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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Guards Memorial is located at the edge of St James Park and Horse Guards.
It was built to commemorate those who lost their lives whilst serving with the Guards Division during the First World War. As well as commemorating those who served in the Foot Guards, the inscription on the memorial remembers the Officers, WO's, SNCO's and men of the supporting arms and logistics units which were part of the Guards Division, which includes the Royal Regiment of Artillery.
Interesting video from The Great War channel on YouTube.
Outlines the development of pre war artillery for France, Germany and Britain in relation to their doctrine.
France - Canon de 75 modele
Germany - 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 / 10.5 cm Feldhaubitze / 42cm Krupp "Big Berthas"
Britain - QF 18 pounder gun / BL 60 pounder gun / QF 4.5 inch howitzer / 9.2 inch heavy siege howitzer
Film of an 18 pounder battery conducting an engagement. Interesting camouflaged position along a tree line. Well prepared gun pits and ammunition delivered in ammunition pannier jackets, one way to disguise ammunition supply so tracks are not left by the limbers.
An observation officer of Royal Field Artillery orders to open fire on Germans during World War I in France.
An observation officer of Royal Field Artillery orders on phone to open fire on Germans during
An account from The North Eastern Railway In the First World War (Rob Langham / ISBN-978-1-78155-081-6) outlines the presence of a rail gun at Hartley on the Northumberland Coast , 10 km (8 miles) north of Tynemouth.
The gun was deployed on the Collywell Bay Branch line which was in the process of completion as war broke out in August 1914, and the project was halted.
A query from a friend about anti-aircraft artillery in WW1 lead to a realisation that the first Zeppelin successfully shot down was actually the result of anti-aircraft fire from the Gunners. Zeppelin L15 was brought down on the night of 31st March / 1st April 1916, ahead of the action of William Leefe Robinson on the 2nd September 1916, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
At the start of the First World War there was no Anti-Aircraft organisation beyond a few guns and an a
More camel artillery - this time in Aden. No 1 Camel Battery Royal Garrison Artillery
Aden, located near the entrance to the Red Sea, was vital for the security of the route through the Suez Canal. The port came under British control in 1838 as a base on the route to India. In gained increased prominence with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. The Ottoman Empire seized control of Yemen to the north, whilst Britain established protectorates with local rulers in the Ad
Recent research into camel artillery and the mountain battery of the Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Garrison Artillery recalled a connection to Northumbrian Gunners.
In the Albert Communal Cemetery extension there is a communal grave of 12 soldiers, 11 Gunners from the 41st Siege Battery RGA, and 1 attached from the Army Service Corps.
The 41st Siege Battery was formed under Major H.C. Hall at Lydd 6th July 1915. It was composed of regular gunners from the Hong Kong
Whilst researching Royal Garrison Artillery units I came across a commemoration to Gunners who had been killed during a Mutiny in Singapore in February 1915.
The Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) operated the coastal guns that protected Singapore. They were manned by the 78th and 80th Companies RGA and Indian Army Gunners from the Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Garrison Artillery (HKS-RGA). A British infantry battalion, and the Singapore Volunteers Batt
The Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Garrison Artillery (HKS-RGA) was a mountain battery that fought in the Middle East Campaign from 1915 to 1918, operating in Libya, Egypt, Sinai, Palestine and Jordan. It was equipped with mountain guns, initially using mules as transport, before switching to use camels in December 1916.
The HKS-RGA manned coastal batteries in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mauritius. A mountain battery was formed in Hong Kong in 1912 using Indian Army personnel. In N
A very interesting sight recording 45th Siege Battery during the Great War.
The site is dedicated to Gunner A H Deadman who served with the Battery.
45th Siege Battery R.G.A.
The Battery was equipped with two 9.2 inch mark VI rail guns which were constructed from surplus naval guns mounted on railway platforms by the Elswick Ordnance Company, Newcastle upon Tyne.
The 45th Siege Battery was formed 17th July 1915 at Sheerness from half of 18
Whilst researching Richards Battery RGA it transpired they were equipped with French Guns. Thanks to the help of GWF Pals I found out two Siege Batteries, the 105th and 106th were also initially equipped with French guns. It became apparent all three batteries experience of manning French Guns was intertwined.
The 105th and 106thSiege Batteries deployed to the Western Front with personnel only. They arrived in theatre on 17th May 1916 and proceeded to Le Parcq, 30 miles east of
British troops firing an 18 pounder field piece. A battery of 18 pounders lined up and firing near a tree line. Each gun rolls back from recoil after firing. British 18 pounder artillery firing from variety of places, including covered entrenched positions; open field positions; and camouflaged positions.
A British 127mm (60 pounder) heavy field artillery piece being fired.
British BL 6 inch 26cwt howitzers being fired.
Field artillery firing in salvos
Finally this year, 39 years a Gunner, I visited the Royal Artillery Memorial on Hyde Park Corner.
Commemorating those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars, the memorial was unveiled in October 1925 by H. R. H the Duke of Connaught. It was dedicated to the 49,076 Gunners who lost their lives during the First World War.
The memorial was designed by Charles Sargeant Jagger MC. It features bronze figures and sculptured reliefs depicting the Gunners activ
Among the Heavy Batteries of the Royal Garrison Artillery listed on the Long Long Trail is Richards Battery. An unusual designation outside the normal numbering system. Once again GWF Pals had the the answer; Richards Battery, RGA, XVII Corps June/July 1916.
The Richards Battery was formed on 16th June 1916 with details from 105 Siege Battery and the 51st (Highland) Division Heavy Trench Mortars. On the 21st June Captain Richards and three subalterns took over 3 x 220mm French Guns.
The Royal Artillery Association published a poem recording the action of L Battery Royal Artillery at Nery on September 1st 1914 when 3 Victoria Crosses were won.
It was written in 1915 by Gunner BS Chandler whilst recovering in an Army Hospital in Cheltenham. It was written in a scrap book collated by recovering soldiers.
The 3 Victoria Crosses were won by Captain Edward Bradbury, Battery Sergeant-Major George Dorrell and Serg