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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lt Archie Ainsley 91st Seige battery (prev 3rd Hants regt)


chrisainsley

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Ive been kind of working backwards with regards to my great uncle Lt Archie Ainsley who was killed at reumont on october 12th 1918 see below...

last year i did loads of research surrounding his death and his actions leading up to it.....culminating in finding this which answered many questions....

"The 12th Oct. was a very bad day for us in Reumont. We had fired a few rounds at active batteries and a few 8" shells came back in return. Lieut. Ainsley, Sergt. Eales, Bombardier Newton, Gunner Graham and Gunner Mc W. McCullough took refuge in a cellar under a house, together with its inhabitants, nine French civilians. A shell hit the house and the cellar collapsed, the ruins of the house falling into it. Lieut. Nightingale was the first to discover the calamity and he, with Bombardier Bradshaw and Gunner Fletcher were conspicuous amongst many in the rescue work which started at great personal risk before the shelling had ceased. The moans and cries of suffocating children were heart rendering and desperate efforts were made to reach them, but in spite of all that could be done it was 7 hours before the last bodies were reached. All the civilians except a little girl of 15, Marie Louise Lariche, who had a miraculous escape. The heroism of this child will live in the memories of all who witnessed it so long as they live. The bodies of her mother, brothers, sisters, and grandparents were all removed before her eyes. She was pinned down in the debris only her head being free. She remained conscious all the time and gave most useful help to the rescue party in describing the details of the cellar and telling where the other bodies lay. It was a scene of many painful deaths which I do not care to recall. Lieut. Ainsley, Sergt. Eales, Bombardier Newton, and Gunner Graham were all killed; Gunner Mc W. McCullough was taken out alive and apparently only badly shaken, but he died from concussion next day. Thus only one survived out of the fourteen who were buried by the shell. The work of rescue was exceedingly difficult as there was always the danger of the collapse of the small portion of the cellar which remained, and where Marie Louise was. The services of Lieut. Nightingale, Bombardier Bradshaw and Gunner Fletcher were suitably rewarded. The greatest regret was felt at the loss of Lieut. Ainsley and that of the five N.C.O.s and men who were all members of the battery from its formation. "The deepest possible sympathy was felt for Gunner R. McCullough, on the loss of his brother. The whole incident depressed us horribly.

So here goes....I know from the battery diary that he joined the 91st as a 2nd Lt on the 9th July of that year...so i would like to find out his movements before that date...

he was accepted as a cadet for officer training at trowbridge in November 1916

previous to that from 19th May 1915 he was a corporal, Lnce Corporal and private (not in that order obv..lol) with the 3rd Hamphire regiment...before being recommneded for a comission

so on the basis that i working backwards now from the 9th July 1918...(i know everything after that)..i wanted to ask a couple of questions and then get on the hunt form there

does anyone know....

how long did cadet training take for the RGA?...I have all his war records and have nothing between Nov 1916 and July 1918...would he have been training for that long??

As he joined up in May 1915 as a private ...how long would his original training (from may 1915) have taken? so therefore when would he have arrived in France....and lastly...

has anyone got any ideas on where the 3rd hants regiment were from May 1915- November 1916?..or where i can look to find that info?...

any clues would be appreciated...anything at all

Thanks in advance

Chris Ainsley

post-21327-1226484026.jpg

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Ok...

I now know that he was in the 3rd Battalion which was stationed at gosport for the duration..so he didnt serve overseas during that time...

the letter for his release to the RA cadet school was dated 28th November 1916...he was killed 23 months later...

anybody know how long the traing for a 2nd Lt in the RGA took???

so i spose my next visit should be the archives at trowbridge???

would that be right??

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EG

I fancy that we have had contact before now re- Archie who is in my birth village's Roll of Honour,with the same pic you post here. I did a tour of all the villager's graves on the Western Front in Dec 2006.

I am at Kew next week so tell me if you want me to look anywhere there for you.

Did you get to check out a service file number WO339/138601 which might be his ? If not I can do that.

Sotonmate

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EG

I fancy that we have had contact before now re- Archie who is in my birth village's Roll of Honour,with the same pic you post here. I did a tour of all the villager's graves on the Western Front in Dec 2006.

I am at Kew next week so tell me if you want me to look anywhere there for you.

Did you get to check out a service file number WO339/138601 which might be his ? If not I can do that.

Sotonmate

Thank you....

I have all his records....

He must have been promoted between July and October 1918 whilst at the 91st as the battery history clearly states that 2nd Lt Ainsley joined us on the 10th July 1918...and that Lt Ainsley was killed on the 12th October and all the other records state he was a full Lt when he died...

therefore the only question is how long did the officer training at Trowbridge take...his letter of release from the 3rd Hants was 26th Nov 1916...

does anyone know where i can get records of cadet training at trowbridge??...that would be my answer coz it isnt anywhwere in the war record i have from kew...the last entry is the release letter

many thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

EG

The Royal Artillery at Woolwich will have a Museum Curator or similar who may be able to answer your question about how long it took to train an Offcier in WW1.

Sotonmate

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