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RFA Battery Composition (296 A Battery)


julia jeffries
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Have just read some documentation that has rather contradicted what I had previously understood about the composition of an RFA battery (in this case 296 A battery).

I expect there is no exact answer but would there have been approx 185 men and 4 x 18 pounders. If anyone knows how many drivers there would have been in a battery that would also be very useful.

Thanks in advance.

Julia

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A four gun RFA battery consisted of 115 men of which 46 of these were drivers, this is based on a 1914 New Army battery of 4 guns or howitzers per battery, by November 1916 this had risen to 6 per battery.

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Hello Julia

Here is the detailed composition of a brigade RFA before the reorganisation of May 1916, after which brigades consisted of three 18-pounder batteries and one howitzer battery:

April 1915 Field Artillery Brigade
(4 batteries of 4 x 18 pdr)
HQ: Lt-Col cdg, Adjutant, Orderly Officer, Medical Officer, Vet Officer, Serjeant-Major, 2 Fitter Staff-Serjeants, Armament Artificer, 2 Corporals, 2 Bombardiers, 6 Gunners, 10 Drivers, 1 Clerk, 2 MO's Orderlies, 8 Batmen, Interpreter.
4 Batteries, each: Major or Captain, 3 Subalterns, BSM, BQMS, Farrier-Serjeant,
5 Serjeants, 3 Shoeing-Smiths (incl 1 Corporal), 2 Saddlers, 2 Fitters or Wheelers, 5 Corporals, 9 Bombardiers, 47 Gunners, 46 Drivers, 8 Batmen.
Amm Col: Captain, 3 Subalterns, BSM, BQMS, Farrier-Serjeant, 4 Serjeants,
4 Shoeing-Smiths (incl 1 Corporal), 2 Saddlers, 2 Fitters or Whheelers, 4 Corporals, 5 Bombardiers, 31 Gunners, 89 Drivers, 4 Batmen.
Ron
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Establishment for a six-gun battery of 18 pdrs or 4.5" Hows in May 1917 from the war diary of 66th Brigade RFA.

post-765-0-98834700-1463096503_thumb.jpg

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Hi all

Just spotted this post and as I am researching a William Smith who was in the RHA I wondered if the setup the same!

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It rather depends on whether the RHA battery stayed with a cavalry division, and retained the 13-pounders, or exchanged them for 18-pounders when serving with an infantry division. In the latter case the establishment would have been the same as for RFA, but the RHA batteries with the cavalry retained a six-gun establishment so would have had roughly half as many men again.

Do you know which battery William Smith was in? If so, I can tell you which of the categories applies to it.

Ron

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Hello Ron

As of yet the only info I have is from marriage cert Jan 1916 listed as in RHA shoeing smith in 2nd Cavalry Div, I still havent found his number but keep trawling through Ancestry and the medal rolls looking for that little bit of info that points it to him, but the marriage cert info means he was on 13 pounders.

Thanks for the info Ron I keep picking up bits and pieces from the GWF so when I do find him he can go with the knowledge I've found.

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Hi TTracer44,

I presume you've spotted from the LLT or elsewhere that the three RHA batteries assigned to 2 Cav Div in 1916 were D, E and J Batteries?

David

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Hello David

yes I read all the posts that have anything to do with the RHA and RFA and lots more, I use LLT a lot, it answers a lot of questions on the spot. My guess is he was in the Army before the war, reason born 1884/5 and I can't find him in the 1911 census so possible in Ireland when hostilies started in Aug 1914, enjoying the chase shall get there in the end.

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Great. All the best for the chase!

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