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Ypres - Royal Artillery

blog-0574516001338229278.jpgJust back from a quick day in Ypres.

An opportunity to spend some time at the Menin Gate


The Menin Gate lists 477 names for those lost from the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery. The names are listed on panles 5 and 9, either side of the north archway. There are 112 names for those lost from the Royal Garrison Artillery,these being inscribed on panel 9, to the right of the north arch.

A visit was made to the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, primarlly to visit the Knott brothers graves, where 313 Royal Artillery graves can be found, including gunner William Butler D/250 Battery from Hebburn Colliery.




blog-0284703001379372626.jpgInteresting film of 12 inch howitzers in action, both rail and road, observation from aircraft, then King George V inspecting the 14 inch rail gun "Boche Buster".

Impressed with the drills on the rail howitzer considering it is a 850lb (386kg) shell they are using. Layer at work on his sights, breach being prepared and round loaded whilst the next one is already been hoisted - good concurrent activity. The rate of fire is good, certainly heavy work, but looks a good team.

Air observation whilst sending the fire orders in morse using a keypad attached to the side of the plane from an open cockpit. Used to find it difficult enough in a helicopter with a radio. Good to see how the orders were passed to the guns, radio, then telephone.



Catalogue number

  • IWM 218

Production date 1918 Place made GB

Object description

Compilation film of heavy British guns on the Western Front, 1916-1918.

Full description

Two aircrew with their backs to the camera walk towards their BE2 aircraft before an artillery spotting mission - jump cut to the plane flying. A 12-inch Mk I railway howitzer of 89th Siege Battery RGA (?) at Dickebusch in June 1916 being elevated and loaded. In the aircraft's cockpit "8,000 feet up" (fake) the observer sends morse messages to a receiver on the ground, relayed by field telephone to the gun, which opens fire (possibly a blank - the wadding can be seen leaving the barrel).

The whole sequence is repeated correcting for range, including a view down from the observer's position showing trench lines, and repeated again. A second battery, of 12-inch Mk II siege howitzers, also fires, is loaded, fired again, and some maintenance work is done on one gun.

The BE2 returns home (the aircraft actually shown landing is an RE7 with a Beardmore engine). A line of shells is loaded into another 12-inch railway gun under a camouflage awning. II. King George V's visit to the 14-inch railway gun 'HMG Boche Buster' of 471st Siege Battery RGA at Brayon on 8 August 1918. With him is the GOC First Army, General Horne. The hawk-nosed man behind George V is the battery commander, Major S Montague Cleeve.


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






US Navy 14 Inch Rail Guns firing in France 1918

When America entered the Great War in 1917, the UD Navy deployed five 14inch / 50 calibre rail guns into France, each gun being a separate battery.


The video of the rail guns in action shows the guns firing, use of aircraft for controlling fire, command post operations, and the administration of the battery





UBIQUE - Thank God for the Guns






Rudyard Kipling


There is a word you often see, pronounce it as you may –
“You bike,” “you bykwee,” “ubbikwee” – alludin’ to R. A.
It serves ‘Orse, Field, an’ Garrison as motto for a crest;
An’ when you’ve found out all it means I’ll tell you ‘alf the rest.


Ubique means the long-range Krupp be’ind the long-range ‘ill –
Ubique means you’ll pick it up an’, while you do, stand still.
Ubique means you’ve caught the flash an’ timed it by the sound.
Ubique means five gunners’ ‘ash before you’ve loosed a round.


Ubique means Blue Fuse, an’ make the ‘ole to sink the trail.
Ubique means stand up an’ take the Mauser’s ‘alf-mile ‘ail.
Ubique means the crazy team not God nor man can ‘old.
Ubique means that ‘orse’s scream which turns your innards cold!


Ubique means “Bank, ‘Olborn, Bank – a penny all the way” –
The soothin’, jingle-bump-an’-clank from day to peaceful day.
Ubique means “They’ve caught De Wet, an’ now we shan’t be long.”
Ubique means “I much regret, the beggar’s goin’ strong!”


Ubique means the tearin’ drift where, breach-block jammed with mud,
The khaki muzzles duck an’ lift across the khaki flood.
Ubique means the dancing plain that changes rocks to Boers.
Ubique means mirage again an’ shellin’ all outdoors.


Ubique means “Entrain at once for Grootdefeatfontein.”
Ubique means “Of-load your guns” – at midnight in the rain!
Ubique means “More mounted men. Return all guns to store.”
Ubique means the R.A.M.R. Infantillery Corps.


Ubique means that warnin’ grunt the perished linesman knows,
When o’er ‘is strung an’ sufferin’ front the shrapnel sprays ‘is foes;
An’ as their firin’ dies away the ‘usky whisper runs
From lips that ‘aven’t drunk all day: “The Guns! Thank Gawd, the Guns!”


Extreme, depressed, point-blank or short, end-first or any’ow,
From Colesberg Kop to Quagga’s Poort – from Ninety-Nine till now –
By what I’ve ‘eard the others tell an’ I in spots ‘ave seen,
There’s nothin’ this side ‘Eaven or ‘Ell Ubique doesn’t mean!


Ubique - Our Gunners in the Great War

Many thanks to fellow GWF Blogger Edward Walshe for a film on his YouTube Channel - Ubique 1916 1917.



The work of the Royal Field Artillery and Royal Garrison Artillery, mainly on the Western Front, 1916-1917. Drivers water their horses at a trough. A brigade of RFA 18-pounders moves off from their camp ground. Other 18-pounders move past dead Highlanders (from IWM 191 BATTLE OF THE SOMME). A battery of 18-pounders in line fires. Two 60-pounders being fired. An officer climbs a ladder into a tree as an observation post. A 60-pounder battery fires under scrim. Rear view of an 18-pounder firing. Some 9.2-inch howitzers fire from a chalk pit. Finally, 60-pounders in action in Mesopotamia.




Tynemouth RGA - Siege Batteries

The Royal Naval dominance of the North Sea reduced the German threat on the coast and the requirement for coastal artillery. This coincided with increased demand for heavy artillery for the Western Front, and skilled RGA gunners to man those guns. Consequently RGA gunners from the coastal batteries were formed into siege batteries for deployment overseas.

The coastal units would also provide the basis for training and the raising of future RGA Batteries.

The following Siege Batteries were formed from the Tynemouth RGA (TF) personnel and or / at Tynemouth

Sources: Fredericks Lineage vol 2 page 702 to 708 / Siege Battery 94 1914-1918 / The History of the 135th Siege Battery RGA

  • 21 Siege Battery - formed 15th January 1915 at Tynemouth. Equipped with 9.2 in howitzers

  • 25 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 15th Feb 1915. Armed with four 8" Howitzers went out to the Western Front on 3 Aug 15

  • 35 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 15th Feb 1915

  • 44 Siege Battery - formed at Sheerness 12th July 1915. Formed from Tynemouth RGA (TF) and regulars from units in Gibraltar.

  • 46 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 30th July 1915 Nucleus from Cornwall RGA

  • 53 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 25th August 1915

  • 80 Siege Battery - formed Tynemouth 15 Nov 1915

  • 94 Siege Battery - formed 16th December 1915 at Tynemouth. Personnel 40 % New Army / Regulars from Tynemouth RGA & 60% Durham RGA. Deployed to France April 1916 with 4 x 9.2in Howitzer

  • 100 Siege Battery - formed 13th January 1916 Tynemouth Defences

  • 115 Siege Battery -- formed at Tynemouth 3rd March 1916

  • 128 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 8th April 1916

  • 135 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 3rd May 1916 - Nucleus from 12 & 47 Company's RGA (Tynemouth) and recruits from Derby

  • 169 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 13th June 1916

  • 186 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 13th July 1916

  • 217 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 13th July 1916 - Equipped with 4 x 6in howitzers (26cwt) Went to Western Front 2oth Jan 1917 Increased to 4 guns 10-Mar-1918

  • 223 siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 12th August 1916

  • 247 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 13th September 1916

  • 260 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 28th September 1916

  • 288 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 1st November 1916 - Went out to the Western Front 4th April 1917. Equipped with of 4 x 8in Howitzers

  • 302 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 17th January 1916

  • 339 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 15th January 1917

A review of Soldiers who died in the Great War for the Tynemouth RGA details 18 soldiers who lost their lives. They served in the following Siege Batteries; 13, 44, 76, 100, 113, 132, 135, 199, 228, 286, 290, and 384. In addition one Tynemouth RGA gunner was lost with the 1st/1st (Essex) Heavy Battery. This shows the variety of batteries with which Tynemouth RGA gunners served, and includes service in Salonika and Mesopotamia.

Surname Initials Rank Unit

Baker IO BSM 228th Siege Bty.

Bennett W Gunner 286th Siege Bty.

Brown JE Bombardier 113th Siege Bty.

Chapman E Gunner Tynemouth

Daniel F Gunner Royal Garrison Artillery

Flett R Gunner 44th Siege Bty.

Gallon J Gunner Royal Garrison Artillery

Hills J Gunner 76th Siege Bty.

Howe HD Gunner 290th Siege Bty.

Kelly J Bombardier 132nd Siege Bty.

Levitt W Gunner 13th Siege Bty.

Lynch W Gunner 135th Siege Bty.

McDonald N

Moffatt AE Gunner 199th Siege Bty.

Mordue T Gunner 384th Siege Bty.

Neil A Gunner 1st/1st (Essex) Heavy Bty.

Richardson SG Bombadier 100th Siege Bty.

Todd G Gunner 384th Siege Bty.


Trench Mortar Battery Orbat

Hello kildaremark

From research I did some years ago at Kew, the numbering of TMBs went up to 114, although there were some gaps, notably in the 50s and 70s. I'm inclined to agree with Kevin that numbers in the 300s and 400s were not sequential.

When the allocation of TMBs was formalised in mid-1916, brigade TMBs were ligt, equipped with the Stokes, and were manned predominantly by infantrymen. Medium and heavy TMBs, at divisional level, were regarded as units of the RFA and RGA respectively, though this did not mean that there was no mixture of RFA and RGA men among them - in fact, that seems to have been quite common. The heavy TMBs were generally cosolidated as Corps-level units in 1918.


Here are the original War Establishments for various types of TMB. There were only minor changes thereafter:

September 1915 Trench Mortar Battery (4 mortars of the same type)

2 Officers, 1 Serjeant, 4 Corporals or Lance-Corporals, 16 Privates, 2 Batmen.

August 1916 Light Trench Mortar Battery (2 sections, each 4 x 3" Stokes mortars)

Captain, 3 Subalterns, 2 Serjeants, 8 Corporals or Lance-Corporals, 32 Privates, 4 Batmen.

August 1916 Medium Trench Mortar Battery (4 x 2" mortars)

2 Officers, 1 Serjeant, 4 Corporals or Bombardiers, 16 Privates, 2 Batmen.

August 1916 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery (4 x 9.45" mortars)

Captain, 2 Subalterns, 3 Serjeants, 1 Fitter, 4 Corporals, 4 Bombardiers, 47 Gunners (incl 3 telephonists), 2 Orderlies, 1 Clerk, 1 Cook, 3 Batmen.


thank you very much Ron, appreciate it

Source: Trench mortar batteries


Trench Mortar Batteries

Light Trench Mortars - Infantry

Langleybaston1418 is correct: A Light TM Battery was found in each infantry brigade. These were manned by infantrymen and bore the same number as the brigade, i.e. 88th T. M. Bty. served with 88th Brigade in the 29th Division.

Medium / Heavy Trench Mortars Royal Artillery

Three Medium TM Batteries (later two) served with each division under the divisional artillery manned by RFA gunners. These were designated by the letters X, Y, and Z followed by the number designating the division, i.e. X/29, Y/29, Z/29; in 1916 and 1917 each division had a Heavy TM Battery which also served under the divisional artillery manned by RFA and RGA gunners. These were designated by a V followed by the number of the division, i.e. V/29.

Regards. Dick

Source: T.M.B.



blog-0857364001379372400.jpgTHE WORK OF THE ARMY VETERINARY CORPS : and how it is helped by the RSPCA


Catalogue number

  • IWM 114

Production date 1916-06-12 Place made GB Object description

The British Army Veterinary Hospital at Neufchâtel, near Dieppe, France, spring 1916.

Full description

An unfinished stable at the hospital, "will you help the RSPCA to complete it ?". A group of three horses. A wounded horse being attended to at a mobile veterinary section near the front. Wounded horses are entrained, then detrained at the hospital and loaded into a horse-box. The hospital itself includes an operating theatre, with horses being operated on, treatment for shrapnel wounds, and a horse-dip. The horses are then fed and exercised. A remount officer inspects the cured horses and they are led out of the stables


The Military Port of Richborough, Sandwich, Kent

Came across this post

Source: The Military Port of Richborough, Sandwich, Kent

The artillery logistic trail stretches from factory to a shell being delivered onto an enemy target. Whilst I have looked at the ammunition supply mechanism in France, and munitions factories ion the UK, never gave much thought to the bit in between, especially the movement across the channel. What I did not realise was a purpose built port was built, and that it operated train ferries. Consequently guns and ammunition could be loaded onto wagons at the factory, moved to Richborough by train, and loaded directly onto a train ferry. No need for any form of cross loading, this must have saved a great deal of time and effort.

Three ferries were built. They had a length of 363ft, a 61ft beam and had 4 lines of rails which could carry 54 standard 10 ton wagons. The average load carried was 900 tons.

Even heavy locomotives and four 14" guns weighing 302 tons each were safely carried to France.


Information: TF1, the Richborough Train Ferry

Picture and information from from the Long Long Trail

At Richborough in Kent, a whole new port was built to expand Cross-Channel supply shipping capacity. Among its features was what we we today call a "roll-on, roll-off" ferry - for railway trains. Among the many tons moved from Richborough were complete trains carrying tanks, direct from the factories to the British army in France.

Royal Engineers at Sandwich


blog-0780420001379373869.jpgTHE DESTRUCTION OF A FOKKER : our mobile anti-aircraft guns in action

Anti-aircraft artillery in action.

Appreciate the film is staged managed, so I wonder if AA Artillery did actually chase along the road after aircraft. With everyone in the detachment hanging onto the lorry as it gives chase I could not help thinking it looked like the keystone cops, though 30 seconds from stopping to first round fired is certainly not a comedy routine.

Rousing cheer at the end when they get the Fokker !!!!!


Catalogue number

  • IWM 470

Production date 1916-06-19 Place made GB Object description

British 13-pounder anti-aircraft mobile batteries shoot down a German aircraft, Western Front, January 1916.

Full description

The film includes some fakes and a large number of stockshots. It concerns a battery of two 13-pounder Mark III anti-aircraft guns mounted on Thorneycroft lorries by Mark I lorry mounts, together with their fire control. The captain in charge sights an enemy aircraft (never actually seen) through his telescope, the details are set out on the ranging board and the men of the battery called out. The guns open fire, and as the target aircraft moves past them the lorries drive in pursuit to a new site where they again deploy and open fire. Fire control keeps track with telescopes and rangefinders. A second battery, with 13-pounder 9cwt anti-aircraft guns, joins in. The men cheer as the enemy aircraft plunges out of the sky. It is seen falling, burning while balancing on its nose, then burning on the ground (this last sequence is clearly a fake, and not recognisably a Fokker aircraft).


Territorial Force Renumbering 1917

Picked this up from a post by David Porter on the renumbering of the Territorrial Force in 1917. David says " I've looked at this aspect for several years and I'm still getting to grips with it" , so even complex for an expert !!

Source: Birmingham and the Royal Field Artillery? .

Some key points:

  • All Territorial Force RH & RFA were renumbered as per ACI 2198 (Appendix 183) of November 1916 implemented on January 1, 1917.
  • The renumbering didn't happen during the reorganisation of May 1916 but curiously (sometimes) refers to the unit they were in at that time.
  • It appears the renumbering was more related to the previous number which didn't change if they transferred to another TF RH or RFA unit.

One assumes that there would have been a cut off point in the records office whereby the new numbers were allocated from the nominal role at that point in time to reduce the problems of continually changing lists due to casualties and replacements. Given the time to collate all the information, publish and print the ACI the nominal role at May 1916 may have been used.

Chris on the Long Long Trail outlines the overall mechanism Renumbering of the Territorial Force in 1917, and concludes "The ACIs are sometimes contradictory, are susceptible to different interpretations and there were doubtless many errors made by the clerks responsible for actually executing the changes." .

Those who served post war may also have another number issued on the re-establishment in 1920. I have a soldier who was a pre and post war Territorial and has three numbers.

Always grateful for a post by Kondoa which details the TF numbers for thr Royal Artillery.

Royal Artillery Units



1 - 99999


1 - 49999


11 Hull HB 290003 290324

158 Hull HB " "

38 Howitzer Brigade " "

38 Welsh HB 290325 290590

122 Oxford HB

124 Hull HB 290601 290850

126 Camberwell HB 290851 291008

199 Camberwell HB 291001 291145

127 Bristol HB 291146 291300

128 Oxford HB 291350 291500

129 Bristol HB 291580 291780

132 Oxford HB 291780 292000

125 County PalatineHB 292001 292250

133 County PalatineHB 292251 292450

134 Cornwall HB TF ------- -------- see TF lists

135 Oxford HB 292451 292700

137 Deptford HB 292726 292975

138 HampsteadHB 292951 293200

140 HammersmithHB 293201 293415

136 County PalatineHB 293401 293700

141 East Ham HB 293701 293950

142 Durham HB -------- -------- see TF lists

143 Ashton Under Lyne 293951 294150

144 York HB 294151 294350

145 Stockport HB 294351 294600

146 Hull HB 294601 294800

147 Leicester HB 294801 295000

148 Smethwick HB 295051 295300

149 Wakefield HB 295301 295550

150 Rotherham HB 295551 295750

151 Darlington HB 295751 296000

152 Hackney HB 296001 296250

153 Tottenham HB 296251 296500

139 HampsteadHB 296501 296700

154 Halifax 296701 296850

155 E. CheshireHB 296851 297100

156 Oxford 297101 297400

157 Leicester HB 297401 297600


300001-306000 4 HIGHLAND MTN BDE, RGA









313001-314000 2/1 N MIDLAND HVY BY, RGA /N MIDLAND DIV






317001-318000 KENT HVY BY, RGA/ HOME CO DIV

318001-321000 1 LONDON HVY BY, RGA/ LONDON DIV

318001-321000 2 LONDON HVY BY, RGA/ LONDON DIV


326001-329000 CLYDE FORTRESS RGA

329001-334000 DEVON FORTRESS RGA







358001-362000 KENT FORTRESS RGA









602001-604000 1/AYRSHIRE BTY, RHA/ AYR, RHA



608001-610000 C/264 W RIDING RHA





618001-620000 A/264 HANTS RHA


622001-624000 B/264 ESSEX RHA


630001-635000 255 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 HIGHLAND BDE

630001-635000 320 BDE, RFA TF/BDE, 2/HIGHLAND

635001-640000 256 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/ 2 HIGHLAND BDE

635001-640000 321 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/HIGHLAND

640001-645000 258 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 HIGHLAND BDE

640001-645000 322 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/HIGHLAND

645001-650000 51 DAC/ HIGHLAND

645001-650000 64 DAC/ 2/HIGHLAND

650001-655000 257 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 LOWLAND BETWEEN 11 MAY 16-3 JUN 16

650001-655000 325 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/LOWLAND

655001-660000 261 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 LOWLAND (260, 28 MAY 16-SEP 16)

655001-660000 326 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/LOWLAND

660001-665000 262 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 LOWLAND (261, 28 MAY 16-SEP 16)

660001-665000 327 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/LOWLAND

665001-669000 263 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 LOWLAND BDE (BROKEN UP DEC 16)

665001-670000 328 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/LOWLAND

669001-671000 264 BDE, RFA TF/ LOWLAND

670001-675000 65 DAC/ 2/LOWLAND

671001-675000 52 DAC/ LOWLAND

675001-680000 275 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 W LANCS

675001-680000 285 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 W LANCS

680001-685000 276 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 W LANCS

680001-685000 286 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/2 W LANCS

685001-690000 277 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 W LANCS

685001-690000 287 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/3 W LANCS (BROKEN UP FEB 17)

690001-695000 278 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 W LANCS (BROKEN UP OCT 16)

690001-695000 288 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 W LANCS

695001-700000 55 DAC/ W LANCASHIRE

695001-700000 57 DAC/ 2/W LANCASHIRE

700001-705000 210 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 E LANCS

700001-705000 330 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 E LANCASHIRE

705001-710000 211 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 E LANCS (BROKEN UP FEB 17)

705001-710000 331 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/2 E LANCASHIRE

710001-715000 212 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 E LANCS (RENUMBERED AS 211 BDE ON DEC 16)

710001-715000 332 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/3 LANCASHIRE (BROKEN UP, APR 17)

715001-720000 213 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 E LANCS BDE (BROKEN UP DEC 16, BTYS TO 120 & 211)

715001-720000 333 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 LANCASHIRE

720001-725000 42 DAC/ E LANC

720001-725000 66 DAC/ 2/E LANCASHIRE

725001-730000 265 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 WELCH BDE (BROKEN UP DEC 16)(RENUMBERED FROM 267, DEC 16)

725001-730000 340 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 WELCH (BROKEN UP MAY 16, BTRYS TO 342 & 343 BDES)

730001-735000 266 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 WELCH BDE

730001-735000 341 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/2 WELCH

735001-740000 267 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 CHESHIRE BDE (RENUMBERED 265, DEC 16)

735001-740000 342 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 CHESHIRE BDE

740001-745000 268 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 WELCH BDE (RENUMBERED 266, DEC 16)

740001-745000 343 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 WELCH

745001-750000 54 DAC/ WELCH

745001-750000 68 DAC/ 2/WELCH

750001-755000 250 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 NORTHUMBRIAN BDE

750001-755000 315 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 NORTHUMBRIAN

755001-760000 BDE, RFA TF/ 251 1/2 NORTHUMBRIAN BDE

755001-760000 BDE, RFA TF/ 316 2/2 NORTHUMBRIAN

760001-765000 BDE, RFA TF/ 252 1/3 NORTHUMBRIAN BDE

760001-765000 BDE, RFA TF/ 317 2/3 NORTHUMBRIAN

765001-770000 BDE, RFA TF/ 253 1/4 NORTHUMBRIAN BDE

765001-770000 BDE, RFA TF/ 318 2/4 NORTHUMBRIAN (RENUMBERED 223, JUL 16)

770001-775000 50 DAC/ NORTHUMBRIAN

770001-775000 63 DAC/ 2/NORTHUMBRIAN

775001-780000 245 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 W RIDING BDE

775001-780000 310 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 W RIDING

780001-785000 246 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 W RIDING BDE

780001-785000 311 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/2 W RIDING

785001-790000 247 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 W RIDING BDE

785001-790000 312 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/3 W RIDING

790001-795000 248 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 W RIDING BDE

790001-795000 313 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 W RIDING

795001-800000 49 DAC/ W RIDING

795001-800000 62 DAC/ 2/W RIDING

800001-805000 230 BDE, RFA TF/ 1 N MIDLAND BDE

800001-805000 295 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 N MIDLAND

805001-810000 231 BDE, RFA TF/ 2 N MIDLAND BDE

805001-810000 296 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/2 MIDLAND

810001-815000 232 AFA BDE BDE, RFA TF/ 3 N MIDLAND BDE

810001-815000 297 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/3 MIDLAND

815001-820000 233 BDE, RFA TF/ N MIDLAND

815001-820000 298 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 MIDLAND

820001-825000 46 DAC/ N MIDLAND

820001-825000 59 DAC/ 2/N MIDLAND

825001-830000 240 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 S MIDLAND BDE

825001-830000 305 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 S MIDLAND (BROKEN UP, SEP 16)

830001-835000 241 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 S MIDLAND BDE

830001-835000 306 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/2 S MIDLAND

835001-840000 242 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 S MIDLAND BDE

835001-840000 307 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/3 S MIDLAND

840001-845000 243 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 S MIDLAND BDE

840001-845000 308 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 S MIDLAND

845001-850000 48 DAC/ S MIDLAND

845001-850000 61 DAC/ 2/S MIDLAND

850001-855000 215 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 WESSEX BDE

850001-855000 225 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 WESSEX BDE

855001-860000 'E' RES BDE

855001-860000 216 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 WESSEX BDE

860001-865000 217 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 WESSEX BDE

860001-865000 227 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 WESSEX BDE

865001-870000 218 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 WESSEX BDE

865001-870000 228 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 WESSEX BDE

870001-875000 43 DAC/ WESSEX

870001-875000 45 DAC/ WESSEX

875001-880000 270 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 E ANGLICAN BDE (RENUMBERED 272, DEC 16)

875001-880000 345 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 E ANGLICAN (BROKEN UP DEC 16))

880001-885000 271 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 E ANGLICAN BDE

880001-885000 346 BDE, RFA TF/ BDE, 2/2 E ANGLICAN

885001-890000 272 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 BDE ANGLICAN BDE (BROKEN UP DEC 16)

885001-890000 347 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/3 E ANGLICAN

890001-895000 273 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 E ANGLICAN BDE (RENUMBERED 270, DEC 16)

890001-895000 348 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 E ANGLICAN

895001-900000 55 DAC/ E ANGLICAN

895001-900000 69 DAC/ 2/E ANGLICAN

900001-905000 220 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 HOME CO BDE

900001-905000 335 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 HOME CO (BROKEN UP MAR 16)

905001-910000 221 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 HOME CO BDE

905001-910000 336 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/2 HOME CO

910001-915000 222 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 HOME CO BDE

910001-915000 337 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/3 HOME CO

915001-920000 27 DAC/ HOME CO

915001-920000 338 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 HOME CO (BROKEN UP, MAR 16)

920001-925000 43 DAC/ HOME CO

920001-925000 67 DAC/ 2/HOME COUNTIES

925001-930000 280 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/1 LONDON BDE

925001-930000 290 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 LONDON BDE

930001-935000 281 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/2 LONDON BDE

930001-935000 291 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/2 LONDON BDE

935001-940000 282 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/3 LONDON BDE

935001-940000 292 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/3 LONDON BDE (BROKEN UP, SEP 16)

940001-945000 283 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/4 LONDON BDE

940001-945000 293 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/4 LONDON BDE

945001-950000 56 DAC/ 1 LONDON

945001-950000 58 DAC/ 2/1ST LONDON

950001-955000 235 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/5 LONDON BDE

950001-955000 300 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/5 LONDON (BROKEN UP AUG 16)

955001-960000 236 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/6 LONDON BDE

955001-960000 301 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/6 LONDON

960001-965000 237 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/7 LONDON BDE

960001-965000 302 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/7 LONDON

965001-970000 238 BDE, RFA TF/ 1/8 LONDON BDE

965001-970000 303 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/8 LONDON

970001-975000 47 DAC/ 2ND LONDON

970001-975000 60 DAC/ 2/2ND LONDO


Territorial Force 1914

Being looking through England's Last Hope, The Territorial Force, 1908-14 by KW Mitchinson at the Library. GWF Review


The move from a disparate number of units into fully formed Divisions in 6 years would have been quite a task. In the Artillery the upheaval for the coastal units of the RGA would probably have been less, as their role remained unchanged. Having gone through a major role change in more recent times , one can emphasise with the Divisional Artillery. Unfortunately the Artillery were often synonymous with Territorial inefficiency, and one association described Artillery units as being their greatest difficulty.

However....the units were not provided with the facilities and equipment to effectively train. It is not surprising there were problems.

The former Volunteer units were equipped with an assortment of elderly guns, most of which were no use in a mobile role. As the Regular Army re-equipped with the 18 poundesr, the TF RFA would receive the 15 pounder Breach Loading Convertible. One problem was the guns were not supplied with their full stores. The 1st West Riding Brigade RFA deployed to camp in 1909 with no dial sights / aiming posts / directors / correctors / plotters and only one clinometer between 4 guns. This would be akin to firing cannons at Waterloo.

Weekend training was also a challenge. The RFA Brigades had no horses, and therefore had to hire them for weekend training. In the early part of the 20th century, working Saturday morning was the norm, consequently the type of horses required for pulling the guns would be working too. The County Associations therefore had a choice of hiring horses either for a Saturday morning, or a full day Sunday. This also meant that only those units near artillery ranges could actually get to fire at a weekend - if they had any ammunition.

Batteries were allocated 200 rounds per 15 pounder Brigade per year, 122 rounds for the 5 inch Howitzer Brigade, per year. They were however only allowed to fire every other year. Consequently Brigades would move ammunition between them, so they could end up with 400 rounds and 244 rounds per Brigade, the Regular Army would receive 600 rounds per year. The majority of firing was at annual camp, so weekend firing only occurred if there were any spare rounds. That is if they could get a range.

In 1913, there were five artillery ranges for the Regular Army and TF. An additional two ranges were added for the TF that year. Some of the ranges were out to sea, of no benefit for observers. Consequently training would be limited to the gun end, one unit did not fire on a land range for 5 years. It may be that not all the guns could go to camp, many being left behind due to a shortage of horses. The War Office proposed that they should purchase 14 horses per Brigade. A gun and limber would require 6 horses, section of two guns could be deployed. The Commanding Officer would obviously have a horse, leaving one horse for the rest of the Brigade. So two guns could deploy with the CO, the detachment would have to walk, as would the rest of the Brigade, and no stores could be moved. Horses were provided for annual camp 117 for an RFA Brigade, 78 RHA Brigade. And to feed the horses... the Brigades had to hire their own hay cutters at camp out of their own funds.

The formation of an Expeditionary Force to move to the Empires trouble spots, and the possibility of it being deployed in a European conflict, raised the question of using the TF for Imperial Service. the conditions of enlistment for Territorials was home defense only. Territorials could volunteer for overseas service, the numbers who did so were relatively small, only 7 percent of the total force in 1912 . Seven units were able to form as a full unit for imperial service, one of which was the Northumberland Hussars. The numbers volunteering across the Territorial Artillery varied. The unit with the most volunteers was the 1st Northumbrian Brigade RFA at 46 % (the predecessors of my Regiment). At the other end of the scale, only 3 Gunners out of the East Lancashire division volunteered.

The preparation for Home Defense were not too good either. It was assessed that the TF Artillery could only deploy against an invader with no Artillery support (not sure if the fuzie wuzies could get them selves to the UK), and should the invasion come from a force with Artillery, 6 to 9 months training would be required. One hopes the enemy would have hung around their landing areas so long.

It was not surprising that many of the TF's detractors called for the disbandment of the TF Artillery.

On the eve of World War One the Territorial Artillery was poorly equipped, poorly trained, and would seemed ill prepared to provide sufficient numbers to serve overseas if required.

On mobilisation the Territorials answered the call to the colours. Most units volunteered to a man to serve overseas, by the end of August 1914, most had started to form second line units.On the 5th September 1914, the East Lancashire Division was the first Territorial Division to deploy overseas, moving to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.

The TF Artillery would go on to serve with distinction throughout the Great War- Ubique Quo Fas Gloria et Duncunt.



Another excellent find by Mike aka Skipman from the United States Combined Arms Research Library CARL

Study of the artillery support for the landing by the British on Gallipoli on April 25th



CGSS Student Papers, 1930-1936


Study of the artillery support for the landing by the British on Gallipoli on April 25th.

Alternative title

Artillery support for the landing by the British on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.


Goetz, Robert C.F.


The paper discusses the importance of artillery support by British forces during World War I. The organization of the British Navy is highlighted, the reasons an appropriate amount of firepower was needed to secure a successful landing, and the accounts of the landing April 25th are described. The ships importance is revealed as their function included taking part in artillery preparation and support of the troops, as well as carrying troops to seize the beaches.


Somme Artillery

Off to the Somme in April so keen to look at the Royal Artillery aspects of the Battles, and in particular the role in the preliminary bombardment.

The Battle of the Somme saw the largest number of Artillery guns and howitzers in the war so far, however the 12 mile (19km) frontage meant the concentration was less than previous Battles. According to Farndale's , History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery Western Front 1914 - 1918, the artillery power available for the Somme amounted to 1,010 field guns and howitzers, 182 heavy guns, 245 heavy howitzers and an additional 100 French guns and howitzers. A total of 1,537 guns. In the preparatory bombardment, the British artillery would fire more than 1.5 million shells, exceeding the total number of shells fired by the British Army in the first twelve months of the war. A further quarter of a million shells would be fired on the day of the attack.

Despite all the efforts and losses of the Gunners, the effect of Artillery along the battle lines varied, and the consequences were reflected in the casualties of the Infantry.

General infirmation: First Day of the Somme

As ever Pals contributions and expertise will be invaluable:

Long Long Trail The British artillery bombardment before the Somme

Topic Artillery on the Somme

Topic Equipment of RGA Batteries summer 1916

Topic Artillery - Serviceability of Guns

Topic Wirecuttng on the Somme

Alan MacDonalds excellent site on Gommecourt

British Field Artillery

British Siege and Heavy Artillery

Gommecourt - The Bombardment

An interesting video.....



Somme - Counter Battery Fire

Just been looking at the Counter Battery fire tasks for the preliminary bombardment for the Somme, and reading General Sir Martin Farndales's History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery Western Front 1914-18.

Farndale - History of the Royal Artillery Western Front 1914-18 states " Artillery commanders were obsessed with the need to keep fire immediately in front of the infantry. In doing so, they again allowed counter battery tasks , and ability to switch guns of the barrage to deal with the unexpected, to slip into second place".

Farndale goes on to say "But who could blame them -they were feeling their way with new doctrines and new techniques when their equipment was not up to it"

The doctrine adopted in for the Boer War was a distinct phase which was to win the Artillery Duel, this moved in 1908 toward artillery being more directed toward increased co-operation with the infantry.

So not really feeling their way – more relearning lessons – and it was not a common doctrine. Batteries allocated on CB fire ranged from 4 in one Corps, and 12 to 15 in others.

The details of resources allocated to CB tasks to Official History, and of the results detailed by General Farndale are interesting

VII Corps - Gommecourt

Despite the allocation of nearly 60 guns to CB tasks, only 20 rounds per gun per day were allowed. Only one RFC aircraft provided observation, and many German batteries remained undetected.

3 x batteries 4.5 inch howitzers

3 x batteries 60 pounders

3x batteries 4.7 inch guns

1 x battery 9.2 inch howitzers

3 x 6 inch guns

1 x 9.2 inch gun

Not surprising therefore that the Germans were able to use Artillery fire to devastating affect during the initial assault, then able to prevent re-enforcements coming forward by a standing barrage.

VIII Corps - Serre / Beaumont Hamel

Guns were pre registered by the use of aircraft, thirty two batteries were destroyed, and the same number engaged.

1 x battery 4.5 inch howitzers

4 x batteries 60 pounders

1x battery 4.7 inch guns

4 x batteries 6 inch howitzers

1 x battery 12 inch howitzers

1 x section 6 inch guns

X Corps - Thiepval

A good concentration of guns of all calibre were allocated to the task, however, with only six, eight or twelve rounds per target, fire was nor affective, and the enemy guns were not silenced.

2 x 18 pounder batteries

1 x battery 4.5 inch howitzers

7 x batteries 60 pounders

2x batteries 4.7 inch guns

3 x 12 inch howitzers

III Corps - Ovillers / La Boiselle

In this sector coordination with the RFC was not good; consequently the enemy guns had not been silenced.

8 x batteries 60 pounders

2x batteries 4.7 inch guns

3 x 12 inch howitzers

The 34th Division suffered some of the highest casualties on the 1st July, the Tyneside Scottish and Tyneside Irish in particular. Inaccurate artillery fire not only fails in its effect, it places undue strain on gunners and their guns wasting ammunition.

XV Corps - Fricourt / Mametz

The four batteries from the Corps assigned to CB were overwhelmed with requests for fire from aircraft, balloons and observers. It was fortunate that the CB fire of the 8th Division (III Corps) had knocked out many of the German guns. Not sure about the cross boundary firing!!!!

4 x batteries

XIII Corps - Montauban

In the valleys north of Mametz and Montauban, the German Batteries were almost destroyed, together with most of their ammunition.

One of the most successful attacks on the Somme – where the Artillery were able to suppress the enemy guns, it allowed the infantry to close on their objectives and perfgorm the task for which they had been trained.


Siege Battery Ammunition Columns

Usual stirling information from Phil aka Op Ack

Source: 405 S.B.A.C. ?

Due to the heavier weight of the ammunition used by Siege Batteries coupled with the fact that they operated more independently than Horse and Field Batteries, each had its own ammunition column. Commanded by an Army Service Corps Captain, composition varied during the war, however a typical organisation in September 1915 was: 2 Subalterns, 3 Serjeants, various Drivers (68 for 6"hows, 120 for 6"guns, 99 for 8"hows, 126 for 9.2"hows), 3 Batmen. In each case drivers include 2 for motor cars and 50% spare. A typical vehicle allocation at that time was, 32 3-tonners, 2 cars, 1 workshop lorry, 1 store lorry and 5 FWD lorries for gun work. The various Siege Battery Ammunition Columns were grouped into Siege Parks during 1916.

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