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Remembered Today:

121st(Heavy) Batt RGA


saan

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I am trying to research the movements of 121st. (Heavy) Batt. In particular George A. Kemp. 100905. RGA.

The pic enclosed is of a parchment found with his belongings after his death. Having never seen anything like this before can

anyone tell me,

Where they given to all serving soldiers?

Commissioned by the soldiers?

Offered by the artists?

It is signed Alfred E Davis. 1919.

It has been very badly water damaged so I am afraid the quality of the pic is not to good but I am hoping somebody can help me.

The original is about 2ft. X 3ft.

Thanks. Saan.

post-35213-0-42076100-1303030562.jpg

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Hello Saan

It looks like a bit of private enterprise by the men of the battery (or more likely the officers), to remind them of all the places in which they served. The Royal Garrison Artillery has the single battle honour "Ubique" - everywhere - rather than individual honours for separate battles.

121 Heavy Battery was formed at Woolwich soon after the outbreak of war, and reached France in early 1915. They were originally armed with four 4.7-inch guns, but exchanged them by April 1916 for the more modern 60-pounders.

They seem to have spent most of 1915 and the first half of 1916 under Second Army in the Ypres Salient, before joining Fourth Army on the Somme.

Ron

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Thanks for the quick reply.

Has anyone seen anything like this maybe from other Battallions?

One more question - is a War Diary available for 121st Heavy?

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Only an incomplete one, it seems:

WO 95/219 121 Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery 1916 Mar. - 1917 Oct.

Ron

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Saan,

Are you aware of the online diary for this battery by a battery member?

'Dads Diaries: A Gunners Experience in the War 1914-1918'

Rgds

Paul

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In the summer of 1916 the battery was part of 18th Heavy Artillery Group (XV Corps). Attached is the War Diary for June to 1st July 1916 for information.

121st Heavy Battery (18th HAG) (Capt H W Goldney)

4 x 60 pdrs

13th June. Received orders to pull out of position and be ready to march. Section was ready to march at about 11 p.m.

14th June. Paraded and marched to Bailleul and entrained at 2 p.m. Train moved off at about 2.30 p.m.. We travelled all night and arrived at Longeau at 3 a.m. The daylight saving scheme came into force on the night of the 14th/15th.

15th June. 8 a.m. The section had breakfast and marched to Morlancourt where we joined up with the Right Section and billeted. We arrived at Morlancourt at about 4 p.m. Battery became part of 18th HAG, XV Corps.

9 p.m. One gun of the Right Section was brought into action in a position already selected for battery in F.26.b.4.2.

16th June. 6 a.m. The gun detachments paraded and marched to the battery position where they commenced to prepare emplacements for the gun. Orders were received to the effect that 700 rounds per gun were to be dumped in battery position and that all gun emplacements had to be bomb proof. This entailed an immense amount of labour.

9 p.m. The other three guns were brought up and placed in their partly completed emplacements.

17th June. 4 a.m. Worked in emplacements etc., all day. Did not fire.

18th June. 4 a.m. Continued work on position.

12 noon to 2 p.m. Registered all four guns on Fricourt (F.3.b.6.1) and Acid Drop Copse (X.17.c.8.2).

2 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. Continued working on gun emplacements and ammunition recesses. By 9.30 p.m. 407 D7 and 1393 D had been brought to battery position.

19th June. 4 a.m. Continued work on position.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Checked line and calibrated on Fricourt Church and checked switch to Acid Drop Copse.

3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Continued working on position. No ammunition was received on this day.

20th June. 7 a.m. Continued working on position.

3.20 p.m. Registered four guns on Contalmaison Villa.

4.05 p.m. Then checked switch to Acid Drop Copse. This was to see how the planchett switch worked. The planchett was received on this day and the switch was most accurate.

11 p.m. The observation party had been working the whole of every night since we arrived here making an observation post in the trenches. On the night of the 20th 37153 Gunner H P Ellis was badly hit by a machine gun bullet and was taken hospital. 890 D was brought to the dump on 19th June.

21st June. 7 a.m. Continued working on position.

2nd Lt C E B Dean was mentioned in Despatches published in the Morning Post on 16th.

10 a.m. The Corps Commander visited the gun position and seemed pleased with the work done.

Continued working on position till 8.30 p.m.

22nd June. 7 a.m. Continued working on position throughout the day.

3.12 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Registered three guns on trench junctions in F.4.c.2.0 and 4.8 and Fritz Trench at F.6.b.3.3.

23rd June. 7 a.m. Continued work on battery position till 12 noon.

5 p.m. Resumed work on position till 9 p.m.

24th June. Continued work on position, erected dressing station, cook house and completed communication trench between guns. This work continued till 11 p.m.

12 noon. Brig Gen inspected position and declared himself satisfied with progress made.

8 p.m. Took in 496 rounds of ammunition (Lyddite).

25th June. 9 a.m. Parade. Operation order No 1 called today V Day.

10.28 a.m. Right section opened fire on Fritz Trench for registration and wire cutting.

11.52 a.m. Ceased fire. Fired 16 Lyddite and 25 shrapnel.

12.15 p.m. Right section opened fire at Fricourt Church.

12.47 p.m. Ceased fire at 12.47 p.m. Fired 17 Lyddite and 8 shrapnel, Left Section having joined in at 12.22 p.m.

2.10 p.m. Left Section registered on road junction below Willow Avenue.

2.15 p.m. Balloon reported at 23° east of reference point.

2.25 p.m. Extractor of No 3 gun broken.

No 4 on No II target X.29.d.2.4.

2.36 p.m. No 3 on No II target.

3.00 p.m. No 3 out of action for about ¼ hour.

3.55 p.m. Ceased fire. Fired 11 Lyddite and 40 shrapnel.

3.10 p.m. Right Section wire cutting in front of Fritz Trench with shrapnel.

3.55 p.m. Ceased fire. Fired 1 Lyddite and 52 shrapnel.

6.37 p.m. Checked line of all guns on Fricourt (Lyddite).

6.48 p.m. All guns switched to No II target Acid Drop Copse.

6.55 p.m. Ceased fire. Fired 7 Lyddite and 8 shrapnel.

7.19 p.m. No 3 gun on F.5.b.4.8. Ceased at 7.35 p.m. Fired 5 Lyddite and 1 shrapnel.

11.55 p.m. No 1 on S.26.b.95.25 3 shrapnel.

No 2 on S.27.a.1.7 10 shrapnel and S.26.b.95.25 7 shrapnel.

No 3 on X.20.c.0.0 10 shrapnel.

Ceased fire at 12.30 a.m. after firing 30 shrapnel.

26th June.

5.30 to 7.00 a.m. Opened fire on Fritz Trench with battery fire firing 138 Lyddite and 30 shrapnel. Ceased fire at 7 a.m.

9 a.m. Opened fire on the following targets, one gun on each target. This was concentrated bombardment of W Day.

No 1 gun on Plum Lane.

No 2 gun on Bois Francais Support.

No 3 gun on Hidden Wood.

No 4 gun on Orchard Alley.

Fired 239 Lyddite and 81 shrapnel. Ceased fire at 10.20 a.m.

10.37 a.m. Put 10 shrapnel into each of the following targets:

X.24.a.3.7

X.24.a.9.8

12.25 p.m. Aeroplane called us up and gave target S.19.b.6.6. L was put out L at 12.34 p.m. which remained out till 1.20 p.m. but no more signals were received.

2.36 p.m. Fired 60 Lyddite and 12 shrapnel on Fritz Trench.

3.30 p.m. Fired 48 DX and 52 shrapnel on trench F.5.b.4.8 to F.5.b.3.4.

4.46 p.m. Fired 75 Lyddite and 45 shrapnel at trench X.20.d.2.5 to F.5.a.4.0.

Results were observation was possible reported satisfactory, much damage being done.

10.13 a.m. The observation officer reported that when gas shell barrage was put on enemy trenches north of Fricourt the enemy sent up a red rocket that burst into many red stars.

6.35 p.m. Fired 64 Lyddite and 64 shrapnel at Willow Avenue from the Orchard to Bunny Wood.

During this series the elevating shaft and pinion of No 2 gun broke and put the gun out of action.

When we finished firing at 7.30 p.m. we took the elevating shaft and pinion off No 4 and put it on No 2 thus putting No 2 in action and No 4 out. This was done because No 4 recoil had been gradually creeping up and had reached 57 in.

8.05 p.m. Checked calibration and line on Fricourt Church with 7 Lyddite and 2 shrapnel.

9 p.m. to 3 a.m. 27th June. Fired 119 shrapnel on tracks east of Mametz.

27th June,

4.30 to 5.50 a.m. Fired 185 Lyddite and 55 shrapnel as ordered for concentrated bombardment of X Day.

10.19 to 11.21 a.m. Fired 46 Lyddite and 35 shrapnel on Bucket Trench.

11.33 a.m. Fired 41 Lyddite and 37 shrapnel at Danzig Alley.

12.35 to 3.30 p.m. Fired 42 Lyddite and 93 shrapnel on Orchard Trench, Plum Lane to F.10.b.2.6.

4 p.m. Fired 60 Lyddite and 60 shrapnel on Willow Avenue from Copper Trench to Cottage Trench.

5.12 p.m. Fired 45 Lyddite and 15 shrapnel on dugouts at F.10.b.6.4. Observation was difficult during the day but where possible results reported very good particularly on Willow Trench.

Tubes were bad and gave considerable trouble.

4 to 4.30 p.m. Some 4.2 in gas shell were scattered about the valley we were in but not very close.

6.45 p.m. Checked calibration and line on Fricourt Church with 17 Lyddite and 1 shrapnel.

7.18 p.m. Fired 57 Lyddite and 68 shrapnel on Rose Trench.

28th June.

6 a.m. Carried out concentrated bombardment as ordered for Y Day, firing 170 Lyddite and 70 shrapnel.

10 a.m. to 10.58 a.m. Fired 59 Lyddite and 91 shrapnel at trench from X.29.d.2.5 to X.29.b.4.0.

11.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m. No 4 gun was put in action. A new pinion being received from Ordnance. Fired 48 Lyddite and 72 shrapnel at trench from F.5.b.4.8 to F.5.b.3.4.

2.20 to 4.45 p.m. Fired 180 Lyddite and 100 shrapnel at Fritz Trench in an endeavour to cut the wire reported there.

2.35 p.m. The following message was received from Corps Commander:

“The Corps Commander desires to express to the Corps HA his appreciation of their work and of the efforts they have made to keep their guns in action and effect all repairs required.”

5.50 to 6.15 p.m. Fired 11 Lyddite and 65 shrapnel on Willow Avenue from The Orchard to Bunny Wood.

6.30 p.m. Fired 9 more Lyddite and 98 shrapnel at Fritz Trench in the effort to cut the wire there.

9 p.m. to 3 a.m. 29th June. Fired 120 shrapnel on tracks east of Mametz Wood.

29th June.

9.15 to 9.35 a.m. Fired 12 Lyddite and 36 shrapnel on Bucket Trench.

9.40 to 9.55 a.m. Fired 12 Lyddite and 36 shrapnel on Danzig Alley.

10.15 to 10.40 a.m. Fired 80 shrapnel on Orchard Trench, Plum Lane and F.10.b.2.6.

10.45 a.m. Some 4.2 in gas shell fell on the road to the left rear of battery.

4.00 to 5.20 p.m. Carried out concentrated bombardment on Lozenge Trench firing 160 rounds. A good many hits being observed particularly on Lozenge Alley.

5 p.m. The control tank of No 1 gun split and the gun was out of action. As the recoil of No 3 gun was gradually creeping up No 3 was put out of action and its control tank transferred to No 1 thus putting No 1 in action and No 3 out of action. A new tank was received late on the night of the 30th and No 3 was again in action early on the morning of 1st July.

6.47 p.m. Fired 20 shrapnel at battery reported in X.29.b.1.8.

30th June.

8 to 9.20 a.m. Fired 140 Lyddite and 20 shrapnel at Bosky Trench.

12.24 to 12.44 p.m. Fired 20 Lyddite at X.10.c.4.5.

1.24 p.m. Fired 9 Lyddite and 11 shrapnel at some of following batteries: S.13.d.5.8 and S.13.d.1.8.

9 p..m. to 12 midnight. Fired 30 shrapnel at irregular intervals on tracks east of Mametz Wood.

1st July.

12 midnight to 3 a.m. Fired 30 shrapnel at irregular intervals on tracks east of Mametz Wood.

6.03 a.m. Checked corrector with 5 shrapnel.

6.25 to 7.30 a.m. Fired 40 Lyddite per gun on Fritz Trench, Bright Alley, Danzig Alley, Bucket Trench and Bulgar Alley in the concentrated bombardment of Z Day, 7.30 a.m. being Zero hour.

7.30 to 7.45 a.m. At 7.30 fired 1st barrage on Fritz Trench, Bucket Trench and Bulgar Alley. 10 rounds per gun being fired.

7.45 to 8.25 a.m. Lifted to 2nd barrage Willow Avenue to Bunny Wood, firing 30 rounds per gun.

8.25 to 8.45 a.m. Lifted to 3rd barrage west edge of wood in X.24.c and Strip trench and Wood Trench.

8.45 to 9.55 a.m. 4th barrage same as barrage 3.

9.55 to 10.25 a.m. Lifted to 5th barrage tracks in S.20.a and eastern edge of Mametz Wood.

11 .09 to 11.50 a.m. RX fired 1 Lyddite and 20 shrapnel at X.29.b.7.7 to 9.7.

11.42 a.m. LX fired 60 shrapnel being a barrage on Willow Avenue north of F.4.c.5.5.

12.55 to 1.10 p.m. Repeated 4th barrage, firing 27 shrapnel.

2.30 to 4.15 p.m. Carried out 7th and 8th barrage on Mametz Wood south of line X.23.b.4.8 to S.14.a.0.0. firing 80 shrapnel.

10.15 p.m. Engaged battery in S.15.a.6.6 and battery in S.15.a.4.6 firing 47 Lyddite and 7 shrapnel. Finished firing 11.15 p.m.

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Thanks for your answers, wonderful.

I have seen 'Dads Diaries: A Gunners Experience in the War 1914-1918'

Youve all been a great help, Thanks a lot.

saan

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Thanks ianjonescl user_popup.pngfor the link.

I'm still hoping someone will have some ideas about the scroll/parchament, I can't find anything like it at the moment

but there must be hundreds out there somewhere.

Thanks.

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  • 6 years later...

A number of Heavy and Siege Batteries produced items like this - I have examples from 10+ batteries.  Most appear to have been produced after the end of the war.  Some are quality productions on heavy coated card stock while others are what appear to be local productions on paper of poor quality. One from 326 Sg By is attached below:

326 Sg Bty RGA.jpg

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