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Gambardiers


ALANJONES
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Richard Holmes in 'Tommy' referred to the Royal Garrison Artillery as 'Gambardiers' - does anyone know the origins of this expression please?!

Alan

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There's also this reference to an article in the Journal of the Royal Artillery

1993:04244 The Gambardiers 1899-1924 Brig (rtd) RGS Bidwell Journal of the Royal Artillery

Historical note on the Royal Garrison Artillery.

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The memoirs are:

The Gambardier, Giving some account of the Heavy and Siege Artillery in France 1914-1918; by Mark Severn (pseud.). Pub. London: Ernest Benn, 1930.

God knows where you'd find a copy...

Rgds,

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The book was by Edward(?) Lushington who commanded 244 Siege Battery. One of his officers was the war poet Edward Thomas, whose death is described in the book.

The term 'Gambardiers' was not a common term used for any RA unit in WW1; I suspect Mr Holmes has taken the title 'as read'.

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  • 1 month later...

I managed to obtain a copy of "The Gambardier" - an excellent read, but it does not give the origins of the term. Quotes though [p.20] 'The garrison gunner .... described his brother in the RFA as " a bow-and-arrow merchant who goes in for horse-coping" and his brother dubbed him "that scientific Gambardier who wears badly cut breeches." .... during the war one could still occasionally hear the opprobious term "Gambardier" and the derisive word 'pop-gun' applied to those same 18-pounders in the heavy artillery messes.

I will try the RAHT to look at a copyof the Journal referred to above.

Alan

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copy obtained via inter-library loan.

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Brigadier RGS Bidwell, OBE in his article "The Gambardiers 1899-1924" in the Journal of the Royal Artillery, Vol. CXX, No. 1, page 55, indicates that the "etymology of this odd word is unknown." and suggests that it may be a contraction of "Garrison Bombardier". Regards. Dick

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  • 1 month later...

Dick

sorry, missed this reply earlier - thanks for the information.

Alan

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