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Northumbrian Gunner meanderings

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ianjonesncl

From: Action at Elouges/Audriengies 24 Aug 1914

blog-0167216001408103547.jpg

David

Probably no gems - few posts from my Blog:

http://northumbriangunner.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/mons-action-at-elouges.html

http://northumbriangunner.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/mons-action-elouges-cheshires-last-stand.html

This may be more useful - a transcript of a report from the War Diary of 119th Battery RFA on the Battery at Elouges:

http://northumbriangunner.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/elouges-first-gunner-vc-of-great-war.html

Report of the action of the 119th Battery at ELOUGES August 24th 1914

On the afternoon of Aug 24th 1914 the 119th Battery formed part of the flank guard under Lt Colonel Balland, Norfolk Regt. Near ELOUGES. One section uner Lieut. C.O.D. PRESTON was detached about 500 yards on the right of the other 2 sections. After the remainder of the 5th Division had the retired the Germans worked round the right and took this section in rear. It was ordered to retire. Lieut. Preston was wounded. The section moved by a road in front of the other two sections towards the left. While moving along the road it was caught up by a Cavalry Brigade retiring at a fast pace and carried along by them. They were under very heavy shell fire. One of the lead horses was shot and Sgt. McCartney dismounted and cut it out. After going for about half a mile Lieut Preston halted his section and brought it into action against German Cavalry. Afterwards he took on German Infantry and Machine Guns until they got within 800 yards of the guns. He then sent one gun out of action & was again wounded. Sgt McCartney took his gun under cover and then rode back to assist Lt Preston to get the other away. The wagon of this sub-section was found not to be following the gun and Lieut Preston went back to try to get it away, but was unable to do so as most of the horses were killed. Altogether he was wounded 4 times twice severely. He was put in an Ambulance & Sgt McCartney brought the section away. The other 4 guns remained in action longer. When they were ordered to retire it was necessary to run back by hand under cover owing to the heavy fire. Captain Grenfell, 9th Lancers asked if he could assist in anyway. He was asked if he could help running the guns back by hand as owing to heavy casualties few men were available. One gun was run back by the men of the Battery & then the men of 9th Lancers assisted in running back the remainder of most of the guns & most of the wagons. After that the Battery retired. Captain Grenfell was wounded before and again while assisting the 119th , but he still continued to help. The conduct of the 9th Lancers was splendid as at least 3 German Batteries were concentrated on the 119th (one on its right flank) there was considerable infantry fire brought on the men at the same time, by German infantry on the mining dumps 4 to 600 yds away. While retiring one wagon & a limber were hit by shells and had to be abandoned. 2 officers and 48 men in the Battery were killed & wounded and 4 missing. 43 horses were killed and several wounded.

Quite interesting in that no where does it ouline any actions by Major Alexander.

Source: Action at Elouges/Audriengies 24 Aug 1914

ianjonesncl

As this is my 1000th post, I thought I'd make it a good one.

I've looked in some detail at the home based Territorial Force Artillery Training Schools that were set up to train men as reserves for the RH & RFA. Established by War Office Instruction 212 of May 1915, there were to be five schools but this was later expanded to eight as follows:

No. 1 T.F. Artillery Training School initially at Leyton Buzzard then South Camp, Ripon.

(Northern Command) 3rd Line Northumbrian, 3rd Line West Riding and 3rd Line North Midland were Affiliated Depots.

Reallocated to Ripon Training Centre for training purposes only.

No. 2 T.F. Artillery Training School initially at Dorking then Bettisfield Park Camp

(Western Command) 3rd Line West Lancs., 3rd Line East Lancs. and 3rd Line Welsh were Affiliated Depots.

No. 3 T.F. Artillery Training School initially at Kettering in May 1915, then Rollestone, then at No. 9 Camp, Bulford in 1916

(Southern Command) 3rd Line South Midland, 3rd Line Wessex and initially 3rd Line Lowland & Highland were Affiliated Depots.

Reallocated to Salisbury Training Centre for training purposes only.

No. 4 T.F. Artillery Training School at High Wycombe.

(Eastern Command) 3rd Line East Anglian, 3rd Line Home Counties and initially both 3rd Line London were Affiliated Depots.

No. 5 T.F. Artillery Training School initially Howitzer and Heavy to be at Aylesbury in May 1915, at Halefield Hutments, Wendover July 1915, then Kettering in December 1915, finally at Scotton Camp, Catterick.

(Scottish Command) 3rd Line Lowland, 3rd Line Highland became Affiliated Depots.

Reallocated to Ripon Training Centre for training purposes only.

No. 6 T.F. Artillery Training School at Biscot, Luton which was to be final destination of No. 5 (T.F.) ATS but changed.

(London District) 3rd Line of 1st & 2nd London became Affiliated Depots.

No. 7 T.F. Artillery Training School initially Luton, then Avington Park Camp, Winchester then Louisburg Barracks, Bordon by November 1916, then Durrington, Wilts in late 1918.

(Howitzer and Heavy) all 3rd Line Howitzer Batteries. Plus 4 Heavy batteries (No.1 and 2 Reserve Brigade RGA T.F.) which remained at Avington Park.

Reallocated to Salisbury Training Centre for training purposes only.

No. 8 T.F. Artillery Training School at Larkhill before July 1916 - "K" & "L" Training Batteries - then at "D" Lines, Bulford.

(Royal Horse Artillery) 2nd and 3rd Line RHA T.F. batteries (if established)

In July 1915 the schools were required to also take 50% of the establishment of the 2nd Line Divisional Ammunition Columns in addition to those from 3rd Line Depots. You occasionally see the batteries described as Divisional Training Batteries in 1916 (numbered as per intended division). In January 1916 all 3rd Line Artillery Depot units moved permanently to their affiliated Artillery Training School built to accomodate 2,100 men and 426 horses. The 2nd Line RHA T.F. were also concentrated at Larkhill (as 3rd Lines were still very small) with accomodation for 1,100 men and 250 horses. There were also remount horses housed at each site.

When call ups started as a result of the Derby Scheme and then conscription, new regulars were also sent and attached to these schools, which were renamed Reserve Brigades T.F. by August 1916. They were given regular numbers but if they were posted to a T.F. Battery or Ammunition Column after training and before the end of 1916 their number would have be changed to reflect the T.F. renumbering to six figures as per A.C.I. 2198 (Appendix 183) of November 1916. Often you will see two changes of number within a short space of time to reflect old and new T.F. numbers. Likewise, a T.F. man might gain a regular number if he was sent to a regular reserve brigade and posted on to a regular unit. Confusion continued into 1917 until it was decided that the number should reflect the attestation the soldier was serving under. This led to a good many men gaining a second six figure number within the RH & RFA.

Also towards the end of 1916, selected men from each Reserve Brigade were formed into Howitzer batteries in the 500 series. See http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=194784. After a short period of training (mostly at Aldershot or Bordon) these men were sent overseas, some before their 2nd Line counterparts. An injured or sick man from any RH & RFA T.F. unit who was returned to the UK would ultimately find himself back at a Reserve Brigade once fully recovered, ready for posting again. He may have also gone through Royal Artillery & Tank Corps Command Depot at Catterick or possibly Woolwich RHA Depot (No. 10 Reserve Brigade).

ACI 469 (Appendix 47) of 1916 laid down the Establishments for Permanent Cadre and those attached to the schools. The numbers appear to increase slightly when becoming Reserve Brigades.

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post-7172-0-33054400-1404567626_thumb.jp

Source: The Territorial Force Artillery Training Schools

Recent blog posts on the training of Royal garrison Artillery at Coastal Units (Tynemouth RGA and Durham RGA) reminded me of David Porter's excellent 1,000th post which outlines the establishment of Territorial Force Artillery Training Schools. These were effectively the 3rd Line units of the Territorials established in 1915 as both 1st line and 2nd line units deployed overseas.

ianjonesncl

Hello Bob

The following is extracted from the handbook in Johnboy's post, but may be easier to read:

Gun Drill for 18-pounder field gun

Positions when mounted:

1 and 10 on their horses, and when limbered up usually on the left of the gun and wagon leaders respectively.

2 and 3 on the gun limber.

4 on the wagon of the firing battery.

5 and 6 on the wagon limber.

7 and 8 on the first-line wagon limber.

9 on the first-line wagon.

2, 4, 6 and 8 on the near side.

3, 5, 7 and 9 on the off side.

Positions in action:

1 kneels on the right side of the trail, just in front of the trail handles.

2 sits astride on the seat on the right side.

3 sits on the seat on the left side.

4 kneels behind 3, or behind 2 if the wagon is on the right of the gunor at limber supply.

5 kneels in rear of the wagon on the side nearest the gun.

6 kneels in rear of the wagon on the side farthest from the gun.

7, 8 and 9 remain with the first line wagon. They assist in the supply of ammunition and replace casualties in the firing battery as ordered.

[10 is the corporal, who remains with the wagons rwady to replace no.1 if required.]

General duties in action:

1 is responsible for the entire service of the gun.

2 attends to the breech mechanism, range indicator, clamping gears and brake, lowers and raises the shield, attends to the fuze indicator on the shield when required, and mans the right wheel forward when the trail has to be lifted.

3 lays, fires, attends to the releasing lever of the brake, and assists 2 to raise and lower the shield.

4 loads, assists in setting fuzes when required, attends to aiming posts when in use, and mans the left wheel forward when the trail has to be lifted.

5 sets fuzes and supplies ammunition.

6 attends to the fuze indicator, and assisats in supplying ammunition.

The following is from the corresponding handbook for the 13-pounder:

Gun Drill for 13-pounder field gun

The detachment:

The detachment consists of nine men, together with two horse-holders, Nos. 10 and 11. In each section an extra horse-holder, numbered 12, is required for the section commander. The senior non-commissioned officer is 1, and is in charge of the sub-section. He rides on the left of the lead driver of the gun, except at “Detachment Front”, when he is on the right of the detachment.

The next senior is 7, and is the coverer. The active numbers are Nos. 1 to 6, and are mounted men. The reserve numbers are Nos. 8 and 9. They are dismounted men and are carried on the limber of the first-line wagons.

Positions when mounted:

For drill and manoeuvre “Detachments Right Rear” will be the normal and the positions of the men of the detachment are as when dismounted with the following exceptions.

1 will be on the left of the lead driver of the gun. 6 and 7 on the left of the centre and lead drivers respectively of the firing battery wagon. 8 and 9 on the limber of the first-line wagons, 8 on the near side, 9 on the off. The horse-holders 10 and 11 between 2 and 4, and 3 and 5. respectively.

Positions in action:

1 kneels on the right side of the trail, just in front of the trail handles.

2 sits astride on the seat on the right side.

3 sits on the seat on the left side.

4 kneels behind 3, or behind 2 if the wagon is on the right of the gunor at limber supply.

5 kneels in rear of the wagon on the side nearest the gun.

6 kneels in rear of the wagon on the side farthest from the gun.

7 (the coverer), 8 and 9 remain with the first line wagon. They assist in the supply of ammunition and replace casualties in the firing battery as ordered.

General duties in action:

1 is responsible for the entire service of the gun.

2 attends to the breech mechanism, range indicator, clamping gears and brake, lowers and raises the shield, attends to the fuze indicator on the shield when required, and mans the right wheel forward when the trail has to be lifted.

3 lays, fires, attends to the releasing lever of the brake, and assists 2 to raise and lower the shield.

4 loads, assists in setting fuzes when required, attends to aiming posts when in use, and mans the left wheel forward when the trail has to be lifted.

5 sets fuzes and supplies ammunition.

6 attends to the fuze indicator, and assisats in supplying ammunition.

Note that the drivers of the gun and wagon teams were not part of the gun detachments, although they might help with ammunition supply during an action.

Ron

As ever - many thanks to Ron Clifton

Source: RFA - jobs of the 10 men of a 13/18 pounder in 1914

ianjonesncl

First Gunner VC of WW1

On the 24th August 1914 the 5th Division of the British Expeditionary Force were withdrawing south from the Conde- Mons canal. To protect their flank the divisional reserve was ordered from their position in Dour to form a flank guard in a blocking position between Audregnies and Elouges.

The flank guard at Elouges consisted of 1st Norfolf Regiment and 1st Cheshire Regiment, their artillery support being provided by 119th Field Battery Royal Field Artillery. The battery was commanded by Major EW Alexander and part of 27th Brigade RFA.

Action at Elouges - VC Location

Despite intense artillery and infantry fire, the flank guard checked the initial German advances. However , as German pressure continued, and with the 5th Division now withdrawn from the area, the order to retire was received by the Battery.

Two guns from the 119th Battery withdrew , leaving the four remaining guns. The gunners had been under effective fire from three German Batteries and casualties were heavy. As the order to withdrew came there were insufficient men to move the guns. Seeing the situation the gunners were in, Captain Grenfell of the 9th Lancers asked if he could assist. He called on volunteers from his unit to help the remaining men from the 119th Battery to manhandle the guns to a position where they could be limbered up and then extracted from the area.

Action at Elouges - Gunner VC location

[ London Gazette, 18 February 1915 ], Elouges, Belgium, 24 August 1914, Major Ernest Wright Alexander, 119th Battery, Royal Artillery.

For their actions in withdrawing the guns from Elouges, Battery Commander Major EW Alexander and Captain FO Grenfell were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Major Ernest Wright Alexander VC Royal Field Artillery

Ernest Wright Alexander VC

For the Royal Artillery this was to be the first VC awarded to the Gunners in the First World War.

For conspicuous bravery and great ability at Elouges on the 24th August 1914, when the flank guard was attacked by a German corps, in handling his battery against overwhelming odds with such conspicuous success that all his guns were saved, notwithstanding that they had to be withdrawn by hand by himself and three other men. This enabled the retirement of the 5th Division to be carried out without serious loss. Subsequently Lieutenant Colonel Alexander ( then Major ) rescued a wounded man under a heavy fire, with the greatest gallantry and devotion to duty.

ianjonesncl

One of the first RA Casualties in Battle

The CWGC records 6 casualties on the 23rd August 1914, one of whom is buried near the first ever British battle casualty in St Symphorien Cemetery, Mons, Belgium

Driver Edgar Towse was killed during the Battle of Mons 23rd August 1914 aged 29. He served with 23rd Battery, 40th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, who were positioned on La Boit Haut.

The OH records:

"the 23rd Battery had received orders to retire from the summit of Bois la Haut, and selected as its route a sunken lane leading due south into the main road to Hyon. Proceeding that way, the head of the battery had reached a point within a hundred yards of the main Hyon road, when the leading teams and drivers

were all shot down by German infantrymen, who had come through Mons and were hidden behind a barricade at right angles to the end of the lane."

One wonders if this was the incident where Edgar Towse lost his life.

Dvr E Towse St Symphorien Cemetery

He is commemorated on Sullington War Memorial, Sussex

Sullington War Memorial, Sussex

ianjonesncl

While researching the battle of Mons a while ago I started a post about the First British Artillery round fired on the Western Front.

First Artillery rounds fired Aug 1914

On a recent trip to Mons I finally got to visit the location. [Latitude 50°25'36.67"N Longitude 4° 7'53.40"E]

E Bty RHA firing first round on the Western Front

On the 22nd August 1914 British cavalry were holding bridges in the area of Peronnes, east of the main BEF positions in the Mons area. A troop from 16th Lancers were enraged by an enemy patrol, and to cover their withdrawal the guns of E Battery RHA unlimbered and fired the first British Artillery round of the Great War.

First round fired on Western Front commemoration Binche Belgium

Some interesting posts by others on the subject:

"First Round" picture

Photograph: QF 13-pounder, No. 4 Gun, E Battery, Royal Horse Artillery

Photographs: E Battery crew, R.H.A., August 1914 - First Shot

The actual monument is a little disappointing as Paul reed records on twitter.

https://twitter.com/sommecourt/status/446269714395062272/photo/1

First round fired on Western Front stone Binche Belgium

ianjonesncl

RA Development 1899 - 1914

blog-0705043001387200576.jpgI have just being reading The History of the Royal Artillery from the Indian Mutnity to the Great War by Sir John Headlam.

Tracing the Royal Artillery over the period it chronicles vital developments in organisation, doctrine and the work of the equipment committees. It seems there were some farsighted Gunners who were able to shape the Royal Artillery so by 1914 it was able to fulfil it's role in a European War. One wonders what would have happened in the early days of the BEF of 1914 if this development had not taken place.

Notes from Headlam - History of the Royal Artillery 1899 - 1914

Recognises three periods in the RA history 1860 - 1899

Source: Notes from Headlam - History of the Royal Artillery 1899 - 1914 Headlam page vii

  1. 1860s - 1870's - a period of lethargy despite the move from small bore to rifled artillery.
  2. 1880's - technical renaissance and the ability to shoot
  3. 1890's - tactical revival and development of doctrine on the use of artillery in war.

On 1 July 1899, the Royal Artillery was divided into two three groups: the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, the Royal Garrison Artillery, and Royal Artillery.

As the end of the 19th century approached the RA was untested in war. The focus of Army was colonial in nature, mainly waged against an enemy with practically no artillery. As a consequence the Royal Artillery was slow to realise changes in warfare over the last quarter of the century.

The Boer War 1899 - 1902 initiated a significant influence on the development of Artillery over the next 12 years, with additional influence from the Russo-Japanese War (Manchurian Influence), with the closer ties to France following the signing of the Entente Cordialle in 1904 also providing an influence.

South African Influence 1902 04

All arms experience being under artillery fire for the first time [1]

  • Changed attitude to artillery
  • Increased tactical consideration s in use of artillery
  • Co-operation gained importance

Armaments identified as being inadequate

Artillery doctrine out of date [1]

  • Heavy Batteries should be part of the field army
  • Siege Artillery should be available to supplement field army

Manchurian Influence 1904 - 1910

Siege of Port Arthur identified important considerations in attack and defence of naval bases [1]

  • Vulnerability of naval bases from landward attack
  • Naval developments in range, accuracy and volume of fire from warships

French Influence 1910 1912

Since the signing of Entente Cordialle in 1904 British officers able to review French artillery [1]

  • QF 75 mm guns

  • Comparison French / British QF capabilities

  • Battery organisation

  • Principles of employment
  • Methods of fire
  • Systems of practice

ianjonesncl

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 !!!!!

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060022938

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).

ianjonesncl

From: The Value of Frogs on Active Service

blog-0218576001381259630.jpgFascinating post by alan two of an extract of the war diary of 15th Brigade RHA and how they supplemented their rations in Gallipoli by eating frogs. Not something I tried when supplementing rations.

Entry image is from the Gallipoli Association.

Should I categorise this entry under RA Animals ?

In the 15th Brigade RHA War Diary I came across the following anonymous, and undated, typed missive which may be of interest.

THE VALUE OF FROGS ON ACTIVE SERVICE

-------------------------------------------------------

In the babbling brooks at the Helles end of Gallipoli

frogs swarmed in the early days after the landing. The first

position in action of the 15th Brigade R.H.A., was athwart one of

these a little behind hem, also in action, were two of

the French “Soixante Quinze” Batteries.

The British troops at the start had to exist on biscuits -

anathema to those equipped with unsound dentures - while their

French Allies had bread all along. Luckily the frogs above

mentioned were edible and this spelt the salvation for some of the British

Horse Artillerymen, who spent their leisure - when they had any -

on the banks of the brook digging with all sorts of implements

for the frogs, which they would barter for French bread.

Luckily the British bread issue materialised just about the time

the last of the vulgar batrachians had been sacrificed.

Source: The Value of Frogs on Active Service

ianjonesncl

THE WORK OF THE ARMY VETERINARY CORPS

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

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060022634

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

ianjonesncl

WITH BRITAIN'S MONSTER GUNS IN ACTION

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.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060008215

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060008215

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.

ianjonesncl

From: "Synchronising watches" and war time

blog-0709906001378989678.jpgA while ago there were discussion around Time - so vital for the co-ordination of artillery with other arms. Gunner Time was the time of the formation in my days, from Corps (yes we used to have them) down to section . As well as routine time signals, it was normal to request time before any fireplan in order that the exact time could be confirmed.

Gunner Time

I came across this post (thanks jhill) which outlines the precise mechanism ordered by the Canadian Corps. Interestingly they required that the individual error for the watch in relation to the time signal be recorded, rather than setting the exact time on the watch.

To add a bit more detail to this very interesting discussion I append the following snip from the Diary of the Canadian Corps General Staff at the time they were posted to the Salient in October 1917.

Corps Headquarters would telegraph the time at intervals during the day to the Divisions and other large formations. Lower formations would, as we have seen, get the time by sending a watch to Brigade Headquarters. I find it interesting that the exact error of the watch was to be recorded, but the watch was not to be set to the time.

Most operational requirements could, I suppose, be met by having one exact time within the Corps area, but for larger operations similar arrangements would of course be made for the Corps on either side.

watches.jpg

Source: "Synchronising watches" and war time

ianjonesncl

Remembered Today

Driver Frederick Percy TESTER, L Battery Royal Horse Artillery who died on 8th September 1914, Baron Communal Cemetery

:poppy: CWGC Information

TESTER, FREDERICK PERCY

Rank: Driver

Service No: 68411

Date of Death: 08/09/1914

Age: 21

Regiment/Service: Royal Horse Artillery

"L" Bty.

Grave Reference 1. Cemetery

BARON COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Additional Information:

Son of Mr. C. and Mrs. H. Tester, of Stoney Lane, Goudhurst, Kent.

Frederick Percy Tester was born in Farningham, Kent in 1894. The son of Charles and Harriet Tester, the 1901 Census records him living in Goudhurst, Kent with his parents, two older brothers, two younger brothers and a younger sister. His occupation is recorded as agricultural labourer.

He enlisted as a regular soldier in Horsmonden, Kent, and was a Driver in the Royal Horse Artillery. A member of L Battery RHA, he entered France 15th August 1914, and consequently qualified for the 1914 Star with Clasp. L Battery RHA were part of the divisional artillery of the Cavalry Division and would have been in action around Mons, at Elouges, before being engaged at Nery 1st September 1914.

Source: http://www.kentfallen.com/PDF%20REPORTS/GOUDHURST.pdf

At dawn on Tuesday 1 September1914, during the advance by the German 4th Cavalry Division, it took the British1st Cavalry Brigade, and "L" Battery, Royal Horse Artillery by surprise, and attacked them whilst they had been camped in the village of Néry in northern France. The German attack was supported by 12 field guns which devastated Frederick’s battery. However in the action which followed, a single 13 pounder field gun of “L" Battery, which was manned by Captain Edward Kinder Bradbury, Battery Sergeant Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) George Thomas Dorrell, and Sergeant David Nelson, and Gunners Osbourne and Darbyshire, managed to keep the single field gun in action against three German batteries of field guns which were located a thousand yards away. It was mainly due to the fire that was put down by this gun, together with the rifles and machine-guns of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) held off the Germans long enough for elements

of the 1st and 4th Cavalry Brigades to counter attack and drive away the enemy attackers in disorder, and the German division was then withdrawn to the reserve

corps.

L Battery RHA Nery 1st September 1914

Resulting from the enemy attack at Néry on Tuesday 1 September 1914,there were 135 casualties, and Frederick was amongst the members of his battery that had been badly wounded. Baron Communal Cemetery where Frederick is at rest contains 16 Commonwealth burials of the Great War, all dating from September 1914, and are a combination of soldiers killed at Néry on Tuesday 1 September 1914, or later dying from their wounds which they received there on that date. The 16 casualties are comprised of 8 officers and other ranks of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays), 6 of "L" Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, an officer of the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards, and an officer of the Royal Horse Guards.

Driver Tester died of wounds 8th September is buried in BARON COMMUNAL CEMETERY in the same grave as Gunner Edward Marsh, the 16 casualties from the RHA and 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) being grouped together in two plots.

http://www.ww1cemeteries.com/ww1cemeteries/ww1cemeteries_ext/baron_cc.htm

Gunner Marsh and Diver Tester are buried in the front right grave left hand plot (no 1)

http://www.inmemories.com/Cemeteries/baron.htm

http://www.twgpp.org/information.php?id=2313053

Driver Tester's older brother Jesse served in the RFA for a very brief period, 22nd Feb 1916 to 10th July 1916, being posted to and discharged for medical reasons from a Reserve Battery in the UK. An older brother Charles William may have served with the Leicestershire Regiment.

Frederick Percy Tester is remembered on the war memorials at Farningham and Goudhurst.

Farningham http://www.kentfallen.com/PDF%20reports/FARNINGHAM.pdf

Goudhurst http://www.kentfallen.com/PDF%20REPORTS/GOUDHURST.pdf

ianjonesncl

Remembered Today:

Corporal Herbert LEE DCM, 246th Brigade Royal Field Artillery who died on 3rd September 1916, Etaples Military Cemetery

:poppy: CWGC Information

LEE, HERBERT

Rank: Corporal

Service No: 1039

Date of Death: 03/09/1916

Age: 21

Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery "A" Bty. 246th Bde.

Awards: D C M

Grave Reference X. B. 6.

Cemetery ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY

Additional Information:

Son of Fanny Lee, of 13, College Mount, Otley Rd., Bradford.

Herbert Lee enlisted into the Territorial Force 2nd (West Riding) Battery of the 1st West Riding Brigade on the 3rd June 1912 aged 17 years and 6 months. His trade is listed as a Clerk at J. Pickles & Son of Thornbury. The 2nd (West Riding) Battery was based at Bramley, and his medical examination details his service was to be with the 4th (West Riding) Battery, which was based at Valley Parade, Bradford.

His first annual camp was at Salisbury in August 1912 and he was promoted to Bombardier (1 tape) just before he attended camp in 1913. He served as a Territorial for 2 years and 63 days before being mobilised 5th August 1914.

The 1st West Riding Battery were part of the Divisional Artillery of West Riding Division - (would become 49th Division). The Division moved to France in April 1915, Herbert's record details he embarked at Southampton 14th April 1915, disembarking at Le Havre 15th April 1915.

The Long Long Trail for Division outlines;

1914

The units of the Division had just departed for annual summer camp when emergency orders recalled them to the home base. All units were mobilised for full time war service on 5 August 1914 and moved to concentrate in the South Yorkshire / Lincolnshire area by mid August 1914.

1915

On 31 March the Division was warned that it would go on overseas service and entrainment began on 12 April. Divisional infantry went via Folkestone-Boulogne while all other units went from Southampton to Le Havre. By 19 April the Division had concentrated in the area of Estaires - Merville - Neuf Berquin. The Division then remained in France and Flanders and took part in the following engagements:

The Battle of Aubers Ridge (9 May)

The defence against the first Phosgene attack (19 December)

Herbert was promoted in the field to Corporal 17th August 1915. During 1915 he earned the Distinguished Conduct Medal, it's award being announced in the London Gazette 11th January 1916.

Gazette Issue 29438 published on the 11 January 1916

 

604 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 14 JANUARY, 1916.

AWARDED THE DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL

1039 Corporal H. Lee, 4th (West Riding) Battery, Royal Field Artillery, T.F.

2691 Gazette Issue 29503 published on the 10 March 1916

SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 11 MAR, 1916.

1039 Corporal H. Lee, 4th (West Riding) Battery, Royal Field Artillery, T.F.

For conspicuous gallantry and good work in charge of Signallers. On two occasions

the Infantry in the front trench have been able to use the battery telephone lines when

their own had all been cut.

The Long Long Trail for Division outlines for 1916:

1916

The Battle of Albert

The Battle of Bazentin Ridge

The Battle of Pozieres Ridge

The 49th Division were part of X Corps and in Reserve for the battle of Albert, the Corps being Gough's Reserve Army for the subsequent two Battles.

A telegram on the 3rd September from the OC 11 General Hospital Camiers (just North of Etaples) reports Herbert as a C2 casualty with gun shot wounds to his left leg and dangerously ill with a fractured femur. He died of wounds the same day and buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery.

On the 25th March his mother received a letter from OIC RFA / RHA records at Woolwich together with Herbert's DCM, Mrs Lee acknowledging by letter she received it at 2 pm. The following day another letter from records asks if Herbert's mother would like to be presented with the medal publically, Mrs Lee declining saying she is not in good health and "could do without the commotion". In January 1917 she was given a gratuity of £20 in recognition of her sons award of the DCM.

Herbert was not Mrs Lee's only loss. Another son, George, was killed a year later, 9th September 1917, serving with 1st Royal Marine Battalion Royal Marine Light Infantry part of the Royal Naval Division.

Corporal Lee qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. His medals survived:

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19941/lot/122/

ianjonesncl

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.

ianjonesncl

From the United States Combined Arms Research Library CARL

Evolution of field artillery tactics, technique, and organization on the western front during the World War

http://cgsc.contentd...ilename/945.pdf

Collection

CGSS Student Papers, 1930-1936

Title

Evolution of field artillery tactics, technique, and organization on the western front during the World War.

Author

Griner, George W.

Abstract

This purpose of the study is to point out the fundamental ideas governing the employment of field artillery held by the warring nations at the outbreak of hostilities in 1914, and to trace the modification and evolution of these ideas during the successive periods of the First World War. Topics include the artillery doctrine at the outbreak of the war, materiel, organization and technique, the initial period of maneuver, the period of deliberate trench warfare, the period of attempted breakthrough, the return to limited objective attacks, and the breakthrough accomplished and the return to maneuver.

ianjonesncl

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

http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p4013coll14/id/375

Collection

CGSS Student Papers, 1930-1936

Title

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.

Author

Goetz, Robert C.F.

Abstract

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.

ianjonesncl

Remembered Today: Gunner Horace ROBERTS, 41st Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery who died on 13th July 1918, Vignacourt British Cemetery

CWGC Information :poppy:

ROBERTS, HORACE

Rank: Gunner

Service No: 124050

Date of Death: 13/07/1918

Age: 21

Regiment/Service: Royal Garrison Artillery 41st Siege Bty.

Grave ReferenceIV. B. 18.

Cemetery VIGNACOURT BRITISH CEMETERY

Additional Information:

Son of Thomas H. and Esther Elizabeth Roberts, of 4, Bangor Rd., Johnstown, Wrexham.

Many thanks to research from hywyn Gunner 124050 Horace Roberts. Remembered today 13 7 2013

Horace Roberts of 4 Bangor Road, Johnstown, Ruabon, Denbighshire was a 19 year old Draper when he was called up as Gunner 124050 in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 27th October 1916. Following training he was posted to France where on 19th May 1918 he suffered gas poisoning and was sent to hospital. He returned to his unit on the 8th June but was sent to hospital again on the 4th July. He died of Lobar Pneumonia on the 13th July.

Horace Roberts. Remembered today by the Great War Forum.

Not Forgotten.

ianjonesncl

Remembered Today: Gunner Herbert Edward HODGES, 109th Battery Royal Field Artillery who died on 30th June 1915, Boulogne Eastern Cemetery

:poppy: CWGC Information

HODGES, HERBERT EDWARD

Rank: Gunner

Service No: 74133

Date of Death: 30/06/1915

Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery

109th Bty.

Grave Reference VIII. B. 54.

Cemetery BOULOGNE EASTERN CEMETERY

Herbert Hodges was born in Sway, Hampshire in the spring of 1894. The 1901 census records him living at no 5 Princess Street, Cowes, Hampshire with his father, David, mother, Rose, two brothers and a sister.

By 1911, the census records 17 year old Herbert as a an inmate in the Wilts Reformatory School, Bugley, Warminister.

He enlisted at Newport, Isle of Wight. His MIC details him serving with 41st Brigade RFA, entering theatre 16th August 1914. He was therefore one of the original members of the BEF qualifying for the 1914 Star.

The 41st Brigade formed part of the 2nd Divisional Artillery, and it is probable he participated in the Battle of Mons, the retreat from Mons, battles of the Marne and the Aisne. His CWGC record details he was serving with 109th Battery when he died, the battery being part of 23rd Brigade, in the 3rd Division. SWDGW records he died of his wounds.

The 109th Battery was part of 23 Brigade RFA which was in the divisional artillery of the 3rd Division.

ianjonesncl

From: artillery gun crew positions

blog-0222549001371124135.jpg

Hello khaki

Gun Drill for 18-pounder field gun

Positions when mounted:

1 and 10 on their horses, and when limbered up usually on the left of the gun and wagon leaders respectively.

2 and 3 on the gun limber.

4 on the wagon of the firing battery.

5 and 6 on the wagon limber.

7 and 8 on the first-line wagon limber.

9 on the first-line wagon.

2, 4, 6 and 8 on the near side.

3, 5, 7 and 9 on the off side.

Positions in action:

1 kneels on the right side of the trail, just in front of the trail handles.

2 sits astride on the seat on the right side.

3 sits on the seat on the left side.

4 kneels behind 3, or behind 2 if the wagon is on the right of the gunor at limber supply.

5 kneels in rear of the wagon on the side nearest the gun.

6 kneels in rear of the wagon on the side farthest from the gun.

7, 8 and 9 remain with the first line wagon. They assist in the supply of ammunition and replace casualties in the firing battery as ordered.

[10 is the corporal, who remains with the wagons rwady to replace no.1 if required.]

General duties in action:

1 is responsible for the entire service of the gun.

2 attends to the breech mechanism, range indicator, clamping gears and brake, lowers and raises the shield, attends to the fuze indicator on the shield when required, and mans the right wheel forward when the trail has to be lifted.

3 lays, fires, attends to the releasing lever of the brake, and assists 2 to raise and lower the shield.

4 loads, assists in setting fuzes when required, attends to aiming posts when in use, and mans the left wheel forward when the trail has to be lifted.

5 sets fuzes and supplies ammunition.

6 attends to the fuze indicator, and assisats in supplying ammunition.

Gun Drill for 4.5-inch howitzer

Positions when mounted:

1 and 10 on their horses, and when limbered up usually on the left of the gun and wagon leaders respectively.

2 and 3 on the gun limber.

4 on the wagon of the firing battery.

5 and 6 on the wagon limber.

7 and 8 on the first-line wagon limber.

9 on the first-line wagon.

2, 4, 6 and 8 on the near side.

3, 5, 7 and 9 on the off side.

Positions in action:

1 kneels behind 2.

2 kneels between breech and wheels on the right side.

3 kneels between breech and wheels on the left side.

4 kneels behind 3.

5 kneels in rear of the wagon on the side nearest the gun.

6 kneels in rear of the wagon on the side farthest from the gun.

7, 8 and 9 remain with the first line wagon. They assist in the supply of ammunition and replace casualties in the firing battery as ordered.

[10 is the corporal, who remains with the wagons rwady to replace no.1 if required.]

General duties in action:

1 is responsible for the entire service of the gun.

2 attends to the breech mechanism, clamping gears and brake, and locking gears when necessary. He assists 3 to lower and raise the shield.

3 lays, fires, attends to the releasing lever of the brake, and assists 2 to raise and lower the shield.

4 withdraws safety pins, loads, attends to aiming posts when in use, and sets fuzes if necessary.

5 sets fuzes and supplies ammunition.

6 attends to the fuze indicator, removes lids from cartridges, prepares charges, and assisats in supplying ammunition.

Gun Drill for 13-pounder field gun

The detachment:

The detachment consists of nine men, together with two horse-holders, Nos. 10 and 11. In each section an extra horse-holder, numbered 12, is required for the section commander. The senior non-commissioned officer is 1, and is in charge of the sub-section. He rides on the left of the lead driver of the gun, except at “Detachment Front”, when he is on the right of the detachment.

The next senior is 7, and is the coverer. The active numbers are Nos. 1 to 6, and are mounted men. The reserve numbers are Nos. 8 and 9. They are dismounted men and are carried on the limber of the first-line wagons.

I don't have details to hand of the duties in action, but the 13-pounder was very similar in operation to the 18-pounder.

Heavier guns gererally had similar manning arrangements although I don't have details of those to hand either.

Ron

Source: artillery gun crew positions

ianjonesncl

Sad Disaster D/312 Battery 26-May-1917

Came accross an account from the War services of the 62nd West Riding Divisional Artillery whilst researching one of those remembered on Remembered Today.

In one incident D/312 battery lost two officers, all thier number ones and experienced soldiers. A tragic loss of life that removed many of the key elements for the running of an efficient battery.

Thanks to ororkep aka Paul the war diary entry has been recorded on another post:

http://1914-1918.inv...23

26/5/17, at St. Mein. Time 1.30pm.

Explosion at D Battery causing death of Capt.H. B. Gallimore and 10 other ranks. Lt. G Hardy and 3 others seriously wounded. (over written at later date- later died of his wounds) Fire caused by a spark from firing gun that ignited the overhead fishing net camouflage. It spread to the gun pit. Officers and NCO hurried to extinguish it with earth and spades. 3 minutes later the shells exploded. One gun destroyed and another damaged. Incident caused CRA order to be issued that if future fire occurs men are to evacuate and not try to extinguish it.

Mjr. F. H. Lister CO 312 Bde.

From War services of the 62nd West Riding Divisional Artillery

On the 26th May a sad disaster occurred in D/312 Howitzer Battery. The camouflage over one of the howitzers caught fire and blazed up. It was merely a question of a few moments when the flames should reach the ammunition and cause a terrible

explosion, but there was a slight chance of the fire being put out in time, and Capt. H. B. Gallimore, who was temporarily commanding the battery, with Lieut. G.Hardy and a party of N.C.O.'s and men, made a gallant attempt to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately their efforts were vain, and there was a tremendous explosion.

Poor Gallimore was killed, and also ten others (including all the six "Numbers One" of the battery), while Hardy was dangerously wounded, and also five gunners more or less severely. The loss of two such officers and six of the most valuable N.C.O.'s was a very serious blow to D/312, but the splendid act of devotion, in which they sacrificed their brave young lives, conferred a lustre not only on their own battery, but on the whole of the Divisional Artillery, and will not soon be forgotten. Hardy, unhappily, died of his wounds on the 28th.

:poppy: The gallant men of D Battery 312 Brigade RFA are burried in the H.A.C. CEMETERY, ECOUST-ST. MEIN

Gunner J BOYD grave ref III.B.26

Acting Bombardier GE BUCKNALL grave ref III.B25

Captain HB GALLIMORE grave ref III.B.24

Acting Bombardier F HARDAKER grave ref III.B.19

Serjeant JH JENKINS grave ref III.D.23

Driver J KEMPLAY grave ref III.B.30

Serjeant EJH KNIGHT grave ref III.D.21

Corporal BJ PEPPER grave ref III.B.27

Gunner H STOTT grave ref III.B.27

Gunner N VAUGHAN grave ref III.B.28

:poppy: Second Lieutenant G.Hardy was burried at ACHIET-LE-GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

Second Lieutenant G HARDY grave ref I.A.14

ianjonesncl

Remembered Today: Gunner 48865 John BOYD, D Battery 312 Bgde Royal Field Artillery, HAC Cemetery Ecoust-St Main

:poppy:CWGC Information

BOYD, JOHN

Rank: Gunner

Service No: 48865

Date of Death: 26/05/1917

Age: 29

Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery

"D" Bty. 312th Bde.

Grave Reference III. B. 26.

Cemetery H.A.C. CEMETERY, ECOUST-ST. MEIN

Additional Information:

Son of Patrick and Ellen Boyd, of Knockmore, Moss-side, Co. Antrim.

John Boyd's MIC records him under 32nd Brigade RFA, shows he qualified for the 1914 Star entering theater 23-Aug-1914. It would therefore appear John was a regular soldier (enlisting in Glasgow) , and at some stage was posted to the Territorial 312th Brigade. The 32nd Brigade RFA were part of the 6th Division's artillery, who were engaged on the Marne, Aisne, Messines 1914, 2nd Ypres and the Somme.

The 312th Brigade were a Territorial Force unit and part of the 62nd (West Riding) Division, a second line TF formation. On the 23rd December 1916 the 62nd Divisional Artillery was given orders to deploy to France, and arrived in Le Harvre 17th January 1916. After initially supporting various divisions on the Somme, the Brigade moved north in April 1917 to support the 62nd Division in the Battle of Arras. They subsequently moved to the area of Bullecourt.

The incident that killed Gunner John Boyd is recorded in the War services of the 62nd West Riding Divisional Artillery (page 16)

On the 26th May a sad disaster occurred in D/312 Howitzer Battery. The camouflage over one of the howitzers caught fire and blazed up. It was merely a question of a few moments when the flames should reach the ammunition and cause a terrible

explosion, but there was a slight chance of the fire being put out in time, and Capt. H. B. Gallimore, who was temporarily commanding the battery, with Lieut. G.Hardy and a party of N.C.O.'s and men, made a gallant attempt to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately their efforts were vain, and there was a tremendous explosion.

Poor Gallimore was killed, and also ten others (including all the six "Numbers One" of the battery), while Hardy was dangerously wounded, and also five gunners more or less severely. The loss of two such officers and six of the most valuable N.C.O.'s was a very serious blow to D/312, but the splendid act of devotion, in which they sacrificed their brave young lives, conferred a lustre not only on their own battery, but on the whole of the Divisional Artillery, and will not soon be forgotten. Hardy, unhappily, died of his wounds on the 28th.

John Boyd is buried with his comrades in the H.A.C. CEMETERY, ECOUST-ST. MEIN

ianjonesncl

As ever stirling work by David Porter on the Territorial numbering system (yes there was definitely one).

In this case the TF Training schools were tasked to produce a number of Howitzer Batteries. These were numbered in the 500 series (which Frederick's Lineage records as New Army units), however as david has found out the men from these Batteries were brought under the administration of the Territorial County Associations.

In my research into T.F. Artillery renumbering I discovered blocks of six figure numbers allocated to individually numbered Howitzer batteries which I was under the impression were just regular. The majority were in the 500 series of Howitzer batteries formed in 1916. The conclusion I came to was that some must have been given T.F. affiliation. Finally, last weekend, I managed to look up what I thought relevant Army Council Instructions that were mentioned in documents found within Service Records. This is what I uncovered:

ACI 1298 of 1916, dated June 29, 1916, shows that 41 Howitzer batteries were formed, 12 of them at T.F. Artillery Training Schools (3rd Line Units).

post-7172-0-82351000-1368795535_thumb.jp

ACI 1717 of 1916, dated September 4, 1916, gives the titles of the raised batteries in the T.F. as 529 to 540 along with the offices dealing their administration. This means that numbers 500 to 528 were allocated to those batteries raised at the listed regular reserve brigades.

post-7172-0-91924000-1368795658_thumb.jp

ACI 2063 of 1916, dated November 1, 1916 shows that some establishments had difficulty in raising their batteries and 2nd Line T.F. batteries were withdrawn from their Divisions to fill the gaps in both regular and T.F line up. It can be seen that these too retain T.F. affiliation along with the 4 newly raised Home Service replacements, namely 541 to 544. The 6 regular batteries were replaced by 545 to 550. It is also interesting to note that certain batteries had already proceeded overseas.

post-7172-0-57752200-1368795728_thumb.jp

Unfortunately, most of this numbering quickly disappeared as the batteries joined other brigade formations. By February 1917 most had been broken up and divided between other brigades in their group. It is also worth pointing out that 504 Bty & 505 Bty were subsequently armed with 6 x 18pdr each under ACI 2403 of 1916, dated December 22, 1916, and grouped with 465 Bty & 466 Bty at Bordon in 65th Army Brigade

Source: The 500 series Howitzer batteries raised in 1916

ianjonesncl

Remembered Today: Lieutenant John Horsley MITCHELL, 305th Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery who died on 19th May 1917, Maple Leaf Cemetery

:poppy: CWGC INFORMATION

MITCHELL, JOHN HORSLEY

Rank: Lieutenant

Date of Death: 19/05/1917

Age: 35

Regiment/Service: Royal Garrison Artillery

305th Siege Bty.

Grave Reference H. 4.

Cemetery MAPLE LEAF CEMETERY

Additional Information:

Son of Alfred and Catherine Mitchell; Husband of Winifred Mitchell, of "Thorns," Crondall, Hants.

John Horsley Mitchell was commisioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery 12th August 1916 (London Gazette 12th August 7983).

The 305th Siege Battery was formed 17th January 1916 at Portland, deploying to France 9th April 1917, six weeks before Lieutenant Horsley's death. The 305th had just joined the 77th Heavy Artillery Group befoer he was killed at Ploegsteert, 5km north of Armentiers.

He is burried at MAPLE LEAF CEMETERY, 5 km north west of Armentieres.

John Horsley Mitchell is commemorated on war memorial at Crondale, Hampshire, which is just outside All Saints Church.

http://www.roll-of-h...e/Crondall.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33894481@N04/4106408617/

Within All Saints there is a further commemoration by his wife:

TO THE

GLORY OF GOD

AND IN EVER LOVING

REMEMBRANCE OF MY HUSBAND

JOHN HORSLEY

MITCHELL

LIEUTENANT R.G.A.

KILLED IN ACTION AT

PLOEGSTEERT

19TH MAY 1917

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