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Finding my grandfathers regiment.


kate1979
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Could anybody help me please? My daughter has the chance to visit Ypres. To win the school competition she has to write a letter about why she should be chosen. I knew my great grandfather served during the great war for four years nearly.I've located his sign up papers on ancestry.com and I know he was in the royal field artillery as a gunner. His name is Reginald Davies born 1892 in Staffordshire and that his regimental number was 30274. I need help finding which regiment he was in and where in France he was in battle.this has become much more than a competition and has become a quest by us to find out more about not only my grandfather but to teach my children to never forget the great sacrifice made by our boys. Does anyone know how I can go about finding the regiment and theatre of battle. Thanks again.

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He wouldnt have been in a regiment if he was in the field artillery. The artillery was a separate branch of the army from the infantry..

You will already know, from the Ancestry service papers, that he served with the 95th Brigade, RFA. This unit's war diary is available for download from the National Archives website and will give you a daily record of its activities - http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C4555293

In terms of better understanding the information that's out there, the best advice I can offer is to suggest you read this article - http://www.1914-1918.net/soldiers/research.html

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Hello Kate, and welcome to the Forum!

Firstly the health warning: Great War research is addictive and can seriously damage the amount of your free time.

You can find out about the organisation of the Royal Field Artillery on the parent site, The Long Long Trail -see the link at top left. There is a section called "What was an Artillery Brigade" which explains how the RFA batteries and brigades were organised.

Is there anything on the Ancestry papers which might indicate his unit? In particular, does the heading of the attestation form show whether he enlisted in the pre-war regular army, the Territorial Force, or into one of the new units raised by Kitchener for the duration of the war? A brigade number would help, or if he was in the TF and from Staffordshire, that would also narrow down the search considerably.

Ron

Edit: sorry, I missed the fact that John had already placed him in B Battery, 95 Brigade!

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Welcome to the Forum !

The gist of all those papers is that Reginald attested on 7 Jan 1915 in Tunstall and joined the Artillery in a Reserve Brigade in the UK around the same time.

On 12 Aug 1915 he was posted to B Battery of 95 Brigade RFA and on 10 Sep 1915 landed at Le Havre in France with 21 Division on it's first arrival there :

http://www.1914-1918.net/21div.htm

will show you the make-up of the Division and it's path through the war. You will see on scrolling down the page that there are several Artillery units,95 is shown as Roman numerals XCV. Your man served with the same unit throughout the war and was discharged in 1919 to return to his work as a collier.

There is a war diary for the unit which you can get to read in order to find out what he did. Once upon a time there was one Diary which you might have got to read for £3.30,but it is now split into four pieces each costing £3.30,should you want to read it all. The details are that they are all under WO95/2142 at the National Archives and the download refs are:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C14054174 (Sep 1915 to Mar 1917)

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C14054175 (Apr to May 1917)

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C14054176 (Jun to Aug 1917),and,

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C14054177 ( Sep 1917 to Apr 1919).

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thank you, this journey begann bymy daughter writting a letter to explain why she should represent the school in ypres, but i must say Ron you are right, this has become so much more, it has gone from a history book to obsession. ive not only learnt about the great war but it has been personalised by a connection i never knew existed. Thankyou everyone for your help you cant understand how much it means not only to me but to my whole family

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