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Remembered Today:

RFA training around 1905


pinevista
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My grandfather joined the RFA in 1905 and I'm curious about the training they received. He was assigned to the 55th battery and later to the 40th. Were their uniforms the same as regular army or were they different - riding britches and high laced boots?

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You could write a book answering this question. Recruits to the RFA were trained as drivers or gunners depending on the need and their suitability with rigorous training in horses and firing of the guns. To quote from a source I read recently "having an interest in horses does not mean putting on 2 bob each way at the Curragh" There were also specialist jobs such as signallers, observers, layers etc. Gunners of course also had to learn to march and fire rifles the same as infantry but repetition in gun drill and managing the numerous horses was how they spent most of their time.

To quote from my book (see avatar) on training with the RFA in the early 1900s:

We were roused each morning by a trumpeter sounding ‘reveille’ at 6.30 a.m. Our first duty was to clean out our stables, brush down the horses, who were then watered and fed. Half an hour was allocated to morning stables then we were dismissed to our quarters where we shaved and washed, tidied up our beds, swept around and then had breakfast. We ate in our own quarters, not in dining hall, the room orderly and helper brought the food from the cook house in containers we called ‘dixies’ and it was served

out on to plates arranged on one of the tables, the NCO would inspect to ensure that the food was fairly shared out, then would give us the signal to ‘carry on’, we each secured our portion and sat down for the meal. Tea was brought in a tea bucket and poured into fairly large basins from which we drank. There were no cups and saucers, the basins were plain and rimless holding about a pint which was usually ample. The food was plain but quite good, we had a fairly regular diet having certain items on certain days.

Mark

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I'm not sure if my grandfather passed through Kildare Barracks. I know that he was sent to Ireland for some training. I have two photographs taken in 1909 showing him with another soldier using the new field telephones and the photos were taken in Ireland.

post-74822-0-75210000-1406060731_thumb.j

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I have another question - in the journal my grandfather states that when he reported for duty Aug 5th at Newcastle-on-Tyne he drew his kit. What would be included in a kit?

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