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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Artillery 59th Siege Battery RGA


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William Willmott


Your man died in No 22 Casualty Clearing Station at Cambrai from influenza.  You'll note the war diary records on 6 November that sickness made it impossible to man all the guns of the battery.   Clearly some of the men were suffering from flu, one other 59 SB man who died at about the same time is buried in the same cemetery. 





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  • 2 weeks later...

Many, many thanks to MaxD and Dick Flory for sharing the elusive transcript of WW1 Diary for 59th SB RGA. Gold dust for any family historian like me. The terse bulletins manage to convey energy, relentless pace and endurance, constant movement, and text is punctuated with names of many personnel who fell and were replaced.


What is all the more poignant for me is that you posted  it on 30th October 2018; that's exactly one hundred years from the day that, after four years action, my gt uncle, Gunner Ernest Solomon Bradley (see February posting above) died from pneumonia at a CCS east of Cambrai in the closing stages of the War. It also reveals, less than a week later his comrades and the entire 59th siege battery were unable to even man the guns through sickness. They had given their all. Only 2 days after that the guns went silent for good.


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William Wilmot

Perhaps your man fought alongside my Gunner Bradley at the very end of the war. 

Both succumbed to respiratory disease in CCS 22 and were buried at East Cambrai within a fortnight of each other.

the following link may be of interest to you, showing a very orderly CCS 22 at Cambrai (albeit 1919 after the end of hostilities)


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  • 3 years later...
On 23/09/2011 at 03:00, rflory said:

I have the 'War Diary of 59 Siege Battery R.G.A. 1914-1919' what or who are you looking for? Dick Flory

Good Evening Dick, 

I wonder if you might be able to help me with some information about one of the names on my village (Henlow, Beds) memorial who served with 59th Bty RGA?  There are three Bywaters on the memorial, all sons of Emma and Harry Bywaters, a sad story for such a small village. Edwin was a pre war regular with the 1st Bn The Bedfordshire Regt, who is memorialised at La Ferte Sous Jouarre.  Ernest Bywaters who is buried in the St Mary's Churchyard in the village and 40913 Gnr Horace Bywaters who is buried at Doullens Communal Cemetery. He died 29 Mar 1918 aged 21, I assume at the Canadian Hospital that was operating there at the time. Given the date and the location of the hospital I am also assuming that 59th Bty would have been fighting the German Spring Offensive somewhere nearby.  I'm visiting the Somme shortly and I plan to visit Horace at Doullens. Any information that you may have about Horace and the 59th Bty would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks,


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Roger:  The war diary for 59th Siege Battery, RGA indicates that Gunner Bywater was killed on 28 March 1918 (at the time 59th Siege Battery, RGA was at Courcelles-au-Bois until approximately 3:30pm when it moved to Beausart by 5:00 pm):

"28-3-18.  Fired a little. Ordered to rejoin 48th Brigade [R.G.A.] at Hannescampes when relieved by 303 Siege Battery/

Killed: L/Bdr Collins; Gunner Bywater.

Wounded: One other rank."

Regards, Dick 

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Hi Dick, 

Many thanks for looking into this for me, I wonder why he's buried at Doullens if he was killed at either Courcelles-au-Bois or Hannescamps? I suppose the reasons might be lost over time.

All the best,


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  • 1 year later...
On 30/10/2018 at 10:06, MaxD said:

William Willmot - your post of August seems to have slipped under the radar.  The diary for 59 SB for the period up to Jan 1916 was reproduced in post #4 by Dick Flory above in 2011.  Thanks to that gentleman I have the remainder reproduced below.


emo924 - no mention of your man but not unusual!  


I acknowledge here again the help from Dick Flory, may his life be an oasis of waving palm trees, warm breezes and spit-free camels.





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Many thanks - just identified Gunner John Wilfred Marshall KIA on 2 May 1918 after failing to find the diary in the National Archives

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