Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

21st Heavy Battery, RGA

Guest Zephyrus

Recommended Posts

Guest Zephyrus

I am trying to find out about the movements of the 21st Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, between July 1917 and Dec. 1917.

In particular, I have some war letters written by a 2nd Lieut in the 3/1st Kent Heavy Battery, RGA (named Horace Ernest Blake). He was newly commissioned in 1917, but as soon as he arrived in France on 19 July 1917 he seems to be with the 21st Heavy Battery, RGA . He seems to have spent 4 months in France.

His letters never say where he is (just '21 Heavy Battery, BEF, France') and I would really like to find out if possible where he was, and what happened to him (he refers to being gassed, blown up and buried - this probably happened in Nov 1917, as by 8 Dec 1917 he is back in London on leave, and for much of 1918 is a patient in 3 military hospitals in Britain, including Craiglockhart, with shell shock). He does say in 1918 that he was in 'the whole of the Ypres offensive last year' and that he cannot understand how he is still alive after that. The 3rd Ypres offensive seems to be what has come to be termed 'Passchendaele', as far as I can make out.

From another comment on this website it looks as if the war diary of the 21 Heavy Battery may not have survived - but if anyone can advise me about finding out any more, I would be grateful - this is a steep learning curve to be on ...! I am wondering if a visit to the National Archives, the National Army Museum or to the RA Museum in Woolwich would be worth making. Any advice welcome.

I have found Blake's medal card online and would also appreciate any help interpreting this ... in the 'Reg No.' column is 'HDN', which I don't understand; he got medal '7702/1/B' and it looks like '9/anty B/1D48A'. Badge 'B.13166'. Also 'List Off. /1D44'. I can't see a service number for him there. Rank is 2nd Lt with RGA (T.F. - which I presume is Territorial Force).

Thank you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Zephyrus,

I would say that the Nat. Archives at Kew is the place to go. Only here are you likely to find not only his service records, but other things that may be of interest and perhaps add to your research.

The references on his MIC refer to the rolls for the Silver War Badge and medals he requested.

His entries in the London Gazette that I can find are;

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30834/supplements/9352 (This explains his entry of Honorary Rank-HON on MIC)


His possible service records may be found using the ref WO 374/7016 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C677149

I would also be ordering http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C8016940 and http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C8034062

The war diaries you should view are

From 1 July 1917 the Heavy Artillery Group would be 46 HAG http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7350519

From 27th October 1917 42nd HAG http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7349351

From 1st December 1917 1 HAG cannot find.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Zephyrus

Thanks very much Kevin, all this is really helpful. A visit to the National Archives is now a must! Thanks for the tips about the other records also there re this man, which I will certainly investigate.

It's been worth joining this forum for your help alone.

Thank you again,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...