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tony paley

Heavy Artillery Unit War diaries

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tony paley

Crumbs, and I started this post! can anyone help me I am after 84 Heavy Brigade RGA WO95/396 has that been digitalised?

Tony P

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Hi Tony,

It seems to me that only files with references of up to approx WO95/360 ot 370 had been released recently, before disappearing again last week.

It sounds as though they are probably in the pipeline for release as we speak.

How long that pipeline is, and whether the tap works is rather unclear at the moment.

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David_Underdown

The main digitisation work has been done, but it's not yet made it through the backend systems onto Discovery. I can't give a firm date for this particular one, but currently I would anticipate that it will be this year. For various reasons, diaries won't necessarily be released online in strict numerical order.

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charlie962

Surely the Project Leader at NA has a master plan for what is being done when? And I'm sure that it changes due to budgets, unexpected commitments, technical problems etc. This plan surely can't be a secret and Joe Public is not looking for a contractual commitment. Just a chance to know the latest state of play and likely future availability so that decisions on where to go next can be taken? We are talking years for this project, not just a few months!

The digitisation project (along with Operation War Diary tagging?) is a superb project giving us non-professionals access to information at a distance and at a cost that is within a small budget. In saying well done to NA's team I would think that they would get even more credit if they could respond to this forum's concerns expressed above?

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David_Underdown

Several of the systems involved in the project are quite new, so we're still working out the optimal rates for pushing things through the various parts of the overall process, and seeing what optimisations can be introduced, refining processes and so on. The war diaries project is the largest digitisation project directly managed and hosted by The National Archives ourselves (as opposed to things like censuses appearing on 3rd party sites, where they also run the imaging process). So there is an awful lot of fluidity, particularly with regard to when the material is actually published on Discovery. It's also not the only digitsation project, and priorities between projects can shift. I hope the gap between imaging and publication will come down in the future, as the processes are fully worked out and the whole thing becomes more "business as usual". We've been able to push through more scanning work this year than originally planned, but I appreciate that you're not necessarily seeing the end results of that yet.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Previously , if you entered WO95 AND Brigade AND Royal AND Garrison AND Artillery, and clicked the "Available for Download only" button, you got 157 hits.

Today, there are none.

To whom it may concern,

The above search now once again returns 157 hits.

Thanks for fixing.

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David_Underdown

Thanks for confirming that it's looking OK to you now. Making the message at piece level a bit more consistent to highlight that they have been digitised, but as items, will probably take a bit longer to sort out.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Here is the reply that I received today from The National Archive, regarding the non appearance of many of the the HA War Diaries, and why there is no readily accessible page on the NA site giving some sort of timetable for release:

Dear Mr Dai Bach y Sowldiwr,

Thank you for your message.

The war diaries series in WO 95 is a very large collection and is made up of 5500 pieces, containing an estimated 3.5 million pages of information. It constitutes the largest ever digitisation project TNA has done in-house and is taking several years to complete. Typically the physical record is only out of circulation for around 12 weeks but as it then goes through a series of technical checks and processes, it takes considerably longer for it to appear online.

To date over 2400 pieces, with over 1.5 million pages have already been made available via Discovery. Due to the size and complexity of the project it is very difficult to predict accurately when a specific piece will be made available for download. We have prioritised the collection based on popularity in our reading rooms and tried to group content into meaningful geographic and topical sections to publish. The pieces you have referenced, WO95/361-1095 and WO95/3994-4000 will be published in batches between Sept 2015 and April 2016. The rest of the pieces in the Series are not scheduled for digitisation this year, although we hope to do so in future years.

We have a page on the website that let user know when the documents are going to be out of circulation http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/first-world-war/centenary-unit-war-diaries/diaries-unavailable-reading-rooms/ , but the end product is not so easy to tie down. It is worth considering signing up for the newsletter, if you do not already receive it, as the releases will be mentioned within that publication.

I hope this help and I am sorry that there is no firm date available.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Willis

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Well,

Progress is being made, and the vast majority of Heavy Artillery Group War diaries are now available online on Discovery at the National Archive:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

At this home page, enter the following line

WO95 AND Brigade AND Royal AND Garrison AND Artillery

and tick the "Available to download from The National Archives" box.

Today, by my reckoning, only the following HAGs have no part of their diary available to download:

11,18, 20, 28, 36, 37, 46, 49, 52, 55, 61, 66, 74, 75, 82, 93,94, 95, 96, & 97.

And a quirky thing.....

Some are free!

I happen to know that 73 & 76 and probably lots more are free!!!

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RussT

Perhaps you can help with a few queries:

Are these WDs of the various RGA Brigades/Batteries within a HAG?

Are there also WDs for the HAGs themselves?

Do you know if any of the TF Heavy Battery WDs are available (yet)?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards

Russ

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

These are the WDs of the HAGs themselves, but as far as I know, they may contain some diaries belonging to the individual batteries that made up the group.

Those that I have downloaded do not contain battery diaries.

The terms HAGs and RGA Brigade are interchangeable. "This title was altered to Heavy Artillery groups on 2 April 1916, but was changed back to Brigades on 17 December 1917". - The Long Long Trail

This link:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?search=r&_q=Royal+AND+garrison+AND+Artillery+AND+WO95+AND+Siege+And+battery

says that 230 WDs of Siege batteries are available for download.

This link:

EDIT:My search tags are wrong, you don't need the term "Brigade" when searching for HBs or SBs.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?search=r&_q=Royal+AND+garrison+AND+Artillery+AND+WO95+AND+Heavy+And+battery

This shows that there are 146 WDs at the NA, and that 71 can be downloaded already.

Presumably it's only a matter of time before the battery you want will be available.

Which one is it?

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kevinrowlinson

Perhaps you can help with a few queries:

Are these WDs of the various RGA Brigades/Batteries within a HAG?

Are there also WDs for the HAGs themselves?

Do you know if any of the TF Heavy Battery WDs are available (yet)?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards

Russ

Try WO 95/388.... sooner rather than later.

Kevin

Edit. and include 17 Brigade.

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RussT

Ok, thank you for that full reply.

I was after the various Lancashire Heavy Batteries TF RGA - I think there were 3 serving overseas - the 1/1st, 2/1st and the 1/2nd (I don't think the 2/2nd went overseas but I'm happy to be corrected on that - the 3/1st and 3/2nd were certainly only home based).

I just located the 1/2nd Lancashire Heavy Battery using your search (by deleting the word Brigade and adding AND Lancashire) but this is just for Sept 1915 to Dec 1915.

I think one "problem" I am having in searching for these batteries is that I don't know to which HAGs these Lancs Batteries belonged during their service overseas.

So if you or anyone can give me a clue with which HAGs these batteries served, I would be grateful.

Regards

Russ

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RussT

Kevin

If I used your advice correctly, I got one hit and I just downloaded this:

Reference: WO 95/388/1
Title: Army Troops. 17 Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery
Date: 1915 May - 1919 Apr
Is this the one?
Should I be looking inside it anywhere specifically?
Regards
Russ

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kevinrowlinson

Russ,

For 1/1st Lancs HB

To 29 HAG 1-2-1916

to 57 HAG 7-12-1916

to 29 HAG 13-2-1917

to 84 HAG 14-3-1917

to 15 HAG 15-5-1917

to 98 HAG 28-5-1917

to 87 HAG 4-9-1917

to 46 HAG 25-10-1917

attached 79 HAG 24-12-1917 to 28-1-1918

2/1st Lancs HB

Joined II Anzac Corps Lorings Group

to 52 HAG 4-8-1916

to Second Army Artillery School

Joined VIII Corps HA 19-2-1917

and 71 HAG at about this time

to 85 HAG 12-6-1917

to 92 HAG 4-7-1917

to 21 HAG 21-9-1917

to 78 HAG 21-11-1917

to 17 HAG 28-12-1917

1/2nd Lancs HB

to 16 Hvy Art. Bde 16-2-1916

to 29 Hvy. Art. Bde 2-3-1916

to 21 Hvy Art. Bde. 12-3-1916

to 18 HAG 14-5-1916

to 62 HAG 2-12-1916

to 14 HAG 15-2-1917

to 23 HAG 17-2-1917

to 29 HAG 22-3-1917

to 99 HAG 28-5-1917

to 29 HAG 7-6-1917

to 65 HAG 7-7-1917

to 39 HAG 5-9-1917

to 17 HAG 23-10-1917

to 50 HAG 16-11-1917

to 86 HAG 14-12-1917

to 57 HAG 17-12-1917

to 21 HAG 27-12-1917

Kevin

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RussT

Bl**dy 'ell!

Do you know next weekend's lottery numbers by any chance?!

Many thanks for that - I had nightmares of trawling through lots of Brigade (HAG) WDs in trying to piece their movements together - when suddenly it's all there in a matter of seconds - terrific!

They certainly moved about a lot!

I'll have a look at the NA to see how many are downloadable (esp if free!!).

I see your lists for each of those Batteries stop well before the end of the war - were they broken up on those last dates?

Also, can you confirm as to whether or not the 2/2nd Lancs HB went overseas? I think not, but it would be good to know for certain.

Regards and thanks again.

Russ

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rflory

I went on Discovery the other night and was surprised to find that all, or part, of the following HAG (Brigade, RGA) war diaries were available for free download: 13, 17, 22, 32, 35, 39, 54, 56 (+ 175 Sg By), 57 (+ 83 and 103 Sg By), 58, 60, 62, 63 (+38 Hvy By), 84 (+ 152 Hvy By) , 88 (+ 78 Sg By), 89, 90 and 92.

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kevinrowlinson

Bl**dy 'ell!

Do you know next weekend's lottery numbers by any chance?!

Many thanks for that - I had nightmares of trawling through lots of Brigade (HAG) WDs in trying to piece their movements together - when suddenly it's all there in a matter of seconds - terrific!

They certainly moved about a lot!

I'll have a look at the NA to see how many are downloadable (esp if free!!).

I see your lists for each of those Batteries stop well before the end of the war - were they broken up on those last dates?

Also, can you confirm as to whether or not the 2/2nd Lancs HB went overseas? I think not, but it would be good to know for certain.

Regards and thanks again.

Russ

Russ,

They stayed with the last brigade given for the rest of the war, unless there are mistakes in the allocations (which sometimes there are).

Each of these batteries were brought up to 6 guns during the war with one section joining from another battery.

For 1/1 Lancs HB a sect. from 193 HB around 12 Feb 1917

For 2/1 Lancs HB a sect. from 175 HB around 2 Oct 1916

For 1/2 Lancs HB a sect. from 118 HB around 12 Feb 1917

Each battery would have had at some time "regular" gunners serving with them, especially as more men were taken sick or wounded and reinforcements posted to them.

These were the only three Lancs. HBs that served overseas.

Kevin

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David_Underdown

All diaries in the sub series of WO 95 for 3rd, 4th and 5th Armies are in the process of being shipped over to Discovery now, and further Western Front material will follow (there is of course one particular major anniversary this year..)

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ss002d6252

All diaries in the sub series of WO 95 for 3rd, 4th and 5th Armies are in the process of being shipped over to Discovery now, and further Western Front material will follow (there is of course one particular major anniversary this year..)

Is there any procedure for the newly digitised diaries to be made available on Ancestry or is that subject to further discussion with the N/A ?

Craig

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petwes

At the moment all the new stuff is free. From WO95/359 up into the high 400's. I don't think the offer will last though!

Peter

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David_Underdown

Is there any procedure for the newly digitised diaries to be made available on Ancestry or is that subject to further discussion with the N/A ?

Craig

Essentially they have to come to us and buy them. Availabilty (and pricing) is essentially determined by the (EU) Regulation on reuse of public sector information, so basically anyone could buy a copy of the digital masters if they wanted.

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ss002d6252

Essentially they have to come to us and buy them. Availabilty (and pricing) is essentially determined by the (EU) Regulation on reuse of public sector information, so basically anyone could buy a copy of the digital masters if they wanted.

Thanks - I was wondering if they were part of a digitisation deal or similar.

Craig

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RussT

Russ,

They stayed with the last brigade given for the rest of the war, unless there are mistakes in the allocations (which sometimes there are).

Each of these batteries were brought up to 6 guns during the war with one section joining from another battery.

For 1/1 Lancs HB a sect. from 193 HB around 12 Feb 1917

For 2/1 Lancs HB a sect. from 175 HB around 2 Oct 1916

For 1/2 Lancs HB a sect. from 118 HB around 12 Feb 1917

Each battery would have had at some time "regular" gunners serving with them, especially as more men were taken sick or wounded and reinforcements posted to them.

These were the only three Lancs. HBs that served overseas.

Kevin

Kevin

Many thanks for clarifying those points and for the additional info about the 6 guns.

Much appreciated. I managed to download for free a number of the WDs for these HAGs for the time periods relevant to these Lancs HBs, so I'll have a look at them to gain an appreciation of their locations and what they go up to.

Regards,

Russ

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David_Underdown

Thanks - I was wondering if they were part of a digitisation deal or similar.

Craig

Only the Gallipoli diaries were a non-exclusive licence deal, with the digitisation funded by Ancestry. The rest of the digitisation programme is entirely from The National Archives' own resources.

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