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Infantry transferred to RGA


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I'm looking at service number blocks trying to identify men who served in 293 siege battery RGA - currently looking at service numbers from 141700 - 141799. I find that this appears to be made up of infantrymen predominantly from East Yorkshire Regiment and Yorkshire light infantry who were transferred January 1917 en masse to the RGA - almost all had served from 1914.

Was this a normal practice to move groups of men around like this? I'm thinking that as the number of siege batteries was expanding in early 1917 there would be a need for experienced men and NCO's but with no artillery experience?

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Actually the number of transfers from infantry to artillery was surprisingly small, given the size of the artillery. The actual number block for these particular transfers ran from about 141590 to 142100, and included one or two more regiments. I assume you picked up on these because of Gnr. 141722 Arthur Isles who was transferred from the Durham Light Infantry.


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You assume correct but there is a bigger group transferring across in January 1917 - in searching for more men who served in the battery I've simply been identifying number blocks that contain definite battery members and the two number blocks before and after that so around 500 numbers in a group. having then put names to numbers I've slowly been searching for any records or info about these men - mostly it shows nothing to do with the battery or interesting Ancestry errors. However subsequently analysing each block of 100 numbers gives a real insight into who they were, where they came from etc, so even though I've not found many new 293rd men its fun - occasionally frustrating - and at some point in the future those spreadsheets may be of interest to others.

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I have been doing the same thing for about 5 years now, and have covered roughly those numbers between 40000 and, at present, 184000 in detail. Before and after these numbers less detailed. This was purposely to obtain enlistment dates and battery details because in general it is very difficult to research a gunner without knowing the battery . The difficulty with most batteries is finding the members who where reinforcements. There is certainly evidence that those that were sent as reinforcements from base ("in the field"), and from England, were mainly selected alphabetically and not from a number block, even when a group may have gone out as such. Therefore a selection of "A", "B" and "C"s whose numbers varied greatly may have been sent to one particular battery. A man with a similar number to another battery because his name began with say "T". Although there may look like a lot of transfers from the infantry they are fairly small numbers compared with those that were still being mobilised/conscripted to one of the RGA depots.

The following is a quick breakdown of those close to these particular number blocks.


No 1 Depot

Fort Brockhurst, Gosport

No. 2 Depot

Citadel, Plymouth

No. 3 Depot

South Camp, Ripon No. 4 Depot


Transfers from RGA TF


Transfers from Lancs. & Cheshire RGA to 235 SB


Transfers from RGA TF, RFA & Infantry


Transfers from Lancs. & Cheshire RGA to 297 SB


Transfers from RGA TF, RFA & Infantry


27 Dec 1916-15 Jan 1917


9 Jan 1917-15 Mch 1917


Transfers from Infantry & Woolwich


Transfers from Hants RGA to 31 AA Coy


Transfers from RGA TF, RFA & Infantry. To Woolwich & A Sge Depot late Dec 1916, early 1917

If you have found many more 293 SB gunners in the 500 number block you are looking at then it would be interesting to know if their surnames were grouped. I wonder whether you may find more gunners by searching for Forth TF gunners. Just a thought.


EDIT; Although pasting the above breakdown in a spreadsheet, and showing as such before posting, it has completely changed. You should get the idea though.

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Kevin, many thanks for this - 5 years ! clearly I'm still a novice - are you not fed up with it yet?

I'll make a note to target TF Forth as well, I suspect I havn't found many more than you have already but I do note that sometimes the numbers are filled alphabetically, sometimes not, as regards replacements I'll check.

thanks again - Sean

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