Commemoration Book (The  King's  Shot (pages 295 - 296)   The Royal Artillery War Commemoration Book THE KINGS SHOT   During May, 1918, there arrived in France two 14-inch "ra

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Captain Francis Victor Wallington MC***

I came across information on the London Gazette which detailed there were four officers who won the Military Cross and three Bars during the First World War. The first to gain this distinction was  a Gunner Officer, Captain Francis Victor Wallington.   The Gazette - World War One Military Cross (MC)   With the help of  GWF Pals  charlie962    |  battiscombe  |   rflory  |   sadbrewer   |    IPT  | David_Underdown   | and Chris Baker's Long Long Trail, an account of his servic

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