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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

C and Y Battery's Royal Horse Artillery


coleyboy
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My Great Grandfather 17502 Driver Albert Cole RHA came under fire on 8th October 1914 and was, as I understand was part of 6fh Cavalry Brigade and was in C Battery RHA. He stayed in this Battery untill I believe the end of 1916 when C Battery was taken from the front for service repaint etc. It was at this point my Great Grandfather went to Y Battery RHA untill his return to England in January 1919. I have no information as to the battles Y battery were involved in, can anyone help me please.

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coleyboy,

Y Battery RHA joined 1st Cavalry Division at the end of 1916. If you go to the Long, Long Trail site (link top left of the page) and look up 1st Cavalry Division, there will be a list there of the battles in which the division was engaged - a good starting point for finding out more about your great grandfather's service at that time. It would be more than safe to say that the artillery would have been heavily involved in all the battles on the list.

- brummell

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Hello coleyboy, and welcome to the Forum!

The War Diary of Y Battery RHA is in the National Archives at Kew in this file:

WO 95/1116 `Y' Battery Royal Horse Artillery 1916 Dec. - 1919 Apr.
I think that it has already been digitised and it should be available to download online at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk. It costs around £3.50.
War Diaries rarely mention men by name other than officers, but the location of the unit, and a brief description of its activities, is given for each day.
Ron
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Thank you, your comments are are will be most helpful to me.

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I have down loaded both C and Y Battery Diaries thank you for the tip. C Battery only seems to start from early 1915, when I am aware they came under fire in October 1914, as my Great Grandfather earned the 1914 Mons Star.

Do you think perhaps I should look to the 6th Cavalry Diaries for the earlier period.

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coleyboy,

If 1914 is missing from the battery diary you'd have to get the diaries of the artillery brigades of which they were a part. For C Battery in 1914 this means II Bde, XIV Bde and XV Bde, although I'm not sure you would get much of interest from II Bde. The XV Bde diary would cover the period you're interested in for your GGF's service at Ypres.

When you search WO 95, you'll need to search for '15 Brigade Royal Horse Artillery' for example - it doesn't recognise the Roman numerals or abbreviations.

Hope you find what you're after.

- brummell

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According to the 1914 Star medal roll and Horse Gunners C Battery disembarked in France under XIV Brigade on 6 Oct 1914. It transferred to IV Brigade on 19 Oct 14.

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rflory,

I think you've raised what could be a useful point for coleyboy because, although as I understand it XV Bde was only re-designated IV Bde in May 1915, it appears from the National Archives that the file with 15 Brigade's diary begins 1 Mar 15, whereas 4 Brigade's begins 1 Oct 14. Therefore although the brigade was still designated XV Bde when C Bty joined it, the diary for the relevant period will be filed under 4 Brigade Royal Horse Artillery - unless I'm off the mark?

- brummell

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Thanks gents most helpful and clearly you know your subject, all these things I should have asked years ago when these people were still alive, but never thought of it. I just loved looking at the medals way back then.

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Just one point made by rflory about C Battery disembarked in France, I always understood they disembarked in Zeebrugge and assisted in covering the retreat from Antwerp while heading towards Ypres. I got this information from an original copy of History of the 6th Cavalry Brigade 1914-1918 by J B Bickersteth MC.

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