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97th siege battery R.G.A


paul leighton
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Hi, I'm trying to find out what size fieldguns/howitzers would of been used in this battery,

was this classed as a heavy battery or was it using anything like the huge railway- or road-mounted 12 inch howitzers

any help welcome

kind regards paul

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Can't find a 97 Bty RGA listed. It's possible it was one of those lost in the spring 1918 German offensive.

My understanding is that RGA btys were numbered on a list for Mtn Btys, a list for Heavy and Siege btys and a list for coast defence companies. Some btys with regional names were numbered differently.

Heavy btys had 60-pr (and 4.7-in in TA, etc btys in the first 12-18 months of the war). Siege btys had 6-in and upwards. 6-in How was the most common RGA bty, 8-in How was the second most common siege bty.

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97th Siege Battery, RGA was armed with four 9.2" Howitzers and went out to the Western Front on 12 June 1916. It Joined 21st Heavy Artillery Group (HAG) on 17 June 16. It transferred to 63rd HAG on 11 Dec 16. It was redesignated as 1st Canadian Siege Battery on 8th January 1917. There was no 97th Heavy Battery, RGA or 97th Mountain Battery, RGA. Dick Flory

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97th Siege Battery, RGA was armed with four 9.2" Howitzers and went out to the Western Front on 12 June 1916. It Joined 21st Heavy Artillery Group (HAG) on 17 June 16. It transferred to 63rd HAG on 11 Dec 16. It was redesignated as 1st Canadian Siege Battery on 8th January 1917. There was no 97th Heavy Battery, RGA or 97th Mountain Battery, RGA. Dick Flory

Interestingly Farndale makes no reference to 1st Cdn Siege Bty, and while SA and Aust siege btys are listed in his Nov 1918 ORBAT no Cdn ones are! I assume this is because the Cdn heavy & siege btys always stayed with the Cdn corps unlike the others that were deployed as required.

However, Nicholson's 'Gunners of Canada' gives:

1st Cdn Siege Bty

Formed Shorncliffe, Eng 1 Oct 1915 designated 1st Overseas Bty, Cdn Siege Artillery

24 Feb 1916 redesignated 97th (Cdn) Siege Bty

29 Jan 1917, in France, redesignated 1st Cdn Siege Bty

May 1919 demobilsed in Montreal

There were 13 Cdn siege btys formed in total, 2 heavy btys, and 3 heavy arty group HQs. The usual org in the second half of the war was for a HAG (later bde) to have 4 (if a mobile or howitzer bde) or 6 (if a mixed bde) heavy and siege btys.

In Jun 1916 all 60-pr, 6-in How, 8-in How and 9.2-in How started going from 4 to 6 guns/hows per bty but it took some time to complete the program.

In Nov 1918 1st Cdn Siege Bty was in 1st Bde Cdn Garrison Artillery with 6 x 9.2-in How and a war establishment of 8 offrs and 223 ORs (but I've no idea if this included a bty ASC column, assuming Cdn had adopted this approach to mechanisation). The only other Cdn bty with 9.2-in was 5th Cdn Siege Bty.

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