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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

275th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery


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I am trying to establish the circumstances in which Gunner Samuel Thomas Wheadon (107433) was killed.

According to CWGC, he was serving with 275th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery and, since he was buried at Lijssenthoek (having died of wounds on 25 July 1917), this unit was clearly somewhere in the

Salient at the time.

I have spent an hour trying to cross-reference the "Soldiers Died" data with CWGC entries (my head now hurts!) and can find only one other 275th SB casualty in the three days on or prior to 25 July, namely Gunner James Flanighan (120814), listed as killed in action on 25 July itself.

The thing that has perplexed me about Gunner Wheadon is how his death was reported locally as having been from "gunshot wounds".

After that preparatory waffle, my questions are as follows:

(i) What type of artillery piece(s) was/were operated by 275th Siege Battery RGA?

(ii) Where was it located at the time in question?

(iii) Does a war diary exist for the battery? (I seem to remember reading somewhere that finding a diary for such an RGA unit is unlikely)

(iv) Can anyone suggest a theory for the 'gunshot' story. (My best attempt would involve enemy aircraft,

but what do I know?)

Thanks in advance,


P.S. Not that it's relevant to the above story, but I was interested in the attrition rate suffered by the RGA over the period I looked at (for obvious reasons, a 'hot' time in the Ypres area in particular). In terms of those who were killed in action/died of wounds over just a few days, the totals are as follows: 20th July 1917 – 26, 21st July – 22, 22nd July – 30, 23rd July – 29, 24th July – 36, 25th July – 23.

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Welcome to the forum Gareth

i) At the time of his death 275 SB were a mechanised battery of 6 x 8 in Hows, having just been made up to 6 guns from 4 in June

ii) Positioned at Chateau Segard on the Menin Road from June 10 to July 30 1917

iii) No official war diary survives other than for the month of Dec 1917, and a separate diary for the Amn Col (search the forum for previous posts). Also the higher formation HAG diary survives that they were part of at the time , which was 53 Brigade.

Rgds Paul

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Thanks both for the welcome and for the reply, Paul. That was some speedy work!

I don't think I've ever seen a picture of an 8" howitzer before, but am quite familiar both with both the larger and smaller types. Can anyone point me to a link for an image?

Having looked at a couple of trench maps, I have Chateau Segard as being just north of Voormezele, near Dickebusch. That seems logical. given that the chap from 275th SB who was KIA on 22/7/17 is buried at Dickebusch, whereas Gunner Wheadon was transported to Lijjsenthoek, one assumes either to die en route or after arrival at the CCS. Do I have the right place? (in the middle of square 30 if anyone has a map in front of them!)

My mystery remains as to the 'gunshot' story, since this location would put it over two miles behind the front line, I think.

Please excuse my ignorance, but does the fact that this is a mechanised battery refer to the manner of handling of the ammunition? (I assume the shells were considerably large and heavy, akin to those fired by the 9.2"?)

One last thing - Paul, do you mind me asking the source of your information?

Thanks again,


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In case Paul is occupied elsewhere, "mechanised" means that the guns were drawn by vehicles rather than horses, and quite possibly traction engines.

"Gunshot" usually means small arms fire, I believe, but a two mile range seems unlikely, but I might be smartly corrected on this [as on most things!]. The odds of aimed fire succeeding at that range must be considerable.


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Not to argue with daggers, but my experience from looking at hundreds of medical board reports in Royal Artillery officers' service papers from the Great War period is that the term 'gunshot' wounds was very often used to indicate wounds from 'shrapnel' rather than from rifles or machine guns. In the context of Gunner Wheadon's 'gunshot' wounds, shrapnel would be much more likely. Dick Flory

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