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Remembered Today:

285th Siege Battalion RGA


andalucia

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Hi All

My great grandfather was with the 299th Seige Battalion RGA during WW1. I have his service record and one page is very hard to read. I took it to someone who could see what the writing said ( very very faded ) and he highlighted it and it reads " Posted 285th Siege Battalion RGA 7/11/1916.

Now on his records it states that he was home between 31/7/1916 and 4/5/1917. So I assume the 285th where here in England? He stays with the 285th until 27 February 1917 when he joins the 299th.

Any ideas about what the 285th where doing here? or where they or the 299th where based?

Many thanks

Ant

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Are you sure it says Battalion? More likely to be Battery.

The battery numbers do not tally with the RGA Siege Batteries listed in the Long Long Trail site, so they may not have been read correctly, either.

He might have been on sick leave.

From a pernickerty ex Gunner!

D

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Hi Daggers

Yes i meant Battery. I saw the BT and just wrote battalion, of course its a battery.

I am a numpty at times :rolleyes:

cheers

Ant

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There was a 285th Siege Battery. Its War Diary can be found in WO 95/326 at the National Archives, Kew. The diary records start from March 1917, but this does not imply that the battery started then.

Robert

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Ant,

You mean of course 5-4-17 for Gnr 112913 John Hogans entry with the BEF. 285 Sge Bty, like 299, was also a 6 in How (26 cwt) Battery, and left for the WF 27-3-17. The NA monthly returns will tell you exactly where they were in England but it will follow a similar formation, training and mobilisation path to that of 299 Sge Bty.

299 was formed in Nov 1916 under the command of Mjr I Cummings at Fort Burgoyne Dover. The battery was trained at Horsam, Aldershot and Lydd, mobilised at Larkhill in March 1917 and went out to the WF according to the allocations 2nd April 1917, but arrived in France 31st March from another source. Their battery sign was a question mark

Have you researched a file held at Liddle Leeds of 299 Sge Bty Gnr115423 Reginald G MILLER? It contains a photograph album so could be worth checking out (ref GO 09).

Rgds Paul

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Thank you all for the help

I have no idea about a file at Liddle Leeds? Not sure what Liddle Leeds is or how i could research it?

Cheers

Ant

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Do you have to go to Leeds University to see the file? can it be bought online?

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Hi Mark

I have found the file on the Leeds site. Im wondering can it be viewed online? I dont seem to be able to access it. Or would I have to go along to the university in person?

cheers

Ant

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Ant,

I will be waiting for Mark's reply with interest. I checked it following your post and found stuff of interest to me re Royal Garrison artillery. It did appear that the facilities included copying, depending on condition of the document concerned.

Tony P

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Hello Ant

285 Siege Battery RGA was formed at Portland (Dorset) on 31 Oct 1916, and went to France in March 1917, so it looks as if 285 and 299 were part of a "batch" of new batteries raised at the same time. The War Diary of 285 is in WO95/326 at Kew.

And you are in exalted company - even the original typed catalogue at Kew referred to these units as Siege Battalions!

Ron

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Hi Ron

Thanks for the info

Lol my excitement makes me write odd, I get there in the end

Ant

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  • 6 years later...

I have just come upon this old thread on searching for 285, my grandfather's battery.

Per his diary (now at IWM), my grandfather went to WF on 30 Aug 1916. He fired his first shot 7 Sept 1916. I had always assumed he was with 285, but reading posts above, that was not formed until later. He does mention his "old battery, 155", so maybe his first stint was with 155.

Returned to Bexhill, Sunday 19th November 1916. Had been posted as instructor. So I think, for the period your grandfather was with 285, they would have been in Bexhill, preparing for return to WF.

My grandfather returned to WF on 28 March 1917 and was involved in heavy fighting around Ypres all summer. In March '18 he was near Arras resisting the last big German offensive. "27 hours torture in which we lose 42 killed and wounded. [...] Forgot to mention was awarded DCM for March 28th".

I must dig out more info if I can.

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Are you sure it says Battalion? More likely to be Battery.

The battery numbers do not tally with the RGA Siege Batteries listed in the Long Long Trail site, so they may not have been read correctly, either.

He might have been on sick leave.

From a pernickerty ex Gunner!

D

The list of siege batteries on the LLT is incomplete so not really much help here - I do wish it would be updated. my own battery of interest 293 is not listed. I did offer to link to my website quite some time ago but no answer there came.

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The list of siege batteries on the LLT is incomplete so not really much help here - I do wish it would be updated. my own battery of interest 293 is not listed. I did offer to link to my website quite some time ago but no answer there came.

What website is that seany?

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