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317th Bde RFA - where were they in March 1918?


Moriaty
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I have been researching a soldier in "A" Bty, 317th Bde, RFA who died of wounds in March 1918 and is buried in St Sever Cemetery. Two queries.

Can anyone advise as to where the Brigade was serving in March 1918.

On his MIC he has a four digit and a six digit number, were they re-numbered and, if so, when?

Thanks in advance

Moriaty

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They were with 63rd (R.N.) Division near Ribecourt on March 21, 1918. They had to retreat all the way back to Englebelmer by the morning of March 26, 1918.

The 317th were 2/3rd Northumbrian Brigade RFA and the six figure numbers, given in early 1917, should be in the range 760001-765000. However, he could easily have a different one if he joined the brigade after the renumbering.

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Thanks for that David, it gives me something to go on.

Yes, his number falls within the 760001-765000. His original number, 1304, is quite low, would that give an indication of when he enlisted?

Moriaty

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I can only find examples from 1st Northumbrian Brigade RFA which suggests 1304 was issued in October 1914. Also, as your man died in Rouen on March 22, 1918 he may have been a victim of the gas attacks that preceded the German advance. I do know there were a lot of casualties from 223rd Brigade RFA who were in the Trescault valley, particularly on the night of March 11/12, 1918.

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Thanks David,that is helpful, in 1914 my soldier would have been aged 17, his MIC, which has very little information, gives him the British and Victory medals and no 1914 Star or 1915 medal. I dont know when he went overseas or enlisted, but I suspect it will have been in 1916.

Moriaty

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The brigades went overseas on July 1, 1916 and joined the 63rd (R.N.) Division a few days later. It looks like he went over with 316th Brigade RFA as he was with their HQ on re-organisation (being broken up) on August 29, 1916 and was allocated to C/316 which was then re-designated C/317.

post-7172-0-33104600-1349193996_thumb.jp

You will see that his number is quite low compared to others in the "2nd Line" unit. He is most likely have joined the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA and been moved to the "2nd Line" due to his age. Whilst overseas his brigade was broken up and so he ended up with 317th Brigade RFA instead. There was further re-organising in February 1917 which may have been why he moved from C/317 to A/317.

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David, thanks that is absolutely brilliant! He will have gone overseas leaving a 4 month old baby daughter. There is a lot information for me to digest.

Does "Second Line" mean a unit that it was at home doing coastal defence work?

Moriaty

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