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Remembered Today:

211 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery


wignorian

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Hello

I've been updating some of the soldiers entries on my website and have come across 91707 Gnr William F Powell who was posted to 211 Siege Battery on 18.04.1917. Does anyone know if there there a history or account to this unit that would cover his date of death? 11/11/1917.

Gnr Powell's page on the website is http://www.malvernremembers.co.uk/HPPowell_WF.html, the main web address is http://www.malvernremembers.co.uk.

Thanks

Paul

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Paul,

"We were called into action between 8 and 9 in the morning. Old Fritz was very active and the battery reported to the BC Post that we were getting it warm, but the order came back to carry on. Things got worse and we were ordered to take cover for a while…..I was sitting at the far end of the place but I came and sat in the doorway on a bale of hay, and Billy Powell sat opposite me. We were all joking, with Billy Powell as leader. I had not been there a moment when over it came- I couldn't say what it was!-the shell! I was thrown inwards and three or four chaps fell on to me and I managed to drag myself out. I forgot myself for a time and started running away, then recollected myself when I had gone a dozen yards and came back to the boys. I shall never forget the sight…" .

Extract from Two Eleven. Being the History of 211 Siege Battery RGA on the Western Front. Pub: 1925 (witness unknown). Position on the Eastern slope of Frezenberg Ridge close to the Potijze-Zonnebeke road. A small concrete hut near the road known as the German Dressing Station; four were killed including Powell and seven others wounded.

Rgds

Paul

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Paul,

Thank you very much for this information. It adds a great deal to what I've got already and I'll add it to the web page. I didn't think there would be much out there for a small unit such as this.

Thanks again

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  • 7 months later...

Hello,

In researching my grandfather's war record; he was in the 168th Siege Battery and then the 211st Siege battery, I came across a book, "Two Eleven", Being the History of 211 Siege Battery RGA On the Western Front. It was compiled and privately printed by the survivors and is a remarkable account of their activities, including the defence of Amiens in the Spring of 1918. You can, as I did, obtain a photocopy from the National Library.

The activities of Siege Battery 168 and 211, which operated closely together, can be found at the National Archive. Although small units, as you say, they were active in the 3rd Battle of Ypres and the defence of Amiens.

Regards,

Keith

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Regarding Gnr Powell, there is reference to him on the "Two Eleven" history of the unit as one of the casualties in action that took place on the eastern side of the Frezenberg Ridge and close to the Potijze-Zonnebeke Road where the 211 took over the positions and guns of the 224SB. It was described as the deadliest position regarding casualties that the battery ever occupied because it commanded a view of the whole Zonnebeke valley and the higher ground of Passchendaele and was unavoidably open to German observation. On November 11th, Gunner Powell was killed with 3 others and 7 wounded at a small concrete hut known as the "German Dressing Station".

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