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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Rhayader Artillery Camp


Paul Treclyn

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I've posted some info on the Air War section of the forum about some recent experiences I've had walking in the Elan Valley area in mid-Wales. It seems that the Rhayader Artillery Camp was set up several years before the Great War, and reliable local information is clear that artillery ranges were operating in the upper Elan Valley during the period. On one hill, just to the northwest of the northenmost of the Elan reservoirs, is covered in shell holes, with shrapnel scattered on the surface even today. There is also local information that suggests that the artillery positions were to the east of the target area, out of sight over a ridge, in the direction of Rhayader town. This may tie in with stories that the first experiments with aerial observation in support of artillery were carried out at the Rhayader Artillery Camp.

My question is, what information is there as to the location of the Rhayader Camp, and are any details recorded of the location of the artillery firing ranges? Seeing a pock-marked landscape in mid-Wales was a surprise, but finding chunks of jagged metal on the moor was a very potent insight into the carnage that exploding shells must have wrought on the battlefields of the day.

I attach a photo of one of the larger pieces of metalwork that I saw. Does anyone know what size of shell it could be? The white part of the ranging rod in the photo is 50cm long, to give you an idea of scale.

post-21820-1245701705.jpg

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Paul,

According to the memoirs of the Mjr who did the firing, the experimental trials for 'Mother' (9.2 in How) were held there in July 1914

I understood the land (firing range) was common land hired by the war office, for which they paid a fee for shooting rights.

Rgds Paul

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  • 1 year later...

I know this is an old thread but I've recently been doing some research on RFC No 2 Balloon School in at Lydd in Kent. I did a National Archive request and one of the interesting things it turned up was a letter, written in 1909, from the camp commandant at Lydd, to the head of the RFC Balloon school , which was then at Farnborough, requesting that a Balloon Company be sent with the Siege Artillery company from Lydd to its Summer Camp in Rhayader , in the following year. This was done so that the balloonists could help observe the artillery's accuracy. There are a number of documents relating to this practice from Lydd. If you would like to see the letter or any of these other documents, let me know. Being relatively new to this forum I'm not sure what the policy is on National Archive docs (I couldn't find any mention of it in the rules and regs!), so I don't really want to go posting them up.

Thanks

GDZ

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I think I have some photos of RGA in practice at the range prewar and it shows tented camps, and indeed guns firing - which may well have moved a bit. I will try and find the photos and post them as doubtless the particular sites could be identified on the ground.

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