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Remembered Today:

Chris_Baker

1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery RGA

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Chris_Baker

Today I had cause to look up the war diary of 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery RGA at the National Archives. It is in piece number WO95/325, along with a number of others. Or rather, it was. I had to report that the diary was missing. I went through all the others and could not see any trace of it. Trouble is, I don't know how extensive a document it ever was. If only a few pages it could have been inserted into one of the others, but it certainly had no cover or identification. I suppose it is conceivable that it will be found by TNA, but I suspect not.

Not so much for me, but for the population at large: had anyone got a copy of the diary? It may suddenly have become a rarity.

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ororkep

Chris,

This is very worrying, just what is happening there. I have also noticed boxes mixed up and reported missing pieces recently.

Well it was fully there back in Oct 2006, some 70 pages which I fully digitally photographed in order. My notes indicate some pages mixed up with 2/1 Wessex, but I noted a good, clear war diary, unusually exceptional for recording names of OR’s but most positions recorded as 'in the field'. Anyway, I have it all so you can PM me if you wish with your direct email and tell me what you seek.

Rgds Paul

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Chris_Baker

Thanks, Paul. I will do that over the weekend. If it is not found, would you be prepared to offer a copy back to TNA so they have something, if not the original?

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ororkep

Of course, I have just checked the pages. One page is slightly blurred but still easily readable. My original camera numbering is continous so I have not missed any out.

Rgds Paul

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rflory

Chris: Are you looking for something particular? I have a copy of The Wessex (Hants) R.G.A. 1914-1919 which documents the travels of the 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery during the Great War. Regards, Dick Flory

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Chris_Baker

Thanks, Dick. I was checking up on activities in June/July 1917. A chap I am researching was wounded at that time, but not badly and remained at duty. It would be helpful to know if any specific locations are mentioned.

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rflory

Chris: Here is a summary of the actions in May, June and July 1917:

On May 9th took over from 141st Heavy Battery, RGA. One section went to the Asylum position at Ypres and two sections were posted on the Vlamertinghe Road, with Cat Farm as Battery Headquarters. The Asylum had already received a good deal of shelling and on our arrival the enemy redoubled his attention, making every effort to knock the battery out. We were shelled almost every day and night and suffered several casualties.

On 18 June a 4.2 with an instantaneous fuze landed just outside the telephone exchange and wounded Second-Lieut. Oelrichs, BSM Lawrence and three others. While in this position we had our only serious accident with the guns, a faulty tube blowing out and setting fire to some cartridges, with the result that Gunner Denny was badly burnt and later died of his injuries.

On 7 June the battery took part in the battle of Messines. On 26 June the battery received orders to take up a new position on the Ypres-Commines Canal, just south of Ypres. The new position was not much better than the old one as it was almost impossible to maintain communications with the OPs at Yeomanry Post and a tree in the grounds of Swan Chateau. Casualties in this position were numerous and several of the men were killed and wounded. On 8th August a shell hit the BC's post killing Lieut. Harvey who was on duty there.

Regards, Dick Flory

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Chris_Baker

Thank you very much, Dick.

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Kavousi John

Hello,

I wonder if this conversation is still active because if so, I have a query relating to a Gunner in this Unit? If it is, perhaps someone could respond regarding the Diary which had gone missing but a copy of which is referred to.

I will not go into any further detail unless and until I hear from someone but a reply would be very appreciated.

regards,

John Burt

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ororkep

Welcome to the forum John. What is it you wish to know? Arthur Burt?

 

Paul 

Edited by ororkep
added possible name

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Kavousi John

Thanks for getting back to me but no, it concerns my Grandfather, A/Corporal Herbert Twynham 315190.

I had some research done on him last year which intriguingly raised more questions than answers, in that very little seems to be known about his service in WW1 and what I have been told is somewhat at odds with family 'legend'.

So when I read in this thread that there was a copy of the Diary (I knew the original was missing), I wondered if there was any mention of him.

Briefly, as far as I know, the family (ie my mother and his daughter) never knew that he may have gone to Salonika and Mesopotamia and that his service in France may not have happened until 1917. All I was ever told about were the horrors of the trenches, which it seems he never really experienced! What was he doing for three years if he did not go abroad until early 1917?

Anything you can add or any new directions you can point me to, would be much appreciated.

John 

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ororkep

John

There are two men named Twynham with that spelling of surname listed in the RGA. Both happen to be in the 1/1 Wessex Hvy Bty RGA. Your Herbert 315190 and one Angus 315341. Your man was Gunner and Bdr and a/Cpl. The latter remained a Gunner. There are several simple mentions of both in the diary distinguished by the forename initials. The WD records:

14.02.1917 …Gnr Twynham H. attached to 71 HAG (Heavy Artillery Group). (other gunners are mentioned).

06.03.1917 Gnr Twynham H. rejoins unit from 71 HAG. (There is no reason given for this attachment but I would hazard a guess it was to assist the extra section and two guns then joining the battery to bring it up to 6 gun establishment).

06.08.1917 Bdr Twynham H. proceeds on leave to UK for 10 days leave

21.08.1917 a/Bdr Twynham H. returns from leave (rather late hence slight demotion?)

That is all. If you PM me I will send you the relevant pages. I believe the numbering for Herbert suggests he went out to the Western front with the 1/1 Wessex in April 1916. He is listed on a discharge sheet dated Jan 1919 on FMP. I see no evidence he ever went to Salonika but clearly experienced the horrors of the Western front re Messines, Third Ypres, Cambrai, Amiens and final 100 days.

My WD copy images are dated 2006. I offered a copy to the NA not long after the post in the above 2010 thread. They declined saying they then knew where the original was and would contact me if needed. I never heard anything more.

The diary is not of much use as to what the battery actually did and where. The book ‘The Wessex (Hants) RGA 1914 -1919’ which is held in most institutions is much better.

Rgds Paul

 

 

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