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Remembered Today:

What battles were these RFA men in when they were killed?


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Dear forum members, first of all thank you all who have helped me in my project to commemorate the men of Crewe & Nantwich who fell in the Great War. The book I have been compiling the past five years is nearing its proofing stage, but I am having a few issues regarding the ORBAT for a number of units. So over the next few months I will be listing the units that I cannot say 100% where they were when the men were killed. All I basically want is what battle (if any) the units were in on the date of death. Thank you all again who have/who will help. Cheers, Mark

The first three are men who were killed in April 1918, so Lys and the Somme battles are big possibilities. They are all RFA men.

86557 Gunner Walter Webb, 410th Battery, 90th Brigade, RFA - killed in action April 24, 1918.

213319 Gunner George Hand, "D" Battery, 250th Brigade, RFA - killed in action April 7, 1918

Captain George Harvey "A" Battery, 169th Brigade, RFA - killed in action April 12, 1918

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13319 Gunner George Hand, "D" Battery, 250th Brigade, RFA - killed in action April 7, 1918

D/250 battery began the war as the 4th Durham Battery of the 4th Northumbrian (County of Durham) Howitzer Brigade. During the reorganisation of the Royal Field Artillery in May 1916, it became the fourth battery in the 1st Northumbrian Brigade RFA, which was remumbered as 250 Brigade RFA. The battery therfore became D/250.

They formed part of the 50th Divisional Artillery.

From the War History of the 1st Northumbrian Brigade RFA (TF) - The incident described is contained in chapter XXII End of the Allies Retreat:

" Well, the retreat ended, we stayed in the neighbourhood of Gentelles until April 8th"

"On the 7th a shell pitched on an ammunition wagon on D Battery's position, whilst it was being unloaded, killing five men and wounding eight and two mules;"

An analysis of the CWGC database for D Bty 250th Bde RFA for 7th April 1918 details the following casualties

Lance Bombardier H D DRUMMOND

Gunner B FISK

Gunner B GREEN

Gunner G E HAND

Gunner W G SMITH

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the death of Lt G W Harvey of 378th Battery /169 Bde [they used in original battery number it seems] at Hangard Wood, I think, is described in William Carrs memoirs 'A time to leave the ploughshares' .. Carr later encountered his memorial in St Marys Church at Nantwich. His comments on Harvey [in a memoir completed when he was 100 years old] are very moving

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Somewhat off your specific enquiry, but I hope you are aware there are two Crewe men listed on the roll of honour of the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers - see http://www.cccbr.org.uk/rolls/societies/details.php?id=4&name=Chester%20Diocesan%20Guild&warID=1 I've done a little research on T A Williamson in the past (you may find a thread in him on the forum from a couple of years back). I was born in Leighton Hospital and lived in Alsager until I was 9, so I've some interest in the area.

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