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Remembered Today:

'A' Battery - 124th Brigade, R.F.A.


M_O'Neill
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Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone had any information regarding 'A' Battery, 124th Brigade R.F.A. My great-great uncle Gnr George Harry Monckton (18058) served and died in that battery. He disembarked on the 9th of July 1915 and was killed in action on 3rd September 1918. He is buried in Achiet-Le-Grande communal cemetery extension and is commemorated on the war memorial at St Chad's church in Pattingham, where he was born.

Having looked through some of the long trail information I know that the brigade was attached to the 37th division of the new army. I assume, given his dates, that G.H. Monckton would have been an early volunteer. I also believe he was killed on the last day of the second battle of Bapaume. Does anyone know of any record of what the battery was doing on that day and why he might have been killed?

Any information about this Battery/Brigade would be much appreciated. :)

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The war diary for the Brigade can be downloaded here for the very reasonable sum of £3.30. It will provide you with all the details of the Brigade's whereabouts.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354060

Roger

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Thank you for the link, Roger! I'm looking through the war diary now. I came across this funny little incident while the 37th Divisional infantry was being given experience of chlorine gas on the 28th of August, 1915. A small trench was dug and filled with the gas:

"Parties from each unit in the D.A. then adjusted their smoke helmets and passed through the trench in perfect comfort. One man in A/124 managed to get a mouthful of gas, he suffered some discomfort but recovered rapidly on discovering that brandy was not the medicine prescribed".

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An instant cure! if you need any help with map locations etc. let me know, but apologies if I am teaching granny to suck eggs.

Roger

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So looking at the diary's entry for the 3rd September 1918, there's no reference to any attacks or casualties on that day. Though at the time the brigade was in action around Beugny in France.

If a soldier is listed as 'Killed in Action' on a particular date, does that mean they were killed in an action specifically on that day, or does it also count those who died of wounds gained in action on earlier days?

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In simple terms, Killed in action will mean that. If someone reached a field ambulance station or casualty clearing station or some such but later died, the casualty would be classified as died of wounds. Casualties occurred day to day in RFA Brigades, for example as a result of counter battery fire or a shell hitting an ammunition dump etc, etc. The Brigade may not actually be involved in a specific "attack". If your man is listed as KIA it is almost certain he died on the day specified (although it is not unknown for records to be a day or so out). War diaries do not always list daily casualties.

Hope this helps.

Roger

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That makes sense, thank you for the explanation, Roger. :)

Yes, Gnr George Harry Monckton was listed as killed-in-action on 3rd of September. On that day, the D.A. laid down a 'Box' barrage around the village of Beugny on three sides. Infantry then attacked the village finding that the German troops had evacuated leaving a machine gun rear-guard.

So I guess my great-great uncle could have been killed by enemy artillery as it was active in the area and they were clearly contesting the village. I know he was initially buried elsewhere from his final resting place (the 'concentration' form is accessible on the CWGC website). He is now buried at Achiet-le-Grande communal cemetery extension.

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Have you seen his medal index card?

post-42671-0-34180100-1417470481_thumb.j

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I have indeed. It was a surprise to me as I didn't know that George Harry Monckton had children (the last record I had of him was in the 1911 census).

He was there from 1915 on and almost made it through the whole show...

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