antonjdown Posted 16 June , 2008 Share Posted 16 June , 2008 After much research, I am close on finding out the exact movements of my great uncle Francis William Down. We have some photographic evidence, medal card, and with the help of many people here and other outside sources, I can put some info down. It might help others, and others may be able to fill in the final gaps. He enlisted in Exeter in October 1915, as a gunner in the territorials (it would seem), and somehow found himself in India in 1916, around Barackpore (near Calcutta) with 216th Brigade, A Battery. We have his photos of India, showing the 216th A Battery at camp, the "sub" A gun, comrades such as Billy Ide and Jack Snell etc. Now, I understand the 216th was part of the 43rd Division, Wessex, but it almost seems as if they went to India in September 1915 (before Francis had joined the army), but then also went off to Aden. We have no idea if Francis was with them then and therefore in Aden, or if he had gone to India with another RFA unit. This seems to be the gap we are missing - who did he go to India with, and when? Some of the photos are of the guns, almost as if proud of them, and when we found that the 216th changed from howitzers to 18 lb guns, it sort of made some sense. At some stage it would appear, probably Nov 1917, that he transferred to the 18th India Division, joining the 337th Brigade (he has 2 regimental numbers so suggested he had moved units) heading over to Mesopotamia. Sadly he died "at sea" of fever/dysentry in June 1918, and is remembered on the Basra memorial. His medal card shows the usual 2 medals, Victory and British, and 2 numbers 3115 and 866089. If anyone can help fill in the gaps, or further info, let me know, or wants to see copies of photos. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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