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Remembered Today:

Whereabouts of 2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA (TF) records


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I have a photo of my grandfather, Thomas C Mason, in about 1914/15 in army uniform and his cap badge appears to be Royal Field Artillery. From a photo in about 1900 he appears to be an army recruit wearing a ‘trainee’ busby (artillery units had busbys). He lived all of his life in Hull. Pre-war he worked as a decorator. I think he could have been in the Northumbrian Division, Territorial Force which was formed in 1908. It included the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA (TF), with HQ at Hull. It had been formed from part of the 2nd East Riding Yorkshire RGA (volunteers) and part of 1st East Riding Yorkshire RGA (v). In 1914 it became 1st/2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA (TF) upon formation of a ‘second line’ unit. The Northumbrian Division went to France in April 1915 and the 2nd Northumbrian Division left in May 1916.

As far as I am aware my grandfather did not go to France. Just after conscription was introduced he joined the Royal Naval Reserve in May 1916 and I have his Navy service record.

I would like to determine whether he was in the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA (TF). I have made numerous enquiries but I cannot find any records. Has anyone any idea as to where enrolment registers, pay lists or other records might be for that brigade or the earlier East Riding Yorkshire RGA.


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There is a Thomas C Mason,number 127793 Royal Garrison Artillery,on a Medal Index Card on Ancestry UK. He was only entitled to a British War Medal which meant that he served at an overseas posting not in a war zone,such as India. No other papers seen.

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I've read on this forum before that some RGA men were awarded BWM's for home service. From memory I think it was those involved in hte German naval raids of 1914 in the NE. (Coincidence?) Try a search for "RGA coastal defence medals" or similar and see what turns up.


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Hello Mactyke

The records of many TF County Associations are held at the relevant County Record Office, in this case presumably Humberside. You can probably find contact details on the internet and if you email them, they should be able to tell you whether they have anything that will help you. They probably won't be able to do research for you, but at least it may save you from a wild goose chase and if you cannot get their offices easily, they may be able to put you in touch with a professional researcher.


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Thanks for the comments so far but I don't think they help. Neither East Yorkshire archives or Hull archives have any records which would help. My reference to the RGA was pre 1908, before the formation of the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade. There was an East Yorks RGA which was formed in February 1916 but this is only 2 months before my grandfather switched into the navy so he cannot have got a medal with the RGA.

My research shows that in 1915 the Northumbrian Division was numbered 50th (Northumbrian) Division -which included the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade- and these 'first line' units went to France in April 1915. The 'second line' units (men who had not volunteered to go overseas) of the 2nd Northumbrian Division remained at home. I think my grandfather may have been in the second line as he had a wife and 3 very young kids to support. Towards the end of 1915 they were numbered as 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division. They went to France in May 1916- just after my grandfather had switched into the navy.

If I could find out who is the holder of records for the 50th (Northumbrian) Division and 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division there is a reasonable chance that they would have some relevant records relating to the pre-war period. The Northumbrian Volunteer Artillery Association at Gateshead only has records for the Newcastle /Durham brigades.

Any further help would be appreciated

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