Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Royal Field Artillery Battalions


tyrese

Recommended Posts

Corporal Albert Fearn whose regiment was RoyalField Artillery and his army number was 72918 was mentioned in dispatches in the London Gazette on the 18th May 1917. I have been to the National Archives at Kew to look for the War diaries to see if I can find anything about this man being mentioned as to why he was MID. Unfortunately and very unusually, his battalion wasn't written at the top of the page in either of the medal roll books that contain Albert Fearn's medal entries. I would really like to find the diaries for his son, an elderly man himself, who is very proud of his father. Does anyone have any ideas about how I can proceed. Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jayden,

Are you sure you have found the right man?

72918 was Alfred Fearn not Albert Fearn.

This man's MIC has date of entry in France 21.05.15, which may give a small clue to the Division he was with.

More importantly there is a Silver War Badge reference (RA/2293) which should list the unit he was discharged from.

The roll for this reference can be found at the National Archives under WO 329/2972.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear David,

Thank you for replying. I was asked to look for this information, for the son, by a friend and she gave me the name Albert.

Your information is really helpful and I will follow up the SWB reference and the date of entry into France. I really would like to find out as much as I can for this elderly man.

Thank you again,

Best wishes from Fiona, (Jayden is my grandson's name)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fiona

A small point but important to us Gunners [ex]. The unit was not a battalion, but a brigade, which was sub-divided into batteries.

D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Using information given to me on another thread here, I found that 72918 was among the numbers allocated to Territorial Brigades of the RFA in 1917:

"725001-730000 340 BDE, RFA TF/ 2/1 WELCH (BROKEN UP MAY 16, BTRYS TO 342 & 343 BDES)."

This may be a clue to your man's unit.

D

PLEASE IGNORE - STARTED TOO EARL TODAY

Sorry!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Fiona

If you can find out from the SWB roll which battery and brigade he was with, we should be able to give you a reference for the War Diary (or another Pal may actually have a copy already.

If he was a Regular from 1913, and entered France in May 1915, there aren't that many divisions it could be. Here is a small sample from the class-list of War Diaries, relating to 1st Division's artillery:

WO 95/1248 25 Brigade Royal Field Artillery 1914 Aug. - 1919 Apr.

WO 95/1249 Divisional Troops: 39 Brigade Royal Field Artillery 1914 Aug. - 1919 Apr.

WO 95/1250

WO 95/1250 Divisional Troops

WO 95/1250 26 Brigade Royal Field Artillery 1914 Aug. - 1917 Apr.

WO 95/1250 43 Brigade Royal Field Artillery 1914 Aug. - 1916 May

One point to watch is that in May 1916, and again in Jan 1917, there was a considerable shuffling-around of batteries between brigades, so the brigade he was discharged from may not have been the battery he went out with. But this tended to affect the Regular batteries much less than the others, except for those equipped with 4.5-inch howitzers.

Good luck!

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you to all of you for all your help. I am waiting for an estimate from the National Archives regarding purchasing a copy of the Silver War Badge entitlement, which will hopefully tell me brigade and /or battery. Sorry to all ex-gunners about the battalion reference .

I was wondering if any of you can help me further with other references on his medal roll card. They are:-

(a) EM2/1740.

(B) I.V.83/E

Thank you all again.

Fiona

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fiona,

I feel you need to ask more questions about this man's father before embarking on expensive research.

What you are finding out at the moment maybe about a totally different person.

To proceed with more confidence you should see an actual medal of the man or photographs of him in uniform.

Has it actually been said that he was in the Royal Field Artillery?

Do you have his birth date and location along with other family details?

The EM2/1740 is an administrative reference tied in with the award of the MID Emblem.

The handwriting is the same as on the reverse of the medal card. The other reference must be to do with the date it was sent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you David for your sound advice. I have got his date and place of birth and the information I was given was that he was a Corporal and a driver in the Royal Field Artillery.

I haven't seen a photo of Alfred Fearn or his medal. The son lives in Mansfield in Nottinghamshire and I live in Essex. I came into this because I am in an email group with other people all researcing the name SHOOTER on our family trees. The son of Alfred Fearn was talking to one of the group, Marianne, in a Mansfield Charity shop where she was working, and when she mentioned that she did her family history, he asked her if she could find out why his father was MID. Marianne said that he had tears in his eyes when he spoke to her as it would mean so much to him. I came into this as I was really touched by the story and wanted to find out what I could for him at the National Archives, which I go to twice a year. I am the nearest in the group to the National Archives. It was Marianne who gave me the name. service number and other details. But she has had a major operation this year so I don't like to keep bothering her, but will email her to ask this elderly gentleman if he knew about the SWB and try to verify the facts that I have been given.

The National Archives have come back to me re the Silver War Badge and say that the specific information I need is not readily available and will be costly to research. They suggest I look myself. I am going there in October so will do so then. Your finding the SWB entitlement has been a great help and I hope to have more luck in October.

To Ron - I have printed out all the replies to my query, including yours and will get back to you in October if I find him in one of the brigades that you mentioned.

As before, I appreciate all the help you have all given me and feel more confident in the research.

Fiona

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fiona

Did you quote all the information to the NA? This seems to be a straightforward action to me. If they have this info presented :

Piece Number WO329/2972.Page RA/2293.Silver War Badge.Soldier 72918 Alfred FEARN.RFA.

it should take very little actual time to achieve. The longest element is waiting for the file to be delivered from the storage,so a minute to order it and then do something else until it appears on the desk ! Otherwise it is a matter of a couple of minutes to find the page and copy it.I am not due to go for a while yet otherwise I would do it for you. I will message you with a possible solution.

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To Ron - I have printed out all the replies to my query, including yours and will get back to you in October if I find him in one of the brigades that you mentioned.

Fiona

Fiona

You may be able to kill two birds with one stone, if you have enough time while you are at Kew.

Once you have found his brigade (and if his unit is shown as something like A/75 that means A Battery, 75 Brigade) you can use the search engine at Kew (or use your laptop if you have one) to search the class-list of WO95. The real trick with the search is to get the grammar and spelling right, so "25 Brigade Royal Field Artillery" and not "25th Brigade RFA".

Good luck!

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gave TNA the exact details that you, sotonmate, wrote in your posting. I also added that he was a driver and a Corporal. I wrote out Royal Field Artillery, not RFA. I have noted your advice, re how to use Kew's search engine, Ron.

Fiona.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...