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Royal Field Artillery


Peter Taylor
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Graham

706xxx numbers were issued to 1/2 East Lancs Brigade and the Reserve Brigade 2/2 ELB in 1917. They were re designated 211 Brigade. 1/3 ELB (The Bolton Artillery) became 212 Brigade and when the Manchester Artillery 2/2 ELB later 211 Brigade was broken up the Bolton Artillery 1/3 later 212 became 211 Brigade. The Manchester Artillery did not go to Egypt in September 1914 with the Bolton and Blackburn (1 ELB later 210) Brigades but I think some of the Manchester Artillery did go to Egypt in 1916 in some capacity. The Bolton Chronicle of 20/03/1915 reported that the Bolton Artillery had adopted a monkey as a mascot and pictured the animal

Brian

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  • 2 months later...

My father, Arthur Taylor was wounded at Le Quesnoy and I quote from "New Zealand Artillery in the Field 1914-18" by Lieut. J. R. Byrne, NZFA,page 291: "The morning of November 4th dawned fine, but visibility was lessened by a mist which rose up from the ground after sunrise. Zero hour was at 5.30 a.m., and the barrage came down promptly and with practised precision., The enemy's fire was comparatively feeble, but a good deal of hostile fire fell on battery areas. The 9th Battery had two guns put out of action, and "D" Battery of the 211th Brigade had five guns destroyed in succession and practically the whole of its personnel casualtied .......................". I am sure this is when and where my father was wounded, and picked up by Canadians.

I am copying below what appears to be a medical form and wonder if anyone is able to explain what VR8K means, etc. "Case No VR8K 5243" and any other information:

Surname TAYLOR Rank Sjt

Christian Name: Arthur

Regtl No. 705131 Case No. VR8K5243

Former Regtl No. 908

Discharged 7-1-19 D.D 15-1-19

A.F.W. 3972A 16.1.19 3/MT/2968

A.F. 179c List

Form 2A Chelsea Registry 11657

10773 33190/1656 250m (16) 11/18 J.P. Gp.158

Thanks .

Peter

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My father, Arthur Taylor was wounded at Le Quesnoy and I quote from "New Zealand Artillery in the Field 1914-18" by Lieut. J. R. Byrne, NZFA,page 291: "The morning of November 4th dawned fine, but visibility was lessened by a mist which rose up from the ground after sunrise. Zero hour was at 5.30 a.m., and the barrage came down promptly and with practised precision., The enemy's fire was comparatively feeble, but a good deal of hostile fire fell on battery areas. The 9th Battery had two guns put out of action, and "D" Battery of the 211th Brigade had five guns destroyed in succession and practically the whole of its personnel casualtied .......................". I am sure this is when and where my father was wounded, and picked up by Canadians.

I am copying below what appears to be a medical form and wonder if anyone is able to explain what VR8K means, etc. "Case No VR8K 5243" and any other information:

Surname TAYLOR Rank Sjt

Christian Name: Arthur

Regtl No. 705131 Case No. VR8K5243

Former Regtl No. 908

Discharged 7-1-19 D.D 15-1-19

A.F.W. 3972A 16.1.19 3/MT/2968

A.F. 179c List

Form 2A Chelsea Registry 11657

10773 33190/1656 250m (16) 11/18 J.P. Gp.158

Thanks .

Peter

Peter

I am displaying the document referred to in your post. This may help someone with a reply. You may recall sending it to me in the past when we were exchanging information.

Kevin

post-46134-0-91597500-1421521806_thumb.j

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Peter

Could it be a pension reference number. He may have a pension record at the WFA. My GF's pension record shows his regional number as 3/MM/9862. It seems similar to 3/MT/2968 in the above.

Brian

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

Please find a photo which I hope shows three members of 211 Brigade.

The photo shows my grandfather H .S. Andrews, with two soldiers, W. Allsop & H Fothergill. I have a version of the photo with the names written, by my grandfather, on the reverse side.

I have suspected for some time that my grandfather was in 211 Brigade, before eventually being in 210 Brigade. Have seen the photo in #22 of this thread I am now more certain. I believe the men in my photo are also in the # 22 photo. Accepting the men in #22 are somewhat younger, I would say that my grandfather is on the LHS of the officer, W. Allsop is 5th from RHS on the back Row, and H Fothergill, although partially obscured, is LHS on the back row of the 4 men (2x2) sitting centre of the picture. All RHS & LHS are looking at the photo as viewed.

If anyone is willing to confirm my suggestions I would be very grateful. Plus if correct, it adds some additional information to the #22 photo.

Many thanks,

RAN

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RAN

His Service Medal and Award Roll shows BW & V Medals Harold Andrews Dvr 1182 later L/Bdr 705299. His 1914/15 Roll shows Dvr 1182 27/05/1915 (3) Discharged 28/02/1919. His Medal Index Card confirms Egypt 27/05/1915 and also has a Silver War Badge Reference. The SWB record shows that he was discharged from 210 Brigade, cause wounds. In February 1917 the numbers 705001 to 710000 were issued to The Manchester Artillery 1/2 and 2/2 East Lancs Brigades RFA (T). 1/2 became 211 Brigade but was broken up. The Bolton Artillery 1/3 East Lancs Brigade, renamed 212 Brigade then became 211 Brigade. The Manchester Artillery men were posted to other Units, it seems that Harold went to 210 Brigade, the Blackburn Artillery formerly 1/1 ELB.

H Fothergill is 854 later 705122 who went to Egypt on 04/06/1915. I cannot seem to find anything for W Allsop. I am presently researching 210 Brigade in September 1917. The WD (WO 95/2649) names casualties. Do you know when he was wounded.

Brian

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Brian,

Thanks for the reply, although I already had some of the information for my grandfather, and the changes to the Brigade numbers.

My grandfather lost his right arm from just above the elbow. I have never found his records, presumed they were destroyed in WW2. I was aware he was with 210 when he was injured, but had likely started out in 211, he was from the Gorton area of Manchester. Someone on the forum suggested that I read "The Long March" as in many instances the brigades fought along side each other, no in all cases I know. My local library was able to source a copy through the Interlend facility. So I started reading through the book, making some notes as I went.( I eventually bought a copy.)

Then at the foot of page 137 was the following passage.........

"On the 9th (October 1917) the Burnley men received a very heavy 5.9 barrage, during which Gunner J. Adams was killed and Bombardier Andrews and Gunner Denmine severely injured."

This was at Nieuport. You can perhaps imagine my feelings at finding this passage. There are so few individuals mentioned in the book, I find it quite remarkable to be able to pin point the location and date of his injures. Someone, on the forum, previously advised that with level of injuries sustained, he would certainly have received a pension. Again no luck on find any records of this on Ancestry. It may be there is something in the WFA pension records, I believe they are looking to get them digitized, another option to paying for a manual search. My next step was to ask advise of the possible hospitalization of my grandfather. I also need to see if I can get details of the area where he was on the 9th.

Thanks again for the info you provided, I will look into H Fotheringill further now you have provided his numbers. TBH I had search for both W Allsop & H Fothergill, but had not found anything.

RAN

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RAN

I will check the WD when next at Kew.

Brian

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  • 3 weeks later...

RAN

On 29/09/1917 210 Brigade RFA was relieved in the Ypres sector and moved to Wormhoudt. On 01/10/1917 the Brigade marched to the Nieuport Bains sector. On 02/10/1917 B Battery went into position at R 36 a 3.1. Brigade HQ is shown as R 30 c 05.15 from 02/10/17 to 09/10/1917 and there is no record of the Battery moving position. The WD for 09/10/1917 records:

9am to 10am B 210 position shelled by 5.9 About one round every four minutes.

Casualties B 210

110296 Gnr Adams J killed in action.

1182 A/Bdr Andrews H Wounded.

80636 Gnr Demaine J Wounded.

Brian

EDIT I've checked the NLS system for maps to identify R 36 a 3.1 but could not find a map with R. Could anyone assist please. The WD is headed Ref Maps 1/40,000 sheets 11 and 12 Oost Dunkerke. There were none in the WD for CRA 42 Div.

Thanks

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RAN

On 29/09/1917 210 Brigade RFA was relieved in the Ypres sector and moved to Wormhoudt. On 01/10/1917 the Brigade marched to the Nieuport Bains sector. On 02/10/1917 B Battery went into position at R 36 a 3.1. Brigade HQ is shown as R 30 c 05.15 from 02/10/17 to 09/10/1917 and there is no record of the Battery moving position. The WD for 09/10/1917 records:

9am to 10am B 210 position shelled by 5.9 About one round every four minutes.

Casualties B 210

110296 Gnr Adams J killed in action.

1182 A/Bdr Andrews H Wounded.

80636 Gnr Demaine J Wounded.

Brian

EDIT I've checked the NLS system for maps to identify R 36 a 3.1 but could not find a map with R. Could anyone assist please. The WD is headed Ref Maps 1/40,000 sheets 11 and 12 Oost Dunkerke. There were none in the WD for CRA 42 Div.

Thanks

Brian,

Just for reference the book "The Long March" details the KIA & wounded the same as the WD. I have presumed that the information in the book was drawn from the WD.

Being a newbie on these matters, please can you, or someone, else assist by explaining the terms NLS & CRA.

Many thanks,

RAN

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Brian,

Regarding the maps, neither NLS or McMasters cover Sheet 11 (most of which is in the sea). The best I can do is this link to Sheet 12. If it zooms correctly, it should centre on 12.M.25 and 12.M.31. Therefore 11.R.30 and 11.R.36 will be immediately to the left of them respectively.

RAN,

NLS = National Library of Scotland, as in the map link above.

CRA = Commander Royal Artillery.

Phil

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Phil

Thanks for that. I noticed a link to NLS in a thread called "Houlthoulst Forest October 1917" in The Western Front Forum and I found that I could navigate on it. I wanted to make sure that I was not using something that someone else subscribed to before recommending it to RAN. By putting British First World War Trench Maps into Google it comes up with maps.nls.uk. Click on By Map Series and Sheet List then on View Graphic Index it shows all the maps available. The one we want for 210 Brigade in October 1917 is not on it. The 42 Div Commander R.A. War Diary has got maps of September 1917 in the Ypres Sector but not Nieuport in October. There will probably be one in the Commander RE 42 Div WD and I will check next time I go.

Brian

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Phil,

Thanks for the map and the guidance on the location.of the grids. If I seem to ask very basic questions please accept my apologies this is all completely new to me. Any further guidance would be gratefully received.

So here goes...........

Is there any reason the the grids (1,7,13,19,25) on the LHS of the overlay are only half the width of the other grids ?

Would the grids on the adjacent map which meet 1,7,13,19 & 25 be full or half size ?

Would the map (11?) to the left of the shown overlay be perfectly aligned to 12 ? i.e. not offset. If they were aligned would grid 11.R be next to 12.S ?

In Brian's quote from the WD the locations have a letter and some numbers, i.e. c 05.15 & a 3.1. do these have any relevance to the location ? Are the letters connected to the 4 smaller grids within the larger ones.

Finally some information from "The Long March"...........

It seems to say that on October 13th, the whole of 210 had to pull back across the pontoon bridges spanning the Ijzer. This is confusing me as the locations seem to well away from the river.

RAN

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RAN

Open the link to the NLS above and you will see that Square 26 is split into four sub squares. The top left is 26a, top right 26b bottom left 26c and bottom right 26d. Within the sub squares normal map reading rules i.e. Eastings and Northings apply, so the letter P in 26d is two tenths of the way from West to East and eight tenths of the way from South to North. This is expressed as 26d 2.8. Square 26 would be in a series of squares identified with a letter, so that A 26d 2.8 would be a different location from B 26d 2.8. The letter would be preceded with the map number.

Forum member "Johnboy" sent me a link to a converter. I clicked and dragged to the area of Nieuport and put in 11. x 36a 3.1. It took me to a point between Veurne and Koksidje just south west of an airport. A possible for the B Battery position.

I will e mail you the link.

Brian

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RAN

A thread has been started in Units and Formations called Help with Maps. Dai Bach gives a clear guide on how to use the converter. The correct format to put in is 11.r.36.a.3.1 and this will take you to a point between Oostdunkerke and Nieuwport. Since the WD mentions sheet 12 I also tried 12.r.36.a.3.1 but this takes us too far to the east.

Brian.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brian,

Firstly apologies for not replying sooner. The help you have provided to me has been absolutely fantastic. I have been able to find the location of where my grandfather was likely to have been positioned when he was injured. Also thanks to Dai Bach for his instructions regarding the use of the converter. I now have the "tools" to seek out other locations where my grandfather was positioned. The information I now have will enable me to plan a visit to the area.

With reference to the pages of the WD you sent me, I have printed them out, and will endevour to transcribe them onto a Word table for easier reading. I take it the WD is not yet digitized ?

Thanks again,

RAN

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RAN

According to Discovery the WDs are digitized, within WO 95/2649 210 Brigade is at (1) and within WO 95/2647 the CRA 42 Div is at (2).

Brian

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have found this thread most helpful, thank you. I have just bought the framed memorial plaque for sergeant Tom Vernon Hart who served with B Battery 211th Brigade. He was KIA 28/3/18 and is buried in Bienvillers Military Cemetery. From this thread it is likely he was hit by artillery fire?

He was from Bolton living with his parents at 59,Harpers Lane. His parents were Thomas and Mary E Hart. The 1911 census has him aged 16.

From his numbers 1147 and then 710357 it appears he was an original and entered Egypt on 25/9/14.

I was at the cemetery this March and will now revisit in March 2016 hopefully and pay my respects.

Regards

TT

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