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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

127 Bty


Dako

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Hi everyone. :mellow:

I'm trying to find out more about my Grandad in the Great War . I'm a complete novice and getting all confuddled with my batteries, batallions, brigades etc.

Grandad had a Silver War Badge with 127 Bty (T) RFA on the back. He was admitted to 83 Gen Hosp, Boulogne on 2nd Sept 1918 with severe gunshot wounds to the face resulting in discharge from duty on 7th Nov 1918.

My Mum remembers he said he was injured at Arras. So, by Long, Long Trailing and Googling etc I think he was probably wounded at the Battle of the Drocourt - Queant Line, 2-3 Sept.1918.

I've read somewhere that 127 Bty joined with others to become 29th Brigade and they were under 4th Division command. First Army 4th Division is listed at the battle. Am I hopefully on the right track?

Many thanks

Marga

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Marga

Welcome to the Forum !

Yes,127 Battery were part of 29 Brigade RFA,whose War Diary is digital and can be downloaded for £3.36 from the Discovery database at the National Archives,reference WO95/1466/5 and covering from Aug 1914 through to war's end. Here you can read of the daily activity of the Brigade as a whole,there were three Batteries and sometimes the Battery has it's own segment of Diary but all are merged into the one file at the end. Worth a read to get the story.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7352123

It might be worth posting his name and number as you never know who knows what here !

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Hello Sotonmate, thankyou for the welcome and thankyou so very much for your valued information. It's more than appreciated. :-)

My Grandads name is Henry Arthur Alfred Dakin. His number is 955837. He enlisted at Brixton on 29/12/1914 with the 6th ( I think 6th, the stamp is smudged) (Reserve) London Brigade RFA. He was 16. I have no more info until 1916 when he was aged 18, I have photos of him at Biscot Camp. One photo has what looks like 'C' Battery RFA written on it. From there he mustve gone to France but I have no idea when

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Dako

I found his service record and took a read. He attested with the service number 2050 which later on was changed to 955837. I can't find his Medal Index Card but I have got the detail anyway from the record.

He is shown in Dec 1914 as declaring an age of 19 years 1 month,so couldn't wait to get there ! He landed in France on 13 Feb 1918 with 29 Bde RFA. He was wounded on 1 Sep 1918,described as "GSW (gunshot wound) multi.sev (severe) and was evacuated to 83 General Hospital in Boulogne on 17 Sep,and from there returned to the UK on 7 Oct 1918. He was later discharged to a pension of 17/6 a week for life,so must have been badly wounded as pensions were often for a short period and reviewed at the end of that period.

He received the British War and Victory Medals as well as the Territorial Force War Medal.

I would say that his wounding on1 Sep 1918 was at the preliminary artillery stage of the Battle of Drocourt-Queant which ran from 2-3 Sep. His unit,as part of the 4 Division Artillery was in position for that event.

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29th Bde RFA War Diary for 1/2nd Sept 1918...

Dave

post-357-0-35342200-1389879487_thumb.jpg

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Goodness! Could it be he was shot by a sniper ? because it looks like everyone was getting into position on the 1st.

Thankyou so much for that Dave...very much appreciated.

Sotonmate, I was sending you a reply but having probs with posting, could be I've rabbitted on too much :unsure: Will try again.


Hi Sotonmate,brilliant thankyou, you've filled in a few important gaps for me and confirmed some of my findings.

His name was Henry but was known to all as Harry or Dako :-)
On his service record I can now make out the Service number 2050 crossed out and until you mentioned it I hadn't noticed it. At the time when I found the record I only managed to get that one page which seems to be badly damaged. I will have to go back at some point and have another look.
Very interesting to read he declared he was 19! He was definitely 16 years old in 1914.

I have a telegram,sent to his father, informing regretably that Gunner Dakin was wounded and admitted to 83 Gen on 2nd Sept which would fit in with him being wounded on the 1st. On his Certificate of Discharge it hasn't actually got a date but does say 'after serving Three Years, 314 days'. On a National Registration card it says 'date of Discharge from HM Forces' 7/11/18.

I have a copy of his Medal Index card (one side of it) and the name shows as Dakin, Hny Arthur Alfred RFA Gnr 955837 and there's a note written against Victory .....(TF)RFA/169 and under 'Page' the number 13915. That is dittoed against 'British'. Interestingly no mention of the Territorial Force War Medal though there is a note written further down the card which says 'Sub List Ref/2587' so maybe it's listed there whatever that may be.

He was on a pension for life yes.
His unjuries resulted in him losing both eyes and he was fitted with glass eyes which I remember were a piercing blue. He never complained but we do know that he told my Grandma, who was his sweetheart at the time, that she would be better off without him now. In a letter she wrote '(Harry), you were good enough for me before you were wounded and you are good enough for me now'.They married in 1922.
He was taken under the care of St. Dunstans (Rehabilitation for Blind Soldiers and Sailors) in Regents Park, London. They taught him Braille and various occupations and activities, all to help with their independence. Their care,after care and help was tremendous, both to the St. Dunstaner and to their families.They also had a building in Ovingdean, Brighton which was a hospital and convalescent home and he very much enjoyed visiting there for a couple of weeks each year for the rest of his life until his death in 1980. St. Dunstans taught him a trade and help set him up in premises in Herne Hill as a boot and shoe repairer. He had 2 shops and a lockup.The family lived above one of the shops and during WW2 were bombed out twice, the 2nd time on Oct 20th 1940. They got in touch with St. Dunstans that same night and were told to get themselves onto a train to Blackpool where St Dunstans had another home and they would be looked after from there. So...in all but what they stood up in, my Grandad Dakin, my grandma and their 3 children (of which one was my mum aged 12)came to Blackpool and that's where we live today.

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Dako

What a remarkable story,thank you for sharing it. I feel very humbled by your Grandad's courage.

Not so sure a sniper,more than likely shrapnel as the Artillery duels/engagements were often the precursor to an attack or battle.

Your notes about the Medal Card: the numbers are the reference to the original Medal Roll on which his medals were listed for marking and issue to him.

The "Sub List Ref/2587" you mention is SWB (for Silver War Badge)RFA/2587 is the List from which his Badge was issued on discharge to wounds in 1918. It was a Badge worn on the right lapel of a coat to indicate that a serviceman had "Rendered Service for King and Empire" and issued to deter criticism from those who might ask why someone of military age in civvies wasn't fighting. In your Grandad's case I am sure it was evident.

I do remember seeing the St Dunstan's at Ovingdean in my work travelling days,always impressed by their reputation.

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Hi Sotonmate, Thankyou for your comments, and above all thankyou so very much for all your help with my quest.

The SWB, I have photos of him wearing it but unfortunately the actual badge has gone missing somehow over the years which is a real shame. I have a few photos which might be of interest, when I get a minute I will upload some to the album section here.

I might be back soon because Grandad had 2 brothers who were in uniform at the same time :-)

Once again, many thanks and thanks too to Crooneart

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I've uploaded a few photos to an album in the Gallery. There are a couple of photos taken at Biscot which unfortunately I can't identify.

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Thank you,I shall look !

Later: Good job !

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  • 1 month later...

Dako. This is grand stuff. Project Officer for Luton's WWI remembrance here. As Biscot is in Luton, I am V. interested in anything to do with Biscot Camp in general. I am intending to convert what we find (and any crowd sourced content that is added to our site) into a talk on Biscot, as part of a series of WWI talks at Luton museum (itself a former V.A.D. Hospital). I have been invited to tour the Royal Artillery TA barracks at Leagrave soon, in order to see if there is any memorabilia and/or paperwork dating to WWI lurking in the archives and attics.

I shall share what I find shortly.

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  • 9 months later...

Hi Dako,

I’ve come upon this thread rather late in the day. My grandfather, William George Wakefield (Number 926352), was also in 127 Bty RFA.

He only spoke about the war once as far as I know and this was just before he died in 1981 when he told me he had been blown up twice in one day and his gun crew had been all killed or wounded except him and his sergeant.

I managed to find his medical discharge papers on the web which gave his military history. He signed up in 1915 when he was just 17. He too was at Biscot Camp but in “A” Battery; I have a picture of him there in 1917. He was posted to France in November 1917. It also says he was blown up in September 1918.

Unlike your grandfather he was physically unhurt but he did have severe shellshock. He was discharged from the army as medically unfit in August 1919 and spent much time in hospital (mainly in Ewell, Surrey).

I have been through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records and 127 Battery have 6 deaths around that period. All are buried at Feuchy Chapel cemetery at Wancourt. Gunners Wilson and Bracken died on 29 August; Gunners Barnard, Hart and Osborne were killed on 1 September and Gunner Anderson on 3rd September.

Putting the snippets of information together, I’m guessing that my grandfather was blown up on 1 September; the day before your grandfather was wounded (incidentally they must have been almost identical ages as he was born in 1898).

I’ve worked out from the War Diaries where they were and I intend to visit one day.

We’ve been unable to find my grandfather’s medal. The medal we do have is for William Joseph Wakefield, my great grandfather. Frustratingly I can find nothing about his war service. He fought in both Boer wars and was at the Relief of Ladysmith amongst others. He became a postman and then he must have re-enlisted in WW1 but the medal is the only evidence of that. But I digress.

I hope that is of some interest. Our grandfathers must surely have known each other.

Paul

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