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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

132 (Oxford) Heavy Battery RGA


Chris_Baker
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The ear diary for this unit is currently inaccessible due to the digitisation project at the National Archives.

Does anyone have a copy? If so, does it name any men of the rank and file at any time?

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Chris: I have a copy of the war diary for 132 Heavy Battery, RGA but it is only 51 pages long and covers only April through August 1917. Very few names of other ranks in the diary. PM me if you have any specific questions.

Regards, Dick Flory

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Chris,

If you are interested in a particular man/men then pm me and I will let you know if I have them in my lists. I have some that are mentioned in other mens records.

Kevin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, Dick and Kevin. Sorry I missed seeing your posts. I think we are pretty well there with this now. My sincere thanks to Paul (ororkep) for background information on the battery and Albert Townsend, the chap I was looking for. I hereby agree to buy him a drink or two!

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  • 2 years later...

Hello,

I am currently undertaking research on Charles Coles who was in the 132nd Oxfordshire Heavy Battery RGA (seated on the front row - 4th from the right - in the first photograph and standing to the right of the gun in the second photograph).  If anyone could point me in the right direction with regards any further information about the 132nd - I would be very grateful.  

Thanks for your help,

Sonja  

132 Oxfordshire Heavy Battery RGA.jpg

Elsie the gun.jpg

Charles Coles WW1.jpg

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Hello Sonja and welcome to the forum

The Oxford  Museum, Soldiers of Oxfordshire trust, holds a large full establishment panoramic photograph of the battery prior to departure on which you should find Coles as he was an original member; his first service number was 452 and he was later renumbered in 1917 291825. The WD for the battery mentioned at the start of this thread is now available online to purchase from the NA website ref: WO95/4775 but do not expect OR’s to be mentioned. For the battery movements in 1918 you require the WD for the higher formation Brigade the battery came under control of which was 76 Bde whose diary can also be purchased online from the same site ref: WO95/477/1. Your man applied to be a prison warden in 1920 when he had reached the rank a/Sgt but beyond that I have no further information.

Rgds Paul

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Good to see a photo of a 132nd OHB man.  I am a volunteer at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and we do indeed have that splendid photo mentioned by Paul.

 

You might like to know that Gunner Coles is remembered on the Nominal Roll of the Battery.  This is a post-war creation (1928 maybe) the origin of which I cannot recall.  It is held at the Oxford History Centre.

 

MC

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Thank you all for kindly responding to my enquiry.

 

I had previously contacted the Collections Assistant at 'Soldiers of Oxfordshire' and was informed that they only hold records on the county regiments and was advised to contact that Royal Artillery regimental museum in Wiltshire (which I think will not be open to the public until 2021) for further information - so receiving your detailed information and advice is of great help and very much appreciated.  By searching for his (renumbered) service number on Ancestry.co.uk I have now been able to find his WW1 Medal Rolls index card entry (1914-1920).

I will re-visit the Museum at Woodstock and see if I can view the panoramic photograph and also research the Battery movements re the WD via the NA website.

Through my own research (family recollection and initial research on enlistment in Oxford at the time) I have gleaned that he worked as a drayman for the local brewery prior to the start of the war and so had experience with horses.   

According to Malcolm Graham in his book ‘Oxford in the Great War’ “Lieutenant Colonel Hamersley was authorised in 1915 to recruit a Heavy Battery for Oxford City…recruits had to have experience with horses and were promised five shillings a day.  Recruiting for the 132nd began in April 1915

He did become a Prison Officer after his army service and then joined the Home Guard in WW2.

Thanks again for your help,

Regards Sonja  

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Sonja

 

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum does mainly feature the actions of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry plus the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars (my main interest).  These two regiments also dominate what we hold in our extensive Archives.  The four Oxfordshire Heavy Batteries of the RGA during the Great War really are a minority interest but we have come by a few photographs over the years and we have also gathered a limited amount of information.  It would be best if you are able to visit the Museum when I am there - we might have at most one visitor a year interested in the OHBs so it is not something that the other volunteers are usually able to help with.

 

Message me and we can fix something up. 

 

MC

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Welcome to the forum Sonja,

 

my Great Grandfather served with the 132nd HB from 15th April 1917 to 21st March 1918 when he was taken prisoner and later died on 18th July 1918 but that's another story. We have several photographs of members of the battery taken 'in the field' during the spring/summer of 1917, two of the photographs may show the above Charles Cole, I'll be happy to send you copies for you to have a look as it would be great to put names to some of the faces, also would there be any chance of a clearer image of the 2nd photograph with the gun and crew?

The above photograph of the 132nd HB at Stree was probably taken on the 24th January 1919 when the Brigadier General Royal Artillery inspected the battery at that location.

 

cheers, Jon

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Hi Jon,

 

Thanks for your message and the very helpful information.  Also, good to hear that you have some further photographs taken 'in the field' - it would be great to put names to faces.

Please message me your email address and I'll forward a higher resolution copy of the 'gun and crew' photograph to you, which I hope will help a little more with identification.

 

Regards

Sonja  

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