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Ken Lees

156th Heavy Battery, RGA - 1916

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Ken Lees

Can anyone tell me where the 156th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, were serving from their arrival in France in June, 1916 through to their arrival in Ypres area for the Battle of Messines in June, 1917?

I have searched on-line for their war diary, without success. Can anyone point me to it?

Thanks in advance,

Ken

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ororkep

Ken,

The official WD for this HB is not online, what survives is for May 1917 only and consists of one page and a cover and is at the NA ref WO95/326. You therefore have to piece together their movements from the various HAG’s they came under, the ones that concern you are:

To WF June 1916

Joined 12 HAG 23.6.16

To Loring's Group (II Anzac) 15.7.16

To 12 HAG 22.7.16

To 55 HAG 29.7.16 (joined 31st).

To 10 HAG 18.3.17 (joined 24th).

To 32 HAG 12.4.17

To 17 HAG 19.5.17 (joined 23rd).

The Bty was made upto 6 guns 6.10.16 with a section joining from 172 HB.

Rgds

Paul

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yeokeith

Hi Ken,

I'm a volunteer researcher with the Soldiers of Oxfordshire and have started to research the Oxford Heavy Batteries (128,132,135,156) and am presently focusing on 156 (Oxford) Heavy Battery. As Paul says the battery was in a number of HAG's. I have been to the PRO and gone through all the relevant diaries and produced an extract 'diary' for 156 Battery. Some HAG diaries were missing.

I can tell you the following:- The battery was in the Ypres Salient from 23rd June to 29th July 1916, then Bouzincourt/Senlis 31st July to 1st August, Albert from 3rd Aug to 18th November, La Boisselle from 1st December 1916 to 11th March 1917, Pozieres from 12th March to 18th March 1917, Arras from 24th March to 12th May 1917, then via Aubigny and Bailleul to Oosthove Farm from 23rd May 1917. They took part in the attack on Messines Ridge on 7th June 1917. They took a lot of casualties. The battery was pulled out to rest on 17th June and rested to 24th June when they went to Vlamertinghe remaining there throughout June.

If you require details on a specific day do let me know. I have also identified many men in the battery and in process of completing this particular task. I hope the info. is of help to you.

Keith

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Ken Lees

Thanks Paul and Keith for the very useful information.

The man I am looking for information on is Second Lieutenant Humphrey Warwick Arden. I believe he was with the unit when it first deployed to France and he died of his wounds on 6th June 1917 near Messines.

Ken

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ororkep

Ken,

“In the Field. 7.6.17. 2Lt H W Arden 156HB wounded, subsequently died of wounds”.

Is the entry from 17 HAG WD for the 7th. As this HAG was one of the Counter Battery Goups of II ANZAC Corps for the Messines Ridge battle, it may also be worth a look on the Australian archive website for free.

Rgds

Paul

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yeokeith

Ken,

2nd Lieut Arden's service papers are in the PRO under WO 339/34313. He did indeed go to the BEF with the battery landing at Le Havre on 19th June 1916. His casualty form shows that he was granted leave to the UK from 16th Dec 1916 to 26 Dec 1916. The next entry was from the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station stating that he had died from his wounds. I have photo copies of this form and of his will taken from his papers and would be pleased to send you copies if you wish.

Keith

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rflory

2nd Lieut. Humphrey Warwick Arden, RGA

Born in British Columbia on 13 May 1892, the only son of Rev. William Henry Percival Arden, vicar of Whiteparish, Salisbury

Student at Dragon School from 1904 to Dec 1905 (prizes for a diary, Recitation and Church History; XV; sang at school concerts)

Elected to a scholarship at St. Peter's College, Radley which he attended from December 1905 to 1911 (Prefect; prize for Greek Iambics; stroke for the Senior IV; rowed for the School at Henley).

Exhibitioner at Queen's College, Cambridge from 1911 to 1915 (rowed twice in University Trial Eights; stroked his boat to victory in the Wyfold Cup at Henley in 1912; Second Class Classical Tripos, 1914)

About to enter Cuddesdon to prepare for holy orders when the war broke out

Commissioned 2nd Lieut., RGA SR in 1915

Went to France with 156th (Oxfordshire) Heavy Battery, RGA on 11 June 1916

Died of wounds received near Messines on 6 June 1917 and buried at Bailleul

His CO recommended 'that he be mentioned in despatches for attending to a wounded man under fire on June 2nd and for going across at the time he was wounded under heavy fire to restore the telephone communications.'

Sources: Memorials of Old Boys and Masters of the Dragon School, Oxford Who Fell in the Great War; The War List of the University of Cambridge 1914-1919; St Peter's College, Radley Register 1847-1933; The Roll of Honour, volume II, Part III.


Arden as a young student

post-765-0-28891800-1380576257_thumb.jpg

post-765-0-82811500-1380576396_thumb.jpe

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yeokeith

Rflory,

Brilliant information. I'll use the C.O. remarks and photo if I may. Haven't really started 156 Battery officers yet so will store.

Keith

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rflory

Keith: The photos and the CO's remarks are from the first-named source.

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Ken Lees

Dick,

Thank you very much for the additional information which I will share with Arden's family later this week.

Ken

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Ken Lees

I have photo copies of this form and of his will taken from his papers and would be pleased to send you copies if you wish.

Keith, I would be very grateful if you would send me copies. My e-mail address is Lees dot Ken at BTinternet dot com

Many thanks,

Ken

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yeokeith

Ken,

I have just emailed the items to you.

Regards,

Keith

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BereniceUK

Thanks Paul and Keith for the very useful information.

The man I am looking for information on is Second Lieutenant Humphrey Warwick Arden. I believe he was with the unit when it first deployed to France and he died of his wounds on 6th June 1917 near Messines.

Ken

There is a memorial to him and the Arden family in the churchyard at Yoxall, Staffordshire.

In Thanksgiving to Almighty God

for the

beautiful life and glorious death

of Humphrey Warwick Arden B.A. Cant.

F O O R C A

Killed at Messines June 6 1917 aged 25

Laid to rest at Bailleul France

Sed miles sed pro patria

R I P

DSC06580.jpg

DSC06581.jpg

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AndrewBradley29

I wonder if someone could help me, please.  I've enjoyed reading helpful material from volunteer researcher Sergeant-Major yeokeith from E Sussex.

 

I'm trying to find out more about Joseph Arthur Hill, Gunner with Royal Garrison Artillery, Reg Nos 8837 and 297099.  Joseph Hill was born in July 1889 at Bedminster, Bristol.  He worked at the South Liberty Lane Colliery, Bedminster as a coal haulier and then a miner-carter, before enlisting.  During WWI he rose to the rank of sergeant and enjoyed boxing - he became a boxing champion.  His fists unfortunately led to his downfall.  Someone abused Joseph's mother and Joseph knocked him out with a single blow.  He was disciplined and reduced to the ranks.  I have not been able to find when this demotion took place.  Not long after a German shell landed amongst their ammunition and Jospeh Hill was severely injured: losing an eye, badly damaging his hip, and he had shrapnel in his head, but too close to his brain to be operated on.  Most of his colleagues were killed outright.  Joseph Hill died in 1977 but I can still picture that jagged shrapnel next to his skull.  He suffered constant headaches all his life - but never once complained and was never bitter towards the Germans.  I would love to know what in which battle this occurred.  I've wondered if it was at the battle for Messines Ridge on 7 June 1917 when the 156 Heavy Battery took a lot of casualties - but this in merely guesswork.

 

I would dearly love to know more about the disciplinary action taken against Sergeant Hill (time, location, who he hit, etc), and also more about his wounding (time, location, circumstances, etc).

 

I would be grateful if anyone has any helpful information or suggestions.

 

With thanks in advance,

 

Andy Bradley


 

Victory and British War Medal on medal roll.jpg

Edited by AndrewBradley29

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