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tony paley

Heavy Artillery Unit War diaries

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tony paley

I will admit that I am pretty useless when it comes to checking the catalogue for the NA, even when I put in a correct WO95 reference it informs me the search was negative. In the past I have relied on some excellent links from this section of the forum. Today even that appears to have failed me.

My main query is can anyone give me a rough estimate as to when the Heavy Artillery Group/Brigade and Battery diaries of the RGA will be on line for downloading. Also is there a likelyhood of the existing WO95 reference numbers changing when this happens? Any information will be of great help.

Tony P

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petwes

Tony

Discovery is not very helpful is it? I'm on the look out for the RGA diaries coming online too. From what I can gather the digitisation for the groups of numbers containing the diaries started in September this (2014) year from WO95/208 and up to WO95/545 will be finished by the end of January. These dates are based on when the diaries were potentially unavailable for public access. I can see no information about diaries in the higher numbers (4xxx). I have no idea how long it takes after digitisation to put them online though.

Peter

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tony paley

Peter,

Thank you for that, I know that we are not alone in anticipation/expectation so i would think that keeping an eye on this section of the forum will pay dividends. the diaries that i am interested in are in the former numbers. In fact I have hard copies but they are getting tired and worn having first obtained them in the 80s.

Tony P

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rflory

My contact in the UK who is digitally copying Siege Battery and Heavy Battery war diaries for me at TNA just did some for me in the WO 95/200 series so those are now available for copying and he indicated that the diaries in the WO 95/500-1000 range are now out to be digitized.

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tony paley

Thanks for that Dick.Tony P

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jainvince

I will admit that I am pretty useless when it comes to checking the catalogue for the NA, even when I put in a correct WO95 reference it informs me the search was negative. In the past I have relied on some excellent links from this section of the forum. Today even that appears to have failed me.

My main query is can anyone give me a rough estimate as to when the Heavy Artillery Group/Brigade and Battery diaries of the RGA will be on line for downloading. Also is there a likelyhood of the existing WO95 reference numbers changing when this happens? Any information will be of great help.

Tony P

Tony

I used to produce a spreadsheet which listed the diaries available from the NA prior to them adding to the digitised library but stopped as another member appeared to be collating the revised availability. To be frank, I only started doing it because of problems with the NA website. Now I cannot find anything there except by accident.

Bernard

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RobL

Is anyone aware of the diary for 90 HB for 1915 surviving? Struggling to find it

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tony paley

Bernard,

Me too, I have somehow got to the unit required but have no idea of how!

Tony P

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Chris_Baker

You will not find RGA unit diaries in Discovery if they do not exist!

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Hywyn

As a fellow Disoveryophobe I fully sympathise with your lack of success in searching it.

The excellent Arcre search engine in this link was posted on a similar thread some time ago and works for me. I should say that I haven't looked at Artillery much though.

http://www.arcre.com/wdsearch

So, looking for 90 Heavy Battery I put in 90 Heavy Artillery for this result

http://www.arcre.com/wdsearch

Two diaries, neither yet digitised.

(Playing around with the search words might produce more)

Hywyn

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Chris_Baker

I'm not really sure I understand all the criticism of Discovery. If, in the instance cited above, you enter "90 Heavy Battery" the war diary comes right up.

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Hywyn

It stems from early attempts at searching it Chris. As I say I haven't had a look for artillery in the past.

I have just tried now for Royal Welsh Fusiliers and I get 74793 results! I must say though that I also tried Royal Welsh Fusiliers War Diary and got it down to 46 (which is about right). I can only imagine that that ease of searching wasn't available when I formed my opinion about it's capabilities.

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Guest

enter "90 Heavy Battery" the war diary comes right up.

Indeed it does, and I agree, Discovery is excellent. Try Advanced Search I can, and do, spend hours in there.

Mike

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Hywyn

I have had a bit of a play around and don't recall it being this friendly. Maybe I gave up too early!

Re my 46 result for RWF. I would then drill down to the individual diary to see if it was available. I see that by clicking on the X in Your Filters over on the right it tells me that 17 are 'Available for download only' and clicking on that brings up those 17.

Using the Advanced Search link provided by Mike and searching Heavy Artillery War Diary return 1669 records, of which 1 is available for download.

Conducting this search periodically should therefore theoretically indicate that more of their diaries are now available? Which is a partial answer to the OP by Tony

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RobL

Indeed it does, and I agree, Discovery is excellent. Try Advanced Search I can, and do, spend hours in there.

Mike

Not for 1915 though, I can only find the one from 1917 onwards

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RussT

......... and searching Heavy Artillery War Diary return 1669 records, of which 1 is available for download.

And when I click on that single entry, it tells me it's not available for download!

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Guest

And when I click on that single entry, it tells me it's not available for download!

No, it doesn't look like any can be downloaded yet, am afraid. The search to find them does work though :whistle:

Mike

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John(txic)

Are any Heavy Artillery Group war diaries available for download?

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David_Underdown

A few comments, you may find http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/user-advisory-group-minutes-16-december-2014.pdf gives a few clues.

For searching, bear in mind that using war diary or war diaries as a search term will potentially bring up catalogue entries for Second World War war diaries as well as First World War, so using WO 95 may be more useful (in Advanced search you can explicitly restrict to that single series, but just using it the beginning of the main search box is normally quite effective. Where a number is included in the name of a unit (eg for a battalion or company) it will be given as a cardinal number, not an ordinal, ie 1,2,3 not 1st, 2nd, 3rd, so you should search for eg 1 battalion, not 1st battalion. Better still, put it in quotes eg "1 battalion", and then the name of the regiment or corps in a separate set of quotes, eg "royal welsh fusiliers" (case doesn't matter). So I'd normally enter a search as something like:

wo 95 "1 battalion" "royal welsh fusiliers"

It's also worth taking a look at how the WO 95 series is structured. At the bottom of the page of an individual catalogue entry, you will see something like:

Context of this record Browse by Reference

below the series level entry for WO 95 you can see sub-series (part I: France, Belgium and Germany), this is the theatre of war (so far everything digitised is in this sub-series), below that is the sub-sub-series, here 7 Division, GHQ, each Army, each Corps and Lines of Communication each have their own sub-sub-series, below that is the piece (ie the physical box you could order), and then the item - an individual war diary which you can order online, usually a folder (or folders) within the box in physical terms. You can click into any of these to see hierarchy at different levels, so click on the theatre level, and on the right you can see the sub-sub-series for the units at GHQ, Army, Corps or Division level within that theatre.

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harkerr@btinternet.com

Does anyone know when the digitised versions of WO95/201-299 which contain some HAG diaries will become available?

When you search Discovery it tells you they will be unavailable until February, however it also refers you to the digitisation schedule which tells you it should have been completed by last November!

I know I'm asking for too much for them to suddenly become available on 1st March, but would appreciate a bit of clarification if anyone out there knows anything.

Regards

Richard

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David_Underdown

Unless there are any outstanding retakes on those (which I don't know off the top of my head) there's a pretty good chance they are now in circulation. Probably best to give the contact centre a ring who should be able to give better info.

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harkerr@btinternet.com

Hi David

Thanks for that, sounding hopeful!

I'll give them a call, I presume its just the standard number?

Regards

Richard

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David_Underdown

Yes - eexplain that you've already looked at the published timetable and it's contradictory. Discovery does seem to be showing them as orderable at the moment.

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harkerr@btinternet.com

Finally got in touch with a very helpful member of staff in the "Docs Online" section.

Apparently they have been scanned and are going through final checking, release date is estimated to be some time in April. "Keep checking the catalogue"

They are now releasing them in numerical order and the planned release will include all previously unreleased diaries in the range WO95/1 - 500.

A different member of staff told me they are currently scanning in the 4000 range so they are making progress, but it was never going to be fast enough to satisfy us all was it!!

Good to hear that they are checking before release as though, better a bit late than inaccurate I think.

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