Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

West Riding Brigades RFA


longshouse1762
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am new to the forum. I am researching my wife's grandfather, Stanley Fielding, who won the MC in France while serving with one of the West Riding Brigades (TF) of the RFA. His medal roll shows he arrived in Theatre in April 1915, I assume with 49 (WR)Division. He belonged to a Sheffield battery and I know that they, later, formed 1/3 WR Brigade RFA (redesignated 247 in May 1916). However, according to 'LLT' this brigade was broken up by Feb 1917. Where did the Sheffield batteries go then? I would be especially interested to hear from member Dave Murphy who posted fascinating extracts from his forebears personal war diary. I understand he too was in the (WR) RFA and probably from Sheffield. As Stanley was eventually commissioned I hope to find his service record in the National Archive but I have not yet had the chance to visit. Any advice grsatefully received.

Paul Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your man is 2nd Lieut. John William Stanley Fielding, RFA SR he does not appear in the list of MC recipients from the RFA Brigades in either the 49th (West Riding) Division or the 62nd (West Riding) Division so it does not appear that he was serving with a West Riding RFA unit at the time he received his MC. This is also indicated by the fact that his commission was in the RFA Special Reserve, rather than the RFA Territorial Force.

His MC was gazetted in the London Gazette of 7 November 1918 with the following citation:

"For conspicuous gallantry during an attack. He took his section forward with the special rôle of dealing with enemy anti-Tank guns. When one of his guns was upset by direct fire, he with two men got the other gun into action, and himself acting as No.3, knocked out an enemy gun with his fourth round. Though badly wounded he carried on for some time, and eventually extricated his section. He has consistently done good and gallant work."

Unless he served in World War II his papers should be at The National Archives under WO 339.

Regards, Dick Flory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you to Dick Flory for this very helpful response. My man is indeed John William Stanley Fielding and we are absolutely delighted to read the citation. Stanley never talked about the war and we never knew how he won his MC. I am keen to preserve the memory of a brave man. The distinction between the 'Special Reserve' and the 'TF' is new to me as a relative newcomer in this field. I know that Stanley volunteered (I had assumed for the TF)in about 1910 while living as a student in Sheffield. From the school honour board we are told he was promoted to Bombardier, then Sergeant, 2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant and finally Captain. I had assumed his records would be in WO374 (TF Officers) rather than WO339 (Regular Officers?). He lost a leg while winning his MC and did not serve in WWII, except in CD for which he was awarded the BEM. I ssume that would not have caused his records to be moved? Any further enlightenment would be gratefully received.

Paul Alan

If your man is 2nd Lieut. John William Stanley Fielding, RFA SR he does not appear in the list of MC recipients from the RFA Brigades in either the 49th (West Riding) Division or the 62nd (West Riding) Division so it does not appear that he was serving with a West Riding RFA unit at the time he received his MC. This is also indicated by the fact that his commission was in the RFA Special Reserve, rather than the RFA Territorial Force.

His MC was gazetted in the London Gazette of 7 November 1918 with the following citation:

"For conspicuous gallantry during an attack. He took his section forward with the special rôle of dealing with enemy anti-Tank guns. When one of his guns was upset by direct fire, he with two men got the other gun into action, and himself acting as No.3, knocked out an enemy gun with his fourth round. Though badly wounded he carried on for some time, and eventually extricated his section. He has consistently done good and gallant work."

Unless he served in World War II his papers should be at The National Archives under WO 339.

Regards, Dick Flory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Officers who were not commissioned into the regulars or the Territorial Force were commissioned into the Special Reserve. The reason I mentioned that he was commissioned in the Special Reserve was that you mentioned he served with the West Riding Brigade, RFA TF and if that had been the case he would have been commissioned in to the Territorial Force rather than the Special Reserve. If I were interested in finding more about him I would have a researcher search for his papers in WO 339. Regards, Dick Flory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Dick Flory for this further response. I plan to go up to the National Archive at Kew in the next few weeks and will begin by looking up WO339.

We know he was in the RFA from the medal roll and from the 4th Army orders awarding him an immediate MC. We know from newspaper reports and the school honour board that he was in West Riding Brigade RFA (which Brigade not specified). I understand that, on the outbreak of war, members of the TF were asked to volunteer for the Special Reserve' so that they could be posted abroad and 96% of them did so. (Laurie Magnus, The West Riding Territorials in the Great War published 1920). Am I right to assume therefore, that Stanley would have stayed with the West Riding RFA for most of the war? Does anyone have any information on what happened to the WF Brigade that was broken up by February 1917?

Paul Alan

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...