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

Remembered Today:

siege battery formed out of the No 2 Coy RGA Kent TF


dismorr59

Recommended Posts

Does anybody have any information concerning which batteries in France men - especially officers - attached to the No 2 Coy RGA Kent (TF) (based in Gravesend) may have gone to? On this subject was the Kent 1/1st RGA battery formed from the various Kent TF coys?

Stephen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again Stephen

The answer to your second question is yes and no! The RGA of the TF was of two types: heavy batteries armed with 4.7-inch guns, of which there was one battery for each TF Division; and coast defence companies, which helped to man the existing guns at defended ports. Just to make it more confusing, there were a few heavy batteries among the coast defence units too, though not in Kent.

1/1st Kent Heavy Battery RGA (TF) was intended to be part of the Home Counties Division and was a pre-war unit. However, it did not accompany the infantry of the division when they went to India in late 1914, but went to France and served there for the rest of the war (I think - though it may have gone to Italy).

2 Company Kent RGA (TF) in which 2/Lt Seel served was one of the coast defence companies.

Unit identification like this is always full of traps for the unwary, but after a while a kind of "hang on a minute ..." reflex kicks in. It's much easier if you have a copy of the Army List!

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that Ron

From what I can gather men attached to the peace-time coastal batteries were likely to be assigned to heavy / siege batteries fighting abroad on an ad hoc arrangement, and beyond this may have moved from battery to battery on a frequent basis.

One problem in doing research on my granfather is that he remained in the TA until 1932, and therefore, as I understand it, his records are still held by the MOD. I am considering making an official request for a search of his records for a cost of £30.00 - do you know if such a search is likely to pay dividends?

Stephen

Hello again Stephen

The answer to your second question is yes and no! The RGA of the TF was of two types: heavy batteries armed with 4.7-inch guns, of which there was one battery for each TF Division; and coast defence companies, which helped to man the existing guns at defended ports. Just to make it more confusing, there were a few heavy batteries among the coast defence units too, though not in Kent.

1/1st Kent Heavy Battery RGA (TF) was intended to be part of the Home Counties Division and was a pre-war unit. However, it did not accompany the infantry of the division when they went to India in late 1914, but went to France and served there for the rest of the war (I think - though it may have gone to Italy).

2 Company Kent RGA (TF) in which 2/Lt Seel served was one of the coast defence companies.

Unit identification like this is always full of traps for the unwary, but after a while a kind of "hang on a minute ..." reflex kicks in. It's much easier if you have a copy of the Army List!

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stephen,

You have an advantage over most of the rest of us in having the prospect of getting a service record. Even if it only gave the batteries he served with, I think that would be £30 well spent. I have spent a lot more than that chasing up other leads.

Why wait 5, 10 or 15 years when you will eventually end up ordering them anyways!

There are other sources:-

The alternative, of course will be to order the Ward Diary for 109th Siege Battery (which you mention in another post) for the whole war. His joining and leaving the battery along with numerous other mentions are highly likely. hHis will cost you a lot more than £30 but you may ultimately end up doing this.

You could also go onto ancestry and through CWGC deaths and identifying other 109th S.B. men and you might find him mentioned in their service records.

Found this website http://www.doverwarmemorialproject.org.uk/Casualties/WWI/SurnamesT.htm which shows a link between 109 S.B. and the Kent RGA and mentions an incident with a lot of officers killed in July 1916.

Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark

I am very grateful for this information. Yes I think I will take the plunge and spend some money

Stephen

Stephen,

You have an advantage over most of the rest of us in having the prospect of getting a service record. Even if it only gave the batteries he served with, I think that would be £30 well spent. I have spent a lot more than that chasing up other leads.

Why wait 5, 10 or 15 years when you will eventually end up ordering them anyways!

There are other sources:-

The alternative, of course will be to order the Ward Diary for 109th Siege Battery (which you mention in another post) for the whole war. His joining and leaving the battery along with numerous other mentions are highly likely. hHis will cost you a lot more than £30 but you may ultimately end up doing this.

You could also go onto ancestry and through CWGC deaths and identifying other 109th S.B. men and you might find him mentioned in their service records.

Found this website http://www.doverwarm...I/SurnamesT.htm which shows a link between 109 S.B. and the Kent RGA and mentions an incident with a lot of officers killed in July 1916.

Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stephen

Fredericks Lineage shows the following Siege Batteries included a nucleus of the Kent RGA:

62 Siege Battery - formed 14th September 1915 with a nucleus from Kent RGA TF in Sheerness

134 Siege Battery - formed 3rd May 1915 with a nucleus and details from the Kent / Sussex RGA TF

Interestingly the 109th Siege Battery was formed in Dover 14th February 1916.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ian

Excellent information, thank you. Perhaps then the 109th seige battery was the initial unit he was posted to when he went over to France.

Another poser - Later in the war he became an acting captain and then an acting major - would this suggest that he most likely stayed wth the same battery as he was required to take over the responsibilities of senior wounded / killed officers that he had been serving under, or does it suggest that he was moved to another battery which had suffered exceptional losses?

Stephen

Stephen

Fredericks Lineage shows the following Siege Batteries included a nucleus of the Kent RGA:

62 Siege Battery - formed 14th September 1915 with a nucleus from Kent RGA TF in Sheerness

134 Siege Battery - formed 3rd May 1915 with a nucleus and details from the Kent / Sussex RGA TF

Interestingly the 109th Siege Battery was formed in Dover 14th February 1916.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stephen,

When you make your trip next week, be sure to visit the vicinity of Villers Faulon, for map coordinates E16c and E23a Sheet 62c France.

Captain a/Major L Seel was awarded the MC for his actions there pertaining to March 21st 1918. The award was mentioned in April 1918 but it is complicated as by that time it looks as though he took over temporary command of 146 Sge Bty (E23a), hence acting/Major. It is recorded the Captain of 146 died of wounds on the 24 3.18.

However the LG citation reads almost exactly as to what happened with 109 Sge Bty. 109 SB were fighting alongside 146 SB (E16a), both batteries being in the same Brigade.

The LG citation reads

"for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In recent operations he ably kept his guns in action under very heavy shell fire, and when driven from his guns by rifle and machine-gun fire at close range he rallied his detachments and made repeated strenuous efforts to recover the guns, actually reaching them for a few minutes and getting them into action again"

Brigade WD reads 21.3.18:

109 SB retire fighting with rifles and machine gunfire and have to leave position. 109 later in afternoon reach guns once more and fire five rounds but are forced to retire owning to concentrated machine gun fire. (Two guns were subsequently abandoned).

I would be confident forum member Flory is correct that he was with this battery, but just after the 21st took over command temporarily of 146 Sge Bty. How long for and which battery he entered theatre with is not apparent, but 109 was formed at Dover.

You need his service records to verify 100% and that should be your first priority.

Enjoy your trip.

Rgds

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul

Fantastic information - thank you so much. I certainly feel with all the help received from the Forum members that I am now making positive headway piecing together my grandfather's battery/ies, and where he fought. Now knowing where he almost definitely was when he undertook the action that led to his MC award is really special. I will certainly be making a visit to Villers Faulon.

Stephen

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...