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149th. (County Palatine) Brigade, R.F.A.


Paul Carter.
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Dear Paul,

My husband's grandfather was in the 149th County Palatine Brigade. His name was James McCoy L/9497. He enlisted in February 1915 and was initially a bombardier and then promoted to sargeant. He was on a trench mortar battery. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his service in the Balkans (salonica) in 1917. I would be grateful if you have uncovered any information about this during your research as we would like to know what he did to get the medal. I have attached a photo of him with two other soldiers who are unknown. James McCoy is seated on the left of the photo.

post-52386-1262370013.jpg

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Also forgive my ignorance why the ' County Palatine' I live in the NW and have never heard that before

cheers Nick

The County Palatine of Lancaster is the area that comes under the Crown as the Duchy of Lancaster. It is historically an old term but is still used today for legal purposes and even in for clubs and associations (I used to be a member of the County Palatine Anglers Association, but that was 40 years ago)

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Hi,

We have found the entry in the London Peace Gazette for L/9497 Sgt James McCoy for being awarded the MSM for his service in the Balkans. Please could anyone tell me what the place name after each soldier refers to? Is it place of birth or place of residence.

Thankyou

post-52386-1262971637.jpg

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  • 10 months later...

Hi

I am currently researching Corporal William Bilsborrow of 149th Bde, "B" Bty Royal Field Artillery, Service no. L/16277 who died of wounds on 2nd May 1918 and would be very grateful if anyone could help me in finding out about any war diaries that I may be able to look at to discover more about him. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Joanne

One of the 97 old boys of Bury Grammar school who died in the war was:

Bombardier William Pyne ROSTRON

"B" Bty. 149th Bde.

Age: 23

Date of Death: 10/12/1917

Service No: L/9634

Additional information: Son of Thomas and Emily Rostron, of 44, Dawson St., Chesham, Bury, Lancs.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: III. N. 22.

Cemetery: MENIN ROAD SOUTH MILITARY CEMETERY

I have visited the grave and a few years ago a Forum Pal kindly sent me a copy of the war diary. He will be added to my Bury Virtual War memorial in due course (just finishing off 1916).

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Why is it that these Pals units, eg the County Palatine Artillery [there were others, I think, such as REs] have not received the attention that their PBI Pals have done?

Is there any news of the write-up forecast in the first post on the thread?

D

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Hi Paul

I'm not sure if you are still working on this project as I noticed that the post was several years ago now, but my Gt Gt Uncle was part of the 149th Brigade of the RFA and was as follows :

Corporal William Bilsborrow

L/16277

Unit : B Battery of 149th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

Awarded the Military Medal in 1917 (published in the London Gazette 14/08/1917)

Died of Wounds on 2nd May 1918 and buried at Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery (XIII G.14)

He was born on 22nd October 1894 in Kirkham, the son of William and Jane Bilsborrow of Willows Farm, Kirkham.

I have only just started to research William so forgive me for only having these small details at present. How have you managed to get on with your research?

Joanne

I am currently researching the 149th. (County Palatine) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The hope is eventually to complete my project as fully as possible and maybe publish it. At the moment this is just a PRIVATE project.

My Grandmother's Fiance, Ernest Grime, was a signaller with D/149 until his death on 9th. October, 1918.

So far I have managed to obtain a reasonable amount of information about Ernest by going to his home town and looking through newspaper Rolls of Honour and using the 1901 Census at the Public Records Office. I have also obtained a fair amount of information about the 149th. Brigade, R.F.A. by photocopying the entire Battalion War Diary which is held at the Public Records Office and receiving a list of the casualties of this unit from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. At the moment I am approximately half way through photographing ALL the headstones and names inscribed on places of memorial, i.e. Menin Gate & Tyne Cot Memorial, of the casualties of 149th. Brigade, R.F.A.

What I am asking is for anyone who has ANY information about the men of any rank who served with this Brigade to please send it to me along with any photographs, either individual or group photos.

I would also like to obtain some photographs of this unit in action. I understand that it is highly unlikely for me to get a photo of this Brigade in action as photographs of artillery units in action were not usually labelled with the units' details for security reasons.

I appreciate that I am asking for a lot of information, but I feel that this is one of the best places to put out a request like this.

Regards,

Paul Carter.

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  • 8 months later...

Dear Paul

I came across the site last night and have been trying to do similar research on my late grandfather who served in the brigade from 10 March 1915 to the end of the war and was discharged on 8 March 1919 after leaving France in February.

His name was John Shackleton and he was a Lance Corporal. He initially joined A Battery.

My late father was reading a book about the period before during and after the German break through in March 1918 and in a photograph "taken near the front" was a team of men pulling a gun from the mud. In the forefront was my grandfather. I remember him saying how much he detested the official photographers because their photographs were all staged and this is clearly one of these - the men in the background are relaxing in the open and there is an officer helping to lift the barrel from the mud and he is clean and polished to the soles of his boots. My grandfather is showing as much disapproval as he can without being on a charge!! I visited the museum of the Manchesters in Ashton armed with the photo and all the info I had and the curator came up with several contemporary magazines and in one was a picture of the same gun taken just before mine. In both you can see members of the battery and I will copy and past for you. The photograph was apparently taken in August 1917 and we think Zillebeke Lake is in the distance.

My grandfather recalled seeing the Manchesters marching to the front in expectation of an easy victory as the Germans had been subjected to heavy shellfire and many years on he was still visibly emotional to have witnessed them coming back wounded and in tatters and in many fewer numbers. I am afraid I cannot offer much more as he would never dwell on the subject. I was very young at the time and would pester him with questions and only occasionally would he say anything. He had lived a world of trying to leave it all behind and protect his family from the horrors of what he survived.

I understand that my grandfather was at rest when the Germans broke through. Accordingly he was part of the Fifth Army that took the heaviest casualties as they arrived in formation. He would not talk much about it other than to say that there was never any need to aim as there were so many enemy soldiers it was impossible to miss. At the same time the RFA attracted a lot of shellfire as they were mobile and able to cause something of a nuisance. When my father asked him how he coped, he just said he concentrated on loading and firing.

My brother and I are planning to visit the Salient in a couple of months and any useful suggestions would be most welcome.

Best regards

David

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I am currently researching the 149th. (County Palatine) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The hope is eventually to complete my project as fully as possible and maybe publish it. At the moment this is just a PRIVATE project.

My Grandmother's Fiance, Ernest Grime, was a signaller with D/149 until his death on 9th. October, 1918.

So far I have managed to obtain a reasonable amount of information about Ernest by going to his home town and looking through newspaper Rolls of Honour and using the 1901 Census at the Public Records Office. I have also obtained a fair amount of information about the 149th. Brigade, R.F.A. by photocopying the entire Battalion War Diary which is held at the Public Records Office and receiving a list of the casualties of this unit from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. At the moment I am approximately half way through photographing ALL the headstones and names inscribed on places of memorial, i.e. Menin Gate & Tyne Cot Memorial, of the casualties of 149th. Brigade, R.F.A.

What I am asking is for anyone who has ANY information about the men of any rank who served with this Brigade to please send it to me along with any photographs, either individual or group photos.

I would also like to obtain some photographs of this unit in action. I understand that it is highly unlikely for me to get a photo of this Brigade in action as photographs of artillery units in action were not usually labelled with the units' details for security reasons.

I appreciate that I am asking for a lot of information, but I feel that this is one of the best places to put out a request like this.

Regards,

Paul Carter.

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I am currently researching the 149th. (County Palatine) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The hope is eventually to complete my project as fully as possible and maybe publish it. At the moment this is just a PRIVATE project.

My Grandmother's Fiance, Ernest Grime, was a signaller with D/149 until his death on 9th. October, 1918.

So far I have managed to obtain a reasonable amount of information about Ernest by going to his home town and looking through newspaper Rolls of Honour and using the 1901 Census at the Public Records Office. I have also obtained a fair amount of information about the 149th. Brigade, R.F.A. by photocopying the entire Battalion War Diary which is held at the Public Records Office and receiving a list of the casualties of this unit from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. At the moment I am approximately half way through photographing ALL the headstones and names inscribed on places of memorial, i.e. Menin Gate & Tyne Cot Memorial, of the casualties of 149th. Brigade, R.F.A.

What I am asking is for anyone who has ANY information about the men of any rank who served with this Brigade to please send it to me along with any photographs, either individual or group photos.

I would also like to obtain some photographs of this unit in action. I understand that it is highly unlikely for me to get a photo of this Brigade in action as photographs of artillery units in action were not usually labelled with the units' details for security reasons.

I appreciate that I am asking for a lot of information, but I feel that this is one of the best places to put out a request like this.

Regards,

Paul Carter.

Dear Paul

Please find attached the photograph I mentioned. I will send the article later as I have not figured out sending multiple files. The photo of the men pulling the gun shows my grandfather in front pulling on his rope and looking disapprovingly at the camera - a very posed photo - they are all clean!! With my grandfather in the picture I presume the others are also from 149 Brigade. The location and dates are right.

Best regards

David

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Hi Paul

I'm not sure if you are still working on this project as I noticed that the post was several years ago now, but my Gt Gt Uncle was part of the 149th Brigade of the RFA and was as follows :

Corporal William Bilsborrow

L/16277

Unit : B Battery of 149th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

Awarded the Military Medal in 1917 (published in the London Gazette 14/08/1917)

Died of Wounds on 2nd May 1918 and buried at Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery (XIII G.14)

He was born on 22nd October 1894 in Kirkham, the son of William and Jane Bilsborrow of Willows Farm, Kirkham.

I have only just started to research William so forgive me for only having these small details at present. How have you managed to get on with your research?

Joanne

Now attached - I think.

1917-08-09 Photo.pdf

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I am currently researching the 149th. (County Palatine) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The hope is eventually to complete my project as fully as possible and maybe publish it. At the moment this is just a PRIVATE project.

My Grandmother's Fiance, Ernest Grime, was a signaller with D/149 until his death on 9th. October, 1918.

So far I have managed to obtain a reasonable amount of information about Ernest by going to his home town and looking through newspaper Rolls of Honour and using the 1901 Census at the Public Records Office. I have also obtained a fair amount of information about the 149th. Brigade, R.F.A. by photocopying the entire Battalion War Diary which is held at the Public Records Office and receiving a list of the casualties of this unit from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. At the moment I am approximately half way through photographing ALL the headstones and names inscribed on places of memorial, i.e. Menin Gate & Tyne Cot Memorial, of the casualties of 149th. Brigade, R.F.A.

What I am asking is for anyone who has ANY information about the men of any rank who served with this Brigade to please send it to me along with any photographs, either individual or group photos.

I would also like to obtain some photographs of this unit in action. I understand that it is highly unlikely for me to get a photo of this Brigade in action as photographs of artillery units in action were not usually labelled with the units' details for security reasons.

I appreciate that I am asking for a lot of information, but I feel that this is one of the best places to put out a request like this.

Regards,

Paul Carter.

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Dear Paul

I have tried to attach a better quality copy of the photo and a copy of the article but both files are too big too attach apparently and the site rejects them. Any suggestions? I think both would be of interest to you as we have dates locations and at least my grandfather identified. It might be interesting if others can be identified too.

Best regards

David

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I am currently researching the 149th. (County Palatine) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The hope is eventually to complete my project as fully as possible and maybe publish it. At the moment this is just a PRIVATE project.

My Grandmother's Fiance, Ernest Grime, was a signaller with D/149 until his death on 9th. October, 1918.

So far I have managed to obtain a reasonable amount of information about Ernest by going to his home town and looking through newspaper Rolls of Honour and using the 1901 Census at the Public Records Office. I have also obtained a fair amount of information about the 149th. Brigade, R.F.A. by photocopying the entire Battalion War Diary which is held at the Public Records Office and receiving a list of the casualties of this unit from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. At the moment I am approximately half way through photographing ALL the headstones and names inscribed on places of memorial, i.e. Menin Gate & Tyne Cot Memorial, of the casualties of 149th. Brigade, R.F.A.

What I am asking is for anyone who has ANY information about the men of any rank who served with this Brigade to please send it to me along with any photographs, either individual or group photos.

I would also like to obtain some photographs of this unit in action. I understand that it is highly unlikely for me to get a photo of this Brigade in action as photographs of artillery units in action were not usually labelled with the units' details for security reasons.

I appreciate that I am asking for a lot of information, but I feel that this is one of the best places to put out a request like this.

Regards,

Paul Carter.

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Other useful information:

I have the map of the area the battery occupied by 149 Artillery Brigade in July 1917. It shows the towns, roads and the one way system operated.

Also I have the notice to the battery to cease hostilities at 11/11/11.

My Grandfather kept the notice in his wallet all his life - if things ever seemed bad he only had to open his wallet to realise that by comparison, no matter how bad, they were a piece of cake.

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  • 5 months later...

I am currently researching the 149th. (County Palatine) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The hope is eventually to complete my project as fully as possible and maybe publish it. At the moment this is just a PRIVATE project.

My Grandmother's Fiance, Ernest Grime, was a signaller with D/149 until his death on 9th. October, 1918.

So far I have managed to obtain a reasonable amount of information about Ernest by going to his home town and looking through newspaper Rolls of Honour and using the 1901 Census at the Public Records Office. I have also obtained a fair amount of information about the 149th. Brigade, R.F.A. by photocopying the entire Battalion War Diary which is held at the Public Records Office and receiving a list of the casualties of this unit from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. At the moment I am approximately half way through photographing ALL the headstones and names inscribed on places of memorial, i.e. Menin Gate & Tyne Cot Memorial, of the casualties of 149th. Brigade, R.F.A.

What I am asking is for anyone who has ANY information about the men of any rank who served with this Brigade to please send it to me along with any photographs, either individual or group photos.

I would also like to obtain some photographs of this unit in action. I understand that it is highly unlikely for me to get a photo of this Brigade in action as photographs of artillery units in action were not usually labelled with the units' details for security reasons.

I appreciate that I am asking for a lot of information, but I feel that this is one of the best places to put out a request like this.

Regards,

Paul Carter.

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Dear Paul,

Do you have photos of all 149 Brigade headstones. I am looking for Athur Fairchild who is in Guards Cemetery LesBOEUFS.

Any help would be appreciated.

Geoff

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  • 8 months later...

My Grandfather, John Shackleton served in A Battery. He joined in February 1915 and was lucky enough to survive the war. He would not talk about his experiences but did say he had a low oppinion of official photographers! Lo and behold, my father was reading a book on the build up to Operation Michael and the fighting and there was his father looking at him out of a photograph of presumably A Battery pulling a gun from the mud near Zillebeke Lake. The picture is clearly staged and an officer is helping by lifting the barrel from the mud(???). My grandfather has about as much expression as he can show without being on a charge. I visited the Manchesters Museum in Ashton and the curator there was ex artillery and was incredibly helpful. 149 had been attached to the Manchesters. He showed me some 1920's magazines and picked out a dozen articles. To our surprise in the third there was a photograph of the same gun and the men preparing for the one in the book!!

My brother and I have been to the spot where the photograph was taken. I am assuming that the photograph will be A Battery. My Grandfather is the one in the front pulling on the rope and looking at the camera.

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PS

The article in the magazine was written by an officer of 149 Brigade - Aubrey Wade and I presume he will have used brigade photographs where he could.

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  • 4 weeks later...

David

My uncle, Cecil Exley was a young officer in 149th Brigade - commissioned in 1917 he joined 149th in November of that year and was posted to 'A' battery. Previously he had been a gunner in 108th Brigade and served on the Somme in the latter stages of that campaign - but missed the worst of Passchendael because he was in England for officer training. I guess that he might have known your grandfather during his service after November 1917. A few years ago I tried to reconstruct some of the events that 149th brigade went through during the Spring offensive in particular. If you would like a copy( it's about 7.5mb) perhaps you could contact me - I'll leave my email address on the board for a few days in the hope that you will read this post. Ian

ianl.kerr@ntlworld.com

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Does anybody have a copy of the 149th Brigade War Diary for March 1918? On my last visit to the National Archives I photographed all the other entries except for this one which either I missed or else it was missing from the folder.

Any help in finding it and getting a copy would be appreciated.

Ian

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have inherited letters written by my great-uncle, Major James McFadyen McNeill, during his WW1 service and other associated material. I am now trying to find the story behind the material with a view to producing a book based on the letters.

James McNeill took command of B Battery, 149th Brigade RFA on his promotion to Major the 4th of May, 1918. Previously he had been a captain with A Battery, 94th Brigade. He remained with the 149th until his de-mobilisation in January 1919.

I would be interested in any information on the 149th Brigade during James's service.

In particular I would like to find out more about the 2 photos attachedpost-93662-0-99507600-1353423076_thumb.j. I think they are both of the 149th Brigade taken at the end of the war.

Photo 1 is a group of officers and NCOs (from B Battery?) James is the central figure with the dog on his lap.

Photo 2 is a group of officers (entire complement of officers of 149th?) James is immediately to the right of the central seated figure.

Can anyone?

  1. Identify any of the other men in the photos
  2. Confirm my thoughts on the composition of the groups
  3. identify the location
  4. determine when they might have been taken

Note: The 2 photos together were too large to attach to this post I will attach the Phot 2 to a second copy post.

Doug McNeill

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Second post incorporating second photo

I have inherited letters written by my great-uncle, Major James McFadyen McNeill, during his WW1 service and other associated material. I am now trying to find the story behind the material with a view to producing a book based on the letters.

James McNeill took command of B Battery, 149th Brigade RFA on his promotion to Major the 4th of May, 1918. Previously he had been a captain with A Battery, 94th Brigade. He remained with the 149th until his de-mobilisation in January 1919.

I would be interested in any information on the 149th Brigade during James's service.

In particular I would like to find out more about the 2 photos attached I think they are both of the 149th Brigade taken at the end of the war.

Photo 1 is a group of officers and NCOs (from B Battery?) James is the central figure with the dog on his lap.

Photo 2 is a group of officers (entire complement of officers of 149th?) James is immediately to the right of the central seated figure.

Can anyone?

  1. Identify any of the other men in the photos
  2. Confirm my thoughts on the composition of the groups
  3. identify the location
  4. determine when they might have been taken

Photo 2

post-93662-0-32213200-1353423676_thumb.j

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That looks right for the composition of the groups. The officer image should include a medical officer and a vet - if you study the cap badges. If end-of-war photos one might expect to see men wearing overseas chevrons on the right sleeves. are these visible [2nd from left officer photo, for example?]?

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at wars end I see the Brigade, with the 30th Division moved west and by 4 December was in billets at Renescure.. outside St Omer i think. these look to be French [?] barracks/billets by the door signs so I wonder if that might be a possibility? From other unit photos I have seen i would rather suspect that 'wars end' or soon after was the occasion ..

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