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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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Mac 14

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum. I am researching a George Charles Hayter, whose Regimental Number is 315315 and was a Gunner. I have seen his medal card on another site and am aware that he served with the Wessex (Hampshire) Heavy Battery and the Royal Garrison Artillery. I am interested to know where he served, both in the UK and abroad during WW1 and any facts about him. If anyone can help, I would be most grateful.

Many thanks,

Mac

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ororkep

Welcome Mac 14 to the forum,

George would have enlisted in May 1915 and while I am not precisely certain when he would have been posted to 1/1 Wessex Hvy Bty, he would have participated in the Battles of Messines, third Ypres, Cambrai, the March retreat, Amiens and the final Battle of Flanders.

There were four men named Hayter recorded as served with the battery:

Hayter G. (Your man)

Hayter E. W.

Hayter W. J.

Hayter R. who was with the Ammunition Column.

You may also care to note that 315314 is also named Hayter.

 

The above names are in a nominal from the book ‘The Wessex (Hants) RGA 1914-1919’ available at the IWM or other such institution that holds a copy.

 

In the UK the battery trained at Water End near Hemel Hempstead, Woolwich (Carlton Park) and Larkhill for firing practice and mobilisation before embarking to the Western Front via Southampton to Havre.

 

Rgds Paul

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Mac 14

Thank you Paul for your very informative reply.

Regards,

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Kim Jones

Hi everyone,   I am very new to this research.  I am researching my Grandads war records and have come across this site a few time in my research so I joined, hoping you may be able to help me understand his war records.  

Albert Edward Pittuck, reg no, 47662 joined the Royal Garrison Artillery on the 26th August 1914. He was in many battery's but  I will skip to the end as I came across this feed.  At the end of the war he was posted to the 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery on the 23rd Dec 1918. On he record it say 'Posted', 'Gun' ;Joined from Base' and in the Place section it says 'Field', and I think the form is B213.

If any of you can point me in the right direction, or know where I may be able to get more information I would be very grateful.

Thank you in advance,

Kim.

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clk

Hi Kim,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

Looking at his service papers it seems that Albert first served overseas with 123 Heavy Battery RGA, joining them on 9.3.1916. He then appears to have been transferred to the 1/1 North Midland Heavy Battery RGA on 14.2.1917, before being transferred to the 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery RGA on 23.12.1918.

image.png.bf28309bea6f0b3cef17aa00a2944c23.png

 

image.png.2efb0c860794aa6b4d69f6a161c78418.png

 

image.png.b8b23f74bb7565a66455cf21a5172166.png

Images sourced from the National Archives

 

To cover his overseas service, war diaries should be available to download (free) from the National Archives. Hopefully an artillery expert will pick on your post, and will be able to reply giving direct links to the ones that you need.

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

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Kim Jones
15 hours ago, clk said:

Hi Kim,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

Looking at his service papers it seems that Albert first served overseas with 123 Heavy Battery RGA, joining them on 9.3.1916. He then appears to have been transferred to the 1/1 North Midland Heavy Battery RGA on 14.2.1917, before being transferred to the 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery RGA on 23.12.1918.

image.png.bf28309bea6f0b3cef17aa00a2944c23.png

 

image.png.2efb0c860794aa6b4d69f6a161c78418.png

 

image.png.b8b23f74bb7565a66455cf21a5172166.png

Images sourced from the National Archives

 

To cover his overseas service, war diaries should be available to download (free) from the National Archives. Hopefully an artillery expert will pick on your post, and will be able to reply giving direct links to the ones that you need.

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Regards

Chris

 

15 hours ago, clk said:

Hi Chris,

Thank you so much for the quick reply.  The information above reinforces my finds which is great as understanding the Army records is challenging and sometimes a puzzle to identify areas as the file is failed.  

The first two entries you sent fit perfect date wise, but unsure about the last one 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery as the date I have is after the date listed. As you mentioned above he was transferred to 1/1 Wessex on the 23rd Dec 1918, and was with them until the 22nd Feb 1919. Albert returned home from France on the 12th Jan 1919, so I am thinking it was with his battery.

I have mapped out as much as I can through his service papers, now is the time to fill in the gaps if I can.  The war diaries would be great. I did find one document which is dated  1st July 1917 - 31st July 1917 for the 1/1 North Midland Hvy Btty. The 1/1 North Midland Hvy Btty was in Baileul, France, Steenwerck, France, Douve Valley, France and Wytschaete, Belgium, hope they are spelt right.  Would you or anyone know if these places came under a main battle? I have tried Google and the 3rd battle of Ypres comes up, is this right? 

Thank you again for replying, I hope I haven't asked to many questions in my reply.

Kim. 

 

 

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clk
Posted (edited)

Hi Kim,

 

I think that the thing to do is to map the dates that Albert served with each of the batteries against the HAGs (Heavy Artillery Groups) shown in the extracts above. Hopefully you can then find the relevant war diaries at the National Archives by substituting HAG with 'Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery' in the search. So for example, before the armistice and his transfer to 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery, the 1/1 North Midland Heavy Battery were (from 22.12.1917) part of 41 HAG. The 41 Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery war diaries are here.

 

6 hours ago, Kim Jones said:

Would you or anyone know if these places came under a main battle?

 

There is a broad overview of the main battles on the Long, Long Trail - here.

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk

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Kim Jones

Hi Chris.  

Thank you so so much. I found a couple of war diaries today on the site you recommend and saved them, i think it's a couple of the ones you sent me to look at, the other two I will check out too. I wasn't sure if what i had saved was right, but now you have reassured me I'm on the right track.  I will also check out the site about the battles tomorrow, it's late in Australia. 

I have a photo of my grandad that has a lot of writing on the back. Is this the right place to post it to see if anyone knows what it might be about.  I think it's radio wavelengths but I'm not sure, the photo is after WW1. 

Thanks again, i appreciate the support. I want to put this together for the family so i want to be right. 

Kim. 

 

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Kim Jones

Evening.  Thanks again Chris for your help.

I do have a few questions, hope this is ok.

In Albert's sheet here in the section 'report - from whom received'  he is down as being in the 1/1 North Midland Hy Bty on the 16-03-1918 & the 09-11-1918. In my research in the War Diaries the 1/1 North Midland HB changed to the 41st Heavy Artillery Group on the 22-12-1917.  Also in the diary an entry on the 22-12-1917 say North Midland Battery became the 41st brigade R.G.A, it's a bit confusing, can you help? 

Also can anyone explain the last line on this page?  I think it says 'discharged to ? class 'a' section 13 ? Department'  Any ideas what it means?

I would really like to get this right, but struggling. 

Thank you in advance,

Kim. 

2078990498_MIUK1914A_086206-00471forGWF.jpg.6c1cd14c959f8e76bd50373f33572249.jpg

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clk

Hi Kim,

 

7 hours ago, Kim Jones said:

he is down as being in the 1/1 North Midland Hy Bty on the 16-03-1918 & the 09-11-1918.

 

For me, the record seems to read as Albert being posted to them on 14.2.1917. He then seems to have served with the unit (allowing for a couple of periods of leave to the UK), until 1.11.1918 when he fell ill with influenza.

image.png.e4255f43228257902517015f41e703d7.png

 

 

image.png.78da17682aff1ec94af73a2470e463ec.png

The second line in the image above appears to read "Dischg'd to Reinf. Class 'A' ex 13 Con Dep" - i.e. he had been at 13 Convalescent Depot, but had been assessed as medically fit enough to return to full (rather than reduced capacity) duties. So it seems that he was 'recycled' back to the Base Depot as a general reinforcement - rather than being returned to his former unit. From the Depot he joined 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery on 23.12.1918, but was unfortunately hospitalised 5 days later on 28.12.1918. On 14.1.1919, it appears that he left 83 General Hospital 'per AT' (?) [Ambulance Train], followed by something I can't make out.

 

image.png.12e93d07246486b8e5a3a1e972aeeab4.png

All images sourced from Findmypast

 

8 hours ago, Kim Jones said:

In my research in the War Diaries the 1/1 North Midland HB changed to the 41st Heavy Artillery Group on the 22-12-1917.  Also in the diary an entry on the 22-12-1917 say North Midland Battery became the 41st brigade R.G.A, it's a bit confusing, can you help? 

 

1/1 North Midland HB was one of the batteries that were under a higher level structure. In this case (from 22.12.1917), the 41st Heavy Artillery Group/41st Brigade RGA - which are different ways of referring to the same thing.

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

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Kim Jones

Wow Chris, thank you so much again.  That bit of information was important as I would have had Albert still with his regiment until the 23rd Dec 18.

 

I Googled 83 General Hospital and it says it's in Boulogne, France, but I have Albert back in the UK by then, he was in the Military Hospital, York, UK, any ideas?  This is a part of my file I am putting together, I have added your info as a reminder note at the moment. 

image.png.49a85fcf28a82f3c7122eee7a230a975.png

 

Thank you for clearing up the 'group' verses 'brigade', this means I have a bit of into from the War Diaries.

 

Hope you don't mind me asking about another report I'm not sure about. It's the last line - Office B113  to train .....  Any ideas what this might mean? 

 

 

30973_184244-01081.jpg.226fce546b758e1cf381e918bf30ff32.jpg

 

Thanks so much, this means a lot and I appreciate it. 

Kim. 

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clk

Hi Kim,

 

What I seem to get is:

 

26.8.1914 - enlisted in Fulham

? .8.1914 - joined No. 4 Depot RGA

28.8.1914 - arrived in Great Yarmouth

25.2.1916 - proceeded overseas (report of O/C No. 2 Depot RGA)

9.3.1916 - joined 123 Heavy Battery RGA 'in the field'

6.6.1916 - to hospital with PUO (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin)

11.6.1916 - rejoined Battery

28.1.1917 - to hospital with laryngitis 

11.2.1917 - returned to duty from NM (?) CCS ( - North Midland (?) Casualty Clearing Station?)

14.2.1917 - posted to 1/1 North Midland Heavy Battery RGA     

13 to 23.7.1917 - leave to the UK 

15 to 29.3.1918 - leave to the UK  

1.11.1918 - admitted sick with influenza

9.11.1918 - admitted 12 (St Louis USA) General Hospital

7.12.1918 - discharged to reinforcements from 13 Convalescent Depot

23.12.1918 - joined 1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery RGA in the field

28.12.1918 - admitted hospital (foreign body right eye)

14.1.1919 - from 83 General Hospital (to Ambulance Train?)

15.1.1919 to 22.1.1919 - in a Military Hospital at York - foreign body in right eye

5.2.1919 - to train CHHB (?)

10.3.1919 - discharged to the 'Z' Reserve from 1 Reserve Battery RGA.

 

So, it looks like he was with his units:

 

123 Heavy Battery 9.3.1916 to 28.1.1917

1/1 North Midland Heavy Battery 14.2.1917 to 1.11.1918

1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery 23.12.1918 to 28.12.1918

 

If that is the case, I think that the HAG/Brigade diaries that would be relevant are:

 

123 Heavy Battery...

image.png.0f63834b04b4a0b041541300290fd504.png

 

*1 For this time period it might be worth getting the CRA 5 Division diary - link

*2 For this time period it might be worth getting the CRA 27 Division diary - link

 

1/1 North Midland Heavy Battery...

image.png.e138d695cdc680bc3716b34e5b95ff59.png

 

 

1/1 Wessex Heavy Battery...

image.png.cec7bcd3bd6c73b72fea4189f5bee348.png

All images sourced from the National Archives

 

Regards

Chris 

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Kim Jones

I can't thank you enough for your help Chris, I appreciate it very much.

I have attached the file I am working on, so you can see what I have done so far. It is still a work in progress, lots to add and still lots to check out, it's still very much a work in progress.

I have added or corrected the info you have provided, thanks again as some of it I would never had worked out. 

The image of Albert is from his wedding photo, I don't have an official regiment photo, I am chasing my family up to see if anyone has one. 

Can't thank you enough,

Kim. 

Albert Edward Pittuck War Records 3.pdf

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