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191st Brigade RFA


clive_hughes

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Hi folks,

Trying to answer a family history query about a Gunner (enlisted for Welsh Div. Ammo Column RFA TF) who is shown by CWGC as 191st Bde. RFA and died in Egypt June 1919, buried at Kantara. His papers don't seem to have survived.

I've tried googling this unit, looking at LLT and other sources but all I've got so far is a reference to another casualty from 191st (County Palatine) Bde. RFA buried in Belgium in 1917!

The "Warpath" RFA ORBAT stops dead at 190th Bde RFA, recommencing at 210th Bde.

Anyone got any information please concerning the history of this unit?

Clive

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Hello Clive

I suspect that these are misprints or mis-transcriptions, as none of the ORBATs I have seen, including the official ones edited by A F Becke, show a 191st Bde RFA.

"County Palatine" usually refers to Lancashire, and Becke gives 181 Bde RFA as having been raised at "Ashton". Ashton-under-Lyne is a suburb of Manchester and there is another Ashton near Liverpool. This brigade served with 40th Division so a burial in Belgium might have come from this brigade.

53rd (Welsh) Div went to Gallipoli until the beginning of 1916 and spent the rest of the war in Egypt and Palestine, which is consistent with what you have. It is possible that some renumbering of its RFA Brigades (265 to 268) took place after the Armistice, or a new and short-lived 191 Bde was formed there.

Ron

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Thanks for looking that up, Ron

I was wondering why I couldn't spot the unit! Sadly, unless CWGC might own up to an error, there's no obvious place to look for his unit, if his papers were lost.

Clive

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A difficult one, dieing in Egypt at that time suggests the RFA bde served in Palestine or perhaps Macedonia or even Italy, just possible Mesopotamia and he does en route to UK. The only bdes in the 100 series in the region were: 100, 101, 102, 103, 114, 115, 116, 129, 130, 146, 172. There were others (including 190) but they left for France in March 1918. 191 or close doesn't figure as an RFA battery in the region. Nor anything in India that could hasve been enroute to UK. However, perhaps he was enroute to India, although I'd have expected this to be a reversion to regular army numbering, but don't have any information.

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Thanks Nigelfe,

though he's also absent from SDGW because of the date, I now know him to be recorded on the Chester City War Memorial at the Town Hall as Gnr J.Bellis RFA; and also on the Cheshire Brigade RFA (TF) roll of honour in the south transept of Chester Cathedral, as Gnr. J. Bellis (Cheshire Bde was also with 53rd Welsh Divn, in Egypt/Palestine).

Full details: 745435 Gnr Joseph (poss. Joseph William) BELLIS

Died 1 June 1919 aged 33, husband of Lily Bellis of 71 Saxon Street, Wrexham. Native of Chester.

Buried Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

MIC gives BWM/VIC pair off a RFA(TF) Roll, and only his 6-figure number which suggests he arrived Overseas after the start of 1917. Also states Died 1.6.19.

Clive

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