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Royal Field Artillery


Peter Taylor
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Hello Laura,

I'd also like to welcom you to our group. It lay dormant for a while and I was worried that it had run it's course.

I see your man joined up in Bury,are you from the area at all?

On the renumbering of TF soldiers in 1917 there is a list somewhere of what numbers were allocated to which Brigades. The Firepower Artillery Museum and Archives advised me which brigade my artilleryman was with from his new number but unfortunatly this didn't go down to Battery.

Since Robin joined in I've taken an interest in war diaries but to date I've only looked at 211th Bde 1917-1919 and the diary for 8th Battalion Manchesters. The Manchester Regiment has it's museum and archives in Ashton-under-Lyne,which is close by to where I live so intend paying a visit in the near future to see what other diaries they may have.

Regards,

Peter

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Can I just say that I have been watching this thread ffor some time. I'm from Bolton and am researching the lads from my local church who died. Some of these were in the Bolton Artillery. When I've got my notes to hand I shall rely on your expertise.

So stand by your beds as this thread is not dormant just yet.

Nick

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Hello Nick,

Good to have your reply.

I note you're from Bolton,I go to Bolton from time to time doing family research.Maybe we could link up at some stage?

Do you know that the Bolton Archives are closing from 29th Nov 2010 till 14th Mar 2011? Film records will still be available I hope.

Standing by and waiting for your inspection Sir!

Regards,

Peter

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Peter

I did not know the Bolton Archives are closing for a period of time, I was there on Fri for the first time and was in my elephant!

I'm definitly up for meeting up , PM me when you know when your are plannning another trip and hopefully we can meet.

Nick

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Hello Robin,

Thanks for the welcome and for the info. I couldn't have envisaged looking at the Brigade diary today, wow! I just wish that I could have told my Grandmother, as Roland was her mother's only brother and she kept his mementos all her life. However, I was able to tell her that he wouldn't have gone over the top which is what the family thought for many years. I shall have to get to Kew some time to see the rest of the diary, that is once I have read enough about the Division to get more of an idea what they were up to.

Thanks again,

Laura

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Hello Peter,

Glad to get the thread going again! And yes I am from Whitefield, Roland was born and lived just up the road in Unsworth where I work. I had been looking for other members of "C" Btty and have found a few, but I noticed that their numbers are similar to that of 210th Bde. A lot begin with 705 or 710 (which is how I found some by searching the medal roll index online). I was hoping that other service records might give some insight since Roland's wasn't available - up to now I have found only one, that of a shoeing smith in C/211. I shall have to go and do a lot more checking out in the library, but alas that will have to wait a while due to my daughter's tender age. I am hoping to check the Bury and Radcliffe Times newspapers eventually.

Regards,

Laura

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anybody think the following might help determine which brigades were in Egypt and which were in Gallipoli? Just starting out I could be way off therefore any advice would be greatly appreciated please.

Gunner H. Brunskill 1/1st East Lancashire Bde RFA died 19/8/15 Helles Memorial RFA.

Gunner J.V. Brownlow 1/3rd East Lancashire Bde RFA died 15/12/1915 and buried in Mudros

Bombardier R. Warburton joined 2nd East Lancs RFA in Egypt 4th June 1915, ended up in 211th Bde

Gunner J. Armstrong 4th East Lancashire Bde RFA died 30/8/1915 Helles Memorial

Regards,

Laura V

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Hello Laura,

I've been off line for a few days,watching cricket!

I think your queries have been answered in part in Robins reply to you.

The four Artillery Brigades you are asking about were all with the 42nd Division which was a Territorial Force unit. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd were field gun brigades and the 4th was a Howitzer brigade.

The book "The 42nd (East Lancashire) Division 1914-1918 " by Fredrick P Gibbon gives a very useful overview of the Divisions movements. I initially borrowed a copy from the library but then decided to buy my own copy.The Naval & Military Press have just issued a reprint.

I'm a little bleary eyed at the moment from watching the Ashes live from Australia with tonight being the last days play in this match. There is a break before the next match so I hope to catch up on RFA.

Regards

Peter

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Does anybody think the following might help determine which brigades were in Egypt and which were in Gallipoli? Just starting out I could be way off therefore any advice would be greatly appreciated please.

Gunner H. Brunskill 1/1st East Lancashire Bde RFA died 19/8/15 Helles Memorial RFA.

Gunner J.V. Brownlow 1/3rd East Lancashire Bde RFA died 15/12/1915 and buried in Mudros

Bombardier R. Warburton joined 2nd East Lancs RFA in Egypt 4th June 1915, ended up in 211th Bde

Gunner J. Armstrong 4th East Lancashire Bde RFA died 30/8/1915 Helles Memorial

Regards,

Laura V

Hello Laura

My understanding of what happened re. Gallipoli is that the plan came unstuck. There was an attempt to land the Artillery Brigades but after a partial landing the remainder were told not to land because of lack of space. According to Gibbon the 5th Battery RFA and two guns of 6th Battery had been landed when the rest of the Artillery were told to return to Egypt. Some personnel from other Brigades had also gone ashore so remained with the guns that had been landed. So you can see that the potential was there for uncertainty about who landed. Reading reports about attempted landings it seems clear that there were errors made when trying to land at Cape Hellas and the Naval Authorities made some blunder by sending part of the Division up the coast to Gaba Tepe instead.

The detail is sketchy in Gibbon's book so I think that there is more to be said to explain what happened. Unfortunately I have nothing more to back up this part of the Brigade's history.

I suppose that between the date of the initial landing in May 1915 and retreat from Gallipoli, the following January, there would have been a transfer of personnel on an as needs basis from Egypt - hence the mix of dead from different Brigades included with your post.

Kevin

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Hello Laura,

Here's the detail:

Sep 1914 - 1/1 (4,5 and 6 batteries) and 1/3 East Lancs Bdes (18,19 and 20 batteries) move to Egypt.

May 1915 - 1/1 Bde sails for Gallipoli, but only 5 battery, and 2 guns of 6 battery disembark, others returning to Egypt. 1/3 sail, but don't disembark, and return to Egypt.

Jul 1915 - 18 battery 1/3 brigade lands Gallipoli, with horses and drivers.

Sep 1915 - 19 and 20 batteries 1/3 brigade and all 1/4 brigade (howitzers) land Gallipoli, no horses or drivers.

Jan 1916 - all 42 Div artillery in Gallipoli return to Egypt.

1/2 Brigade arrived in Egypt sometime in 1915 (July?), but did not go to Gallipoli.

April 1916 - nomenclature change:

1/1 - 210 bde (Blackburn)

1/2 - 211 bde (Manchester)

1/3 - 212 bde (Bolton)

1/4 - 213 bde (Cumberland)

Dec 1916 - nomenclature change:

210 takes 6 guns from 211 and 6 howitzers from 213, and remains as 210, with 4x6-gun batteries, A-D

211 disbanded

212 becomes 211 bde, with guns/howitzers as above, D battery in each is the howitzers, and C battery the Manchesters.

213 disbanded

Feb 1917, 42 Div Arty, 210 and 211 Brigades RFA (T), sail for the Western Front.

Sources: 'The Bolton Artillery', Wingfield, and 'History of the Bolton Artillery', Palin Dobson.

Hope this is clear. It seems to fit in exactly with the names you list in your post. The 1/3 moved through Mudros on the way home from Gallipoli, so a casualty from that Brigade could easily be buried there. The war diary for 1/3 Bde lists all casualties from all batteries, killed and wounded; Brownlow was in 18th Battery (my Grandad's) and died of Enteric Fever.

Regards

Robin

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Hello Peter, Kevin and Robin,

Many thanks for your replies. All seems clear now and Uncle Roland most certainly wasn't in Gallipoli, being in the 2nd (Manchester) Bde. The details do seem to fit. I was checking out the CWGC for the men in the Roll of honour in hope that might make it obvious which Brigades ended up there, but I suppose we will have no idea which men actually landed there as you pointed out.

I have been reading Gibbons book which arrived last week and am finding it very interesting and informative. Only half way through as yet though and shall be referring to the NZ Division diary for the parts where the Artillery were loaned out - thank you for that tip!

Regards,

Laura

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Artillery people, I'm resurrecting a thread that was on the wane. All the people I am about to mention all served in the RFA and are on church memorial of St PAul's Astley Bridge, Bolton: Squire Ashworth 710498 B Battery 212 Brigade RFA

Walter Cooper 29821 RH/RFA

Ralph E Gee L/3935 RH/RFA

Percy Hutchinson 787 1st Bty, 18th Lancs Brigade RH/RFA

Any further information on these men would be very greatly appreciated

Nick

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Hello Artillery people, I'm resurrecting a thread that was on the wane. All the people I am about to mention all served in the RFA and are on church memorial of St PAul's Astley Bridge, Bolton: Squire Ashworth 710498 B Battery 212 Brigade RFA

Walter Cooper 29821 RH/RFA

Ralph E Gee L/3935 RH/RFA

Percy Hutchinson 787 1st Bty, 18th Lancs Brigade RH/RFA

Any further information on these men would be very greatly appreciated

Nick

Hello Nick

The only information I have relates to Squire Ashworth.

He is buried at Ruyaulcourt Cemetery and the entry at CWGC shows him to be a Gunner with "B" Battery 212th Brigade. There is, however, an entry for him in the Gibbons book for 42nd East Lancs Division, which lists him with 211th Brigade. He died on 10th June 1917 aged 24 years. Son of Mrs A Ashworth 18 Talbot St, Astley Bridge, Bolton.

During June the Brigade was fighting in the area near Ribecourt. This is a distance of approx 7 miles away from the Cemetery. There was a lot of interchange of personnel between the different units of 42nd Division so it is unlikely that his exact position when killed will be made clear.

Kevin

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Hello Artillery people, I'm resurrecting a thread that was on the wane. All the people I am about to mention all served in the RFA and are on church memorial of St PAul's Astley Bridge, Bolton: Squire Ashworth 710498 B Battery 212 Brigade RFA

Walter Cooper 29821 RH/RFA

Ralph E Gee L/3935 RH/RFA

Percy Hutchinson 787 1st Bty, 18th Lancs Brigade RH/RFA

Any further information on these men would be very greatly appreciated

Nick

Nick

Just looked through Soldiers Who Died and CWGC site.

Walter Cooper was born in Moscow. With 68th Brigade. Entry on Menin Gate Memorial. Died 6th July 1915.

Ralph E Gee born Preston. Buried at Bailleul Road East Cemetery. With 165th Brigade. Died 13th July 1917

Percy Hutchinson was a saddler and is buried at Alexandria (Chatby) Cemetery Egypt. Son of George and Sarah Jane Hutchinson 31 Holly St, Astley Bridge. Died 12th Sept 1915 aged 22 years.

Kevin

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Hi Nick,

A few more nuggets for you.

Squire Ashworth, original service number 1307, entered the war in Egypt on 25th Sep 1914. He is recorded on the Bolton Artillery memorial, so was probably in 18, 19 or 20 battery 1/3rd East Lancs Brigade RFA(T) on deployment. His medal record card shows him as being killed on 16th Jun 1917, different to the CWGC. By this stage of the war, 212 brigade was not in 42nd Div, so he almost certainly died with 211 brigade, in agreement with Gibbon. In Egypt, 211 brigade was formed, in part, from 212 brigade, so that's probably where the confusion came from, and this is further supported by the fact that 18, 19 and 20 batteries formed 212 brigade before becoming 211 brigade.

Percy Hutchinson was with the 18th battery, 1/3rd East Lancs Brigade RFA(T) (not 18th Brigade, as recorded by CWGC) and died in Alexandria of Enteric Fever (mentioned by name in war diary).

Hope this helps a bit.

Cheers

Robin

post-49897-062855300 1295307499.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Laura,

A belated thank you.

Shoeing Smith James Frederick Boyen,coming from Ardwick was probably know to my Arthur Taylor and Kevin's Henry Mcgee.

Peter

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  • 2 years later...

I know this is an old thread but I'm interested in the 2nd East Lancs Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. I have the 1914/15 Star, British War & Victory Medals to No 1495 Bombardier David Irwin FINLAY, his Medal Index Card states he arrived in Egypt on 7th May 1915.His Medal Roll entry also states he served with 1/7th Bn The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (No S/92663) no date as to when he transferred though. No other war records survive for him, I've found a man that could be him on the 1911 census living in the Manchester area which would tally with him joining the RFA unit he was in. Does anyone know anything more about the unit or whether any muster roll or anything is still in existence. Many Thanks Mark

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  • 9 months later...

I have researched the Bolton Artillery in Bolton Library Local Studies and have compiled a number of indexes of men who were named in the local papers of WW1. I have shared my results with Local Studies for Bolton Archives and with the current Bolton Artillery for their museum. The indexes cover reports and photographs of 1/3 Brigade in Egypt and Gallipoli (later 212 then 211 Brigade RFA), the formation in Bolton and training of the Reserve Brigades 2/3 and 3/3 ELB (later 332 Brigade) and names that appear on various Church and School Rolls of Honour. From 1917 to 1919 the papers only printed photographs and biographies of those killed, wounded or decorated on the Western Front and some research was necessary to establish if they were Bolton Artillery. Please feel free to check any names with me.

Brian

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New to the site.

Hope this forum is still" live".

Would like to confirm some details regarding my Grandfather.

Will post again if reply received.

Many Thanks.

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Hi,

I presume you mean if "thread" is still alive?

I'm sure if you post your query someone will be along to help.

Steve Y

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Thanks for that Tullybrone.

I have found a lot of answers on this excellent site.

I have a copy of a medal card two parts.

On each is written BM1769/43/26.

The second card shows enlisted 03-09-14 discharged 10-02-19 appears dated 29-02-20 also a number 10544/2/13

When a man volunteered did he have a choice to join say RFA or was he selected by the recruiter.

Were men of the RFA issued with a personal weapon I.e rifle or pistol.

Many thanks.

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