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248 Siege Battery RGA


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Does anyone know if war diaries exist for 248 Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery? With many thanks to forum members I have found that my grandfather W.O. (BSM) William J Freeman received a DCM and MID while serving with the above unit. While I have the citation from the London Gazette I`m hoping I can find more info re the circumstances on these awards. If these diaries exist are they available on-line. I live on the west coast of Canada so a trip to the archives in England are sort of way out there.

Many thank

Warren

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The War Diary of 248th Siege Battery, RGA for the period May 1917 to November 1917 is a available at The National Archives under WO95/388 - it is not available on line. The battery's war diaries for the periods of the war before or after that date have not been found. Dick Flory

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The War Diary of 248th Siege Battery, RGA for the period May 1917 to November 1917 is a available at The National Archives under WO95/388 - it is not available on line. The battery's war diaries for the periods of the war before or after that date have not been found. Dick Flory

Thank you Dick, would this war diary be on microfilm. Do you know of any service which could photo copy them, specially any portion showing actions mentioned in my grandfathers citiation. I would be willing to pay for this if the cost was reasonable. My aunt turns 85 this year and is very keen to find out more info.

Thanks again.

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What time period are you interested in?

I have quite a bit of information regarding the battery when they were part of I ANZAC Heavy Artillery in September - October 1917.

Chris Henschke

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What time period are you interested in?

I have quite a bit of information regarding the battery when they were part of I ANZAC Heavy Artillery in September - October 1917.

Chris Henschke

Hi Chris and thank you for your response. Apparently my grandfather was serving with the 248 Siege Battery during the time you

mention and was awarded a DSM. The citation says there was an attack by enemy aircraft and he was instrumental in arranging medical help and evacuation for the wounded. He was received an MID approx the same time, but I can find nothing on it.

Any help appreciated. e-mail me at wcfree2@telus.net.

Thanks again

Warren

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What time period are you interested in?

I have quite a bit of information regarding the battery when they were part of I ANZAC Heavy Artillery in September - October 1917.

Chris Henschke

Sorry Chris, I should have added his info. He was W.O. (BSM) William J Freeman, regt # 99314.

thanks again.

Warren

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In early September they were located at I.26.a.00.85. Major C.G. Hetherington was the BC.

18 September the location was I.26.a.08.83 (which means they probably didn't move!)

25 September I.11.c.35.25, about 500 yds east of Hellfire Cnr, between the Menin Rd and Rifle Fm.

The Battery in early October was located about 200 metres north east of Birr Cross Roads.

What is the date of the action - it should be in the citation.

I'll email you with more details.

Chris Henschke.

post-671-1219971061.jpg

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In early September they were located at I.26.a.00.85. Major C.G. Hetherington was the BC.

18 September the location was I.26.a.08.83 (which means they probably didn't move!)

25 September I.11.c.35.25, about 500 yds east of Hellfire Cnr, between the Menin Rd and Rifle Fm.

The Battery in early October was located about 200 metres north east of Birr Cross Roads.

What is the date of the action - it should be in the citation.

I'll email you with more details.

Chris Henschke.

Chris; WOW. I can't thank you enough. I have a copy of the London Gazette dated 6 February, 1918 with the citation, however there is no date of the award or of the action.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Warren

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Chris; WOW. I can't thank you enough. I have a copy of the London Gazette dated 6 February, 1918 with the citation, however there is no date of the award or of the action.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Warren

Hi again Chris, the citation makes reference the battery being heavily bombed by hostile aircraft causing a number of casualties. This may help.

Thanks

warren

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  • 9 months later...
Does anyone know if war diaries exist for 248 Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery? With many thanks to forum members I have found that my grandfather W.O. (BSM) William J Freeman received a DCM and MID while serving with the above unit. While I have the citation from the London Gazette I`m hoping I can find more info re the circumstances on these awards. If these diaries exist are they available on-line. I live on the west coast of Canada so a trip to the archives in England are sort of way out there.

Many thank

Warren

I have been looking into my great uncles war record as i have found letters he wrote from the trenches. He was in 248 Seige Battery and joined in April 1918. Gassed in October and came back to UK. later emigrated to S Africa on doctors advice. Never met him but knew his brother (my grandfather very well). Have come to know him through his letters.

Did you find the info you required? When did he recieve his citations? Did you get anywhere?

Tony

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Apologies..didn't see that you had received replies already on your quest.

You seem to have been given very precise movemnets of the brigade which i don't seem to have come across in the 1th Brigade's war diary...do you know where the info came from?

Tony

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Guest peterdrought
Hi again Chris, the citation makes reference the battery being heavily bombed by hostile aircraft causing a number of casualties. This may help.

Thanks

warren

Warren,

My grandfather was Major John Drought of the 248th Seige Battery, RGA. I have just started some research and was wondering what you may have known.

Regards,

Peter Drought peterdrought@hotmail.com

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Major John Smerger Drought, MC, RGA

Educated at the University of Melbourne

Commissioned as a 2nd Lieut., RGA, SR on 5 Nov 1915

From March 1916 to 15 Feb 1917 he was in command of an Anti-Aircraft Section in the Tyne Defences.

On 16 Feb 1917 he went to France with 248th Siege Battery, RGA and took part in the Battles of Messines and Vimy Ridge

Promoted to Lieutenant, RGA on 1 July 1917 and appointed as an Acting Captain on 5 Aug 1917

Took part in the Ypres-Passchendaele operations at the end of 1917

Awarded the Military Cross in the London Gazette of 17 Dec 1917 (Citation 23 Apr 1918): 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in keeping his guns in action under heavy shell fire. After two of the No.1's had become casualties he himself acted as No.1 on one of the guns. Later, after dark, when one of the guns was hit and the ammunition set on fire, he, assisted by the No.1 of the gun, succeeded in extinguishing the fire. He has repeatedly shown himself completely devoid of any regard for his personal safety.'

In March 1918 he took part in opposing the German Spring offensive and from August to November 1918 helped in the final British offensive.

Appointed as an Acting Major on 10 Sep 1918

Hospitalized for gas bronchitis for a week in November 1918

Demobilized on 18 Jan 1919

Returned to Australia on 1 Mar 1919.

The war diary for 248th Siege Battery, RGA from May 1917 to Nov 1917 can be found at The National Archives under WO95/388. The war diaries for the period before and after those dates have not been traced.

Sources: War Services of Old Melburnians 1914-1918; London Gazette.

Regards, Dick Flory

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  • 3 years later...

Thought this might be of interest to those interested in the 248th Siege Battery ... there is a collection of postcards on ebay at the moment which includes one with a picture of Royal Artillery Soldiers and the board held by one says 248th S.B. so I'm presuming they were part of this Battery (?)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WW1-Royal-Garrison-Artillery-Soldiers-Group-Photo-RP-Postcard-3-/200911329601?pt=UK_Collectables_Postcards_MJ&hash=item2ec73f9941

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  • 7 months later...

That would have certainly been of interest to e as my g/uncle was in the battery from April 1918 and any photo would have been excellent for a book i am working on about the battery during that time.

Unfortunately only just seen this response/pointer to Ebay

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  • 1 year later...

This is an old thread, but does anyone know where, or who with, the 248th Battery was in March 1917?

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Acknown,

March 1917 is not covered by the surviving official war diary (see #2).

Until the 19.03.17 the battery were under 7 HAG (Heavy Artillery Group)

then under 56 HAG until the 25.03.17 when they came under control of 80 HAG

so if you can be more date specific for March and proffer a name/number it may be possible to give precise positions and further information.

Rgds

Paul

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Paul,

Very many thanks. I'm trying to find out more about 107636 Gnr William Henry Abrahams who served in the battery and died on 27 Mar 17.

Best wishes,

Acknown

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Paul,

Thanks for your notification. I should have mentioned (to save you looking it up) that he is interred in Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont-St. Eloi.

Best wishes,

Acknown

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  • 3 years later...

Hello,

 

Thought I would share a photo of my grandfather, Act Major John Smerger Drought, 248th Siege Battery, RGA 1915-18.

 

He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions with the 248th.

Returned from the war to his home in Melbourne, Australia and took Holy Orders. Married his longtime sweetheart and had two sons, all gone now.

 

He hated New Years Eve, would never attend. His brother who had been in the infantry, died on the 31st December but also he always said the whistling of fireworks and and the sounds of exploding fireworks always reminded him of the battlefields and the senseless waste of human life.

 

He died peacefully in 1982 and I remember him fondly as a much older man.

 

Can anyone tell me what kind of artillery they would have used?

Act Major John Smerger Drought RGA.JPG

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Dear Peter,

Thanks for that. No doubt knowlegeable GWF members who know about the RGA will comment about the 248 SB guns. I have scans of guns used by another SB to which Capt F. E. Elliot, RGA, belonged (I hold his medals). 

My own grandfather, Lt-Col W. F. Lindsay, MC, ED (1880-1940), was with 53 Bn AIF (wounded 1 Sep 1918). I have his medal group, too...

Kindest regards,

Kim.5afc8ccd8a190_CaptWFLindsayca_1920.jpg.729102057a6c2211d89aa3d635c83902.jpg.21e5a39276f23113c3b1a81002aa1c9d.jpg1881515900_192SBetcJan1919.thumb.jpg.d3a91bc8c6a03d8bb91084a198dd40f5.jpg

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Dear Peter,

Here is the other, perhaps more relevant, RGA etc appointments list noted by Frederick Eden Elliot (1892-1978).

Furthermore a 31 Army Bde RGA officer group, Anzin, Jan 1919: Capt Elliot is standing behind the senior officer seated fifth from right...2119458622_F.E.ElliotRA.jpg.902f13fc27ddc51f7d1925e3b2d8a645.jpg1795917540_31ArmyBdeRGA.AnzinJan1919.thumb.jpg.689b89077e18edc152541fc5e55bb911.jpg.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay
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  • 3 weeks later...

Peter,

I hope that you read this...we were in touch some years back because you and I have relatives in the same battery and what is more they were gassed at the same time. They knew each other well I am sure and nearly died together. It is pretty remarkable that we have this connection..or more precisely that they did and we have that link.

I am just finishing the final touches to a book I am printing about my uncle, based on his war letters (there are only 10 but for me immense) I am self publishing and its probably only of interest to myself and family members but you may well get something from it. I can email you a PDF. I have included a page on your grandfather with the photo you emailed to me all those years ago!

Tony

PS Try and make direct contact and I shall also. I am in UK

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  • 11 months later...

I was doing some research on the 248th Siege Battery in advance of tomorrow's Remembrance Service - at which i will lay a wreath in their memory - and came across the above conversation. 

 

My grandfather - Charles William Welton-  was posted to the 248 Bty RGA on 11February 1917 - having first served in the 1/5th London rifle Brigade from November 1914 and been wounded. A few years ago a contact did some research for me into his war record and if it was of interest i would be happy to share. He was awarded the Military Cross but unfortunately i have never been able to trace the citation and while a long shot ( sorry no pun intended) if anybody knew anything i would be very interested.

 

 

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