Jump to content

Remembered Today:

Heavy Artillery - 142 (Durham) Bty RGA


Chris Best
 Share

Recommended Posts

Good evening Pals

Can anyone confirm which division(s) 142 (Durham) Bty RGA supported and, even better, indicate firing lines for any operation(s). A mate is travelling over to F&F with me in 2 weeks and, as payment for his 'walking out pass', he needs to learn about his wife's GF who served with the bty (337164 Pte Francis Cutchie MINTO born 1894 in Sunderland. We have the MIC) supported, where possible, by pictures of probable SOAs, billet/billet villages etc.

Come on, give him a break

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris: There is a unit history of the the unit titled The 142nd (Durham) Heavy Battery, R.G.A. (T.). Unfortunately it lacks precise dates through out much of the narrative.

March 1916: took part in the Battle of St. Eloi. Then at Kemmel Hill for four months.

In July 1916 the battery arrived near Albert and took up positions in Sausage Valley. Remained on the Somme for 8 months taking part in the taking of Thiepval, Courcelette, Martinpuich, Grandcourt, Miramount, Pys, Irles, Puisieux-au-Mont, Le Sars, Achiet-le-Petit, Gueudecourt and finally Bapaume.

Left the Somme near the end of March 1917 and moved to St. Eloi in front of Vimy Ridge.

Left St. Eloi on 16 April 1917 and marched to Velu, about 7-8 miles beyond Bapaume and took up positions in the Velu Wood, near the Bapaume-Cambrai road.

On 15 June 1917 it changed positions to the right front of the Sugar Factory at Vaux Vraucourt.

The moved to St. Leger, near Henin with the wagon lines at Hendecourt.

On 29 August moved by train, via Arras, and took over the positions of the 1/2 Lancs behind Hammond's Corner. It later moved to a position along the Pilkem Road, and then to Kitchener's Wood where they remained until March 1918.

On 26 March 1918 the battery moved to Gouy-Servins and 10 days later came into action just south of Roclincourt. On 15 April 1918 it moved to Morbecque near the Forest de Nieppe. On 12 July it moved to Coyecke for training.

On 3 August 1918 it entrained at Anvin and moved to Boves via St. Vaast, Ailly sur Somme and Amiens.

On 14 September 1918 the battery moved to a position NE of Vermand. It moved forward to Belle Eglise on 29 Sept 1918 and later moved to Brancourt.

By November 5, 1918 the battery was at Mazinheim and was at Reget de Beaulieu on Armistice Day.

There are no photos that would help in locating the battery at a particular time.

Hope this is of some use. Regards, Dick Flory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris

I've attached a small map which shows 142 heavy as of 2 Nov to 2 Dec'17. This is from their time with 65th HAG, 2 Corps HA.

The 1918 period is very sparse on this type of detail in the files I have as they were attached to XI Corps HA and XIII Corps HA, both of which lack detail.

However, some of the other HAGs and Corps they were part of during 17 are a bit more useful, the above being one example.

By 2 Dec'17 they had guns at the above position, C10b 27.35, and guns at U29d 9.7. The exact number at each location is not specified.

Give me a few days to dig around and I'll see what else I can find. Bear with me as I am extreemly busy at the moment.

Stuart

post-6041-1224545950.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris,

I sincerely hope I'm not potentially putting a spanner in the works but does your friend have evidence that his relative actually served with the 142nd Heavy Battery, apart from his number. From some of the few records I have seen for gunners in the Durham RGA there is no guarantee that they went to the 142nd. I have assumed this is because they were vastly over subscribed for just one battery.

Kevin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a unit history of the the unit titled The 142nd (Durham) Heavy Battery, R.G.A. (T.).

Dick

Many thanks for your time and effort extracting all this - truly excellent, it'll give some form to his service - provided he did, in fact, serve with 142 (Durham) (see reply below) - and, if I have time to link to div histories or OH, we might even get a feel for targets on a particular day.

I'll now hunt for the book - that'll get Bob real browning points if I can capture that!! :lol:

Thanks again. Blimey, remarkable, just seen where you hang out - and you have a copy of an obscure British military unit? Impressed. Wife and I just back from leave in your state of the woods (or desert) - attended American brother's wedding in Joshua Tree - great event - and then legged it to Arizona for a bit of GC and Sedona - and bags and bags o' sunshine

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've attached a small map which shows 142 heavy as of 2 Nov to 2 Dec'17

Thank you so much, Stuart, very, very helpful and, combined with Dick Flory's reply at Post 2, gives us a great feel. Bob's wife will have photos supported by your map and map refs.

Who knows, he might be allowed to travel with me again!

Cheers

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sincerely hope I'm not potentially putting a spanner in the works but does your friend have evidence that his relative actually served with the 142nd Heavy Battery, apart from his number. From some of the few records I have seen for gunners in the Durham RGA there is no guarantee that they went to the 142nd. I have assumed this is because they were vastly over subscribed for just one battery. Kevin

An interesting observation, Kevin and I was worried for a while. I looked back at Bob's initial email to me and he tells me he has our man's demob cert stamped up from 142 plus a photo of the Bty Soccer Team with bty title on ball. He did have one query though. Minto joined early Sep 14 and his demob cert looks as though the number 337164 (as shown on MIC) appears to have the first 3 deleted. Does that make sense, that his 1914 regtl number would have been a 5 digit number rather than 6? And did gunners have their numbers changed to 6 digits in 1917 when so many infantry men had theirs changed?

Cheers

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris,

I am pleased your friend has proof of which battery his relative served with, and he should be aware how very lucky he is to have it.

Being a TF man, Gunner Minto would have had a 1,2,3 or 4 digit number. The missing 3 must just be a mistake on his form. In his case I would say a 3 digit number until early 1917. To give him some idea of enlistment and number I have seen the following 3 gunners records nearest to his relative, and who they served with;

337157/ 698 Durham RGA Miller, Albert 5-9-1914 Sunderland 144 HB

337165/ 708 Durham RGA Mason, Stanley 7-9-1914 Sunderland 132 HB

337239/ 787 Durham RGA Barwick, Thomas Henry 12-10-1914 Sunderland 114 HB

It's not rocket science to deduce that in all probability that he enlisted somewhere around the 7 September 1914 and had a three digit number between 698 and 708.

Kevin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . . . .

337165/ 708 Durham RGA Mason, Stanley 7-9-1914 Sunderland 132 HB . . . . It's not rocket science to deduce that in all probability that he enlisted somewhere around the 7 September 1914 and had a three digit number between 698 and 708.

Spot on, Kevin - 5 Sep 14. Interesting to note that his new 6 digit number immediately precedes Gnr Mason - but different bty? Presumably, same regt (forgive my poor gnr knowledge - I've always known my limitations having had a gnr DS at Junior Staff College ;)

I'll make sure Bob's higher authority is aware of her luck.

Chris

PS - any idea how many surplus men there were?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surplus men? Was there an additional depot section formed , there should have been from Decemeber 1914 according to ACI***. Also was there a battery ammunition section formed. All of these would make it appear that there was a surplus when in fact there wasnt.

Roop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I meant Roop that if they were specifically enlisting locally for the 142nd HB at the end of 1915 they either did or didn't get enough men at that time. A few months ago there was a thread about the 148th Smethwick HB and some of these gunners were sent to a siege battery. The only conclusion I came to, perhaps wrongly, was they had more than sufficient men for the just the 148th Battery. Fortunately there is a book available, as Dick mentioned, that no doubts explains the forming and composition of the 142nd Heavy Battery.

Kevin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris

Attached is another map which fits above the first. The scales aren't exactly the same but if you place one above the other you get a reasonable idea of the battery positions Nov/Dec'17.

On the 17 Jun'17 the battery was in two section at map refs J34b 31.00 & J33b 38.72. This puts them on the eastern edge of the village of Bertrancourt, I don't have a map that covers this area unfortunately.

142 Heavy went to F & F 21 March'16 with 41st Heavy Brigade, 2nd Army, moving through the following HAGs (Heavy Artillery Groups )

31.7.16 - 55 HAG - 5th Army ? from 2nd Army.

21.3.17 - 76 HAG - 1st Army

22.4.17 - 44 HAG - ? Army

29.6.17 - 14 HAG - 5th Army

1.7.17 - 4 HAG - 5th Army

6.7.17 - 59 HAG - 3rd Army

9.8.17 - 39 HAG - 3rd Army

1.9.17 - 65 HAG - 5th Army

18.12.17 - 79 HAG - 4th Army (re-named 2nd) to 1st Army 1.5.18 to 5th Army 7.7.18 to 4th Army 18.8.18 until 11 Nov'18

Stuart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Terrific, Stuart, thank you so much for this.

My friend is so gratefule, he's authorised me to hunt down the book on 142nd referred to by Rory above.

Look forward to tracing these positions, Stuart and thanks again.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

Just finished making a nice little database, the type to bring joy to your eyes. You have seen them before you know what I mean.

An alternative version can be found at the link below.

But, sadly there is a but, the database includes five areas that are not fully complete + a question came to mind that I had not previously considered.

A plaque was unveiled in Sunderland in 1920 dedicated to the fallen heroes of 142nd (Durham) Heavy Battery, with an inscription that reads as follows:

To the memory of the members of the

142nd (Durham) Heavy Battery, R.G.A.(T)

who were killed on active service.

The entry for Gnr 39111 - H E Cave – only includes his initials & does not include his place of birth.

The entry for 44580 - C J Hoadley - once again only includes his initials and also does not include his place of birth. The same data has his rank as 2nd A. M. – I looked around the Internet to see if I could find the meaning of 2nd A. M. but possibly because it was early in the morning I could not find it.

There are in total 29 names in the Database of men from around the country with most of them from Sunderland or the Midlands area, with dates ranging from 06/04/1916 to 14/10/1918. A third of the men are from the Sunderland area.

How many men from 142nd (Durham) Heavy Battery were killed between those dates I am unaware of but it was clearly more than 29.

So why were the details of those other 20 or so chosen to be included on such a plaque?

http://www.newmp.org...?contentId=8745

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been gathering information on soldiers killed from the Sunderland area for some years now and there were thousands killed.

But <>< here is another one a little like the other one:

After reading of the sale that claims to include the names of 7000 men killed in the Sunderland area I would like to ask that your take that information from you mind briefly while considering the following inscription. And ask yourself, what would you think if you knew little about the history.

><>

Inscription from the Cross of Bishopwearmouth Church

To the honoured memory of



four hundred sailors and soldiers who

gave their lives for their country

during the Great War 1914 - 1918.

Two hundred and thirty of whom lie in

this cemetery, seventy five in Sunderland

Cemetery and ninety five in

Mere Knolls Cemetery all in the

Borough of Sunderland

<>< Over to you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...