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Remembered Today:

RFA TF Serial Numbers


mre
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Hi,

I have a copy of my Grandfather's Medal Index card which shows him with a SN 130920 but have recently discovered his pay book which has him as SN 810899. In trying to understand this I've come across a post that suggests that 810899 would fall into the range allocated to 232 Brigade and I know my grandfather served with that unit from August 1916 till May 1917. I've looked through loads of GWF posts and the info in LLT but have have drawn a blank. I can see that this is a complicated area - too complicated for me anyway :mellow:

Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Mike

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Mike,

Your grandfather, after being called up, joined No. 1 (TF) Artillery Training School, Ripon around March 23, 1916. This was the home of the 3rd line draft producing Reserve Brigades for Northumbrian, West Riding and North Midland Divisions. As you have discovered he joined the 1st line North Midland Brigade (by then numbered 232nd) in August 1916. His number of 130920 was a regular number and this would have been changed on transfer to the TF - in August 1916 it would have been four figures but in January 1917 all RFA TF men were renumbered with six figures. This is when he got 810899. However, there was some confusion during 1917 with men appeared to serve under 2 numbers as the Regimental Paymaster had retained the old regular number for Separation Allowances and it hadn't been updated. So the record offices then went by the attestation (whether Regular or TF). As your grandfather was on a regular attestation he reverted to his original number which ended up on his medals. I've seen men reverting back like this well into 1918 as the mess was sorted out. This is probably why the paybook does not have that number.

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Mike

Forum member KONDOA started a thread in 2005 in Units and Formations called "Royal Artillery Units" which shows how TF Units were renumbered.

Brian

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Brian,

The thread is only partially right. It doesn't cover the 3rd Line and Provisional Brigades which also fell into the renumbering blocks.

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Hi Mike

My Grandfather was a Driver with 232nd Brigade R.F.A., formerly 3rd North Midland Brigade R.F.A. T.F.

What was your Grandfather's name, rank, and where was he from?

If you require any information on his whereabouts from August 1916 to May 1917, I can help you out.

Service number's are not an exact science, my Grandfather's was changed to 820701, which according to the lists does not put him in the 232nd.

Most of the Brigade came from the Wolverhampton area, he came from Stoke-on-Trent.

Regards.

Tony.

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Whalebone,

Basically it is more than just 2 brigades associated with each number block. They cover the 3rd line, some home based Provisional Brigades and men working on munitions. They were also handed out to transfers from other Corps if they were on a TF attestation. In a lot of cases these men never served with the grouping their number supposed to represent. You need to think of the blocks as an allocation guide for record office staff.

There are no numbers missing but the brigades numbered 350 to 355 are not featured. Neither are the newly created Howitzer batteries that had TF affiliation. Lastly, you will find the tail end of some allocations were given to TF men who served overseas with regular units but were returned to the TF when transferred to Class Z reserve.

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Hi David,

Many thanks for your reply which clears things up for me. I'm really interested in how you got the information about his call up to the Ripon Artillery School. His service before he starts his diaries in August 1916 have been a mystery to me as his Service record seems to be one of those lost in WW2. I have always wondered why someone from the North East should end up in a North Midland brigade.

Many thanks again.

Mike

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Tony,

Many thanks for your reply. I think we have been in contact before as I've posted a few times regarding 232 Brigade. My grandfather's name was Albert Townley Eves with the rank of gunner but mainly acted as a signaller throughout his service.

Cheers,

Mike

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Hi Brian,

Many thanks for the info - I had come across the KONDOA post which is the one that put me on the right track for the 810899 SN

Cheers,

Mike

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I'm really interested in how you got the information about his call up to the Ripon Artillery School.

Mike,

All of the RFA Depots and Artillery Schools (later Reserve Brigades TF) were given batches from the regular series to give to new recruits on arrival. If you look at numbers close to 130920 you should see a pattern in the time and place of arrival. The nearest being 130925 Frederick Charles Hooton who was called up to Ripon on March 24, 1916. He was subsequently posted to what was then called 46th Divisonal Training Battery - most likely the same unit as your grandfather.

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Hi David,

Many thanks again for your reply.

Sorry, but when you say "If you look at numbers close to 130920 you should see a pattern in the time and place of arrival." where can I look?

:blush:

Cheers,

Mike

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Thanks David

I've only used it for The East Lancs RFA, the Blackburn and Bolton Artillery, but will bear it in mind.

Brian

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Sorry, but when you say "If you look at numbers close to 130920 you should see a pattern in the time and place of arrival." where can I look?

Surviving service records on Ancestry or Findmypast. These are subscription sites.

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For clarity - here is the relevant paragraph in ACI 2198 of 1916

post-7172-0-03410100-1420735836_thumb.jp

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  • 7 months later...
Guest DavisByrne

My grand uncle was with 232 RFA in 1917 and died of wounds received on 28 April 1917. I'd be grateful for any information regarding the whereabouts or him.

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